Michelle B. Heverly led the development of the class, collective and representative actions for Littler CaseSmart®, which allows for efficient litigation of such matters using the highest quality standards. She worked with a team of Littler's senior class action litigators and thought leaders to create this new and innovative method for handling class and collective actions. She developed tools to oversee case workflow, monitor budget to actual metrics, and ensure that the firm’s approach to defending a class or collective action aligns with the client’s overall litigation philosophy, budget and quality standards.
As program director, Michelle routinely consults with Littler CaseSmart clients to assist them in monitoring litigation metrics. Prior to joining the Littler CaseSmart team, she was a litigator who focused on claims involving wage and hour matters, employment discrimination and sexual harassment. She handled nationwide class actions, with particular expertise in Fair Labor Standards Act and California wage claims.
Michelle has appeared before federal and state courts in California and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the state Labor Commissioner. She has specific knowledge of the following laws:
- The California Labor Code
- Federal and state wage laws
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Fair Employment and Housing Act
Among her notable cases, Michelle successfully enforced a class action waiver provision on behalf of her client in an employee arbitration agreement, and she successfully removed a three-year-old case to federal court under Class Action Fairness Act rules. She successfully defeated class certification of a proposed class of California truck drivers who claimed they had been deprived of meal and rest breaks.
In addition to her litigation practice, Michelle has represented her clients in arbitration and mediation. She has counseled employers regarding a variety of human resource matters, including drafting and revising personnel policies, responding to changes in the law, and dealing with difficult employees. Although she has worked with clients in a variety of industries, she has substantial experience working with clients in the transportation, retail, and the bio/pharmaceutical industries.
Michelle has given numerous presentations on a variety of topics including:
- Wage and hour issues
- Drafting and implementing commission and bonus plans
- Avoiding and defending claims of sexual harassment and discrimination
- Invasion of privacy
Michelle taught courses on immigration, discrimination, and wage and hour issues to human resources professionals in a certified program offered through the law and business management programs at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Michelle is a co-chair of Littler’s Associates Committee, a member of the Shareholder Candidate Committee and a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. She was previously a member of the Board Nominating Committee and the firm's Board of Directors.