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Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance 2014

Author(s): David S. Fortney, Michele R. Fisher
Practice Area: Employment, Litigation
Published: Feb 2014
PLI Item #: 50980
CHB Spine #: H940

Michele R. Fisher is a partner at Nichols Kaster whose practice is primarily dedicated to national wage and hour class and collective action litigation. She has represented tens of thousands of employees seeking to recover overtime pay, minimum wages, and commission payments. She also represents employees in individual employment matters, such as employment discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment. Moreover, Michele has represented consumers in cases involving negligent and fraudulent financial advice. She has been instrumental in obtaining millions of dollars for her clients.

Michele is an experienced trial attorney who enjoys being in the courtroom. She has successfully handled numerous jury trials and arbitrations in her fight for employee and consumer rights. She has the expertise, resources, and staff to take on any company regardless of size.

Michele is the Chair of the firm’s Business Development and Marketing Groups, which originate class and collective actions and market the firm. She is also a member of the Management Committee charged with the running of the day-to-day operations of the firm.

Michele is active in several organizations. She is the co-chair and a faculty member of the Practicing Law Institute’s Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance conference, is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee’s Midwinter Report, a board member and editor for BNA’s the Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise Supplement, a board member and editor for BNA’s Fair Labor Standard Act Treatise, and a chapter editor for BNA’s Wage and Hour Laws: A State-by-State Survey (2d ed.). She has been named to the Super Lawyers and Rising Star lists repeatedly.


State Bar of Georgia Minnesota Supreme Court New York Supreme Court

Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

U.S. District Court – District of Colorado

U.S. District Court -- Northern District of Florida

U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court – Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota

U.S. District Court – Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court – Western District of Oklahoma

U.S. District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court – Western District of Texas

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Wisconsin

U.S. District Court – Western District of Wisconsin

Practice Areas

Plaintiffs’ Employment Litigation

Class & Collective Actions

Mr. Fortney is a co-founder of Fortney & Scott LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, counseling and advising clients on the full spectrum of workplace-related matters, including employment discrimination and labor matters, compliance programs, government contracting, executive employment and compensation, and developing strategies for avoiding or responding to workplace-related crises.  Mr. Fortney has a broad-based practice representing and counseling employers in employment and labor matters, including wage and hour matters, government enforcement agencies’ audits and regulatory matters, judicial proceedings, Equal Employment Opportunity requirements, federal contractor's affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations, collective bargaining and union organizing, and workplace health and safety.  Mr. Fortney is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; he co-chairs the American Bar Association’s Federal Legislative Development Committee; and, he is a frequent lecturer at professional conferences.  Fortney & Scott, LLC has been both locally and nationally recognized as a leading management employment law firm in the prestigious Best Law Firms survey for 2011-2017 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Mr. Fortney’s wage and hour practice includes counseling clients with respect to policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the minimum wage and overtime obligations under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and hour laws, including the proper classification of positions as exempt or non-exempt, overtime practices for non-exempt employees, compensation practices for exempt employees, and time and record keeping procedures; conducting preventive compliance audits; and advising and representing clients facing audits by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.  Additionally, Mr. Fortney established and co-chairs the Practicing Law Institute’s nationally acclaimed annual wage and hour seminar in New York, and has been doing so since 2010.

Before co-founding the firm, Mr. Fortney previously served as the chief legal officer of the U. S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. during President George H. W. Bush Administration.  As Acting Solicitor of Labor, he was responsible for enforcing over 140 laws regulating the nation's workplaces and managing an agency with 800 attorneys and support staff.  He advised Secretaries of Labor Elizabeth Dole and Lynn Martin and the Department of Labor agencies on a broad range of legal, policy, legislative, regulatory, and enforcement issues.  The major Department of Labor agencies Mr. Fortney represented included the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), among others.

Mr. Fortney has been widely recognized for his professional accomplishments, including being named one of the leading employment lawyers in Washington, D.C. by the Chambers USA survey of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in all years from 2005 through present.  He was selected for inclusion in the 2009 through present editions of The Best Lawyers in America, Washington D.C.’s, Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers.  Mr. Fortney also has an AV rating (the highest level) by Martindale-Hubbell.

Mr. Fortney is a frequent lecturer and writer on employment-related topics, including appearances on CNN, CBS and Fox News. Mr. Fortney is the co-editor of a monthly newsletter, the Federal Employment Law Insider, Chapter Eight of The Family and Medical Leave Act (2006) published by BNA Books, co-author of the Military Leave Compliance Kit (2001), published by M. Lee Smith Publishers, and lead author of the Guide to Employee Leave (1997), published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont.  Mr. Fortney received his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law.

Practice Areas:

Employment Law, Labor Law, and Litigation

Admitted to Practice:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

District of Columbia

Supreme Court of the United States

Various U.S. Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Court


Duquesne University School of Law, (J.D., 1980)

The Pennsylvania State University, (B.A., 1977)

Professional Activities:

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

 American Bar Association - Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Chair Government Liaison

National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of U.S. Free Trade Agreements

Secretary of Labor’s Committee on the Future of the Workplace for the President’s Council on the 21st Century Workforce

Federalist Society Former Chair, Labor and Employment Committee

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)