Jeffrey F. Webb
Jeffrey F. Webb serves as the national leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group. He represents employers in complex employment litigation and in arbitrations and lawsuits brought by highly compensated senior executives. His employment class actions practice focuses on wage and hour collective actions and class actions, ERISA class actions, and employment discrimination class actions. Jeff also has a wealth of experience litigating non-competition and trade secrets issues, and he prosecutes and defends restrictive covenant cases in both state and federal courts. Jeff has first-chaired jury trials and bench trials and has also served as lead defense counsel in FINRA, AAA, and JAMS arbitrations. He has successfully argued before federal appellate courts, as well as state intermediate and supreme courts.
Jeff counsels employers on a wide range of labor and employment matters including non-competition and trade secret issues, workforce reorganizations, employee discipline and discharge issues, harassment and discrimination allegations, executive employment agreements, wage and hour issues, and disability and leave issues. He advises on the employment law issues that arise in corporate transactions, and he has experience representing employers in labor arbitrations, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and handling unfair labor practice charges. Jeff represents clients in a variety of industries including financial services, private equity, investment funds, health care, higher education, high technology, new media, entertainment, retail, and manufacturing. He frequently writes and speaks on employment law topics and has appeared on CNN as a commentator on labor and employment law issues.
Jeff has experience as both a senior government regulator and a senior in-house counsel. During his years of public service, Jeff headed up teams of prosecutors and civil enforcement attorneys who were responsible for ensuring compliance with employment laws. As Vice President of Legal Affairs for Fox Entertainment Group, Jeff advised Fox executives, managed outside counsel, and headed up a team of in-house lawyers who litigated employment cases filed against the company’s film, television and sports subsidiaries.
Class Actions, Collective Actions, and other Complex Litigation
- Lead counsel defending a big-four accounting firm in a series of putative wage and hour class actions in state and federal courts across the country challenging the classification of thousands of employees as exempt from overtime.
- Lead counsel in a multi-year defense of an industry association and twelve member companies in a putative class action in federal court in California alleging disparate impact discrimination, disparate treatment discrimination, and harassment.
- Lead counsel defending private equity fund in putative wage and hour class action filed by employees of a portfolio company alleging misclassification in Delaware bankruptcy court.
- Lead counsel defending portfolio company of private equity fund in putative class actions in California alleging missed meal breaks and rest breaks.
- Lead counsel defending college in putative wage and hour collective action in federal court in Massachusetts challenging calculation of the regular rate for overtime.
- Lead counsel defending hospital in putative wage and hour collective action in federal court in Florida alleging missed meal breaks.
- Lead counsel defending manufacturer in federal court in Connecticut in ERISA actions challenging calculation of retirement benefits.
- Lead counsel defending healthcare company in putative wage and hour collective action in federal court in Florida alleging off the clock work.
- Lead counsel defending a major telecommunications firm in a putative wage and hour class action in California state court alleging off the clock work and meal and rest period violations; prosecuted a number of cross actions against subcontractors for indemnification.
- Lead counsel defending fifteen entertainment companies in a representative action alleging unpaid wages and wrongful discharge in California state court.
- Lead counsel defending talent agency in a putative class action filed by television writers alleging unfair competition and aiding and abetting age discrimination in California state court.
Disputes with Highly Compensated Executives
- Favorable resolution of multi-week federal jury trial in California on claims for age discrimination and retaliation filed against a provider of financial, marketing and business communications services by its former Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing.
- Lead counsel defending portfolio company of private equity firm in action filed in Massachusetts state court by former Chief Financial Officer seeking millions of dollars in equity interests.
- Lead counsel defending social media company in AAA arbitration filed by former Chief Operating Officer seeking millions of dollars as a result of change in control.
- Lead counsel defending private investment firm in New York state court action filed by member of limited liability company challenging payments of carried interest proceeds.
Trade Secrets, Non-Competes and Unfair Competition
- Successfully obtained judgment for aerospace industry employer after a four-week California state jury trial in action against former employee for unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of confidence, and tortious interference with contractual relations.
- Lead counsel prosecuting trade secret misappropriation and breach of non-compete claims against former employee and competitor in the software and technology industry in Massachusetts state court.
