David Klass is Of Counsel in the firm’s Charlotte office. His practice encompasses representing employers in a variety of employment matters in state and federal courts as well as matters prosecuted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). David has been quoted in SHRM, EHS Today, Bloomberg, and other national publications regarding topics ranging from wage and hour issues to workplace safety.
Client service and responsiveness are David’s top priorities. He knows that when a client calls for legal advice, the matter is serious and often urgent. David prides himself on knowing his clients’ businesses and providing efficient and timely responses to their legal needs.
David is a trial attorney and has tried cases in nearly every format: jury trial and bench trial, federal court and state court, administrative hearing and arbitration. Through his trial experience, David is able to frame his clients’ legal arguments and guide his clients through the litigation process with an eye toward what will be successful if the case proceeds to trial.
While David’s litigation practice spans all aspects of employment law, he has significant experience representing employers in collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); representing employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination claims under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and other federal and state anti-discrimination laws; representing clients regarding enforcement of restrictive employment covenants; and representing public employers regarding excessive force and other section 1983 claims.
Employment Law Advice and Counseling
David also counsels clients on a broad spectrum of employment law issues outside of litigation. He is well-versed in assisting employers with creating and implementing employment policies, including everything from creating and revising entire employee handbooks to drafting specific policies on topics including FLSA compliance, sexual harassment, and drug and alcohol use, among many others. David additionally has drafted and advised clients regarding restrictive covenants, including non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements.
David also regularly counsels employers regarding compliance with a wide-range of employment law issues, from wage and hour, to discrimination and retaliation, to restrictive covenants, to family and medical leave. Whether the issue has implications company-wide or is based upon an issue with a single employee, David can guide employers through the practical, business, and legal ramifications of specific courses of action.
Workplace Safety: Whistleblower, OSHA, and MSHA Practice
In addition to his traditional trial and employment law practice, David spends a considerable amount of time dedicated to assisting employers with workplace safety matters.
The first part of David’s workplace safety practice is counseling employers regarding preventive measures that can be taken to increase workplace safety and lessen the risk of accidents and injuries. This includes advising companies regarding everything from creating and implementing drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures, to compliance with Department of Transportation regulations, to creation of safety incentive programs, to compliance with specific OSHA regulations. David also can advise companies regarding how to come into compliance with ISO 45001, the new international occupational safety and health standard issued in 2018.
The second part of David’s workplace safety practice is dedicated to counseling and representing companies in responding to OSHA, MSHA, and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inquiries, inspections, and litigation, as well as defending employers from whistleblower complaints with those agencies. He routinely counsels companies regarding how to respond to and manage such inspections and inquiries to prevent any citations from being issued or enforcement actions from beginning. In the event that a citation has been issued or an enforcement action has begun, David has a depth of experience defending employers in those administrative proceedings.
- Won directed verdict during a federal jury trial in a case where the plaintiff alleged he was terminated in retaliation for complaining about perceived sexual harassment.
- Obtained summary judgment regarding a claim of same-sex sexual harassment, successfully arguing that the plaintiff had failed to present credible evidence that the alleged conduct occurred “because of” the plaintiff’s sex.
- Assisted with obtaining summary judgment regarding a retaliation claim under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
- Defeated motion for preliminary injunction that sought to enjoin client from soliciting the plaintiff’s alleged clients under the terms of a non-solicitation agreement.
- Helped defeat electrical hazard citation following fatality at a major university, obtaining a complete dismissal of OSHA’s claim.
- Obtained directed verdict during Virginia state court trial in a breach of contract case.
- Stewarded company through state wage and hour audit, resulting in no penalties.
- Assisted with appeal federal district court ruling that granted OSHA an unprecedented 30-day extension to its statutory six month inspection period, leading OSHA to withdraw its request.
- Won motion to dismiss in federal district court regarding section 1983 claim brought against police officer.
- Helped obtain complete dismissal of two assembly/disassembly crane OSHA citations that went to trial.
- Prevailed at trial in Virginia state court regarding claim that employee acted negligently towards customer.
Honors & Leadership
Virginia Bar Association
Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
Fairfax County Bar Association
Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog4.11.19
- Don’t Be Bringin’ on the Heartbreak: Are Statements Made During OSHA Informal Conferences Admissible?Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog3.26.19
- If I Could Turn Back Time: Can Employers Find a Way to Correct an Erroneous Accident or Injury Report to OSHA and Avoid an Inspection?Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog3.4.19
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog2.1.19
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog1.16.19
- Autonomous Vehicles Blog - Driving the Future12.18.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog11.15.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.28.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.21.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.16.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.13.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.3.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog8.2.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog7.16.18
- Don’t Be Late! Recent Decisions Remind Employers that OSHA Citations May Become Final if Not Timely ContestedWorkplace Safety and Health Law Blog6.5.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog5.15.18
- State Plans Must Abide: Fed-OSHA Fixes Alleged “Error” and Mandates Electronic Reporting of Injuries and Illnesses in All State Plan StatesWorkplace Safety and Health Law Blog5.1.18
- Wage and Hour Laws Blog4.17.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog2.27.18
- OSHA Issues Guidance on How to Cite Employers That Failed to Electronically Submit Injury and Illness InformationWorkplace Safety and Health Law Blog2.23.18
- Can OSHA Look Back Farther than 5 Years for Repeat Citations? Recent Court Decision Reaffirms that there Is No Limitation on OSHA’s Repeat Violation PeriodWorkplace Safety and Health Law Blog2.16.18
- Workplace Safety and Health Law Blog12.11.17
- Is This A Prelude To Individual Liability?11.6.18
- Labor and Employment Litigation
- Wage and Hour Law
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Employment Discrimination and Related Litigation
- Employment Policies and Procedures
- Non-Competition and Trade Secrets Agreements
- Public Sector Employers
- Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management
- OSHA Inspections and Litigation
- MSHA Inspections and Litigation
- Whistleblower Actions
- Washington and Lee University School of LawJ.D. 2008
- Cornell UniversityB.A. 2005
- London School of Economics & Political ScienceGeneral Course 2004
- District of Columbia
- New York
- North Carolina
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia