Peter Romer-Friedman, Class Action Employment Lawyer, Washington DC

We use every legal and ethical means to fight for, protect, and advance our clients' civil rights.

Peter Romer-Friedman

About

PETER ROMER-FRIEDMAN is Counsel at Outten & Golden LLP Washington, DC, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group.  He has a diverse litigation practice that focuses on employment discrimination, employee benefits, fair housing, and credit discrimination, at the trial court and appellate levels. 

Mr. Romer-Friedman has served as lead or co-lead counsel in actions that secured over $1.4 billion in monetary relief and groundbreaking programmatic changes to governmental and corporate institutions, including six of the largest USERRA class settlements, two of the largest fair housing settlements, one of the largest credit discrimination settlements, the first LGBTQ employment bias class settlements, and one of the largest reported discrimination settlements with an office of the House of Representatives. 

Currently, Mr. Romer-Friedman is leading dozens of class cases that challenge how employers discriminate in advertising jobs on online platforms like Facebook.  In March 2019, Mr. Romer-Friedman was the lead negotiator in a novel multi-case settlement in which Facebook agreed to make sweeping changes to its ad platform to stop employment, housing, and credit advertising from discriminating based on age, sex, race, and other protected classes.  He is also currently the lead or co-lead counsel in eight class or putative class actions challenging the denial of wages, benefits, or jobs to national guard and reserve members.

Prior to joining the firm in 2016, Mr. Romer-Friedman was the Deputy Director of Litigation of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.  From 2009 to 2015, he served as a civil rights and employment class action litigator at another national class action firm.  From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Romer-Friedman was labor counsel to the Senate Labor Committee and its Chairman Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Mr. Romer-Friedman clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles, and has taught civil rights law as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center.

Mr. Romer-Friedman earned his B.A. in economics (with honors) from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and was selected as a Truman Scholar by the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation. He graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, served as a managing editor of the Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems, and externed for Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Prior to law school, Mr. Romer-Friedman was a legislative representative and union organizer for the United Steelworkers and he co-founded the Worker Rights Consortium, a non-profit organization that monitors labor rights in apparel factories worldwide.

Representative Cases

  • Mobley v. Facebook, Inc., No. 16 Civ. 06440 (N.D. Cal.); Communications Workers of America v. Facebook (EEOC); Spees v. Facebook (EEOC) – Served as lead counsel in negotiating groundbreaking settlements of cases challenging discrimination on Facebook’s ad platform in employment, housing, and credit discrimination, including based on age, gender, and race, with Facebook agreeing to make far reaching changes to its ad platform to prevent discrimination against workers and consumers.
  • Huntsman v. Southwest Airlines Co., No. 17 Civ. 3872 (N.D. Cal.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained USERRA settlement estimated to be worth up to $19 million for up to 2,000 Southwest Airlines pilots who were denied pension and sick leave benefits between 2001 and 2018.
  • Keepseagle v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, No. 99 Civ. 03119 (D.D.C.) – Served as Class Counsel in a class action that obtained a $760 million settlement for Native American farmers and ranchers who were denied farm loans by the Department of Agriculture from 1981 to 1999, as well as far-reaching programmatic relief.
  • Tuten v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 12 Civ. 01561 (D. Colo.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained a $6.15 million settlement for 1,200 United pilots in a USERRA action that challenged the failure to make the proper pension contributions during periods of military leave from 2001 to 2012, with all Class Members receiving at least 100% of their potential lost benefits. 
  • Martin v. Washington, No. 14-2-00016-7(Wash. Super. Ct.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained a settlement worth about $15 million in wages and pension benefits for 878 Washington State Patrol Troopers denied veterans’ preferences in hiring and promotions over several decades. 
  • Allman v. American Airlines, Inc. Pilot Retirement Program Variable Income Plan, No. 14 Civ. 10138 (D. Mass.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained about $6.5 million settlement for over 1,200 American Airlines pilots in a USERRA / ERISA action challenging the failure to make the proper pension contributions during periods of military leave from 1997 to 2011, with all Class Members received at least 100% of their potential lost benefits.
  • Cunningham v. Federal Express Corp., No. 17 Civ. 845 (M.D. Tenn.) – Served as Class Counsel in an action on behalf of over 4,000 reservists who claimed they were denied proper pension credit for periods of military leave from 1996 to 2008, and obtained a settlement worth at least several million dollars, with all Class Members receiving at least 100% of their potential lost pension benefits and payments.
  • Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15 Civ. 12945 (D. Mass.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained a $7.5 million settlement on behalf of a class of current and former Wal-Mart employees who challenged Wal-Mart’s prior policy of not providing spousal health insurance benefits to employees with same-sex spouses as a Title VII violation, with all Class Members who submitted claim forms receiving payments that were at least several times the value of the health insurance benefits they were denied over a three-year period. 
  • Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, No. 08 Civ. 01938 (D.D.C.) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained $469 million of voluntary reforms in response to the lawsuit and negotiated a $62 million settlement in a Fair Housing Act class action  challenging racial discrimination in the nation’s largest housing rebuilding program in post-Katrina New Orleans.
  • National Fair Housing Alliance v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 09-12-0708-8 (HUS) - Served as lead counsel and obtained a $42 million settlement with Wells Fargo in a Fair Housing Act action brought by 13 fair housing groups challenging the failure to properly maintain and market foreclosed properties in predominantly black and Latino communities nationally.
  • Hill v. U.S. Postal Service, No. 4H310009104 (EEOC Federal Sector) – Served as Class Counsel and obtained an $11 million settlement in a nationwide class action challenging the Postal Service’s pre-offer medical inquiries that violated the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Levs v. CNN and Turner Broadcasting, No. 410-2014-00427 (EEOC) – Served ad lead counsel and obtained a settlement in an action that challenged the amount of paid parental leave biological fathers were given by CNN and Turner Broadcasting as a violation of Title VII’s sex discrimination ban.
  • Podliska v. House Benghazi Committee and Rep. Trey Gowdy, No. 15 Civ. 2037 (D.D.C.) – Served as lead counsel and obtained a settlement for a former investigator of the House Benghazi Committee who alleged that he was terminated in violation of USERRA due to his military service, which the Washington Post reported as one of the largest discrimination settlements with a House of Representative office under the Congressional Accountability Act. 
  • Savage v. Federal Express, 856 F.3d 440 (6th Cir. 2017) – Briefed and argued a successful appeal in one of the first appellate decisions on the formula that employers must apply to determine the pension or retirement benefits of reservists who take military leave, and later obtained a settlement of the case.
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Bar Admissions & Professional Activities

  • Mr. Romer-Friedman is admitted to practice law only in the District of Columbia and New York.

  • Mr. Romer-Friendman is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the District of Colorado; and the Northern District of Illinois; the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Federal Circuit, the Ninth Circuit; and the Sixth Circuit; and the Supreme Court of the United States.

  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

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Publications & Articles

Eliot Spitzer Meets Mother Jones: How State Attorneys General Can Enforce State Wage and Hour Laws

Peter Romer-Friedman, 39 Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems 495, 2006

Modeling Wage Increases in the Collegiate Apparel Industry

Peter Romer-Friedman, co-authored with Glenn Wright and Adam Levin, Michigan Journal of Economics, Vol. 16, Issue 1, 2000.

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Awards & Recognition

  • Legal 500 United States Recommended Labor and Employment Lawyer (2019)

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers (2018-2019)

  • SuperLawyers Rising Stars, District of Columbia (2014-2018)

  • Finalist for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (2018)
     
  • Finalist for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (2011)
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