Overview

Bill Simmons has represented employers in a wide variety of labor and employment matters, ranging from nationwide wage and hour class and collective actions to individual lawsuits. He has handled numerous claims alleging violations of state and federal anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation statutes, such as:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act
  • The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
  • The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act
  • The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act

He regularly defends employers in connection with discrimination charges filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state administrative agencies around the country, including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

A large portion of Bill’s practice now concerns compliance with the array of laws governing background checks in hiring, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state, and local “ban the box” laws, state social media privacy laws, and state fair credit reporting acts.  He has served as lead or co-lead counsel in a variety of putative class action cases against employers for alleged violation of the FCRA’s disclosure, authorization and pre-adverse action requirements.  He has also defended employers against class action claims alleging disparate impact in background checks, individual claims under state laws such as the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record Information Act, and discrimination charges related to background checks.  Bill frequently trains in-house legal departments and human resources departments on background check processes and substantive decision-making.  He is a regular speaker on background check related practices.  Bill also leverages knowledge of consumer reporting agencies in his practice, having advised several consumer reporting agencies on compliance matters and conducted an in-depth consumer reporting agency audit.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

Labor & Employment Section

American Bar Association

Member

Litigation Section

American Bar Association

Pupil

Sidney Reitman Labor and Employment American Inn of Court

Recognition

Winner, Nathan Baker Mock Trial Competition

2005 and 2006

Recipient, Myron Harkavy Prize

Named, Marquis Scholar

Named, Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholar

Named, Saul Tischler Memorial Scholar

Rutgers University School of Law

Order of the Coif

News, Analysis & Press

Background Check Alphabet Soup Creates Nightmares

The Legal Intelligencer

November 17, 2017

Beware Spokeo?

National Association of Professional Background Screeners Journal

May 1, 2017

Pennsylvania May Lead Way in 'Clean Slate' Legislation

The Philadelphia Inquirer

March 22, 2016

In Philadelphia, Sweeping Change on Background Checks

Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report

December 28, 2015

FCRA Compliance Moves up the To-Do List

Today’s General Counsel

December 31, 2014

US patchwork of social media laws creates confusion

Privacy Laws & Business International Report

October 1, 2013

FLSA Class Nixed In ManorCare Meal Break Suit

Law360.com

February 1, 2013

She Complained, But I’ll Sue: Third-Party Employment Retaliation Claims After Thompson

New Jersey Law Journal

April 18, 2011

Supreme Court Case Demonstrates Importance of Electronic Media Policies & Training

National Human Resources Association Online Newsletter

Fall 2010

Must Affirmative Defenses In Employment Litigation Be Plausible After Iqbal?

Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter

Litigation Section - American Bar Association

Summer 2010

Where Is My Nest Egg? Three Considerations for 401(k) Plan Sponsors Selecting Funds in an Unpredictable Economy

Journal of Retirement Planning

March–April 2010

Beyond 50 Employees and 33 Percent: Advanced WARN Issues

Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter

Litigation Section - American Bar Association

Summer 2009

Facing the Factors: Handling ERISA Benefits Cases After Glenn

Vol. 194, New Jersey Law Journal 379

October 30, 2008

Remedies for Undocumented Workers

Vol. 190, New Jersey Law Journal, 914

December 3, 2007

Five Years Later: Navigating the Legal Battlefield of IRCA and Undocumented Workers' Remedies After Hoffman

American Immigration (Online)

April 2007

Speaking Engagements

Background Checks

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 4, 2018

Hiring Traps for Even the Wary: How Fair Chance Acts, Salary History Bans and Consumer Reporting Laws Continue to Catch Employers Off Guard

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 3, 2018

Local Ordinances Impacting the Employment Relationship

Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Employment Law Institute 2018

April 26, 2018

Investigative Consumer Reports: Litigation Trends and the Salary History Ban Movement

National Association of Professional Background Screeners Mid-Year Legislative & Regulatory Conference

April 16, 2018

What Staffing Companies Want (And Don’t Realize They Need Yet) In Screening

National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Annual Conference

September 19, 2017

The Million Dollar Sentence and Other Recent Trends in Employment Background Check Litigation

Philadelphia Bar Association

August 25, 2017

Confidentiality Issue Spotting: A Panel Discussion

City of Philadelphia Law Department CLE

July 27, 2017

Digging into Background Checks: Advanced Issues and Complex Relationships

The 2017 Executive Employer® Conference

May 11, 2017

Addressing Complex Employment Relationships in Background Checks

National Association of Professional Background Screeners, Washington, D.C.

March 21, 2017

What Keeps Clients Up at Night?

Littler Philadelphia Employer Conference, Philadelphia, PA

March 7, 2017
Beyond "Ban the Box" – Building Effective Background Screening Programs

Philadelphia, PA

March 17, 2016
Red Flag Employment Issue-Spotting for Busy Businesses

Philadelphia, PA

February 18, 2016
Beyond "Ban the Box" - Building Effective Background Screening Programs

Philadelphia, PA

February 11, 2016
Classifying Workers Properly: Maximize Profits, Minimize Risk

Philadelphia, PA

October 29, 2015
Compliance Strategies for Multi-Jurisdictional Employers

Philadelphia, PA

March 26, 2015
Avoiding FCRA Night Terrors

February 26, 2015
Criminal Records and Background Checks: What Every Employer Needs to Know

Philadelphia, PA

September 14, 2011

Education

  • J.D., Rutgers School of Law, 2007With Highest Honors
  • A.B., Lafayette College, 2004summa cum laude

Bar Admission

Pennsylvania
New Jersey

Courts

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey