Rich Black is an experienced employment litigator who focuses on representing employers in complex employment litigation matters, including class and collective actions in the wage and hour, employment discrimination, and ERISA breach of fiduciary duty areas.  Rich’s practice also focuses on advising employers with respect to compliance measures that reduce wage and hour disputes and other employment-related issues.  Rich has advised and defended a wide range of employers in putative class and/or collective action matters, including employers in the retail, technology, financial services, computer services, communications, energy, pharmaceutical, construction, hospitality, travel, and transportation industries. 

Rich has specific expertise in issues relating to class/collective action certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as significant experience handling issues related to the use of statistical analysis and "social science" expert testimony in single plaintiff, multi-plaintiff and class action employment discrimination matters.  Rich has also briefed ERISA appellate issues, including class certification and breach of fiduciary duty issues, before both the United States Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  He was a member of the trial team – focusing on expert issues – that successfully defended a major airline against allegations of breaches of fiduciary duties under ERISA.

In addition to representing employers in class and/or collective action litigation, Rich regularly appears in state and federal courts, and government agencies, including the Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff matters related to:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Title VII
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • The Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • State and local anti-discrimination and equal pay statutes

Prior to joining Littler, Rich was a longtime member of a prominent labor and employment practice group at another firm where he represented employers across a wide range of industries in single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class and collective action litigation involving employment discrimination, wage and hour and ERISA breach of fiduciary duty issues.

While attending the University of Iowa, College of Law, Rich served as managing editor of the Iowa Law Review.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Labor and Employment Section

American Bar Association


Labor and Employment Section

District of Columbia Bar


Named, Super Lawyer

Washington, DC

Super Lawyers

2014 and 2015

Named, Collegiate Scholar

The University of Iowa


Named, Outstanding Achievement Scholar

Temple University


Books & Book Chapters

  • Civil Practice and Procedure, Employee Benefits Law, Section of Labor and Employment LawAmerican Bar Association and Bloomberg BNA, Chapter 12, 3rd Ed., Contributing Author, 2012
  • Class Certification Under Rule 23, Littler Mendelson on Employment Law Class Actions, LexisNexis, Chapter 9, 2nd Ed., Chapter Co-Editor, 2012

Speaking Engagements

Misclassification Creep: Steps to Armor Your Organization Against the Latest Wage and Hour Threat


March 28, 2014

Litigation Armoring – Building Advance Defenses to Common Wage and Hour Class Claims

The 2013 Houston Employer Conference

Littler Mendelson, Houston, TX

August 22, 2013

Supreme Court Update - Employment Class and Collective Actions

DC Bar

June 13, 2013

Where Are You and What Are You Doing? Exemption and Work Time Issues in the Mobile Workforce of Sales, Techs and Travelers

The 2013 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2013

401 (k) Fees – Litigation, Regulation & Compliance

2011 Executive Employer Conference - Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

May 2011

New York Benefits Summit

New York, NY

February 10, 2011

Mediation in Class Action Cases

DC Bar



  • J.D., University of Iowa College of Law With Distinction
  • B.A., University of Iowa With High Distinction

Bar Admission

District of Columbia


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland