Amanda Sommerfeld's practice focuses on the defense of corporate clients in individual and class action litigation in state and federal courts. She helps solve client problems, whether in litigation or in preventing litigation. Amanda has an exceptional track record in defeating class claims at the certification stage and successfully defending those decisions in the courts of appeal. She has extensive experience with complex wage & hour class and collective claims of independent contractor misclassification, exemption misclassification, off-the-clock work, meal and rest period violations, unpaid travel time, unpaid expense reimbursement, and other pay-related practices.
Amanda also represents private and public employers in all aspects of employer-employee relations, including counseling, training, litigation, trial, and appellate work. She represents companies in various industries, including manufacturing, aviation, oil refining, homebuilding, and retail/service establishments. Amanda also conducts employment-related training for management and counsels employers on reductions in force, harassment and discrimination, investigations into employee misconduct, and wage and hour audits.
Prior to joining Jones Day in 2017, Amanda assisted Black & Decker in obtaining a 9-0 victory in the United States Supreme Court on an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) matter. She also managed the trial team in the first "suitable seating" class action to proceed to trial in California. In that case, which resulted in a judgment for the defendant retailer, the plaintiff had claimed that the nature of cashier work can reasonably be performed while sitting and that the retailer failed to provide suitable seats for its front end cashiers, in violation of California's wage orders.
Amanda frequently speaks on a variety of labor and employment topics, including wage and hour laws.
The following represents experience acquired prior to joining Jones Day.
Secured a significant dismissal for Tesoro of wage and hour class claims on preemption grounds.
Obtained decertification of FLSA collective action brought on behalf of more than 40,000 employees of a private health care consortium who alleged unpaid wages arising out of an "auto-deduct" meal period practice.
Won summary adjudication for Black & Decker on FLSA collective action claim for commute time pay, which decision was upheld on appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Defeated class certification of various wage and hour claims brought against SkyWest Airlines on behalf of customer service agents, followed by an order granting summary judgment in the airline's favor based on a finding that the wage and hour laws do not apply to SkyWest as a matter of law.
Successfully barred joinder of more than a dozen individual agents who sought to bring the same claims against SkyWest in state court and then subsequently defeated class certification in a copy-cat class action pending in federal court.
Defeated class certification on claims brought against Sears by managers and assistant managers for exemption misclassification.
Defeated class certification on copy-cat class claims brought by managers against Sears, which decision was upheld on appeal.
Defeated class certification on class claims brought by janitors against Kmart who claimed that they were employees and not contractors, which decision was upheld on appeal.
Eliminated class action brought on behalf of former store managers for Kmart by obtaining summary judgment against named plaintiff on his exempt status.
California Supreme Court Authorizes Additional Remedies for Meal Break Violations: Waiting Time and Wage Statement Penalties Now on the Menu
California Supreme Court Concludes "Regular Rate of Pay" Applies When Calculating Meal and Rest Period Penalties
Ninth Circuit Affirms FMCSA Preemption of California Meal and Rest Break Laws for Drivers Subject to Federal Regulation
- University of Southern California (J.D. 1996); University of California, Los Angeles (B.A. in English Literature 1992)
Named as a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer (2023 and 2024)
"Employment Law MVP," Law360 (2022)
"Top Labor & Employment Lawyers," Daily Journal (2019 and 2022)
Recipient, Diversity Leader Award, Profiles in Diversity Journal (2017)
"Rising Legal Star Under 40" for Labor and Employment, Law360 (2010)
BTI Client Service All-Star (2010)
"Top 20 Under 40" Attorneys, California Daily Journal (2008)