Profile

Dr. Deborah Foster is a labor economist and an expert in applying data analysis to labor and employment issues in legal disputes. She has provided deposition testimony and expert reports in both state and federal court, as well as mediation, arbitration, and trial support. Her practice includes advising clients on matters relating to race and ethnicity, gender, and age discrimination claims as well as a wide range of wage and hour issues including misclassification, off-the-clock work, time-shaving, meal and rest break violations, rounding, and regular rate calculations.

In class action matters—including nationwide FLSA, state-specific, and hybrid actions—Dr. Foster frequently analyzes large data from multiple sources to address issues related to class certification and to quantify claims. She performs variation studies, examines the typicality of the named plaintiff(s), and calculates exposure under alternative scenarios and legal theories. Additionally, Dr. Foster performs critiques of opposing experts’ analyses and aids counsel in understanding the underlying assumptions and their impact on the results.  She has worked on these cases in both an expert capacity where she has provided testimony and declarations and in a consulting role where she has helped attorneys understand the data and its implications on the litigation.   

Dr. Foster also provides individualized analyses of job market opportunities, mitigation efforts, and damages related to discrimination and wrongful termination claims. She has been designated as an expert and provided deposition testimony in these matters.

In addition to her labor practice, Dr. Foster has experience in commercial litigation and intellectual property where she has assisted clients with matters related to bankruptcy, fraud, breach of contract, and patent infringement.

INDUSTRIES

  • Financial Services
  • Insurance
  • Health Care
  • High-Tech
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional Services
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation
    • Labor & Employment Section
  • American Economics Association
  • Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management
  • Society for Human Resource Management

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

  • Economist, Welch Consulting
  • Michigan State University, Instructor and Researcher
  • Consultant, Navigant Consulting


Case Experience

Insights & News

Publications

  • Law360 | 04.15.2019

    Edgeworth Partners Dr. Stephen Bronars and Dr. Deborah Foster discuss the Department of Labor's recent proposal to increase the HCE salary threshold from $100,000 to $147,414. 

  • Law360 | 05.23.2018

    In anticipation of future civil class actions related to no-poach and wage-fixing agreements, Edgeworth Partners Dr. Stephen Bronars and Dr. Deborah Foster have published a two-part primer in Law360 on wage analyses that are frequently used in employment discrimination cases and will become increasingly relevant as labor issues cross over into the antitrust arena.

  • Law360 | 05.23.2018

    In anticipation of future civil class actions related to no-poach and wage-fixing agreements, Edgeworth Partners Dr. Stephen Bronars and Dr. Deborah Foster have published a two-part primer in Law360 on wage analyses that are frequently used in employment discrimination cases and will become increasingly relevant as labor issues cross over into the antitrust arena.

  • Law360  | 06.17.2016

    The DOL's estimate of an additional 2.5 percent increase in the new salary threshold over three adjustments may not be accurate and likely understates its magnitude.

  • Law360 | 09.25.2015

    Mr. Michael Kheyfets, Dr. Deborah Foster and Dr. Nathan Woods discuss the 10 questions you should ask your experts who are working with your sensitive data. 

  • Law360 | 08.25.2015

    Drs. Bronars, Foster, and Woods discuss the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed salary test for the white collar exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  • Law360 | 08.14.2015

    Drs. Deborah K. Foster, Stephen G. Bronars, and Nathan D. Woods published the article “Approaches to Hourly Rates Under DOL White Collar Rules” in Law360.

Speaking Engagements

News

California

California

Dr. Foster specializes in California’s unique wage and hour laws and has extensive experience analyzing time and pay data to address related claims. She has submitted declarations and provided deposition testimony in the Superior Court of California, and her work was cited repeatedly in an appellate court decision granting her client’s writ of mandate to grant summary judgment.  

Wage and hour issues unique to California include daily overtime/double time/seventh day premiums, meal period requirements, and PAGA claims. Dr. Foster has assisted clients in evaluating such claims, analyzing variation to address suitability of class treatment, and valuing the related damages and penalties.

Education

Dr. Foster earned her PhD in economics and her MA in economics from Michigan State University and her BS in business and economics from Trinity University.

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