Overview

Rod M. Fliegel learned about the practice of law from his father and considers himself "old school" in terms of his work ethic, responsiveness and devotion to his clients. He bonds with his clients by learning about their priorities, devising strategy and achieving results. He has worked with many of his clients for a decade or more.

Rod has broad subject matter experience and significant knowledge in class action defense and the intersection of the federal and state background check laws, such as Title VII and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and their state law equivalents. He also has extensive experience defending employers in state, federal and administrative litigation, including matters with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the New York Office of the Attorney General. As the national coordinating counsel for a large nationwide retailer and a large nationwide background check company, he handles and oversees civil and administrative matters throughout the country.

Select examples of Rod’s litigation experience include the following:

  • Defeated with a summary judgment motion a proposed nationwide federal court class action in Texas against a trucking industry employer for alleged violations of the FCRA's authorization, disclosure and notice provisions.
  • Defeated with a summary judgment motion a proposed nationwide federal court class action in Texas against an employer for alleged violations of the FCRA's authorization, disclosure and notice provisions.
  • Defeated with a Rule 12 motion a proposed nationwide federal court class action in Florida against an employer for alleged violations of the FCRA’s authorization, disclosure and notice provisions.
  • Defeated with a Rule 12 motion a proposed nationwide federal court class action against an employer in Massachusetts for alleged violations of the FCRA’s authorization, disclosure and notice provisions.
  • Led team of Littler lawyers that defeated a state court class action invasion of privacy claim brought by Teamsters represented union workers who opposed the company's random drug testing program. Rod's team prevailed in a dozen motions, including a dispositive motion that challenged the class-wide privacy claim as preempted by LMRA Section 301. The court entered judgment for the company on all claims after granting summary judgment against each of the named plaintiff's FEHA, Civil Code and Labor Code claims.
  • Led team of Littler lawyers that defeated the bellwether case in a 1,450 employee mass action in state court for alleged violations of California's equivalent to the FCRA. The Littler team prevailed on a dispositive motion that challenged the bellwether plaintiff's claim on the merits.
  • Led team of Littler lawyers that recovered a substantial attorney's fees award after the plaintiff in a prior litigation threatened to sue again based on the same facts. The Littler team prevailed in state court on the company's dispositive motion for breach of contract.
  • Led Littler defense teams in the successful defense of several clients in systemic discrimination investigations by the EEOC concerning their criminal background programs.
  • Led the Littler defense team in a sprawling putative California wage and hour class action against a national retailer and prevailed on a motion for summary judgment for the defendant parent company and to dismiss class-wide fraud claims, class-wide restrictive covenant claims, and class-wide claims for injunctive relief under California Business & Professions Code section 17200. The named plaintiff ultimately accepted a nuisance value settlement to resolve her individual claims.
  • Led the Littler defense team in a putative California wage and hour class action against a trucking industry employer. The named plaintiff ultimately accepted a nuisance value settlement to resolve his individual claims.
  • Led a team of Littler attorneys to a seven-figure pre-trial settlement for Littler's client in a vigorously contested trade secret dispute in California state court.
  • Defeated proposed class action claims in a federal court lawsuit against a background check company under California’s version of the FCRA.
  • Successfully represented several clients in investigations by the FTC concerning their compliance with the FCRA.
  • Prevailed on an anti-SLAPP motion in a disability discrimination case and used the attorney’s fee award to leverage a dismissal with prejudice.

Recognition

Named, Super Lawyer

Northern California

Super Lawyers

2017-2018

Named, Top Labor and Employment Lawyer in California

Daily Journal

2015

News, Analysis & Press

Employers Prevail in FCRA Class Actions

Insight

February 28, 2018

Checking in on Employment Background Checks

Client White Paper

November 2017

No Clear Resolution in Fair Credit Reporting Act Case

Business Insurance

August 22, 2017

Beware Spokeo?

National Association of Professional Background Screeners Journal

May 1, 2017

Do Ban the Box Laws Work?

