Employers of all sizes face personnel challenges, daily. Taking the right steps to encourage employee productivity is essential, as is keeping up with dozens of employment laws and city ordinances that are added each year. When you consider the number of hours—and dollars—consumed in managing disgruntled or difficult employees, threats of lawsuits, or actual lawsuits, the stakes are high for all employers.

For the most complex organizations that rely on workforces of thousands, as well as for the smaller, yet highly successful enterprises that operate with far fewer, Farella’s employment law capabilities are up to any task. We offer world-class experience, personal attention, and pragmatic representation in contentious matters, and provide day-to-day counseling and management training to avoid them. Our emphasis is always on finding expedient resolutions that strike a balance between business goals, costs, and reputational risks.

Employment Litigation

From the exceptional to the routine, our team can be trusted to guide employer decisions in addressing potential, pending, or in-progress litigation—when to fight or when to settle. Our experience in handling every type of employment law case allows us to offer clients the closest estimate of costs and outcomes. We help employers carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks of multiple options to achieve minimum disruption and maximum impact.

A critical skill we possess is the ability to get to the bottom line as quickly as possible—to get the matter off of everyone’s plate. We work with the “other side” to understand motivations and alleged facts in a non-threatening manner, yet we are always ready to communicate our ability to take a case all the way through to court, if necessary.

We have successfully represented employers before arbitrators, juries, administrative agencies, and appellate courts on issues such as wage compliance, disability accommodation, and leaves of absence. We defend charges of sexual harassment, discrimination, and “whistleblower” retaliation. Our experience includes union relations, trade secret protection, unfair competition, non-compete/solicitation agreements, and the federal and state WARN Acts and have represented national and multinational corporations in federal and state class actions arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the California Labor Code, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Pre-emptive Litigation Counseling

Often our varied clients—technology corporations, credit card and e-commerce companies, professional services providers, growers, producers, manufacturers, and more—require pre-emptive counseling when launching new initiatives. They rely on our litigators to walk them through any potential employment law risks should actions be challenged in federal, state, or local jurisdictions. In many cases, we are called upon to help executives negotiate with difficult people before issues rise to a level that merits litigation. When needed, our full service team can advise in related areas of corporate transactions, intellectual property, tax, and insurance matters.

Business Counseling and Training

Many companies engage us for general business counsel in the employment law area, where we employ a unique approach. Our employment law counselors go beyond reiterating what the law insists; we explain the parallel between the legal impetus and what society and good management practices dictate. We aim to help our clients get the most out of their people and how to maintain an exemplary reputation for a positive working environment that protects their brand in the hiring marketplace.

Because our lawyers have seen nearly every way that things can go wrong in the workplace, we can train managers on best practices that help people succeed. We give them the knowledge and tools they need to foster a healthy workforce. Among the many counseling and training programs we offer are:

  • Effective and lawful hiring processes, including interviews and background checks
  • Preparation and implementation of personnel manuals and policies
  • Training of both management and non-management employees concerning harassment, performance management, hiring, diversity, disability accommodation, wage & hour compliance, and leaves of absence
  • Overtime classification, breaks, hours worked, wage payment, and other compliance with California and federal wage and hour laws
  • Labor union relations, including collective bargaining agreement negotiations
  • Protection of trade secrets as employees depart, and how to avoid litigation when hiring employees from competitors
  • Investigation and remedy of illegal harassment allegations
  • Legal obligations to grant leaves of absence and otherwise accommodate disabilities, balanced against the employer's ability to regulate attendance and performance
  • Proper selection and processing of workforce reductions
  • Discipline, discharge, and severance
  • Investigations of workplace violence and appropriate protective measures
  • Employee privacy protections
  • Insurance coverage for various employment-related disputes

Firm Highlights

Publication

California's AB5 Codifies Stricter Rules for Independent Contractors - What Employers Need to Know

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB5, codifying the ABC test for distinguishing employees from independent contractors and expanding its application beyond California’s Wage Orders. While AB5 does not...

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News

Benchmark California 2020 Ranks Farella Among Top Litigation Firms

Doug Young named among Top 20 Trial Lawyers in California SAN FRANCISCO, October 16, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel continues to be ranked among the top litigation firms by Benchmark California 2020, a guide...

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Publication

California’s New Ban on Mandatory Employment Arbitration: How We Got Here and What This Means

All employers should be aware that their use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements is prohibited in California effective January 1, 2020 under recently signed Assembly Bill No. 51 (AB 51). Under current California law...

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Publication

In the Weeds: Marijuana Legalization & Employment Laws

Over the last several years, attitudes towards marijuana use have rapidly changed in the United States. According to a 2018 Pew Research Survey, 62 percent of U.S. respondents said marijuana use should be legal...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers

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Publication

What Employers Should Know About the California Consumer Privacy Act Taking Effect January 1, 2020

On January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a consumer-friendly privacy law inspired by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, is set to take effect. The CCPA is aimed towards bolstering...

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News

Kelly Matayoshi Installed as President of UC Hastings College of the Law Alumni Association Board of Governors

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Publication

Is your company covered by California's new privacy law?

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Publication

California Employers Granted a One-Year Reprieve on New Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Deadline

If you are scrambling to comply with the new California sexual harassment training requirements, we have some good news: with some exceptions, employers have another year to put those plans in place. Under prior law...

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Publication

California's AB5 Codifies Stricter Rules for Independent Contractors - What Wine Industry Employers Need to Know

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law AB5, codifying a new test for distinguishing employees from independent contractors. While AB5 does not go into effect until January 1, 2020, it will apply retroactively...

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