Jason C. Schwartz is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and its Litigation Department. He also serves in the firm’s Office of General Counsel.
Mr. Schwartz practices primarily in the areas of labor, employment and trade secret litigation. He was named one of the top five “MVPs” in employment law for 2012, awarded by Law360 to “attorneys whose achievements in major litigation or transactions have set a new standard for accomplishment in corporate law.” He was recognized in 2014 as an “Up and Comer” in labor and employment by Chambers USA, which stated, “Clients note: ‘He’s an excellent litigator with a good sense of the client’s needs in a business environment. He’s just a pleasure to work with. He’s disciplined, a great writer and gets great results.’” He has also been recognized as one of the top five “Rising Stars” in employment law by Law360, as a Super Lawyer by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, as an “Up-and-Comer” on The Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys list published by Lawdragon and Human Resources Executive magazine, and as a recommended lawyer in labor and employment litigation and workplace and employment law counseling by The Legal 500 US. His practice includes the full range of labor and employment matters, including those involving wage-hour and discrimination laws, non-competition agreements and trade secrets, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower protection laws, executive employment disputes and the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Mr. Schwartz has litigated employment matters in state and federal courts and administrative forums throughout the country, as well as in arbitration, has represented clients before federal, state and local regulatory agencies and has conducted sensitive internal investigations. Recent representative matters include:
- Prevailed for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in a case of first impression in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit created a new joint employer test (the Enterprise test) and affirmed summary judgment for a parent corporation in a series of wage-hour class actions, thereby defeating the plaintiffs’ effort to form a nationwide class (In re Enterprise Rent-A-Car Wage & Hour Employment Practices Litig. (3rd Cir. 2012));
- Prevailed for Stone & Webster Construction in a nuclear whistleblower case at trial before a U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge and on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; the appeals court vacated and remanded the decision of the U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board, which had erroneously overturned our trial victory (Stone & Webster Constr., Inc. v. U.S. Department of Labor (11th Cir. 2012));
- Won summary judgment for SAIC in a False Claims Act whistleblower retaliation case (Dillon v. SAIC (E.D. Va. 2013));
- Successfully defeated class certification for Sunrise Senior Living in a meal and rest break case in California (Purnell v. Sunrise Senior Living (C.D. Cal. 2012));
- Successfully obtained the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging failure to closed caption certain videos on the website of a Fortune 100 technology and consumer products company (Cal. Super. Ct. 2012);
- Helped to secure a public settlement including non-compete restrictions and payment of $20 million for Capital One Financial Corporation in high-profile non-compete litigation brought against its former president of banking and another former senior executive (Capital One v. Kanas, et al. (E.D. Va. 2012));
- Obtained temporary restraining order and subsequently negotiated settlement after three days of trial in significant non-compete and trade secrets litigation on behalf of AlixPartners against two former Asia-based managing directors (AlixPartners v. Thompson and Naumann (Del. Ct. Chancery 2015)); and
- Won dismissal of nine of eleven claims in a putative class action brought by translators employed on a U.S. military contract in Kuwait and plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their remaining two claims after the Court enforced forum selection, choice of law and jury trial waiver provisions and granted a motion to strike plaintiffs’ expert testimony (Zaklit, et al. v. Global Linguist Solutions (E.D. Va. 2014)).
Mr. Schwartz has also successfully tried several sensitive whistleblower matters for major national employers, and he prevailed in a precedent-setting Labor Department appeal of one of the first Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower cases to proceed to trial. In a case of first impression, he successfully argued in the Utah Supreme Court against the recognition of a tort for spoliation of evidence. In addition, he served as lead trial counsel for a retailer in a highly-publicized OSHA enforcement action relating to crowd control at a day-after-Thanksgiving sale.
Mr. Schwartz also has significant experience in administrative law and rulemakings. He served as counsel to the Fair Labor Standards Reform Coalition, and he played a leading role in preparing comments on behalf of the business community relating to the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime exemption regulations. He is also the Secretary of the Retail Litigation Center and a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Labor Relations Committee, and he testified before Congress regarding OSHA enforcement programs on behalf of the U.S. Chamber. He represented the Association of American Railroads in a major injury and illness rulemaking hearing before the Federal Railroad Administration. In addition, he participated in the representation of the National Association of Manufacturers in a lawsuit challenging a significant OSHA regulation, the settlement of which is published at 66 Fed. Reg. 66,943 (Dec. 27, 2001).
