I have helped resolve many employer-employee disputes and feel comfortable working with the legal and human issues involved. I am familiar with the array of possible common-law and statutory claims arising in employer-employee disputes, including breach of contract and the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (and the countervailing assertion of at-will status), state statutory claims under the FEHA including race, national origin, age, disability (often involving reasonable accommodation issues), gender and pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, defamation, assault, relocation, whistle blowing, and the Unruh Act, as well as federal statutory claims involving the same issues.
I have also handled many claims arising from wage and hour requirements, status as exempt or non-exempt employee, characterization as independent contractor or employee, agency relationships, prevailing wage laws and other public works job claims (including parallel Division of Labor Standards Enforcement investigations), commission calculations, or compensation due under contracts. I am familiar with the particular considerations for the employer and proof problems that these claims generate.
I have dealt with complex executive employment issues (including stock option and incentive bonus plans with valuation issues, variable severance pay depending on reason for termination, corporate control, etc.), and the interplay with other legal structures (such as worker compensation laws, union contracts and grievance procedures, and even separate lawsuits filed in Europe under European employment law). I have worked with start-ups where there are complex, hybrid and sometimes unwritten employment and compensation relationships. And I have handled disputes arising from personal service contracts.
In addition to employee claims, I have handled affirmative claims by employers against their former employees (and sometimes the new employer as well) for alleged transfers of trade secret information such as customer lists or software code and efforts to prevent and recover damages for such transfers. I have also dealt with many other employer claims, including embezzlement and self-dealing allegations, defamation, breach of duty, and manipulation of financial reporting to boost bonus calculations.
I am comfortable working with the emotional concerns that underlie many employer-employee disputes. These concerns usually apply to claimants but also can apply to supervisors accused of wrongdoing and others involved in a failed employment relationship. I have experience with participants of foreign birth or with different cultural backgrounds and can work with people in a respectful and constructive manner to overcome any challenges that arise in reaching a resolution.
In over two hundred mediations of employment cases, I have handled claims in a variety of industry settings and a wide range of jobs – executives, lower management, sales, skilled labor, white collar and blue collar workers. I have settled cases in manufacturing, computer hardware, software and servicing, communications equipment, chemical research, international trading, entertainment (music, television, radio – production, on-air and back office), publishing and printing, sports marketing, utilities, security, personnel and temp agencies, law (attorneys, paralegals and staff in law firms and legal aid), architecture, engineering, construction, housing, hotels, retail, food (wholesale, retail, restaurants, bars, butcher), winery, pet food, health care (nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, dentists, chiropractors, pharmacies, home health services, radiology clinics, etc.), health products, federal and local government, other quasi-governmental agencies, law enforcement, state and private colleges and trade schools, post office, finance and securities (banks and credit unions, investment advisors/brokers and mutual funds), real estate (developers, management, loan brokers), insurance companies and brokers, automobile dealer, auto repair, auto dismantling, industrial reclamation, transportation/trucking, limousine, au pair provider, yoga studio, dance studio, golf course, day care, and nonprofits. A number of these involve particular regulatory or labor union structures that require consideration.
In addition to monetary settlements. I have worked with parties on reinstatement arrangements. I have also mediated disputes between co-workers and between supervisors and employees in order to help the parties work together in the future, and where union contracts are implicated. Some of these arise in the U.S. Post Office’s EEO REDRESS Program.