Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.
Diane Saunders is a Shareholder in the Boston office and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group Steering Committee. Ms. Saunders is a skilled and aggressive litigator and possesses significant expertise in class/collective action matters and complex cases. Whether she is handling litigation or simply providing advice and counsel, Ms. Saunders employs a strategic approach to solving her clients' legal and business problems. She always strives to achieve cost effective results that are consistent with her clients’ overall business objectives. Ms. Saunders defends class and collective action suits alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Massachusetts wage and hour laws, including the Massachusetts Tips Law and the Massachusetts Independent Contractor Law. She also defends pattern and practice discrimination class actions, including allegations of class-wide discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.With close to 20 years of experience, Ms. Saunders has tried over a dozen matters in federal and state courts around the country, as well as before administrative agencies and in arbitration proceedings. Ms. Saunders regularly handles appeals in state and federal courts. She also defends employers in investigations and enforcement actions conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Representative matters include wage and hour, confidential information, trade secret and non-competition issues, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, whistleblower, and workplace torts and contract disputes. In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Saunders regularly advises employers on employment law and wage and hour compliance and best practices. She reviews employee handbooks and employment policies, drafts employment agreements and non-competition agreements, conducts wage and hour audits, designs employment arbitration programs, and advises clients on best practices during workplace investigations.Ms. Saunders has been recognized by Super Lawyers since 2006 as one of the leading employment lawyers in Massachusetts and New England. She is AV Preeminent Peer Review rated in Martindale-Hubbell. She is a frequent speaker at education programs for attorneys, human resources professionals, business owners, and managers. She also was a contributing author of the MCAD Guidelines: Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Handicap-Chapter 151B (1998) and the MCAD Guidelines: Guidelines on the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (2000).Ms. Saunders graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law with honors and served as an Articles Editor on the American University Law Review. Immediately following her graduation from law school, she served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Richard S. Salzman, District of Columbia Superior Court. She then practiced employment and civil rights law at the New York City Corporation Counsel’s office before moving to Boston. Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Ms. Saunders was a partner with a boutique labor and employment firm in Boston for many years.