- Lead counsel in defense of Rhode Island valve manufacturer in action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of non-compete in federal court in Pennsylvania.
- Lead counsel in defense of talent agency in a putative class action filed by television writers alleging unfair competition in state court in California.
- Lead counsel in defense of Pennsylvania physicians’ group in matter alleging tortious interference with non-competes.
- Lead counsel representing Oklahoma hospital in non-compete claim against physician.
- Lead counsel representing California entertainment company in Massachusetts non-compete matter.
- Lead counsel representing New York asset management firm in matter alleging former employees misappropriated trade secrets.
- Lead counsel representing Massachusetts restaurant supplier in breach of non-solicitation agreement action against former employee in Florida.
- Lead counsel representing Virginia investment management firm in claims against former employee for breach of non-compete and non-solicitation covenants.
- Lead counsel defending a team of California investment executives accused of breaching duties of loyalty by planning to leave en masse to compete with employer.
- Lead counsel representing California energy technology company in misappropriation of trade secret claims against former employees.
Trials and Arbitrations
- A defense award after a four-week arbitration before three retired judges on claims for disparate treatment and harassment based on race and gender in a multi-party case.
- A defense verdict after a four-week jury trial on claims for fraud and breach of contract against a manufacturing company.
- A defense verdict after a three-week jury trial on a race discrimination claim against a major newspaper.
- A defense verdict after a four-week jury trial on former aerospace employee’s claim for tortious interference with contractual relations, and judgment in favor of aerospace employer on claims against employee for unfair competition, breach of contract, breach of confidence, and tortious interference with contractual relations.
- A favorable mid-trial settlement during a multi-week jury trial on claims for age discrimination and retaliation against a provider of financial, marketing and business communications services.
- A favorable judgment for a manufacturer in a wage and hour bench trial.
- Co-author, “US DTSA Creates Powerful New Federal Civil Remedies,” Intellectual Property Magazine (September 2016)
- Jeffrey F. Webb, “The Trouble with Treble,” Boston Business Journal (May 2, 2008)
- Jeffrey F. Webb, “New Law Triples Exposure for Massachusetts Employers,” Employment Law360 (April 29, 2008)
- Employment Torts Chapter of Thomson West's “The Rutter Group California Practice Guide on Employment Litigation,” (1997 with annual updates through 2007)
- Speaker, “ERISA Preemption post-Gobeille: Latest on Procedural and Substantive Aspects of the Defense,” American Conference Institute’s 12th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, San Francisco (2016)
- Speaker, “The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 – What You Need to Know,” Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco (2016)
- Speaker, “Innovative Strategies for Defending Federal and State Claims Involving Independent Contractor Misclassification and Improper Labeling of Exempt/Non-Exempt Employees, and Preparing for Imminent FLSA White-Collar Exemption Regulations,” American Conference Institute's Conference on Wage and Hour Class Actions, San Francisco (2015)
- Speaker, “Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claims,” American Conference Institute's Conference on Expert Strategies for Leading Litigators and In-House Counsel on Employment Discrimination Litigation, Chicago (2015)
- Speaker, “22nd Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions Summit,” American Conference Institute (2014)
- Speaker, “Wage & Hour: Mitigating Risks and Ensuring Compliance in 2014,” The Knowledge Group (2014)
- Speaker, “The Supreme Court Speaks: Key Employment Cases from Last Term,” New England Legal Foundation (2013)
- Speaker, "MCLE BasicsPlus!", Employment & Labor Law (2012)
- Speaker, "Business and Labor Bureau Update,” Boston Bar Association (2012)
- Faculty, Massachusetts Bar Association, 33rd Annual Labor and Employment Law Spring Conference (2012)
- Speaker, "Independent Contractor v. Employee," MCLE (2011)
- Speaker, "What's Keeping You Up at Night? Tips on Managing the Recession: Layoffs," Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (2008)
- BSE, magna cum laude, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, 1985
- JD, University of Virginia School of Law, 1988; Graduation Award for Oral Advocacy
- LLM, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1989; Kahn-Freund Labor and Employment Merit Scholar