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Patrick M. Madden

Partner
+1.206.370.6795
Fax +1.206.370.6121

Mr. Madden focuses his practice on employment law and class action matters.  He advises employers on various issues, including wage and hour payment and compliance and compensation plan design; assists employers responding to agency investigations; and represents employers in wage and hour, discrimination, and other class actions and individual lawsuits at state and federal levels.  Mr. Madden has worked on over a hundred class actions, some involving putative classes of hundreds of thousands of employees and potential damages in excess of a billion dollars, including lawsuits involving wage calculation and payment issues, entitlement to overtime and benefits, off-the-clock claims, challenges to exempt status, claims to employee status, adverse treatment and adverse impact discrimination, harassment, and systemic retaliation.

Advice and Compliance
Mr. Madden serves as the primary employment counsel for a range of clients from international corporations to locally owned companies.  He regularly advises employers on wage and hour and wage payment issues, as well as many other employment matters.  He reviews and helps clients draft policies, including policies relating to time reporting, payroll, compensation, and classification issues.  He also assists clients by conducting friendly audits to identify and correct potential violations that could result in legal liability.  In addition, Mr. Madden often works with clients and our business and bankruptcy attorneys to address employment issues that arise in the context of purchases, sales, mergers, layoffs, and shutdowns.  A few examples of his advice practice are:

  • Mr. Madden has reviewed and helped draft compensation, incentive compensation, bonus, and commission policies for international, national, regional, and local companies.
  • Mr. Madden has advised international, national, regional, and local companies on transitioning employees from one company, compensation system, set of operational rules, or classification to another, with the goal of avoiding challenges, litigation, and liability.
Government Audits and Investigations
Mr. Madden frequently counsels and represents employers in audits and investigations by the United States Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), and similar state and local agencies.  He prepares employers for initial agency visits, represents clients during those visits, helps process and respond to follow-up requests, responds to and negotiates over initial agency determinations, and defends employers against improper determinations and excessive civil money penalties.  For instance:
  • Mr. Madden represented a financial institution against claims by the DOL that the employer was allowing off-the-clock work nationally.  Mr. Madden helped isolate the concern and negotiated a resolution focused on a single recently-acquired operation.
  • Mr. Madden represented a national client in the retirement home business against challenges to the exempt status of certain classifications of employees.  After negotiations, the DOL agreed that the primary groups were properly classified as exempt.
  • Mr. Madden represented a national employer in relation to a local agency’s investigation of systemic discrimination against and harassment of Hispanic workers.  After dozens of interviews, often involving the use of interpreters, and the submission of detailed workforce data from the company, the agency issued a no cause finding on both an individual and class level.
  • Mr. Madden assisted a national company with an appeal of an injunction and order of restitution against the client for failing to count certain training time as hours worked.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the judgment and ordered judgment for the client.
  • Mr. Madden represented a regional retailer in relation to an EEOC investigation of discriminatory hiring practices over a four year period.  After a detailed analysis of hiring information and extensive negotiations, Mr. Madden negotiated a class-wide settlement with a minimal settlement payment.
Class Action Litigation
Mr. Madden has extensive experience defending employers against wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment class and collective claims.  Mr. Madden has also been hired to consult with other law firms as to their management and tactics in such class actions.  A few examples of Mr. Madden’s litigation experience are:
  • Mr. Madden was lead counsel defending a national retailer against federal and state overtime claims asserted on behalf of nationwide FLSA and state Rule 23 classes of pharmacists.  Our team brought early summary judgment motions at the same time as the plaintiffs brought notice and certification motions.  We prevailed on all claims and the plaintiffs waived their appeal to escape a claim for costs.
    Mr. Madden was brought in to assist two state agencies defend themselves against enforcement actions brought by the DOL.  In a matter involving probation officers, our defense team identified and raised the Section 7(k) defense, assembled substantial evidence supporting that defense, won a series of motions to compel against the federal government, and then negotiated a discounted settlement.  In a matter involving social workers, our defense team gathered extensive evidence supporting application of the professional exemption and obtained summary judgment on that basis.
  • Mr. Madden was lead counsel defending a nationwide retailer against overtime claims involving drivers in their distribution centers.  The court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer based on the Federal Motor Carrier Act Exemption and that decision was affirmed on appeal.
  • Mr. Madden was lead counsel defending a regional construction and service company against claims that employees must be paid for time commuting in company vehicles and other off-the-clock work issues.  After the court granted partial summary judgment and denied a motion to certify a class, the matter was settled for nuisance value.
  • Mr. Madden was hired to assist a city attorney’s office with defense against claims that the city systemically paid all of its employees three days late and, thus, owed double damages and interest.  The court granted summary judgment in favor of the city on these claims.
  • Mr. Madden was lead counsel defending a nationwide retailer against claims that employees must be paid for time donning and doffing work uniforms.  The court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer and the matter was affirmed on appeal.
  • After another firm lost a case on summary judgment, Mr. Madden handled the appeal for an automobile dealer.  The Ninth Circuit found, as a matter of law, that the employer was exempt under the Retail Sales and Service Exemption.  Gieg v. DRR Inc., 407 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2005).
  • Mr. Madden was lead counsel representing a multi-state vending company against class allegations that the company failed to pay overtime compensation to route drivers.  After minimal discovery, the court granted summary judgment to our client in a decision of first impression interpreting Washington’s Retail Sales and Service Exemption.  Mr. Madden argued this matter to the Washington Supreme Court, which issued a 9-0 decision affirming the judgment.  Stahl v. Delicor of Puget Sound, Inc., 148 Wn.2d 876 (2003).