SHRM Online

January 12, 2017

The Background Bar Is Rising

Human Resource Executive Online

September 12, 2016

Boxed In By Good Intentions

Retail Leader

September 9, 2016

Keeping an Eye on Employees

Treasury & Risk

August 10, 2016

Plaintiffs Twist Meaning of Fair Credit Reporting Act

Today's General Counsel

June 1, 2016

In the Uber Age, a Boom in Background Checks

The Wall Street Journal

May 10, 2016

Supreme Court May Rein in FCRA Class Actions

SHRM Online

November 5, 2015

Justices Weigh Concrete Injuries in a Digital Age

National Law Journal

November 2, 2015

The Big Move Toward Big Data in Employment

Littler Report

August 4, 2015

Revisiting FCRA Requirements

Human Resource Executive Online

June 15, 2015

Rod M. Fliegel

Daily Journal

June 3, 2015

Supreme Court Will Review FCRA Action

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

May 1, 2015

FCRA Compliance Moves up the To-Do List

Today’s General Counsel

December 31, 2014

Time for FCRA Refresher Course?

Human Resource Executive Online

September 15, 2014

A Spike In FCRA Lawsuits Against Employers

Today’s General Counsel

September 3, 2014

Emerging Trend: FCRA Class Actions Against Employers

Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

August 18, 2014

Fair Credit Reporting Act class actions pose threat to employers

InsideCounsel

August 18, 2014

Employer Credit Checks Create Growing Litigation Risk

Corporate Counsel

August 15, 2014

SF curbs criminal background checks

Daily Journal

February 25, 2014

Checking In On Employment Background Checks: Are You In Compliance with the EEOC, FCRA, Federal and State Requirements?

HireRight

October 2013

Criminal Records Restrictions

Security Management

October 1, 2013

Civil rights act at heart of states' battle with EEOC over hiring

Reuters Legal

Thomson Reuters

August 2, 2013

EEOC Makes Good on Promise

Human Resource Executive Online

June 12, 2013

Mandatory Background Checks

Private Duty Insider

June 2013

How Can Motor Carriers Reduce Their Potential Liability for Negligent Hiring and Negligent Retention?

HireRight

March 2013

Silence Is (Not Always) Golden

NAPBS Journal

November 1, 2012

EEOC Updates Enforcement Guidance On Employers’ Use of Criminal Histories

Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report

April 30, 2012

Criminal Background

HR Magazine

February 1, 2012

Facing Limits on Background Checks

The Recorder

September 29, 2011

Internet Lets a Criminal Past Catch Up Quicker

The New York Times

April 28, 2011

Conviction Records and Disparate Impact

Journal of Labor & Employment Law

Vol. 26, No. 3, American Bar Association

Spring 2011

Evaluating Eligibility for FMLA Leave: Federal Case Law Underscores the Need for Informed Decision Making

The Labor Lawyer

Vol. 11, No. 1

Summer 2006

The Impact of the FACT Act on Employee Misconduct Investigations and Implications for FCRA and Title VII Compliance

The Labor Lawyer

Vol. 20, No. 1

Summer 2004

Managing Suspected Abuse of Family and Medical Leave

Cal. Lab. & Employ. L.Q.

Vol. 18, No. 1

February 2004

Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA): Managing the Interactive Process

Legal Learning Group

2003

Background Checks and Investigations of Applicants and Employees: Four Steps to Basic Compliance with Federal and State Laws

Legal Learning Group

2002

Managing Performance Problems in the Leave of Absence Context

Cal. Lab. & Employ. L.Q.

