Experience

Private Attorney Generals Act Litigation

Represented several automobile dealerships in litigation under California’s Private Attorneys General Act alleging non-compliant break policies and unpaid wages; obtained favorable settlement pre-discovery.

Topete v. Treasury Wines

Defended Treasury Wine Estates Americas Company in a putative class action by all current and former non-exempt employees who worked for in California in 2011 through 2016. Plaintiffs’ alleged Treasury failed to include all non-discretionary incentive pay in the regular rate of pay for overtime purposes; failed to provide second meal periods to its non-exempt employees on shifts over 10 hours; implemented an uneven time-rounding practice; and failed to maintain and issue accurate payroll records. Civil penalties were sought under the Private Attorneys General Act. Without formal discovery, we reached an early mediated resolution of all claims minimizing litigation costs for our client.

California's Equal Pay Act

Represented global technology retailer in a putative class action alleging pay disparities under California’s Equal Pay Act and Private Attorneys General Act; obtained favorable settlement pre-discovery.

Discrimination-based Failure to Hire Litigation

Obtained summary judgment for global e-retail and technology company in civil litigation alleging failure to hire based on race, national origin, age, and religious discrimination.

Private Attorney Generals Act Litigation

Represented global e-retail and technology company in litigation under California’s Private Attorneys General Act alleging non-compliant break policies and unpaid wages; obtained favorable settlement after limited defense discovery.

Class Action Defense: Classification Case

In defending a class action alleging that the nation’s largest PC manufacturer had misclassified customer service engineers as exempt, we resolved the case without class certification or notice.

Class Action Defense; Classification Case

In defending a federal class action, we obtained summary adjudication that a telephonic seller of precious metals was a "retail establishment" qualifying salespeople for the "commissioned" exemption under the FLSA.

Bonner v. SFO Shuttlebus

Defended class action brought by hourly commuter bus drivers alleging failure to pay for compensable time, including pre- and post-trip inspection time, time spent waiting between shifts, medical examination and license maintenance time, and rest break violations. Analyzed bus drivers covering numerous different routes to various clients, including Google, Facebook, and Genentech. Settled claims after taking depositions of class representatives.

Class Action Defense; Hourly Worker Cases

For a restaurant service business, we obtained decertification of an overtime class action upon being associated into the litigation.

Class Action Defense; Hourly Worker Cases

On behalf of a major Bay Area company, we successfully negotiated a resolution of a potential class action wage and hour claim prior to the filing of any formal lawsuit. This was accomplished without paying any settlement amount.

Class Action Defense; Race Discrimination

For a large beverage distributor, we obtained dismissal of race discrimination class action allegations brought on behalf of delivery drivers.

Correa v. Sabah International

Defended class action involving field service technicians who were required to drive company vehicles. The main claim centered on the compensability of time spent traveling from home to the various work sites (i.e. whether the technicians were “subject to the control” of Sabah during that commute). Ancillary claims include compensation for the completion of work reports, cell phone calls, and maintaining the company vehicle. All claims were settled at mediation, court approval is pending.

Employee Transitions; Restrictive Covenants

In a New York Stock Exchange arbitration involving the enforcement of a non-competition clause, we obtained a $3.4 million award on behalf of three former partners of an investment bank. In addition, the arbitrators took the extraordinary step of granting our request for attorneys' fees, although there was no attorneys' fees provision in the contract at issue.

Individual Actions; Wrongful Termination/ Retaliation

We defended the president of an S&L against a lawsuit by the former general counsel, who claimed that he had been wrongfully terminated as a result of advising management of illegal lending practices.

Individual Actions; Discrimination & Employee Transitions; Unfair Competition

We defended and settled the sexual harassment and age discrimination claims of a former faculty member at a Bay Area private school. Because the alleged harassment led in part to the break-up of the school, we also concurrently resolved complex unfair competition claims.

Individual Actions; Discrimination & Wrongful Termination/ Retaliation

Our defense papers prompted a plaintiff's counsel to withdraw (and likewise caused the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to drop its investigation) regarding claims of an employee who had complained about alleged sexual harassment and was terminated just a few weeks later.

Individual Actions; Discrimination (Age)

On behalf of a national beverage company, we obtained summary judgment against an entire complaint alleging termination based upon age discrimination and retaliation.

Individual Actions; Discrimination (Gender)

We successfully represented a software company against pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and wage claims brought by a former executive, and obtained an arbitration ruling that not only completely rejected the executive's claims, but also awarded our client damages for the executive's financial fraud while employed at the company.

Individual Actions; Discrimination (Gender)

On behalf of a national furniture manufacturer, we obtained summary judgment against pregnancy discrimination claims.

Individual Actions; Discrimination (Harassment Allegations)

For an international hotel chain, we recently settled an emotionally charged race/religion/ethnicity harassment and discrimination case before any depositions were taken. The settlement was funded with a very substantial contribution from the defendant's insurance carrier.

Individual Actions; Discrimination (Harassment; Age)

On behalf of a major California food and beverage producer, we defended and successfully mediated parallel sexual harassment and age discrimination claims brought by two former employees (the complaining party and her alleged harasser).

Manager Training; Environment (Harassment)

Before the filing of any formal complaint or adverse publicity, we successfully mediated explosive allegations of sexual harassment brought by an employee against a high-ranking corporate vice president.

Ortega v. Nestle Waters

Represented defendant Nestle Waters in a putative state-wide class action by delivery drivers and warehouse employees alleging wage and hour violations, wage statement defects, and failures to reimburse business related expenses. The parties reached a mediated settlement of all claims.

Ortiz v. Ghirardelli

Defended a wage and hour class action brought by hourly restaurant and retail employees for all California locations. The complaint included meal and rest break violations, unpaid overtime, non-compliant wage statements, unreimbursed business expenses, and PAGA claims. We resolved all claims prior to class certification through mediation, and the court approved the settlement.

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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Event

Risk Management Summit for Agriculture and Cannabis

Rebecca Stephens will be presenting the topic "A Closer Look at Ag/Cannabis Employment Issues Surfacing in 2020" at Newfront Insurance's Risk Management Summit for Agriculture & Cannabis. Join us for a free, all-day event...

Read More
Publication

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

Privacy image
Read More
News

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

Read More
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...

Read More
Publication

New Laws for California Employers in 2020

The California Legislature and Governor Newsom have passed a sizable list of new laws governing the workplace in 2020. Employers are, once again, advised to evaluate their workplace rules and practices to insure they keep...

Read More
News

Kelly Matayoshi Named President of the Barristers Club of the Bar Association of San Francisco

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More