Mr. Melzer is Co-Chair of the Firm’s wage and hour practice and has helped return millions of dollars of lost wages to employees in presuit negotiations, active litigation, and trials.
Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.
As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.
Andrew Melzer is a partner in the New York office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, DC, New York, California, and Tennessee. He received his J.D. from NYU School of Law in 2003 and his Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in History from Yale University in 1999.
Mr. Melzer manages all aspects of complex litigation from the initial investigation to pleadings, discovery, class certification, dispositive motions, trial practice, and settlement. He represents individuals in class and collective actions involving wage and hour, discrimination, and consumer protection claims. Andrew also represents individuals in employment and qui tam cases as well as other civil rights matters.
Among other current cases, Mr. Melzer is counsel in Tian et al v. Ma Laboratories, Inc., a wage and hour action filed on behalf of hourly workers in California; da Silva Moore et al v. Publicis Groupe SA, a nationwide gender discrimination action filed on behalf of management-level employees in the public relations industry; and In re Gateway Plaza Residents Litigation, an action by tenants of a large NYC housing complex alleging breach of the implied warranty of habitability and other claims.
Mr. Melzer has acted as trial counsel in civil rights and wage and hour trials. He was trial counsel in a civil rights and wrongful death suit against Sonoma County and numerous other defendants (George v. Sonoma County, et al.) for failing to treat plaintiffs’ son’s sickle-cell anemia crisis, which eventually led to his death. The case — which went to a jury trial against certain defendants – resulted in total monetary settlements of more than $2 million, as well as an independent third-party study of the medical and correctional practices of the Sonoma County jail. Mr. Melzer also served as Trial Counsel in a wage and hour class action matter that settled post-trial (Perkins, et al. v. Southern New England Telephone Co.). The firm also settled two related cases for a combined $27 million, one of the largest recent wage and hour settlements.
Mr. Melzer has drafted briefs and petitions to several United States Courts of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and the California Supreme Court.
In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Melzer was selected to Super Lawyers’ New York-Metro Rising Stars list, an honor no more than 2.5 percent of a state’s lawyers receive.
Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp in November 2007, Andrew was a staff attorney at an international organization in Zurich, Switzerland, where he helped to restore lost and stolen assets to Holocaust victims and their heirs. From 2003 to 2005, he served as a judicial law clerk on the Massachusetts Appeals Court, where he clerked for Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong and legendary jurist Benjamin Kaplan – distinguished former Harvard Law professor and one of the principal architects of the Nuremberg trials. During law school, Andrew represented clients in employment and civil rights related matters and drafted a petition for rehearing en banc to the Second Circuit in a disability rights case. In the summer of 2002, Andrew was a McCleary Law Fellow at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT rights organization. Among other projects, he contributed to an amicus brief submitted by various civil rights organizations in Lawrence v. Texas.
- J.D., NYU School of Law, 2003
- B.A., Yale University, 1999
- Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong, Massachusetts Appeals Court
- Justice Benjamin Kaplan, Massachusetts Appeals Court
- Civil Rights Clinic
- New York 2004
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
According to Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner in Chadbourne’s Washington, DC office, female partners at the firm are excluded from positions of decision-making authority and receive less pay and bonuses even when they out-perform their male counterparts. There is only a one-tier partnership, with every partner characterized as an equity partner.
The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages for Claim Specialists who worked on long term disability insurance claims (“LTD Claim Specialists”) for MetLife and two of its subsidiaries, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and MetLife Insurance Company USA.
Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, represents an anonymous female partner at Proskauer Rose, LLP, who is suing the prominent international law firm for $50 million for alleged gender bias in her compensation and other conditions of employment.
Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action complaint in U.S. District Court in New Jersey against Energy Plus Holdings LLC and Energy Plus Natural Gas LP (Energy Plus) for perpetrating an illegal bait-and-switch scheme that has deceived and defrauded thousands of New Jersey consumers of millions of dollars.
Sanford Heisler Sharp represents sales employees on a class and collective action complaint in U.S. District Court in Anchorage against Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc., and Alaska Communications Systems Holdings, Inc. (Alaska Communications). Plaintiffs allege that Alaska Communications failed to pay sales employees overtime in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Alaska Wage and Hour Act (AWHA). In December 2014, the court granted conditional certification of the collective action and authorized notice to the class under the FLSA.
In 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp reached a $99 million settlement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (”Novartis”) to resolve a nationwide class and collective action brought on behalf of thousands of Novartis sales representatives. The settlement ranks among the largest wage and hour settlements.
Sanford Heisler Sharp represented thousands of AT&T employees in three class and collective action cases involving the telephone giant’s failure to pay overtime to its “First-Level Managers.” The cases settled for a combined $28 million, among the largest recent wage and hour settlements.
The employees allege that Ma Labs engaged in pervasive time-shaving, whereby it wrote off and refused to pay employees’ pre-shift and post-shift overtime. The company also allegedly failed to provide its employees off-duty, uninterrupted rest and meal periods, as required by California law. The workers are mostly Chinese and Latino immigrants. The court granted class certification in October 2014.
The company categorized these workers as salaried managerial employees but failed to pay them on a true salary basis. If the employees failed to work a particular number of hours per week, City Gear did not pay them their full salaries; instead, the company took pay deductions premised on an hourly rate of pay. The employees alleged that the company could not have it both ways and must pay them for their overtime. The case settled on a class basis in 2014.
Sanford Heisler Sharp represents employees who worked at Costco Wholesale warehouses and were subjected to unpaid security “lockdowns” as a routine part of their work day. In December 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California certified their suit as a state class action in California and a federal conditional collective action nationwide. The court later decertified the action and the case is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On appeal, plaintiffs claim that the court misapplied the law and deprived employees of any opportunity for relief from Costco’s wage violations.
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