Andrew Melzer
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  • Accolades
  • Testimonials
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Andrew Melzer is a Partner at Sanford Heisler Sharp and Co-Chair of the firm’s Wage and Hour Practice Group.

Since joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Andrew has been recognized in the legal community as a New York Metro area Super Lawyer, a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star, and one of Lawdragon’s 500 leading employment lawyers.

At Sanford Heisler Sharp, Andrew’s practice has focused on wage and hour violations, employment discrimination and retaliation, and other public interest and civil rights matters. Andrew’s representations have included:

  • Litigating on behalf of hundreds of nurses and staff who alleged that understaffing at a psychiatric facility resulted in unsafe working conditions and related Labor Code violations, a case that culminated in a $2.85 million court-approved settlement and programmatic changes to hospital policies and practices
  • Litigating an age discrimination class and collective action against a major auto manufacturer, resulting in comprehensive changes to company policies and practices
  • Litigating a class action for breach of the warranty of habitability at a lower Manhattan housing complex, for failure to provide adequate heat to tenants and associated harms, culminating in a $10 million dollar cash settlement and structural improvements to the buildings to ensure habitable living conditions
  • Litigating a gender discrimination class and collective action on behalf of female pharmaceutical representatives, culminating in a $6.2 million settlement
  • Litigating a series of overtime class and collective actions for AT&T field managers, culminating in a combined $28 million in settlements
  • Litigating a civil rights and wrongful death suit on behalf of the family of a jail inmate who died from an inadequately-treated sickle cell anemia crisis, resulting in more than $2 million in settlements and an independent study of the medical and correctional practices of the jail
  • Negotiating various pre-suit settlements
  • Drafting appellate briefs, petitions, and amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Supreme Court, and several U.S. Courts of Appeals for amicus clients that have included LGBT student groups, women’s rights organizations, and the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York

Andrew received his law degree from New York University and his Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in History from Yale. While a student at NYU, Andrew performed legal work with the Civil Rights Clinic and the Unemployment Action Center. He also was a summer law fellow at the Human Rights Campaign. At Yale, he won an award for his senior thesis on U.S. diplomatic history.

A member of the New York Bar, Andrew has authored and co-authored articles that have appeared in various legal publications such as Wolters Kluwer’s Labor Law Journal, the University of Illinois Law Review Online, Cardozo Law Review de•novo, and Law360. In addition, he has presented at numerous conferences on topics in class actions and employment law.

Before joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Andrew completed clerkships for the Honorable Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong and renowned jurist the Honorable Benjamin Kaplan, both of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Andrew also worked at the Claims Resolution Tribunal in Zurich, Switzerland where he helped restore looted Swiss bank accounts to Holocaust victims and their heirs by adjudicating claims against a settlement fund established through litigation in the Eastern District of New York.

Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys pursuits such as hiking, reading, crossword puzzles, and rooting for the New York Islanders. He has volunteered with the Sierra Club’s Inspiring Connections Outdoors program, helping lead New York City school students on nature outings.

    Education

    • J.D., New York University School of Law
    • B.A., Yale University

    Clerkships

    • Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong, Massachusetts Appeals Court
    • Justice Benjamin Kaplan, Massachusetts Appeals Court

    Clinics

    • Civil Rights Clinic

    Bar Admissions

    • New York, 2004

    Court Admissions

    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

    Passionate Care for Justice

    "As a client of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, I had the opportunity of working with its attorneys at multiple locations: Ms. Ella Zheng and Mr. Yikai Wang (in San Francisco), Ms. Leigh Anne St. Charles and Messrs. Kevin Sharp and Jonathan Tepe (in Nashville), and Mr. Andrew Melzer (in New York). Collectively the SHS team represented the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and passionate care for justice that I have ever witnessed in my career.

    Like many individual plaintiffs, I was faced with a corporate defendant that was much more resourceful. The SHS team never showed any hesitation in representing me or wavered in their resolution to right the wrong. The attorneys and assistants worked through maternity, coronavirus infection, over-night depositions and many other challenges for nearly three years to ultimately deliver a resounding success!

    I am forever indebted to Sanford Heisler Sharp’s perseverance and kindness. Last three years were such a lifetime experience that I will never forget."
    – David Chen

    Top-Notch Attorney

    Andrew is a “top-notch attorney[] with substantial litigation experience and a high degree of legal acumen…I am impressed with his legal knowledge and acumen and thorough, thoughtful approach.”
    – Peer Attorney Declaration

    Aurora Behavioral Healthcare – Santa Rosa, LLC and Signature Healthcare Services, LLC Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit

    The suit characterizes Aurora and Signature as routinely prioritizing profits over the care and rights of patients and hospital staff at their Santa Rosa location, which provides inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient mental health services to adults and adolescents.

    Volkswagen AG Age Discrimination Collective Action

    The German automakers’ “Pact for the Future” labor campaign eliminates 7,000 jobs in the Americas primarily held by workers born between 1955 and 1960.

