Chris C. Scheithauer advises clients on general civil litigation matters, with a focus on class action employee benefit litigation and counseling under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), and other employment litigation and advice.
Chris' ERISA practice involves counseling employers, plan fiduciaries and trustees in matters concerning employee benefit plans. He regularly represents companies and their ERISA plans in defending claims for wrongful denial of employee benefits, such as long-term disability benefits. Chris also defends companies, officers and directors, and other alleged ERISA plan fiduciaries against claims for breach of fiduciary duties in employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and 401(k) class actions regarding company stock declines or changes to pension plans. Chris is a contributing author to the Employee Benefits Law treatise, published by the American Bar Association (ABA)'s Employee Benefits Subcommittee on ERISA.
Some of Chris' significant appellate cases include a pension-benefits dispute argued on behalf of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a breach of fiduciary duty case on behalf of the former Montana Power Company and an institutional plan trustee in an ERISA dispute involving the General Motors Corporation ERISA 401 (k) Plan.
Chris' employment practice involves representing employers in defending claims pertaining to wage and hour disputes, employment discrimination and harassment (under California and federal law), wrongful termination, breach of employment contract, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. He has litigated class actions involving wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as California's Wage Orders.
Chris represents clients in litigation in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings and investigations before such agencies as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.