Sarah Schalman-Bergen

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Biography

Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen is a Shareholder at the Firm. She Co-Chairs the Firm’s Employment Law Department and is a member of the Firm’s Antitrust, Insurance Products & Financial Services, and Lending Practices & Borrowers’ Rights Departments.

Ms. Schalman-Bergen represents employees who are not being paid properly in class and collective action wage and hour employment cases as well as in class action discrimination cases across the country. Specifically, Ms. Schalman-Bergen has served as lead counsel in dozens of wage theft lawsuits, representing employees in a variety of industries, including at meat and poultry plants, at fast food restaurants, in the oil and gas industry, in white collar jobs and in the government.

Ms. Schalman-Bergen also serves as counsel to employees, consumers and businesses in antitrust cases, including representing the employees of several high tech companies who alleged that the companies entered into “do not poach” agreements that illegally suppressed employees’ wages. Ms. Schalman-Bergen has represented homeowners whose mortgage loan servicers have force-placed extraordinarily high-priced insurance on them. She currently represents several cities in lawsuits against major banks for allegedly discriminatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Ms. Schalman-Bergen maintains an active pro bono practice. She serves as volunteer of counsel to the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. Through her role there, Ms. Schalman-Bergen litigates HIV discrimination and confidentiality cases, as well as other cases impacting the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Schalman-Bergen practiced in the litigation department at a large Philadelphia firm where she represented clients in a variety of industries in complex commercial litigation. During law school, Ms. Schalman-Bergen served as an executive editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and worked at the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.

Professional Leadership

  • Member of the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor & Employment Relations (CIHLER) Employee Representative Advisory Board (2020)
  • Participant at “Employee Representative Roundtable,” Cornell University, Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor & Employment Relations, 2019
  • Speaker at Federal Bar Association Annual Meeting and Convention: “Navigating the Sea of Complex Litigation Issues in FLSA Collective Actions,” 2019
  • Speaker at Pennsylvania Bar Institute: “Wage and Hour Law Update,” 2019
  • Panelist at Class Action: Money & Ethics Conference, 2019
  • Panelist at “The Platform Economy and the Future of the City” Convene, 2019
  • Panelist at Community Legal Services CLE: “Justice in the Workplace: Key Issues of Fairness of Low Wage Workers,” 2018
  • Panelist at ACI National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, 2013 – 2017
  • Speaker at Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference, 2016
  • Speaker at American Bar Association HIV Law & Practice Conference, 2016
  • Panelist at ACI Annual Forum on Employment Discrimination Litigation, 2014, 2016
  • Speaker at Penn State Law School and Temple Law School on HIV/AIDS Discrimination and Policy, 2012

Prominent Judgments and Settlements

  • Hickman v. TL Transportation, LLC, Amazon.com, et al., No. 2:17-cv-01038-GAM; 317 F. Supp. 3d 890; 318 F. Supp. 3d 718 (E.D. Pa. 2020) ($1.8m settlement on behalf of Delivery Associates in wage claim against third party company of Amazon; favorable opinions on liability, personal jurisdiction, individual liability, and conditional certification)
  • Merino v. Wells Fargo & Co., 2:16-cv-07840-ES-MAH (D.N.J. 2020) (co-lead counsel in $35 million wage and hour settlement on behalf of personal bankers)
  • Holbert v. Waste Management, Inc., No. 2:18-cv-02649-CMR (E.D. Pa. 2019) (lead counsel in $14.7 million FLSA nationwide settlement on behalf of 31,000 waste collectors)
  • Nicks v. Koch Meat Co., Inc., No. 16-cv-6446; 2016 WL 6277489; 260 F. Supp. 3d 942; 265 F. Supp. 3d 841 (N.D. Ill. 2019) ($1,832,000 settlement on behalf of chicken catchers in wage claim against national integrated poultry processor; favorable opinions on jurisdiction, corporate entity structure, certification)
  • City of Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., 2:17-cv-02203-AB, 2018 WL 424451 (E.D. Pa. 2019) (represented City of Philadelphia in Fair Housing Act litigation resolved for $10 million and injunctive relief for sustainable housing-related programs to promote and preserve homeownership for low- and moderate-income residents.)
  • Smith v. Allegheny Technologies, Inc., 754 Fed. Appx. 136 (3d Cir. 2018) (allegations by temporary workers hired to cross picket line and work in steel plant during lockout of union workers were sufficient to state claim for travel time compensation under Pennsylvania law)
  • Beckett v. Aetna, Inc., 2:17-cv-03864 (E.D. Pa. 2018) (Co-lead counsel with AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and Legal Action Center in $17 million settlement for the largest HIV confidentiality breach in U.S. on behalf of 12,000 class members)
  • The Broadway League v. Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc., Internat’l Brotherhood of Teamsters Theatrical Drivers and Helpers Local 817, et al., No. 1:17-cv-9515 (S.D.N.Y. 2018) (defended casting directors and union in antitrust action challenging lawfulness of organizing activity)
  • Smith v. Milton Hershey School, No. 11-7391, 2012 WL 1966125 (E.D. Pa. 2012) ($730,000 and injunctive relief settlement on behalf of 13 year old student alleged to have been refused enrollment in school because of his HIV status)
  • Canal Side Care Manor, LLC v. Pa. H.R.C., 30 A.3d 568 (Commw. Ct. 2011) (affirming $55,000 trial award on behalf of HIV positive woman denied housing at personal care home)
  • TIAA-CREF v. Bernardo, 683 F. Supp. 2d 344 (E.D. Pa. 2010) (summary judgment in declaratory judgment action to award retirement benefits to domestic partner of deceased doctor)

Credentials

Education:

Law School

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2007

Undergraduate

Tufts University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2001

Honors & Awards:


  • In 2015, Ms. Schalman-Bergen was honored as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer. Ms. Schalman-Bergen was 1 of 40 attorneys selected by a six-member judging panel composed of evaluators from all corners of the legal profession and Pennsylvania.

  • From 2010 through 2019, Ms. Schalman-Bergen was named as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer – Rising Star.

  • In 2010, Ms. Schalman-Bergen was honored as an “Unsung Hero” by the Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania’s daily law journal, for her pro bono work with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania.

  • From 2007-2009 Ms. Schalman-Bergen served as the Jerome J. Shestack Public Interest Fellow at WolfBlock LLP.


Publications


  • “AIDS Law Project Of Pennsylvania Fights Against Continuing Discrimination,” Philadelphia Bar Reporter (November 2015)

  • From the Streets of Philadelphia: The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania’s How-To Primer on Mitigating Health Disparities, 82 Temple Law Review 1205 (2011), Co-Author

  • Representing Clients with HIV/AIDS, in 2 Sexual Orientation and the Law Ch 15 (2009),Co-Author

  • “A Fair and Equal Work Place For All,” Legal Intelligencer (Feb. 23, 2009), Co-Author

  • CDC’s Call For Routine HIV Testing Raises Implementation Concerns, 35 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 223 (2007)


Admissions

Member – Pennsylvania Bar


Admitted – Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Admitted – Middle District of Pennsylvania

Admitted – Western District of Pennsylvania

Admitted – U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Admitted – Eastern District of Arkansas

Admitted – Western District of Arkansas

Admitted – District of Colorado

Admitted – Eastern District of Michigan

Admitted – District of Nebraska

Admitted – Northern District of New York

Admitted – Northern District of Ohio

Admitted – Southern District of Texas

Admitted – Southern District of Indiana

Admitted – Third Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted – Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted – Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted – Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted – Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Admitted – Supreme Court of the United States


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