Experience

Represent Miller Family on Sale of The Silverado Vineyards

Represented the Miller family on the sale of Napa Valley luxury wine producer The Silverado Vineyards to Foley Family Wines. The sale included a 73,000-square-foot winery and 300 acres of vineyards across Napa’s Stags Leap District, Coombsville, and Yountville wine regions.

ACE Cider Sale to Vintage Wine Estate

Represented ACE Cider, The California Cider Company, the top independently owned hard cider brand in the U.S., in its sale to Vintage Wine Estates, Inc.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 the company in California from 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.

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.

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: 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.

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.

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.

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.

Firm Highlights

Publication

A New Overtime Threshold Takes Effect in Mere Weeks: HR Should Assess Its Impact Now

On April 23, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule increasing the minimum pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for various exempt “white-collar” employee categories beginning on...

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Publication

Employment Law Update for Nonprofits With Holly Sutton

Welcome to  EO Radio Show - Your Nonprofit Legal Resource . Charities, foundations, and their founders often request help addressing employment practices and compliance questions. In this episode, host Cynthia Rowland is joined by Holly...

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Publication

Important Changes and the Impact of California Industry-Specific Minimum Wage Laws

In the ever-evolving landscape of California labor laws, the minimum wage has once again taken center stage. With the recent state-wide increase to $16 per hour, the Golden State continues to lead the nation...

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Publication

Navigating Cannabis in the Workplace: A Guide for California Corporations

The landscape surrounding cannabis in the workplace is rapidly evolving, posing challenges for California corporations and businesses to establish effective policies and procedures. As the use of cannabis, both medical and recreational, becomes more...

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Publication

Navigating California's Workplace Violence Prevention Law

California has introduced a new requirement compelling most employers to implement a workplace violence prevention policy by July 1, 2024. The implications of this law are significant, prompting the need for human resource executives...

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Publication

The Components of Effective and Defensible Workplace Investigations

Harassment, discrimination and retaliation are serious workplace threats that demand vigilant attention from employers under state and federal laws. This article explores some high-level yet essential components of effective workplace investigations. By understanding the...

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Publication

Navigating California Wage Statement Penalties After Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc.

On May 6, 2024, the California Supreme Court, in Naranjo v. Spectrum Security Services, Inc. , clarified that an employer is not liable for statutory penalties for inaccurate wage statements when it had a...

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Publication

Navigating California's Evolving Legal Landscape Governing Leaves of Absence

California’s employment laws are no stranger to change, and recent years have witnessed the introduction or modification of various protected leaves by employees. In this article, we will delve into three significant leave categories...

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Publication

California’s Estrada Decision and Impact on Employers and PAGA Claims

Following Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc. , the California Supreme Court’s employee-friendly Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) ruling earlier this year, employers must remain more diligent than ever to prevent and mitigate costly...

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Publication

Navigating California's New Rebuttable Presumption Law

The ever-evolving landscape of employment laws in California has introduced a notable change with the implementation of a new law that establishes a rebuttable presumption of retaliation in some circumstances. This law, which took...

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