Professional Background

Mr. Madden graduated with highest honors from the University of Washington School of Law and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Mr. Madden chaired the Association of Washington Business’s employment law committee for nine years and is listed as a top labor and employment attorney in The Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Speaking Engagements

In addition to training programs with individual clients, Mr. Madden has done hundreds of presentations on wage and hour, employment law, and class action topics at continuing legal education, human resources, and payroll seminars. He has also spoken on employment issues at national and regional business conferences, including the annual meeting of the National Association of Securities Companies, the national Gamer Technology Conference, the Council of School Attorney’s meeting, and the National Council of State Housing Agencies National Conference.

Publications
Mr. Madden has been quoted on wage and hour matters in Washington papers as well as the Wall Street Journal and Corporate Legal Times.  Beyond CLE and seminar materials, his other formal publications on law-related subjects include:

  • “Wage Issues on the Edge:  Work Time Claims at the Start and End of the Work Day,” Corporate Counsel Review, May 2011.
  • “Collective Claims: Learning From the U.S. Experience,” PLC Magazine, Jan./Feb. 2008.
  • “Goodbye, Rambo -- Hello, Mr. Rogers?” For the Defense, Dec. 1995.
  • “Don’t Answer That Question,” For the Defense, March 1995.
  • “Federal Labor Law Preemption of State Anti-Takeover Law: A Case of First Impression,” 65 Wash. L. Rev. 457 (1990).

Patrick Madden's practice focuses on labor and employment law matters. He advises employers on various issues, including wage and hour payment and compliance; assists employers responding to agency investigations; and represents employers in wage and hour, discrimination, and other lawsuits at state and federal levels. Patrick has worked on dozens of class actions, including lawsuits involving wage calculation and payment issues, entitlement to overtime and benefits, off-the-clock claims, and challenges to exempt status. Patrick graduated with highest honors from the University of Washington School of Law and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Professional Associations and Activities
Patrick has worked with and supported employer associations in legislative, administrative, and judicial forums and is currently the chairperson of the Association of Washington Business (AWB) Employment Law Committee. Working with the Committee, Patrick has helped draft wage and hour legislation, and has helped evaluate and comment upon employment-related legislation and regulations. He has also testified before the Legislature on wage and hour and other employment matters. In addition, Patrick has represented the AWB and the Washington Retail Association (WRA) as amicus curiae in various wage and hour and employment matters before Washington's Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Patrick's professional memberships include:

  • Employment Law Sections of the American, Washington, and Seattle-King County Bar Associations
  • AWB Employment Law Committee - Chairperson (2002-2004)
  • AWB/WRA Wage and Hour Task Force

Wage and Hour Advice and Compliance
Patrick regularly advises employers on wage and hour and wage payment issues, as well as many other employment matters. He reviews and helps clients draft policies, including policies relating to time reporting, payroll, compensation, and classification issues. He also assists clients by conducting friendly audits to identify and correct potential violations that could result in legal liability. In addition, Patrick often works with clients and our business and bankruptcy attorneys to address wage and compensation issues that arise in the context of purchases, sales, mergers, layoffs, and shutdowns. A few examples of Patrick's advice practice are:

