Practice and Industry Groups

Aaron H. Cole

Of Counsel Los Angeles

Over the past 10 years, Aaron has litigated more than 40 wage and hour class actions and representative actions against employers and entrepreneurs in a wide variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, amusement park, restaurants, global courier delivery providers, staffing and managed services, private education, security and protection services, and the new gig economy. Aaron has successfully negotiated numerous highly favorable settlements of wage-and-hour class actions involving thousands of non-exempt employees and millions of dollars in potential exposure. Aaron has also obtained complete pre-trial dismissal of a PAGA representative action, substantially narrowed the scope of plaintiff’s claims through successful motions for summary adjudication, reduced putative class litigations to individual claims by successfully defending and enforcing the employers’ arbitration agreements, and defeated class certification in federal court of a California class action brought against an employer. In addition to his litigation practice, Aaron regularly provides in-depth and day-to-day advice to employers on employment law compliance and litigation avoidance, including advice on employee exempt and non-exempt classification, independent contractor status, complex pay practices and policies, wage statements, leaves of absence, drug and alcohol testing, meal and rest periods, uniforms, alternative workweek scheduling, expense reimbursements, personnel records, discipline, termination and severance agreements.

Prior to joining Ogletree, Aaron was an associate at Irell & Manella LLP in Los Angeles, California where he represented employers in wage and hour class actions. After law school, Aaron served as law clerk to the Honorable Gary A. Feess of the United States District Court, Central District of California. While attending UCLA School of Law, Aaron also served as judicial extern to the Honorable Nora M. Manella of the Central District of California.

Aaron is active in the Labor and Employment Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and serves on the section’s Executive Committee.


Experience

Mr. Cole has represented and advised employers from a wide variety of industries in wage-and-hour matters, including national quick-service and casual dining restaurants, national healthcare providers, truck stops, global courier delivery services, retailers, manufacturers, private educational institutions, massage therapy services, hospitality parking services, and security and protection services.

Representative matters include:

  • Class action, collective action and PAGA representative action on behalf of over 50,000 pet care workers asserting claims for: misclassification as independent contractors; unpaid overtime; missed meal and rest periods; failure to reimburse business expenses; inaccurate wage statements; and waiting time.
  • PAGA representative action on behalf of over 11,000 amusement park employees asserting claims for: missed meal and rest periods; unpaid reporting time; off-the-clock work related to security checks; inaccurate wage statements; untimely pay; and waiting penalties.
  • Putative class action on behalf of over 10,000 healthcare workers asserting claims for: unpaid overtime due to miscalculation of regular rate and time shaving; missed meal and rest periods; waiting time; and inaccurate wage statements.
  • Putative class action on behalf of over 6,000 healthcare workers asserting claims for: missed meal and rest periods; unpaid wages due to improper rounding; waiting time; and inaccurate wage statements.

Other representations include:

  • Putative class of California hourly managerial restaurant employees asserting claims for: (1) missed meal and rest periods; (2) failure to reimburse business expenses; (3) failure to reimburse for uniforms; (4) waiting time); (4) reporting time; (6) inaccurate wage statements (Section 226); and (7) Unfair Competition.
  • Putative class of California hourly non-managerial restaurant employees asserting claims for: (1) missed meal and rest periods; (2) failure to reimburse business expenses; (3) waiting time (; and (4) inaccurate wage statements.
  • Putative class of California hourly delivery drivers asserting claims for: (1) failure to reimburse business expenses and (2) Unfair Competition.
  • Consolidation of six duplicative putative class actions asserting claims by California hourly restaurant employees for: (1) unpaid overtime; (2) unpaid minimum wages; (3) unpaid wages; (4) missed meal periods; (5) missed rest periods; (6) non-compliant wage statements; (7) unreimbursed business expenses; (8) vested accrued vacation wages; (9) non-payment of wages upon termination; (10) non-payment of wages during employment; (11) PAGA; and (12) Unfair Competition.
  • Putative class of California exempt managerial restaurant employees asserting claims for: (1) misclassification; (2) unpaid overtime; (3) missed meal and rest periods; and (4) Unfair Competition.
  • Nationwide class of exempt managerial restaurant employees asserting FLSA claims for unpaid overtime due to improper salary deductions.
  • Putative class of California Guest Service Associates asserting claims for (1) unpaid overtime; (2) unpaid minimum wages; (3) unpaid wages; (4) missed meal periods; (5) missed rest periods; (6) non-compliant wage statements; (7) unreimbursed business expenses
  • Putative class of California retail managerial employees asserting meal and rest period claims.
  • Putative class of California sales representatives asserting meal and rest period claims.
  • Putative class of California Patient Care Technicians asserting claims (1) unpaid overtime; (2) unpaid minimum wages; (3) unpaid wages; (4) missed meal periods; (5) missed rest periods; (6) non-compliant wage statements; (7) unreimbursed business expenses.
  • Individual claims by 93 California non-exempt healthcare workers asserting meal and rest period claim.
  • Putative class of non-exempt security services employees asserting claims for inaccurate wage statements.
  • PAGA representative action on behalf of 1,100 registered nurses asserting meal period claims.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (Executive Committee Member, Labor and Employment Section)

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Headline News: Recent Developments in Employment Law and Employment Legislation'' - Los Angeles - October 21, 2014
  • LACBA Labor & Employment Section Dinner - ''Duran v. US Bank: Trying Wage-Hour Class Actions'' - Los Angeles - June 18, 2014
  • 2014 LACBA Labor & Employment Section Retreat - ''Wage and Hour Claim Trends'' - Los Angeles - May 03, 2014
  • 34th Annual LACBA Labor & Employment Law Symposium - ''Trends in Wage and Hour Litigation'' - Los Angeles - February 26, 2014
  • 12th Annual Asian Small Business Expo - ''Legal Issues For Restaurant Owners'' - Los Angeles - September 24, 2011
  • LACBA Labor & Employment Section Dinner - ''The Changing Class Action Landscape: What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Dukes v. Wal-Mart and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion'' - Los Angeles - July 18, 2011
  • Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment Business Development Workshop - ''Overview of Legal Issues For Restaurant Owners'' - Los Angeles - March 02, 2011
  • 11th Annual Asian Small Business Expo - ''Commercial Leases: Some Basics You Should Know'' - Los Angeles - September 25, 2010
  • LACBA Labor & Employment Section Dinner Presentation - ''Hernandez v. Hillsides and Hidden Cameras in the Workplace: Legitimate Surveillance or Employer Spying?'' - Los Angeles - November 16, 2009

Published Works

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Media

Media Quotes

July 2007 - Journal of Catholic Legal Studies, Volume 46, Number 1 (co-author) - "The Bishop's Alter Ego: Enterprise Liability And The Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Scandal"

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