Labor and Employment Litigation
We represent employers before courts and administrative agencies throughout California, including the following:
- State and federal trial and appellate courts
- National Labor Relations Board
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
- California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
- California Labor Commissioner
- U.S. Department of Labor
Our attorneys also have successfully represented employers in major arbitrations under private contracts and collective bargaining agreements.
We have the depth of litigation experience and substantive labor, employment, employee benefits, and ERISA litigation knowledge required to skillfully and efficiently litigate on behalf of our clients. We have litigated at large law firms and know how to vigorously advocate for our clients. In addition, we understand that successful litigation is frequently about positioning and winning the case before trial, whether it is by creative motion practice or alternative dispute resolution. No matter what our clients’ objectives, we have the litigation experience and background to meet them.
We have extensive expertise litigating the following types of cases:
- Employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
- Trade secrets and unfair competition
- Breach of employment contracts
- Wage and hour
- Leaves of absence and reasonable accommodations
- ERISA litigation
- Wrongful termination and whistleblower actions
- National Labor Relations Act and other union matters
- Class actions and other multi-plaintiff litigation
Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment
Advising employers on how to prevent and remedy discrimination and harassment is a key area of our practice. We regularly assist our clients in responding to discrimination and harassment complaints. We also counsel clients on how to identify and remedy potential issues before they become a problem. Moreover, we have successfully defended numerous clients in discrimination and harassment litigation. We also have significant experience mediating and settling such claims. Our expertise in this area enables us to achieve the optimal result for our clients in all types of cases, whether it be negotiating an early settlement or winning at trial.
Wage and Hour
California employers are faced with myriad wage and hour issues ranging from correctly classifying employees as exempt or non-exempt to complying with statutory meal and rest period obligations. We work with our clients to identify wage and hour issues that may exist and remedy them before they become litigation. Services we provide include auditing clients’ payroll and wage and hour policies and practices, and training management on how to comply with wage and hour laws. We are consistently at the forefront of this constantly developing area of law, and have authored multiple articles and given numerous speeches on the topic.
When it comes to litigating wage and hour cases, we have litigated all kinds, from single-plaintiff wage claims to multidistrict class actions. We have achieved victories for various clients at all stages of litigation, from obtaining dismissal of single-plaintiff and class actions on the pleadings, to defeating class certification, to winning summary judgment on the merits. We have litigated wage and hour cases before all levels of state and federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the California Labor Commissioner’s Office (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement). We are also experienced in mediating and settling such cases.
We litigate high-stakes ERISA cases on behalf of some of the country’s largest companies. These cases involve a broad spectrum of ERISA issues, including preemption, exhaustion, breach of fiduciary duty, disclosure obligations, and withdrawal liability. In tandem with representing companies in ERISA-based litigation, we also litigate health care provider disputes involving claims against employer-sponsored plans, including network arbitrations and fraudulent billing cases. Clients regularly turn to us to handle cases involving contract rate disputes, medical necessity determinations, reasonable and customary charges, unbundling, member responsibility waivers, and upcoding.
Higher Education Practice
Colleges and universities must navigate a complex web of federal and state regulations. For over 20 years, our attorneys have advised institutions of higher education in regulatory compliance, employment law, ADA and Section 504 accommodation, student discipline, and campus safety and privacy issues. Examples of our work on behalf of institutions of higher education include design and implementation of Title IX Sexual Misconduct policies and procedures, Clery Act compliance and training programs, FERPA compliance training programs, and ADA/Section 504 accommodation and accessibility programs. Our attorneys also regularly investigate Title IX sexual misconduct complaints and serve as adjudicators in Title IX sexual misconduct cases.
Compliance, Counseling, and Training
We provide counseling and advice to clients on a wide variety of labor, employment, and employee benefits issues. We have extensive experience in counseling employers how to hire, manage, and terminate employees while minimizing legal exposure and maximizing business objectives. We assist our clients with all facets of the employment relationship, including employment applications, background checks, drug tests, medical inquiries, performance evaluations, employee discipline, and terminations. One of the most dangerous areas of California employment law relates to disability accommodation and coordination of the multiple laws that govern leaves of absence. Our attorneys work on a daily basis with clients to ensure compliance with this complex area of the law. We also conduct comprehensive legal audits to ensure our clients’ compliance with all applicable labor and employment laws. We customize our audits to each client’s specific needs. Such regular audits allow our clients to reduce litigation risk and ensure legal compliance within the ever-changing labor and employment landscape in California. In addition, we have drafted dozens of employee handbooks and policies for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to pro bono clients. We have the substantive expertise to efficiently review your existing policies or to create employee handbooks and policies individually tailored to your business needs.
We have extensive experience in advising employers with respect to hiring, managing, and terminating employees while minimizing legal exposure and maximizing business objectives.
Outside General Counsel
For those businesses without resident in-house counsel or with smaller legal departments that require additional help, we are positioned to offer outside General Counsel services. Several members of our team have significant in-house experience. This, combined with our firm’s overall approach of providing practical advice to accomplish the client’s business goals, gives our attorneys the ability to handle a wide variety of different types of legal matters and transactions both directly and also by retaining and managing other outside counsel for the client as needed.
Union Bargaining and Traditional Labor
We are unique in our extensive traditional labor law experience. While the percentage of management labor and employment attorneys who devote a significant portion of their practice to handling traditional labor law matters has dwindled, we have continued to provide substantial advice on an array of traditional labor matters. We negotiate collective bargaining agreements, manage representation and decertification elections, handle labor arbitration hearings and unfair labor practice charges, assist clients in responding to union organizing campaigns, and appear on behalf of clients in an array of traditional labor matters.