People: Thomas E. Ahlering, Associate

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Thomas E. Ahlering

Associate

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5922
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Mr. Ahlering is an associate in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Department.  Mr. Ahlering represents some of the world’s largest corporations in litigation with millions of dollars at stake in a broad range of employment disputes, including defending employers throughout the United States in complex employment discrimination class actions, EEOC pattern or practice lawsuits, wage & hour class and collective actions, and single-plaintiff actions for wrongful termination and discrimination.  Mr. Ahlering's class action experience, however, is not limited to the defense of labor and employment class actions.  Mr. Ahlering also represents companies in a wide-range of class actions, including consumer class actions involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Mr. Ahlering brings a unique perspective to defense teams as a former class action plaintiff lawyer and his experience on both sides of the aisle in class action litigation provides him with the ability to see all sides of a case and to anticipate and defeat Plaintiffs’ counsel’s strategies – regarding class certification, oppositions to motions to dismiss/dispositive motions, and settlement negotiations – before they happen to help achieve the best possible results for his clients.     

Mr. Ahlering was recently recognized as a 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of class actions – an honor awarded to only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 in the state.

Mr. Ahlering is an associate in the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and a member of the firm's Labor & Employment Department.  Mr. Ahlering represents some of the world’s largest corporations in litigation with millions of dollars at stake in a broad range of employment disputes, including defending employers throughout the United States in complex employment discrimination class actions, EEOC pattern or practice lawsuits, wage & hour class and collective actions, and single-plaintiff actions for wrongful termination and discrimination.  Mr. Ahlering's class action experience, however, is not limited to the defense of labor and employment class actions.  Mr. Ahlering also represents companies in a wide-range of class actions, including consumer class actions involving the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

Mr. Ahlering brings a unique perspective to defense teams as a former class action plaintiff lawyer and his experience on both sides of the aisle in class action litigation provides him with the ability to see all sides of a case and to anticipate and defeat Plaintiffs’ counsel’s strategies – regarding class certification, oppositions to motions to dismiss/dispositive motions, and settlement negotiations – before they happen to help achieve the best possible results for his clients.     

Mr. Ahlering was recently recognized as a 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star in the area of class actions – an honor awarded to only 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40 in the state.

Education

  • J.D., The John Marshall Law School (2008)
    Editor, The John Marshall Law Review
  • B.A., Marquette University (2005)

Admissions

  • Illinois (2008)

Courts

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee 

Affiliations

  • American Association for Justice
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association

Representative Engagements

  • In Re: Jimmy John’s Overtime Litigation, No. 14-CV-5509 (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing defense of franchisor against class and collective action mounting novel attack on the nature of the franchise relationship and alleging violations of federal and state wage and hour laws).
  • Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 08-CV-2875 (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) (ongoing representation in class action alleging gender discrimination in pay and promotions).
  • Durling, et al., No. 7:16-CV-03592 (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) (ongoing defense of franchisor against class and collective action alleging violations of federal and state wage and hour laws relating to payment of delivery drivers; successfully defeated Plaintiffs’ motion for conditional certification).
  • Dolemba v. Kelly Services, Inc., No. 16-CV-04971 (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois) (obtained dismissal with prejudice at the motion to dismiss stage in one of the first TCPA class actions ever brought against a company while acting as an employer).
  • Craig, et al. v. Landry’s, Inc. et al., No. 16-CV-00277 (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio) (obtained dismissal with prejudice at the motion to dismiss stage of a class and collective action against Landry’s alleging violations of state and federal wage and hour laws).
  • Kutzback v. LMS Intellibound LLC, et al., No. 2:13-CV-02767 (U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee) (ongoing representation in putative nationwide collective action alleging that defendants failed to pay minimum wage and overtime in violation of the FLSA).
  • Flood, et al. v. Carlson Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 14-CV-2740 (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) (ongoing representation in putative class and collective action involving current and former tipped workers at TGI Friday’s alleging various violations of state and federal tip credit and overtime laws).
  • Brooks, et al.  v. C.H. Robinson International, Inc., et al., No. 4:16-CV-00939 (U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri) (ongoing defense of logistics companies in class/collective action alleging improper employee classification under federal and state wage and hour laws).
  • Holmes v. Kelly Services, USA, LLC, No. 16-13165 (U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan) (ongoing defense of staffing company in collective action alleging FLSA violations for wage and hours relative to off-the-clock work).
  • Sulliman v. Film Tec Corporation and Kelly Services, Inc., No. 15-CV-00546 (U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota) (obtained favorable settlement on behalf of staffing company in case alleging religious discrimination).
  • Brewer v. eBay, Inc., No. 16-CV-001738 (Jefferson Circuit Court, Louisville, Kentucky) (obtained favorable settlement on behalf of eBay in case alleging race discrimination).
  • Whitmore v. Remedy Temporary Services, Inc., No. 2:15-CV-02161 (U.S. District Court, District of Arizona) (obtained favorable settlement of on behalf of staffing company in collective action alleging FLSA violations for wage and hours relative to off-the-clock work).
  • Gabrielle Williams, et al. v. TGI Friday’s, Inc., No. 16-CV-04286; (U.S. District Court/Northern District of Illinois) (ongoing defense against class action alleging violations of Illinois state law for failure to pay vacation pay).
  • Landry’s Inc. and McCormick & Schmick Restaurant Corp., v. NLRB AND John J. Walsh; No.16-CV-01548; (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas) (novel case against the NLRB which resulted in the NLRB staying underlying unfair labor practice proceedings in their entirety until the Supreme Court issues a decision on the validity of class action waivers in Murphy Oil).
  • Zepeda v. Intercontinental Hotels Group, Inc. et al., No. 17-CH-08904 (Circuit Court of Cook County) (ongoing defense of hotels against class action alleging violation of Illinois Biometric Privacy Act (“BIPA”)).