Chris C. Scheithauer represents clients on civil litigation matters, with a focus on employment class action and PAGA litigation, as well as employment law advice. He also has experience in employee benefit litigation and counseling under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Chris’s employment practice involves representing employers in defending individual and class action 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 regularly defends employers involving wage and hour claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as California’s statutes and Wage Orders. In addition to class action defense, he represents employers sued under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) statute for Labor Code violations. Chris handles matters from inception through verdict.
Chris’s ERISA practice involves representing employers, plan fiduciaries and trustees in litigation 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, claims for excessive investment and administrative fees, 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.
Chris has represented clients such as Northrop Grumman Corporation, State Street Bank & Trust, CMS Energy, Bank of America 401(k) Plan, AECOM, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Cal Pacific Specialty Foods, Poured, Countrywide Financial Corporation 401(k) Plan, Best Choice Products, Christensen Brothers General Engineering, Loan Depot, Amazon, Elite Athletes Services (U.S. Olympic Training Center), J2 Medical Supply, Lifestyle Solutions, U.S. Framing, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and Yahoo, among others.
Chris represents clients in litigation in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings and investigations before such agencies as the U.S. Department of Labor, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the California Department of Industrial Relations/Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Chris has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Federal Bar Association.
- Obtained defense verdict in favor of employer USA Debusk against claims for wrongful termination and various wage/hour claims
- Successfully defended PAGA claims brought by employees against construction framing employer
- Defeated class certification in wage and hour case against online retailer
- Defeated class certification in wage hour/PAGA case against construction company
- Obtained dismissal of PAGA claims brought by former employee of media production company
- Obtained successful resolution of discrimination and wage/hour claims against interstate trucking company
- Obtained judgment in favor of Northrop Grumman Corporation in a pension-benefits dispute
- Successfully represented Northrop Grumman Corporation in ERISA fiduciary duty case involving 401(k) plan fees and administrative expenses
- Assisted in representing Amazon against class action wage and hour claims brought by putative class of California employees
- Prevailed in ERISA fiduciary duty case brought involving the former Montana Power Company 401(K) plan and company “stock drop” case
- Assisted institutional plan trustee obtain judgment defending an ERISA dispute involving the General Motors Corporation ERISA 401(k) Plan in “stock drop” case connected to bankruptcy of General Motors
- Won multi-million dollar verdicts in favor of Northrop Grumman Corporation in various real estate lease disputes.
- Hernandez v. Christensen Bros. Gen. Eng., 2023 WL 3069760 (C.D. Cal. April 24, 2023)
- Cowley v. Prudential Security, Inc., 2020 WL 7311136 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 11, 2020)
- Galvan v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, 425 F.Supp.3d 1234 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 27, 2019)
- Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation v. Goldentop Road, LLC, 2016 WL 3568261 (June 23, 2016)
- Jay v. Mahaffey, 218 Cal.App.4th 1522 (2013)
- Skinner v. Northrop Grumman Ret. Plan B, 673 F.3d 1162 (9th Cir. 2012)
- Pfeil v. State Street Bank & Trust Co., 671 F.3d 585 (6th Cir. 2012)
- In re Touch America Holdings, Inc. ERISA Litigation, 563 F.3d 903 (9th Cir. 2009)
- Young v. GM Inv. Mgmt. Corp., 325 Fed. Appx. 31 (2nd Cir. May 6, 2009)
- Ryles v. Pitney Bowes, Inc., 2002 US Dist. LEXIS 13665 (E.D. Penn. July 23, 2002)
- Corporate Express Office Products, Inc. v. Martinez, 2002 WL 31961458 (C.D. Cal. March 8, 2002)
- The Best Lawyers in America 2019, Litigation – ERISA
- Chambers USA 2009 noted that clients called out Chris Scheithauer “for his ‘methodical and precise’ defense of clients in ERISA and benefits cases.”
- The Legal 500 USA pointed to Chris Scheithauer as a leader in the practice.
- Los Angeles Magazine, Southern California Rising Star
- Southern California Super Lawyer, Rising Star, ERISA and federal practices
- American Bar Association, Employee Benefits Subcommittee on ERISA Reporting and Disclosure, as well as the Subcommittee on Liability Issues Unique to Welfare Plans
- Orange County Federal Bar Association, past member of the board of directors
- Orangewood Foundation, Audit Committee
- University of Southern California – Gould School of Law, JD, 1996
- University of Southern California, IR/POSC, 1993