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Admitted to Practice

  • Washington, 2009
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Washington

Joseph P. Hoag

Joe; Joey Joe; Joey HoagJoseph
Associate
T206.757.8299
F206.757.7299
Joseph Hoag represents and counsels employers in a variety of contexts, from complex statutory and regulatory areas of occupational safety and health law (OSHA) and ERISA to common law and statutory claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, and contract violations.

In his OSHA practice, Joseph assists clients on the full range of OSHA and state-plan regulator contact, from letter-inquiries and injury reporting requirements to inspections, appeals of citations, and claims of retaliation. Joseph’s OSHA practice is nationwide and he has significant experience with federal OSHA, Washington State DOSH, and Cal/OSHA. In his ERISA practice, Joseph represents pension plans, employers, and participants nationwide. He has successfully represented ERISA clients in class actions, arbitration, and single-plaintiff Multi Employer Pension Plan Act litigation.

Joseph also has a thriving employment practice representing employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, and contract violations. He has experience at all levels of state and federal litigation, from prevailing in dispositive motions and successfully defending those victories in state and federal courts of appeals, to successfully defending clients through bench or jury trials. Joseph regularly advises clients regarding the intricacies of federal and state regulations on background checks, as well as discrimination, freedom of religion, and privacy issues for private higher education and religiously-affiliated clients.

Joseph is active in pro bono activities. He has represented, and continues to represent, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), low-income families seeking to adopt, and victims of domestic violence.

Representative Experience

Class action defense victory on appeal

Prevailed by unanimous 9th Circuit decision on multi-named plaintiff class action brought by former managers alleging employer breached contract obligation to pay bonuses. Sampson et al v. JELD-WEN, Inc., No. 16-35015, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (2018)

Secured dismissal in ERISA withdrawal liability dispute

Represented pension plan in federal action brought by withdrawing employer which challenged pension plan’s calculation of withdrawal liability. Prevailed on Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss and obtained an award of attorneys’ fees. Battelle Memorial Institute v. Hanford Multi-Employer Pension Plan, No. 4:17-cv-5080-TOR, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. (2018)

Secured summary judgment in ERISA class action

Secured summary judgment for class of employee "Traveler" workers who had a portion of their pension contributions improperly withheld by the local pension plan without providing any benefit. Secured order requiring pension plan to disburse all unlawfully retained withholdings, plus the earnings thereon, and received award of attorneys’ fees. Lehman v. Nelson et al, No. 2:13-cv-01835-RSM, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington. (2018)

Secured summary judgment in ERISA pending class action

Represented class representative, a "Traveler" worker who had portion of his pension contributions unjustly withheld by the local pension plan, without providing any benefit. Secured decision holding that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties in failing to transfer the withheld pension contributions to the Traveler’s Home Fund, as required by ERISA. Class certification is pending. Norris v. Mazzola, et al., No. 15-cv-04962-JSC, Federal District Court for the Northern District of California. (2017)

Successful defense of favorable summary judgment decision on appeal

Successfully defended summary judgment decision. Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1, unanimously affirmed dismissal of multiple retaliation claims and their associated theories. Smith v. Sonitrol, No. 74265-5-1, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division 1. (2016)

Full defense verdict at discrimination, hostile work environment, and negligent supervision trial

Obtained full defense verdict at six day jury trial where plaintiff, an employee of nineteen years, alleged sexual orientation discrimination, harassment, and negligent supervision of employees. Smith v. Sonitrol, No. 14-2-02828-6, Snohomish County Superior Court. (2015)

Summary judgment dismissal in putative class action alleging unpaid bonuses

Prevailed on summary judgment motion against four defendants alleging wrongful withholding of contractually guaranteed bonus payments. Plaintiffs had brought a putative class action on behalf of all similarly situated managers in multiple production plants across Washington state. Case is currently on appeal. Sampson et al v. JELD-WEN, inc., No. 1:15-cv-03025-SAB, Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. (2015)

Dismissal of all claims as a discovery sanction

Pursued and obtained dismissal of multiple claims, including disability discrimination, breach of contract, and wage/hour law violations, as a discovery sanction, which decision was upheld by the 9th Circuit. Wangari v. Integrated Living Services, No. 2:12-cv-1066-RAJ, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington (2014), affirmed by Wangari v. Integrated Living Services, No. 15-35039, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. (2015)

Dismissal of discrimination and retaliation claims

Secured judgment on the pleadings dismissing all claims stemming from alleged whistleblowing of workplace safety violations. Kelley v. Gray & Osborne, Inc., No. 13-2-15995-3, King County Superior Court. (2013)

Additional Qualifications

  • Extern, Hon. Ronald B. Leighton, Federal District Court for the Western District of Washington, Tacoma, Wash., 2010
  • Judicial Clerk, Justice James M. Johnson, Washington State Supreme Court, Olympia, Wash., 2009-2010
  • Extern, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts, Criminal Division, Boston, 2007
  • Summer Intern, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of Policy and Legislation, Washington, D.C., 2007

Professional & Community Activities

  • Board Member and Secretary, MS Helping Hands – The Donor Closet
  • Former Board Member, Excel Public Charter School
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