    Merck Gender Pay, Promotion, and Pregnancy Discrimination Class Action

    This gender discrimination class action against pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. was originally filed by Plaintiff Kelli Smith in May 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. In January 2014, four additional class representatives from around the country joined the suit as plaintiffs alleging pay, promotion, and pregnancy discrimination against the company.

    MetLife Overtime Pay Violation Class Action

    The lawsuit seeks unpaid overtime wages for Claim Specialists who worked on long term disability insurance claims (“LTD Claim Specialists”) for MetLife and two of its subsidiaries, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and MetLife Insurance Company USA.

    Oracle Commissions Wage & Hour Lawsuits

    Sanford Heisler Sharp has filed claims that through the use of a long and confusing set of Terms and Conditions issued to each sales representative with his or her compensation plan, Oracle unlawfully and retroactively reduced the commissions of sales representatives based on grounds, criteria, and methods not defined in a signed commission contract. The case is currently in discovery and continuing investigation.

    In re Gateway Plaza Residents Litigation

    The class action suit is brought by Maureen Koetz, a resident of the neighborhood’s Gateway Plaza, a development with more than 1,700 rental units in the heart of lower Manhattan. Ms. Koetz, a former vice-president of the Gateway Tenants’ Association, describes how temperatures inside the complex regularly dropped to below 55 degrees this winter as well as past winters.

    Energy Plus Consumer Fraud Class Action – $11 Million Settlement

    Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey against Energy Plus Holdings LLC and Energy Plus Natural Gas LP (Energy Plus) for perpetrating an illegal bait-and-switch scheme that has deceived and defrauded thousands of New Jersey consumers of millions of dollars.

    Norton Rose Fulbright/Chadbourne & Parke LLP Gender Discrimination Class Action – $3.1 Million Settlement

    According to Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell, a nationally recognized trial lawyer and partner in Chadbourne’s Washington, DC office, female partners at the firm are excluded from positions of decision-making authority and receive less pay and bonuses even when they out-perform their male counterparts. There is only a one-tier partnership, with every partner characterized as an equity partner.

    Novartis Pharmaceutical Wage & Hour Class Action – $99 Million Settlement

    In 2012, Sanford Heisler Sharp reached a $99 million settlement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (”Novartis”) to resolve a nationwide class and collective action brought on behalf of thousands of Novartis sales representatives. The settlement ranks among the largest wage and hour settlements.

    AT&T Wage & Hour Class Action Litigation – $28 Million Settlement

    Sanford Heisler Sharp represented thousands of AT&T employees in three class and collective action cases involving the telephone giant’s failure to pay overtime to its “First-Level Managers.” The cases settled for a combined $28 million, among the largest recent wage and hour settlements.

    University of Arizona Gender Discrimination Collective Action

    The Complaint, brought under the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), alleges that Arizona Board of Regents dramatically underpaid Dr. MacCorquodale during her tenure as Honors College Dean relative to male deans at the university and to her male successors at the Honors College. Dean MacCorquodale had been employed by the University of Arizona since 1978.

    Ma Labs Wage and Hour Class Action

    The employees allege that Ma Labs engaged in pervasive time-shaving, whereby it wrote off and refused to pay employees’ pre-shift and post-shift overtime. The company also allegedly failed to provide its employees off-duty, uninterrupted rest and meal periods, as required by California law. The workers are mostly Chinese and Latino immigrants. The court granted class certification in October 2014.

    University of Arizona Gender Discrimination Class Action

    A federal court complaint alleges that female professors in the University of Arizona College of Science earn less, are denied promotions, and lack equal access to resources.

    City Gear, LLC Wage and Hour Class Action

    The company categorized these workers as salaried managerial employees but failed to pay them on a true salary basis. If the employees failed to work a particular number of hours per week, City Gear did not pay them their full salaries; instead, the company took pay deductions premised on an hourly rate of pay. The employees alleged that the company could not have it both ways and must pay them for their overtime. The case settled on a class basis in 2014.

    Costco Wage and Hour Class Action Litigation

    Sanford Heisler Sharp represents employees who worked at Costco Wholesale warehouses and were subjected to unpaid security “lockdowns” as a routine part of their work day. In December 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California certified their suit as a state class action in California and a federal conditional collective action nationwide. The court later decertified the action and the case is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On appeal, plaintiffs claim that the court misapplied the law and deprived employees of any opportunity for relief from Costco’s wage violations.

    Publications

    Blog

    Videos

    Whittney Barth and Andrew Melzer discuss peaceful protests in Workplace Fairness Webinar

    Andrew Melzer Photo

    Andrew Melzer

    New York Partner

    Client Testimonials

    • “Collectively the SHS team represented the highest level of professionalism, integrity, and passionate care for justice that I have ever witnessed in my career.”

      - David Chen, a Former Client
    • “Top-Notch Attorney”

      - Peer Attorney Declaration