Mr. Schwartz frequently speaks and writes on employment law and trade secret related topics. He is the co-author of numerous articles, including “2014 Trade Secrets Litigation Round-Up,” 89 Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal 627 (Jan. 9, 2015) (for the fifth year in a row); “Developments and Trends in Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Litigation,” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference Paper (Nov. 6, 2014); “2011 Year-End Update on Dodd-Frank and SOX Employee Whistleblower Provisions,” 26 INSIGHTS: The Corporate & Securities Law Advisor 1 (Jan. 2012); “The Extraterritorial Application of the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provisions,” 19 Employment Law Strategist 4 (August 2011); “SEC Adopts Final Rules Implementing Whistleblower Provisions of Dodd-Frank Act,” 15 Wall Street Lawyer 1 (July 2011); “Whistleblower Protection Under the SEC’s New Dodd-Frank Regulations: A Practical Guide for Employers,” 117 BNA Daily Labor Report I-1 (June 17, 2011); “U.S. SEC Adopts Final Rules Implementing Whistleblower Provisions of Dodd-Frank,” 43 BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report 1229 (June 13, 2011); “Recent Developments in Trade Secret Law: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,” Society for Human Resource Management (June 10, 2011); “A Measured Approach: Employment and Labor Law During the George W. Bush Years,” 32 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 997 (2009); “Expanding DCHRA Beyond DC Employment,” Employment Law360 (Nov. 5, 2009); “Not Your Average Whistleblower Statute,” Employment Law360 (July 31, 2009); “Evolving Employment Authorization Enforcement,” Employment Law360 (Apr. 21, 2009); and the monograph “Saga of Reform: Regulation of Worker Overtime,” published by the National Legal Center for the Public Interest in September 2004.
His recent speaking engagements and webinars include “Joint Employer Liability” for ALI CLE; “Managing and Defending Against FLSA Collective Actions and State Law Class Actions” at the ACI Wage Hour Claims and Class Actions Conference; “Developments and Trends in Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Litigation” at the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference; “EEOC Hot Topics and Trends” for ALI CLE; “The False Claims Act, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley: The Wide World of Whistleblowers” for the Northern Virginia Technology Council; “ “Key Developments in Federal Employment Class Action Litigation” and “EEOC Enforcement Trends” at the Retail Industry Leaders Association Retail Law Conference; “Class Certification in Employment Litigation,” “Employment Class Certification After Wal-Mart v. Dukes,” “Employment Litigation Involving Trade Secrets: Leveraging the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Defend Against Employee Misappropriation,” “EEO Internal Investigations: Legal and Practical Guidance for Employment Counsel” and “Protecting Trade Secrets When Key Employees Move to Competitors,” sponsored by Strafford Publications; “New Whistleblower Provisions of the US Financial Reform: Impacts on Your Compliance and Hotline Programs” and “Practitioner’s Guide to Social Media,” both sponsored by the General Counsel Roundtable and the Compliance and Ethics Leadership Council; “Employee Wellness Programs,” sponsored by the Benefits Roundtable; and “Drafting & Enforcing Noncompetes: Keys to Protect Your Trade Secrets” and “Defending & Litigating Wage & Hour Class Actions” for the National Constitution Center.
Mr. Schwartz earned his law degree magna cum laude from The Georgetown University Law Center, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and received the George Brent Mickum III Prize and the Charles A. Keigwin Award for the best academic record in first year courses. From 1995 to 1996, Mr. Schwartz worked as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Jon D. Fox. Mr. Schwartz received a B.A. degree in international affairs cum laude in 1994 from the George Washington University.
Mr. Schwartz is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, as well as in numerous federal courts. He also serves as secretary of the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and as a member of the Washington Lawyers Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and provides pro bono employment counsel to numerous community organizations.