St. Mary's University School of Law, J.D., 1995
Central Michigan University, B.S., cum laude, 1991
Named Fellow, The College of Labor and Employment, 2016
Named among Top 50 Women Lawyers in Georgia by Super Lawyers, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Named a "Georgia Super Lawyer," as published in Atlanta Magazine and Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine, March 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Named one of "Georgia's Legal Elite," selected by Georgia attorneys and published in Georgia Trend Magazine, December 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Visionary Award, Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, 2005
Listed as a "Top Attorney in Employment and Labor" in the Corporate Counsel Edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, November/December 2010
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Annette A. Idalski is a labor and employment litigator. She represents employers throughout the United States and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ms. Idalski has gained national recognition for her representation of employers against federal and state wage and hour class actions. She often serves as lead defense counsel in “bet the company” class and complex litigation involving wage and hour, discrimination, and non-competition/employee raiding litigation. She has obtained hundreds of successful outcomes for her clients including rulings and verdicts via summary judgment motions, arbitrations, and trials.
Risk management is key for every client Ms. Idalski represents. She does not simply defend the litigation at hand, but rather takes a big picture view in assessing risks for the business as a whole so that litigation can be prevented or reduced in the future. Ms. Idalski counsels her clients on best practices and drafts unique employee agreements, arbitration agreements, and employee policies that are tailored to her client’s needs and business. Known for her “no non-sense” and preventative advice, she provides guidance on employee issues arising out of or concerning wage and hour compliance, complex leaves of absence, hiring and firing, mergers and acquisitions, and collective bargaining matters. She conducts legal compliance audits and has conducted hundreds of training courses and seminars on prevention of employment litigation covering every subject matter.
Ms. Idalski has worked extensively for many industries including: oilfield, cable, insurance, airport services, technology, manufacturing and hospitality.
Ms. Idalski is frequently recognized by her peers for her excellence in client service and outstanding legal results. She has been honored by Georgia Super Lawyers and Georgia Trend, among other notable outlets. She served as President of the Georgia Association For Women Lawyers (GAWL), and later served on the GAWL Advisory Board.
Significant Wage and Hour Class/Collective Action Victories
- Fleming v. Premier Directional Drilling, L.P. , et al., 4:18-cv-00156 (S.D. Tex. April 10, 2018). Final Judgment issued by U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas confirming Arbitration Award in favor of Premier Directional Drilling, L.P. in an FLSA alleged misclassification case filed by a Measurement While Drilling engineer (Award Confidential).
- Sigui, et al. v. Cox Communications, Rhode Island, et al., No. CV 14-442 WES, 2018 WL 1626520, (D.R.I. Mar. 30, 2018). Ms. Idalski and her team won summary judgment against the plaintiffs who alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Rhode Island Minimum Wage Act. The plaintiffs (along with dozens of their co-workers) worked for a cable installation company, M+M Communications, that contracted with Cox. They argued that Cox was a “joint employer” and thus liable for unpaid overtime. All claims against Cox were dismissed.
- Akbar v. Florida Insurance Services, Inc., RIC151039 (Riverside Superior Court, Ca. Sept. 15, 2017). A licensed insurance agent who contracted with FIS to sell insurance brought an 18-count complaint for unpaid wages and overtime as well as claims for religious discrimination under California law. A California judge ruled in favor of our client, Florida Insurance Services Inc., holding that its insurance agents were independent contractors and not employees. The court granted summary judgment to FIS, dismissing all 18 claims. The ruling justified our client's business model of engaging a nationwide sales force of independent contractor sales agents and marks important precedent.
- Crosby v. Cox Communications, Louisiana, No. CV 16-6700, 2017 WL 1549552, (E.D. La. May 1, 2017) and Gremillon v. Cox Communications, Louisiana, 2:16-cv-09849-JVM (E.D. La. May 2, 2017). Ms. Idalski and her team won summary judgment in a pair of Louisiana overtime cases. The plaintiffs (along with dozens of their co-workers), who worked for cable installation companies that contracted with Cox, argued that Cox was a “joint employer” and thus liable for unpaid overtime because the plaintiffs (along with dozens of their former coworkers) were jointly employed by Cox and the installation companies. All claims against Cox were dismissed and the Plaintiffs were ordered to pay costs.
