Deborah Crandall Saxe, Esq. has mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases, including wage and hour class actions, FLSA collective actions, and PAGA representative actions. Before becoming a full-time neutral, Ms. Saxe practiced law at Jones Day, Heller Ehrman, and Seyfarth Shaw for more than 30 years and was widely regarded as one of the nation’s best labor and employment lawyers. During the last six years of her law firm career, she handled class actions exclusively. When she was practicing law, Chambers USA called her “’an aggressive and highly capable litigator’ with a forte in wage and hour and discrimination cases” and “substantial experience in the courtroom as a trial lawyer.” More recently, Chambers USA called her a “talented mediator.”
Ms. Saxe routinely mediates and arbitrates California wage and hour class actions with claims for unpaid wages, overtime compensation, meal and rest break premiums, and related statutory penalties, claims for civil penalties pursuant to California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), and claims for restitution pursuant to California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL). She also has mediated and arbitrated FLSA Section 16(b) collective actions, including hybrid nationwide Rule 23 class/FLSA collective actions.
Ms. Saxe is highly regarded and respected by both sides of the employment bar. She is a quick study, prepared, personable, approachable, creative, and flexible. As an arbitrator, she is known to be fair, practical, unflappable, and not afraid to make tough decisions. As a mediator, she is strong, good at listening and reading people, and a tenacious closer. She is known for her ability to quickly establish rapport with parties and counsel and enable them to recognize their legal risks. The perspective gained from her extensive trial and appellate court experience allows her to offer valuable insights as to how a case is likely to proceed in the courts and how it is likely to appear to a judge and jury.
Class Action Experience
- California wage and hour class actions and PAGA representative actions involving alleged misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime compensation, off-the-clock work, commission chargebacks, split-shift premiums, reporting pay premiums, failure to provide first and/or second meal and rest breaks, on-duty meal breaks, failure to reimburse employees for reasonable business expenses associated with mileage, use of cell phones, and the purchase and cleaning of uniforms
- ERISA class action alleging partial termination of pension plan
- FLSA collective actions involving overtime compensation (misclassification of loan officers, loan processors, store managers, and assistant store managers), the FLSA section 7(k) exemption for public-sector fire protection and law enforcement employees, and the need to include certain bonuses when calculating the regular rate of pay
- California CFRA class action
- Class action alleging that company providing background checks to employers violated Megan’s Law by providing background check records that identified registered sex offenders
- Title VII class actions alleging that employer had a pattern or practice of discriminating against women on the basis of sex
- Class action alleging that employer violated Title VII by providing health benefits for pregnant employees but not for pregnant spouses of male employees
- Class actions alleging that employer violated collective bargaining agreements by failing to provide lifetime health benefits for retirees
- Class action alleging that Defendant breached collective bargaining agreement by closing manufacturing plant
- Class action alleging that major school district violated collective bargaining agreements by making changes to health insurance plans for retired teachers (increased premium payment requirements and changes in benefits) after they retired