Austin has dedicated his legal career and his practice to representing employers of all sizes on labor and employment matters and is experienced in defending clients in litigation and in providing first-class advice and counsel. He has defended clients in a plethora of labor and employment-related cases, including cases involving FLSA, Title VII, FLMA, and ADA claims and their state and local counterparts. Austin has assisted clients in reaching favorable resolution of wage and hour class actions as well as Private Attorneys’ General Claims, saving his clients millions in the process. He is committed to ensuring his clients are fully and fairly represented in state and federal courts and in front of administrative agencies. He is also experienced in arbitrating employment and traditional labor matters in front of neutral arbitrators with JAMS and the American Arbitration Association.
In addition to traditional employment and labor litigation, Austin represents clients in cutting edge matters regarding consumer and biometric privacy claims, including claims brought pursuant to California’s Consumer Privacy Act and Illinois’s Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). His BIPA experience includes drafting dispositive motions based on novel arguments addressing recent BIPA case law developments, answers and affirmative defenses, and written discovery. Austin is currently representing a client in two class actions involving privacy claims regarding use of one’s likeness/name in online databases, one of which is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of appeals.
When not litigating, Austin provides his clients with sophisticated advice and counsel related to any number of labor and employment issues, including the drafting of employee handbooks, separation policies and agreements, and workplace investigations. He also advises employers regarding the implementation of company-wide rest break and meal period procedures, vacation and sick leave policies, paid time off policies, exempt and non-exempt job descriptions, and harassment and discrimination policies. An adept trainer, Austin also provides harassment and discrimination training to clients’ employees to ensure compliance with state and local training requirements. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he provided advice and counsel to clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies in order to ensure his clients were compliant with federal, state, and local changes in legislation responsive to the global emergency. Austin drafted legal updates to keep his clients abreast of the rapidly changing law and presented webinars debriefing clients on the state of employment law during the pandemic.
Prior to working at Cozen O’Connor, Austin was a labor and employment associate concentrating on providing counsel to California public employers and, more recently, served in an of counsel position providing advice and counsel and litigation services to multi-national businesses. Austin has also worked as a judicial clerk in Boulder, Colorado, for the State of Colorado and Waterloo, Iowa, for the State of Iowa.
Austin earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a concentration in labor and employment law. While in law school, Austin was managing editor of the Wisconsin International Law Journal.