Berger Montague – 2015 Elite Trial Lawyers Finalist
Congratulations to Berger Montague’s Employment Law group on being selected as a finalist in the Employment category for the 2015 Elite Trial Lawyer awards. The firm’s submission highlighted the work by Shanon Carson and Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen as co-lead Counsel in Jantz v. Social Security Administration as well as the group’s impressive track record in wage & hour cases.
The nomination criteria included that a firm score at least one significant plaintiffs win between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015, and possess an impressive track record of wins within the past three to five years. A “significant win” is considered successful bench or jury trial verdict or a major settlement in which the stakes are high.
The Jantz v. Social Security Administration case involved claims that the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) discriminated against employees with targeted disabilities (“TDEs”). Class Members alleged that SSA discriminated against TDEs by denying them promotions at the same rate as non-disabled employees.
The case was litigated for more than ten years, and the Class Representatives withstood challenges to class certification on four separate occasions. The class was certified by the EEOC, and affirmed by the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations (“OFO”) twice.
The Settlement Agreement includes an unprecedented package of extensive changes to SSA’s policies valued at $20 million that includes a new centralized reasonable accommodations office, accessible technology acquisition processes, training, provision of assistive supports for SSA employees, and an SSA Disability Agreement Implementation Board that will monitor the implementation of the programmatic relief. SSA has also established a separate, non-reversionary fund of $9.98 million for the payment of claims to Class Members.