Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen
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.
- 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)
In the News
- Sarah Schalman-Bergen to Speak at “The Platform Economy and the Future of the City” Convene in Philadelphia
- Aetna to Provide Emergency Relief to Members Affected by HIV/AIDS Privacy Breach
- City of Philadelphia Files Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo
- Court Preliminarily Approved Settlement In The Brickman Group Overtime Wage & Hour Litigation
- $586,000 Settlement Reached in Pennsylvania Home Health Aide Class Action Lawsuit
- Technology Solutions, Inc. To Pay Cable Installation Technician Forty Thousand Dollars For Improperly Withheld Wages And Payroll Deductions
- 2015 Elite Trial Lawyers Winner - Employment Law
- Berger Montague - 2015 Elite Trial Lawyers Finalist