Stueve Siegel Hanson, Kansas City
George Hanson has made an art of bringing wage-and-hour class actions in courts across the country, seeking compensation for the tiny slivers of time that workers perform without compensation, such as time spent putting on and taking off work-related protective gear.
He touts having been involved in more than 100 such actions in 34 states, recovering more than $300 million in settlements and judgments. The workers benefiting from such claims include factory workers, call centers employees, hair stylists and bank loan officers. Oftentimes, such suits result in confidential settlements, but the publically available results often are substantial — an $8.7 million settlement in Kansas, a $27.5 million settlement in Illinois, a $20 million settlement in a nationwide MDL.
Occasionally such cases are resolved at trial. In Garcia v. Tyson Foods, a federal jury in Kansas found that the meat and poultry processor had undercompensated a class of 5,000 workers for pre- and post-shift activities, awarding about $500,000 in statutory damages. The judge later awarded nearly $3.4 million in attorneys’ fees. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld both figures in 2014.
After earning his law degree at the University of Minnesota in 1992, Hanson joined the labor and employment department of what is now Husch Blackwell. He left in 2001 to found the litigation firm Stueve Siegel Hanson.