- Gate Guard Servs., L.P. v. Perez, No. 6:10-cv-91, 2014 WL 1379189 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 7, 2014). Ms. Idalski and her team won an attorneys' fees award in favor of Gate Guard Services, L.P. because U.S. Department of Labor’s allegation that the workers were misclassified as independent contractors was not substantially justified, appeal docketed, No. 14-40585 (5th Cir. Jun. 9, 2014) (appealing only award of attorneys’ fees and not independent contractor issue). Fifth Circuit affirmed attorneys' fees award.
- Gate Guard Servs., L.P. v. Solis, No. V-10-91, 2013 WL 593418 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 13, 2013). Ms. Idalski's team won summary judgment in favor of oil field services company in FLSA collective action where U.S. Department of Labor alleged that several hundred gate attendants were misclassified as contractors.
- Gate Guard Servs., L.P. v. Solis, No. 6:10-cv-91, 2011 WL 2784447 (S.D. Tex. July 12, 2011). Ms. Idalski's team successfully filed a declaratory judgment action in FLSA collective action concerning alleged misclassification of contractors and defeated motion to dismiss on behalf of oil field services company against Hilda Solis, United States Secretary of Labor.
- Valdez v. Cox Communications, Las Vegas. (2012). In April 2012, the District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada ruled in favor of the firm’s cable company client in a “hybrid” FLSA collective action/Rule 23 class action case finding that the cable company was not the joint employer of its contractor cable installer’s employees thereby preserving the cable company’s business arrangement.
- Obtained summary judgment for construction company on counterclaim filed by former employee asserting Rule 23 class action claims under ERISA in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia.
- Obtained directed verdict as lead counsel in jury trial for claims arising under Title VII (retaliation), the Florida Civil Rights Act, and the Florida Whistleblower's Act for a technology client in United States District Court, Southern District of Miami.
- Twice obtained summary judgment and significant attorneys' fees awards for manufacturing company in age discrimination lawsuit in Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.
- Obtained summary judgment for pharmaceutical company in multi-plaintiff litigation involving allegations of Title VII national origin discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in United States District Court, Western District of Michigan.
- Obtained summary judgment for Georgia public employer in multi-plaintiff litigation involving allegations of Title VII sexual harassment and violations of the Equal Pay Act in United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia.
- Obtained summary judgment on all claims for parking company in lawsuit involving allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the Kentucky whistleblower statute.
- Obtained complete dismissal of claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act and ERISA.
- Successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that Gissel Bargaining Order should be reversed.
- Obtained complete dismissal of pregnancy discrimination case for property management company at pre-answer stage based on lack of personal jurisdiction
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice after plaintiff's deposition in FMLA lawsuit on behalf of a property management company in United States District Court, Northern District of Florida.
- Obtained dismissal of class action complaint against property management company at pre-answer stage in Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.
- Obtained arbitration award for Minnesota employer against its former employee alleging sexual assault and related torts in Broward County, Florida Circuit Court.
- Obtained summary judgment for a Las Vegas-based cable company on the issue of joint employment in FLSA collective action in United States District Court, District of Nevada.