Vol. 15, No. 4

Winter 2001

An Employer's Road Map Through Slander Law

Cal. Lab. & Employ. L.Q.,

Vol. 13, No. 4

Winter 1999

Courts Split Over Whether Secretly Recording Conversations With a Supervisor Can Be Protected Evidence-Gathering Activity Under Antidiscrimination Laws

The National Law Journal

March 2, 1998

Returning to First Principles: Willful Disobedience as Good Cause for Disciplinary Action Against Recalcitrant Employees Under California Labor Code Section 2856

26 Southwestern U. L. Rev. 259

1997

Reflections on California's At Will Employment Agreement Jurisprudence

37 Santa Clara L. Rev. 1

1997

Speaking Engagements

Why You Should Screen Your Workforce and How To Do It Lawfully

BrightTALK webinar

February 1, 2017

Running Proper and Thorough Background Checks that Will Protect Your Business, Employees, and Customers

HireRight Webinar

June 24, 2015
Criminal Records and Employment: Legal Update and Guidance on Compliance in a Continuously Changing Legal Environment

March 13, 2015
Avoiding FCRA Night Terrors

February 26, 2015

Criminal Record Issues for Transportation Industry Employers

Management Conference - American Trucking Association

October 19, 2013
Take-aways From Freeman's Victory Against the EEOC About Disparate Impact and Background Checks

September 10, 2013

How Can Motor Carriers Reduce Their Potential Liability for Negligent Hiring and Retention

HireRight Webinar

August 7, 2013

New Challenges in the Hiring Process - An Employer’s Guide to Sorting Through this Legal Maze

The 2013 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2013

Social Recruiting and Hiring: Sourcing the Best Talent, Doing Due Diligence and Avoiding Liability

2013 Social Media Summit: The New Reality

Littler Mendelson, San Francisco, CA

April 10, 2013

Background Checks for the 21st Century: How to Protect Your Organization Without Sinking in the Quagmire of New Laws

Bloomberg BNA Webinar

October 30, 2012
The EEOC’s Updated Criminal History Guidance, Strategic Plan and More — What Does This Mean for Your Company?

May 31, 2012

Background Checks 2012: Can Employers Still Investigate their Employees & Applicants?

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

The Retail Industry Summit

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler, Scottsdale, AZ

May 9, 2012

Maintaining Compliance in Employment Screening

HR.com Webinar

March 22, 2012

Laws that Affect Your Hiring Practices: Four Basic Steps for Compliance

HireRight, Inc.

2011

Pre-Employment Background Screening: Legal Pitfalls

HireRight, Inc.

2011

An Update on the Activist EEOC

Annual Users Group Meeting - HireRight, Inc.

2011

Employment-Related Credit Checks: Is Your Company Over-Extended?

Society for Human Resource Management

2011

Seven Best Practice Recommendations for Your Background Check Program

Society for Human Resource Management

2011
Class Action Summit

September 23, 2010

Seven Best Practice Recommendations for Your Background Check Program

HireRight, Inc.

2010

Strategies for Addressing Contingent Labor Risk

HireRight, Inc.

2010

Advanced Decision Making and Risk Analysis: Update on the EEOC’s View of Pre-employment Screening

Annual Users Group Meeting - HireRight, Inc.

2010
The Richard Netter Conference on Race, Criminal Records and Employment

New York, NY

October 10, 2009

Advanced Decision Making and Risk Analysis: Understanding the Interplay Between the Various Laws Regulating Employment-related Background Checks

Client Presentation

2008

Simplifying Wage and Hour Compliance

HR.com

2007

Safe Hiring

Lorman Education Services

2006

Mastering the 2004 Workers’ Compensation Act and Related ADA Issues

Lorman Education Services

2004

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment

Lorman Education Services

2004

ADA Compliance Training

Client Presentation

2004

California Fair Credit Reporting Law

Annual Users Group Meeting - Hiring, Inc.

2003

Integrating ADA/FMLA/Workers’ Compensation

Lorman Education Services

2002

Exacerbating the Exasperating

Association of Legal Administrators

2002

ADA/FMLA Basics

Lorman Education Services

2001

Automate Educate Integrate: A Three Step Approach to FMLA Compliance

HR.com

Education

  • J.D., Golden Gate University School of Law, 1993With Honors
  • B.A., Oberlin College, 1989

Bar Admission

California

Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California