Ms. Santen is the co-chair of the firm’s Class and Collective Action Practice Group. She focuses her practice on developing winning strategies for the defense of large-scale class and collective actions across the country. While this typically includes the defense of independent contractor misclassification claims, Ms. Santen also has extensive experience defending class and collective actions involving wage and hour issues of all kinds, systemic gender discrimination claims, and various commercial claims in federal district courts throughout the country, from California to Maine. Ms. Santen’s experience in the class action area has been repeatedly recognized by her peers in the legal community, resulting in her selection to the Georgia Super Lawyers, Rising Stars list every year since 2012.
In addition to her litigation experience, Ms. Santen also focuses on partnering with her clients to assist with day-to-day counseling issues, covering the gamut of employment issues and implementing legally-defensible workplace policies, focusing on risk management and compliance. This often includes drafting independent contractor agreements, job descriptions and pay policies; conducting comprehensive wage/hour and wage/payment audits and implementing effective strategies for compliance; and conducting management training. This also includes implementing successful alternative dispute resolution procedures such as arbitration agreements, developing effective roll-out strategies, successfully compelling claims to arbitration and litigating any challenges to the same, and handling the arbitration proceedings themselves.
Finally, Ms. Santen routinely represents her clients in Department of Labor wage and hour audits and state unemployment tax audits, vigorously defending any resulting litigation. This also includes handling administrative hearings for class-based unemployment tax appeals against the state Department of Labor or equivalent agency, where Ms. Santen has been successful in multiple jurisdictions in obtaining complete reversal of class-based employee determinations and dismissal of large-scale tax assessments.