Practices

Discrimination and Unlawful Discharge

Preventive counseling is as necessary to employers as a skillful defense against employee and government claims and actions. We counsel and defend employers in:

  • Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims based on every protected class (including age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and national origin) and arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and similar state anti-discrimination statutes
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Whistleblowing
  • Employment at-will, wrongful discharge, and employment tort claims, including claims for defamation and emotional distress
  • Employment and executive compensation agreements
  • Wage and hour law claims and investigations
  • Defense of employee benefits disputes arising under ERISA
  • Employment-related class actions
  • Employment, noncompetition, and confidentiality agreements

Our litigators have significant experience in class and collective action litigation and represent clients in both state and federal appellate courts.

Experience 

Discrimination Class Action Defense

  • We defended a large energy company being sued by a class of more than 2,000 employees claiming reverse discrimination and age discrimination. We successfully challenged class certification based on the absence of commonality and typicality and persuaded the plaintiffs to drop the collective action age claim.
  • We defended one of the nation's largest facilities management providers being sued by environmental services workers employed at an urban hospital. The plaintiffs alleged that they were unfairly disciplined based on race and subjected to a racially hostile work environment. The federal district court granted our motion to strike the class allegations, and The Third Circuit, which had not previously spoken on the subject, rejected the plaintiffs' interlocutory appeal of the district court's denial of class certification.
  • We defended a nationwide supplier of food service personnel brought by kitchen workers employed in a prison's facilities. The workers alleged race discrimination with respect to hiring, pay, assignments, promotions, and discipline, as well as a racially hostile work environment. Consistent with the company's desire to keep the case out of the media, we steered the case into mediation and quickly achieved a favorable settlement.
  • We defended a major fast food chain sued in a class action lawsuit alleging sex discrimination in promotion brought in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The case was favorably settled by a consent decree negotiated by the parties and approved by the federal district court judge.