New York Partner
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 with selection to the New York Metro area Super Lawyers list, as a Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star, and as 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.
- J.D., New York University School of Law
- B.A., Yale University
- Chief Justice Christopher Armstrong, Massachusetts Appeals Court
- Justice Benjamin Kaplan, Massachusetts Appeals Court
- Civil Rights Clinic
- New York, 2004
- 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
- The 2023 Lawdragon 500 Leading Civil Rights & Plaintiff Employment Lawyers
- 2021 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2020 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2020-22 Lawdragon 500 Plaintiff Employment Lawyer
- 2019 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star – Northeast in the practice area of Labor & Employment
- 2013-2014 Super Lawyers NY Metro Rising Star; 2019-2021 NY Metro Super Lawyer
I Am Grateful To Have Had Their Support
“Sanford Heisler was a life raft during a difficult life transition, and I am grateful to have had their support.”
– Former Client
Passionate Care for Justice
“As a client of Sanford Heisler Sharp, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sanford Heisler Sharp reached an $11 million settlement against Energy Plus on behalf of a class of New Jersey consumers who alleged that Energy Plus engaged in a bait-and-switch scheme that led to the defrauding and deception of thousands of people.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 4 Issues Potentially Holding Up the DOL’s Overtime Rule, Law360, May 31, 2023
- Drivers Lodge Calif. Labor Claims Against Asian Grocery, Law360, March 27, 2023
- Grocery delivery startup Weee! sued by drivers over withheld tips, San Francisco Business Times, March 27, 2023
- Wage Theft Prosecution Efforts Put Employers On Notice, Law360 Employment Authority, March 9, 2023
- DOL App Helps Track Hours, But Employers Fear Abuse, Law360 Employment Authority, January 13, 2023
- Top Wage And Hour Legislation To Watch In 2023, Law360 Employment Authority, January 2, 2023
- Biggest Wage And Hour Legislation Of 2022, Law360 Employment Authority, December 22, 2022
- Biden’s 2022 Wage and Hour Report Card, Law360 Employment Authority, December 16, 2022
- 3 Takeaways From Uber’s $100M Tax Payout to NJ, Law360 Employment Authority, September 13, 2022
- Partisan State Actions Put Employers On Shaky Legal Ground, Law360 Employment Authority, August 26, 2022
- Wage And Hour Policies To Watch In 2nd Half Of 2022, Law360 Employment Authority, July 8, 2022
- Arbitration Ban Expected To Increase Harassment Dispute Costs, Business Insurance ,March 01, 2022
- Federal Worker Wage Hike Could Squeeze Private Employers, Law360 Employment Authority, January 26, 2022
- 4 ‘Survival’ Tips To Comply With NY Joint Liability Wage Law, Law360 Employment Authority, January 10, 2022
- 5 Wage-Hour Tips For Employers During The Holiday Season, Law360 Employment Authority, December 10, 2021
- Santa Rosa Psychiatric Hospital Agrees To $2.85 Million Settlement Over Workplace Conditions, The Press Democrat, September 20, 2021
- Sanford Heisler Sharp and Valerian Law Settle $2.85 Million PAGA Case for Understaffing and Unsafe Conditions at Santa Rosa Psychiatric Hospital, SANTA ROSA, CA, September 20, 2021
- Gag Order Issued On NFL Concussion Race-Norming Talks, Law360, July 19, 2021
- Home Depot, Workers Both Seek Early Win In 401(k) Class Suit, Law360, July 13, 2021
- Sanford Heisler Sharp Files Motion For Summary Judgment Against Home Depot For Mismanagement Of Its 401k Plan, Globe Newswire, July 13, 2021
- NFL Vow To End ‘Race-Norming’ Holds Civil Rights Lessons, The Law Employment Authority, July 12, 2021
- Tyson At 5: The Legacy Of The Supreme Court’s Wage Ruling, The Law Employment Authority, March 1, 2021
- First Wave: The Attys Who Pioneered Law Firm Gender Suits, Law360, February 10, 2021
- Another Open Letter: Lawyer Suing Goldman Sachs Calls For End to Arbitration Requirements, LAW.COM, November 12, 2020
- The Many Ways Private Employee Speech Is Protected, Law360, October 30, 2020
- Caste Prejudice: A New Kind Of Employment Discrimination Emerges As South Asians Conquer Silicon Valley, International Business Times, September 10, 2020
- Employers Grapple With New Questions As Protests Continue, Law360, June 23, 2020
- War of Words Follows Class Action Retreat in MoFo ‘Mommy Track’ Suit, LAW.COM, February 18, 2020
- 4 Takeaways As DOL Finalizes Overtime Rule, Law360, September 24, 2019
- Sex Bias Accuser Says MoFo Sabotaged Her Job Hunt, Law360, May 22, 2019
- 2 Women Move To Spearhead Ogletree Pay Bias Case, Law360, May 10, 2019
- Gender pay discrepancies among deans and faculty at the University of Arizona, Sanford Heisler Sharp, April 8, 2019
- ‘Epic’ Impact: How a Major SCOTUS Decision in Favor of Arbitration Is Shaping the Landscape for Workplace Lawsuits, Sanford Heisler Sharp, Feb. 28, 2019
- Chambers v. District of Columbia and the Future of Title VII, Saint Louis University Journal Online, Dec. 13, 2021.
- States – The Final Frontier: How State Law and State Courts Can Provide Avenues for Justice and Resist the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Lochner Lite” Anti-Employee and Anti-Consumer Agenda, Wolter Kluwer’s Labor Law Journal, September 14, 2021. Co-Author.
- Whether Employees Can Be Fired for Participating in Peaceful Protests, University of Illinois Law Review Online, Oct. 14, 2020. Co-Author.
- Employers Should Owe a Duty of Loyalty to Their Workers, Cardozo Law Review de•novo, August 2020. Co-Author.
- The Reports of PAGA’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Viking River Cruises v. Moriana Leaves the Statute Essentially Intact
- How the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Cummings v. Premier Distorts Contract Law to Gut Discrimination Law
- Recent Company Schemes and Scams – And What to Do About Them
- H.R. 4445: Congress Bars Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Cases
- Adjusted for Inflation, the Federal Minimum Wage at Lowest in Decades
- Under California’s Broad Definition of “Wages,” Executive-Level Employees May Be Able to Pursue Labor Code Wage Claims to Recover Unpaid Stock Grants, Bonuses, and Other Forms of Compensation
- In Defense of Class Actions: A Response to Gibson Dunn’s Commentary on the Ten-Year Anniversary of Dukes
- Facebook v. Duguid and the Textualism Gap
- Is Caste Discrimination Illegal in the United States?
- LGBTQ Rights in the Balance: Equality Act Still Needed in the Wake of Bostock
- Time for Long Overdue Reparations—Support H.R. 40
- Can I Be Fired for Participating in Peaceful Protests?
- Supreme Court Endorses Mixed-Motive Age Discrimination Claims for Federal Sector Employees
- Can I be Fired for Refusing to Report to Work During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
- Class Actions 101: the Xs and Os
- 42 U.S.C. § 1981: A Recipe for Race Relations and Reconciliation in the Wake of Charlottesville?
- Private Insurance Whistleblower Law: The California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act
- Are Law Partners Covered by Employment and Anti-Discrimination Laws?
Whittney Barth and Andrew Melzer discuss peaceful protests in Workplace Fairness Webinar