  • Patrick has reviewed and helped draft compensation, incentive compensation, and commission policies for international, national, regional, and local companies, especially those focused in the retail, technology, and sales contexts.
  • Patrick regularly advises national, regional, and local companies on issues relating to hours worked, calculation of the regular rate, and other issues relating to the calculation of overtime for hourly and salaried non-exempt workers.
  • Patrick regularly advises national, regional, and local companies on the proper classification of exempt workers, including issues involving the salary basis and duties requirements.
  • Patrick regularly advises national, regional, and local companies on wage payment matters, including wage withholding, termination pay, and severance pay issues.
  • Patrick has advised international, national, regional, and local companies on transitioning employees from one company, compensation system, set of operational rules, or classification to another, with the goal of avoiding challenges, litigation, and liability.

Government Wage and Hour Audits and Investigations
Patrick frequently counsels and represents employers in wage and hour audits and investigations by the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DLI). He prepares employers for initial agency visits, represents clients during those visits, helps process and respond to follow-up requests, responds to and negotiates over initial agency determinations, and defends employers against improper determinations and excessive civil money penalties. For instance:

  • In 2002, Patrick assisted a national company with an appeal of an injunction and order of restitution against the client for failing to count certain training time as hours worked. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the judgment and ordered judgment for the client.
  • In 2001, Patrick handled an audit of a temporary work agency by the DOL. Although the investigator found that, among other problems, the regular rate was being improperly calculated, Patrick demonstrated that any impact was de minimus. The investigator thus issued a report with no violations and no penalties.
  • In 2001, Patrick handled an audit of a major Northwest employer with thousands of employees. After an extensive audit, the DOL investigator found no violations involving non-exempt employees and only minor exempt classification and child labor violations. Damages for these violations were further reduced through negotiations and the use of supplemental information.
  • In 2000, Patrick was brought in to assist the regional office of a national company where the DOL investigator had initially determined that the company had improper work time, regular rate, and wage credit policies and practices for their non-exempt employees. After a further exchange of extensive information, the investigator agreed that certain company policies were acceptable. Back wage payments for other violations were further negotiated and minimized.

Wage and Hour Litigation
Patrick has extensive experience defending employers against wage and hour and wage payment claims. In addition to representing employers in wage lawsuits brought by individual employees, Patrick has worked on dozens of wage and hour class actions. Patrick has also been hired to consult with other law firms as to their management and tactics in wage and hour class actions. A few examples of Patrick's litigation experience are:

  • Patrick is lead counsel defending a nationwide retailer against claims for off-the-clock work, meal period, and expense reimbursement violations under state and federal law.
  • Patrick is lead counsel representing a multi-state vending company against class allegations that the company failed to pay overtime compensation to potentially hundreds of route drivers. After minimal discovery, we obtained summary judgment in a decision of first impression interpreting the Retail and Service Exemption adopted in Washington in 1997. In March 2003, the Washington Supreme Court issued a 9-0 decision affirming the judgment in favor of our client.
  • Patrick was one of the lead counsel representing a major municipality against claims that workers from temporary employment agencies were common law employees and entitled to additional compensation and benefits. After extensive litigation, the matter settled on favorable terms just prior to trial. We are now representing the municipality on the multitude of issues that arise in the administration of a complex settlement.
  • Patrick represented a nationwide client against class allegations that thousands of management level employees were denied bonus payments and were subject to other wage payment and wage withholding violations. After obtaining an order dismissing the class claims, the individual claim was settled on favorable terms.
  • Patrick helped represent and coordinate the defense in Washington State of a nationwide retailer that was faced with a series of union-sponsored class actions involving claims that its employees were not paid for all time that they worked. After extensive discovery, the matter was settled on a nationwide level.
  • Patrick was one of the lead counsel representing the Alaska subsidiary of a nationwide client in the oil and gas industry against claims that the company's white collar workers were not paid on a salary basis and were improperly classified as exempt. After class certification was denied and the class claims were dismissed on summary judgment, the individual claims were settled on favorable terms.
  • Patrick was one of the lead counsel representing a multi-state retailer against class claims that the company failed to pay overtime and did not pay for all hours worked. After the employer filed an extensive motion for summary judgment covering two different compensation systems, the plaintiffs agreed to settle the matter on favorable terms.