- Obtained zero sum settlement and dismissal for employer in race discrimination lawsuit in United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
Articles and Publications
- Co-Author, "Employment in the Age of Social Media," SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine, March 2018
- Co-Author, “NLRB Under the Trump Administration: Republican Nominations Poised to Revisit Obama-Era Rulings,” Daily Report, July 2017
- Co-Author, "Tips vs Service Charges: Navigating the Murky Waters of Restaurant Gratuities," Modern Restaurant Management, July 2017
- Co-Author, “Comp Time Questions Under Working Families Flexibility Act,” Law360, July 2017
- Quoted, "Natural Gas Pipeline Inspectors Lose Cert. Bid in OT Fight," Law360, March 2017
- Quoted, "Judge Slaps Down FLSA Certification for Gas Inspectors," The Legal Intelligencer, March 2017
- Co-Author, "The Era of President Donald J. Trump – What Employers Can Expect,” Employment Relations Today, Winter 2017
- Co-Author, "Impact of the Presidential Election on the Workplace," Hotel Business, October 2016
- Author, "On-Site with Annette Idalski," Energy Executive, Winter/Spring Edition
- Quoted-in, "Top 11 Employer FMLA Mistakes,” Society for Human Resource Management, April 2016
- Co-Author, "Six Steps for Effective Performance Evaluations," CFMA Building Profits, March/April 2016
- Co-Author, "Be Prepared for an 'Ambush'," Workforce.com, January 2016
- Co-Author, “Preparing for Increases to Salary Requirements for FLSA Exemptions,” FSR Magazine
- "Annette A. Idalski: In Defense of the Entrepreneur," Attorney at Law Magazine, October 2015
- Author, "Independent Contractor Status: Employer Prevails in Department of Labor Challenge," The American Oil & Gas Reporter, September 2015
- Quoted in, "Feds Targeting Companies for Misclassifying Their Workers,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, July 2015
- Quoted in, "Attorneys React to DOL Misclassification Guidance," Law 360, July 2015
- Quoted in, "Fifth Circuit Sanctions Federal Government in FLSA Case," Texas Lawyer, July 2015
- Quoted in, “South Texas Oil Field Services Company Wins Appeal,” The Victoria Advocate, July 2015
- Co-Author, “Three Things That Keep Oil & Gas Executives Up at Night,” Oil & Gas, June 2015
- Quoted in, “Drilling Down on Day Rates,” North American Oil and Gas Pipelines, May 2015
- Author, “Contracting Trouble: How to audit your
independent contractor classifications before the DOL does”, HRMagazine, April 2015
- Quoted in, "Suit Attempts to Apply NLRB’s ‘Joint-Employer’ Status to Discrimination Cases," Inside Counsel, February/March 2015
- Co-Author, "Avoiding Joint Employment Liability: The Control Factor,” Inside Counsel, February 27, 2015
- Co-Author, "7 Steps to Drafting Effective Written Agreements to Avoid Joint Employer Liability", Inside Counsel, January 29, 2015
- Co-Author, "The Joint Employment Arrangement: How Changes in the Law Affect Franchisor/Franchisee and Contractor Relationships", Inside Counsel, December 30, 2014
- Quoted in, "Company Wins Big Fee Award from DOL", Texas Lawyer, April 17, 2014
- Quoted in, "Case in Point: How to Sue the Government and Win", Houston Business Journal, April 14, 2014
- Quoted in, "Judge Socks Labor Department With Costs of Failed Lawsuit", The National Law Journal, April 14, 2014
- Quoted in, "Atlanta Labor Lawyer Prevails Over Labor Department", Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 11, 2014
- Quoted in, "Taxing Error, Misclassifying Employees as Independent Contractors Can Prove Costly", The Atlanta Business Chronicle, August 16, 2013
- Co-Author, "Energy Company Wins Against DOL", BIC Magazine, May 1, 2013
- Quoted in, "Regulators Crack Down on Classifying Workers as Contractors", The Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2013
- Quoted in, "Oilfield Services Company Wins Over Government in Legal Labor Battle", The Victoria Advocate, February 19, 2013
- Co-Author, "Should Employers Include Class-action Waivers in Their Arbitration Agreements?", Westlaw Journal Employment, January 10, 2012
- Co-Author, "IRS Gets Class Conscious: Switching to Independent Contractors Draws Scrutiny", American Bar Association Journal, April 2011
- Author, "Employee Versus Independent Contractor: Classification Dilemma", Daily Labor Rep. (BNA) No. 5, January 7, 2011
- Author, "Averting The March Toward Unionization", Law360, February 10, 2009
- Quoted in "Know Your Layoff Rules & Procedures", HR Focus, February 2009
- Co-Author, "Doing Layoffs the Right Way", Workforce Management Online, December 2008
- Columnist, "Managing Your Employees", Craftrends Magazine, 2005-2006
- Contributing Author, How Arbitration Works, Sixth Edition, American Bar Association, 2004
- Georgia Association For Women Lawyers; Advisory Board, 2008-Present; Past President, 2007-2008; President, 2006-2007; President-Elect, 2005-2006; Vice-President, Strategic Partnerships, 2003-2005; Legislative Co-Chair, 2002-2003
- The Atlantan, August 28, 2018
- May 24, 2018
- February 2018
- Citybizlist Atlanta, Patch Atlanta, Patch East Cobb, December 2016
- Citybizlist Atlanta and Patch Atlanta, July 2016
- Atlanta Business Chronicle, July 2016
- Labor & Employment Blog, October 24, 2018