We know your employees are your most valuable assets. But sometimes they can become your most costly liability. Even when an employer makes good faith efforts to comply with California’s intricate and complex employment laws, it may still be sued by a disgruntled employee or by various state or federal administrative agencies, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California Labor Commissioner, or the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and Department of Labor (DOL).
Unions present other threats to employers. Professional union organizers use a variety of strategies and tactics to organize a company’s employees, including:
Our law firm is included in The Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers in the area of Labor and Employment Law. Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field. Since 1999, Robert L. Rediger has been rated “AV Preeminent,” Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer rating standard. An AV Preeminent rating signifies the highest level of professional excellence and ethical standards.
From the outset of the litigation, we conduct aggressive discovery with an eye toward attempting to dispose of the lawsuit filed against your company through a motion for summary judgment. Unlike some attorneys at other law firms, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to actually try cases in federal and state courts – whether before a jury, judge or judicially appointed arbitrator. We have taken numerous civil trials to verdict, and have successfully represented our clients on appeal in the California Supreme Court and in various courts of appeal.
Representative employment law cases:
U.S. E.E.O.C. v. Placer ARC (Eastern District of California, 2015 WL 9653976). After disposing of the Plaintiff’s retaliation claim on summary judgment, our firm obtained a unanimous jury verdict for our non-profit client on claims of failure to accommodate a deaf employee’s disability and constructive discharge under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Grenfell v. Blue Printing Unlimited (Sacramento County Superior Court, 2009 WL 2985613). After disposing of the Plaintiff’s cause of action alleging a termination in violation of public policy, our firm obtained a jury verdict on gender discrimination/sexual harassment in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Cruickshank v. PDQ Automatic Transmissions Parts, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court, 2007 WL 2428822). Jury rejected former HR manager’s claim that she was wrongfully discharged in violation of public policy for complaining about safety and wage and hour issues. Our post-trial motion seeking $24,000.00 in costs from the plaintiff for PDQ granted.
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Our firm has particular expertise in defending “class action” lawsuits brought by one or more employees on behalf of a larger group of employees. Typically, the plaintiffs’ Class Action Complaint involves wage and hour-related claims, such as alleged missed meal periods, missed rest breaks, unpaid overtime, “off-the-clock” work, prevailing wage violations, failure to pay the minimum wage, misclassification of non-exempt employees, a violation of the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), and/or a violation of the Unfair Competition Law (UCL).
Representative class action cases:
Barajas v. Bank (El Dorado County Superior Court, 2017). After resisting the plaintiff’s attempts to obtain information pertaining to putative class members, as well as compelling her to comply with the employer’s discovery requests and the court-ordered sanctions against her, the plaintiff dismissed her class action lawsuit seeking alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime, off-the-clock work, reimbursement of expenses, inaccurate wage statements, and missed meal periods.
Kirby v. Immoos Fire Protection, Inc. (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1244. After we defeated their motion for class certification, the plaintiff employees dismissed their lawsuit. The plaintiffs appealed the award of attorneys’ fees our law firm obtained for our client to the California Supreme Court. The high court issued a landmark decision holding that neither employees nor employers may recover their attorney’s fees as the prevailing party in an action for missed meal periods and rest periods.
Kirk v. Marquee Fire Protection (Sacramento County Superior Court, 2008 WL 4108111). After the court certified a class of sprinkler fitters on issues of unpaid overtime, off-the-clock work, banking of hours, inaccurate wage statements, and missed meal periods, we were successful in decertifying the class action. We then tried the case as to the individual plaintiffs and obtained a jury verdict in favor of our client on all claims.
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Employers located throughout the United States rely on us to handle their union matters. We protect employers’ rights during union organizing campaigns and defend companies against unfair labor practice charges before the NLRB. We represent companies at labor arbitrations regarding union grievances. We defend companies in federal court in collection actions commenced by union-affiliated trust funds. We negotiate collective bargaining agreements with unions throughout the United States, including on behalf of multi-employer groups. We develop strike contingency plans with our clients and commence appropriate legal actions against unions that engage in conduct that violates federal and state labor laws.
Representative cases involving unions and the NLRB:
Alldata Corp. v. NLRB (D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001) 245 F.3d 803. The federal court of appeal granted the petition for review we filed to challenge a decision and order of the NLRB that found our client had committed an unfair labor practice by discharging a salesperson who had engaged in protected concerted activities, and denied the Board’s cross-petition for enforcement.
American Automatic Fire Protection Co. (Sprinkler Fitters, Local 483) (1991) 302 NLRB 1014. The NLRB upheld our client’s repudiation of the pre-hire agreement it had entered with a union in the construction industry.
Representative labor arbitration decisions:
Universal Protection Service and SEIU, Local 24/7 (2014) 133 LA 1269. Grievance denied where our client demonstrated that it had used its “best efforts” to secure employment for a security officer who had been removed from her post due to a “client request.”
Universal Protection Service and SEIU, Local 24/7 (2014) 133 LA 1707. Grievance denied as untimely where CBA stated that the failure to file a grievance in a timely manner resulted in the grievance being deemed “withdrawn with prejudice.”
A-1 Door and Building Solutions (Millmen, Local 1618) (2007) 123 LA 1286. Grievance denied where CBA permitted employer to lay off employee “out of seniority” and grievant’s skills and abilities shown to be below those of less senior employees.
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