Presentations
In addition to counseling and training sessions with individual clients, Patrick regularly speaks on wage and hour and other employment law topics at continuing legal education, human resources, and payroll seminars. In 2000, Patrick was invited by the Washington State Bar Association to take part in its Best of 2000 program based on the superior evaluations he received in an earlier legal education program. Over the past five years, Patrick's presentations have included:

  • "The 5 Ws of Workplace Training" in Training Your Workforce: Do's and Don'ts (Oct. 9 and Dec. 11, 2002).
  • "Wage & Hour and Compensation Law Update" in Employment Law Briefing 2002 (Nov. 15, 2002).
  • "Overview of Federal Wage and Hour Laws," "Overview of Washington Wage Statutes," "Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law," and "Litigation of Wage and Hour Claims" in Washington Wage and Hour Update (Nov. 9, 1999; Nov. 16, 2000; Nov. 6, 2001; and Nov. 7, 2002).
  • "Wage and Hour Issues" and "Employer Leave Policies" in Time Off in Washington: State and Federal Laws on Employee Leave, Vacations and Holidays (Oct. 17, 2000; May 2 and Oct. 11, 2001; and May 21 and Oct. 8, 2002).
  • "Wage and Hour Claims," in 5th Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference (Aug. 23, 2002).
  • "Modifying Policies in Light of DLI's New Wage and Hour Guidelines" in Workplace Policies: Avoiding Common Traps and Addressing New Requirements (June 5, 2002).
  • "Wage Requirements for Non-Exempt Employees," "Requirements for Exempt Employees," "Managing Leave Rights," and "Proper Maintenance of Records" in Payroll Management in Washington (April 12, 2002).
  • "Key Wage and Hour Issues, Including Exemptions, Wage Payment, and the Contingent Workforce" in Employment Law Briefing 2001 (Oct. 12, 2001).
  • "Appropriate Procedures for Dealing with Employees" in How to Advise the Business in Distress (July 26 and Aug. 3, 2001).
  • "Recognizing When Your Client Has A Wage and Hour Problem" in the Lunchtime Lecture Series (June 1, 2001).
  • "When Are Executives and Managers Personally Liable for Employee Compensation?", "Are You Fully Paying Non-Exempt Employees?", "What Cost-Effective Alternatives Exist for Compensating Employees?", and "How Can You Avoid the Inadvertent Loss of Exempt Status" in Avoiding Hidden Landmines and Personal Liability: Critical Issues in Employee Compensation (March 6 and May 8, 2001).
  • "Avoiding Misclassification of Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Washington Law" in the Washington State Bar Association's Best of CLE 2000 (Dec. 8, 2000).
  • "Managing Employees Who File Complaints" in Handling HR Nightmares: Practical Advice for Addressing Difficult Workplace Problems (Oct. 24, 2000).
  • "Call Them Like They Are, Not Like You Want Them To Be: Avoiding Misclassification of Employees" in the Seven Deadly Sins of Washington Employers (July 28, 2000).
  • "Preparing for an Investigation," "Deciding the Facts," and "Top 10 Dos and Don'ts in an Investigation" in Employee Investigations: A Practical Guide for Washington Employers (June 16, 2000).
  • "Avoiding Hidden Legal Landmines In Your Workplace Investigations" and "Compiling Essential Documentation And Gathering Key Evidence To Support - Not Undermine - Your Investigation" in How to Conduct an Internal Investigation (Aug. 30, 1999).
  • "State Update: Ensuring That You Comply With State Wage and Hour Laws" in Wage and Hour/Payroll Compliance Workshop (April 8, 1999).
  • "Recruiting and Retaining Skilled Employees in a Highly Competitive Job Market" in Personnel Law Update 1998 (Nov. 17, 1998).
  • "FLSA Alert: How to Avoid Backpay Liability, Loss of Employee Exemptions and Other Startling New Wage and Hour Repercussions" in Personnel Law Update 1998 (Jan. 14 and May 28, 1998).
  • "Wage and Hour Law Update and Practice Pointers" in the Washington State Bar Association's 1998 Corporate Counsel Institute (March 6, 1998).

Publications 
Patrick regularly has been quoted on wage and hour matters in Washington papers as well as the Wall Street Journal. His other formal publications on law-related subjects include:

  • Contributing Author, Defense Practice Notebook (DRI 1996).
  • "Goodbye, Rambo -- Hello, Mr. Rogers?" For the Defense, Dec. 1995, at 8-14.
  • "Don't Answer That Question," For the Defense, March 1995, at 12-17.
  • "Federal Labor Law Preemption of State Anti-Takeover Law: A Case of First Impression," 65 Wash. L. Rev. 457 (1990).