Today’s global and complex workplace present employers with unique business challenges. From initial hiring to promotions, salary adjustments and terminations, employment laws touch every aspect of human capital.
Walsworth’s team works closely with human resources professionals and in-house legal teams to resolve disputes and serve as a resource in navigating the myriad of federal, state and city laws.
In addition to litigation, our team counsels and advises employers on employment-related matters, including:
- Wage and Hour
- FMLA/CFRA Leave Management
- Workplace Investigations and Audits
- Severance Policies and Separation Agreements
- Executive Compensation and Employment Agreements
- Employee Handbooks
- Policy Memoranda
- Independent Contractor Agreements
- Sexual Harassment Policies and Training
- Disability Access and Accommodation
- Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
Advice and Counseling
As your legal resource, our main objective is to keep you out of trouble. We provide day-to-day counseling to employers on a variety of human resource matters by creating effective workplace policies and procedures, and preventing problems by offering training and on-going updates on the latest legal developments.
Our main objective is to partner with you to resolve issues before problems occur. However, we recognize that sometimes these complex issues lead to litigation. Our philosophy is to resolve matters in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. To this end, we focus on early evaluation to assess liability, if any, and develop a litigation strategy. We have successfully resolved employment liability cases early through mediation and early settlement conferences. On non-liability cases, we have also prevailed on numerous summary judgment motions and obtained defense judgments which have been affirmed on appeal.
We also represent employers at administrative hearings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Employment Development Department, and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in connection with Labor Code section 132a discrimination/retaliation and serious and willful claims. We have also represented public entities in arbitrations, Skelly (disciplinary) hearings, and Pitchess motions.
Trial is rarely the answer and something we try to avoid at all costs. Nonetheless, our partnership and extension of your team, includes a trial-ready team of lawyers. We have broad experience before judges and juries, defending clients in single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff trials and arbitrations. As a firm, we have begun trial in nearly 900 jury trials, 250 non-jury trials, tried over 300 trials to verdict, and handled over 275 arbitrations. Our team of highly successful litigators are also members of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), one of the preeminent national organizations for experienced trial lawyers.
- Employee v. Large Financial Institution – Obtained summary judgment in an arbitration proceeding for a large financial institution in an alleged interference with family medical leave rights, retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination case. The claimant alleged age and medical condition discrimination and that she was subjected to a retaliatory termination when her employment was terminated days before beginning a medical leave. We elicited favorable deposition testimony from the claimant establishing that she was terminated as a result of interfering with a pending sexual harassment investigation, and the arbitrator ultimately granted summary judgment in favor of our client on the grounds that the claimant lacked evidence to prove her termination was motivated by a discriminatory or retaliatory animus.
- Employee v. Lithia Motors, Inc. – Secured a major defense arbitration award in a complicated employment matter on behalf of a Fortune 500 national auto dealership. The claimant alleged causes of action for wrongful termination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate disability, family and medical leave (FMLA/CFRA) discrimination and retaliation, and whistleblower retaliation. However, the arbitrator ultimately found the claimant’s termination was lawful in all respects and rendered an award in favor of our client on all claims.
- Plaintiff v. Credit Union – Summary judgment granted in arbitration in favor of the client, a large credit union, in an employment discrimination case involving a former employee. The judgment was ultimately confirmed by the Superior Court.
- Burkhardt v. City of Berkeley – Secured a defense verdict on all claims being made against the City, except emotional distress, in a case in which the plaintiff alleged racial and sexual (same sex) harassment and discrimination.
- Plaintiff v. Credit Union – Plaintiff’s attorney sent a demand letter asserting multiple claims including harassment, disability discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process, wrongful denial of CFRA/FMLA leave, retaliation and wrongful termination. Our response to the demand letter provided evidence and authorities showing that the termination was justified due to performance deficiencies, not due to any retaliation or discrimination. Ultimately, plaintiff abandoned her claims without filing a lawsuit.
- Employee v. Credit Union – Binding arbitration resulting in a defense award in favor of our client, a prominent Southern California credit union. Plaintiff, an officer, claimed he was terminated due to disability discrimination and sought in excess of one million dollars. However, the arbitrator found plaintiff failed to provide any medical information to demonstrate he needed any accommodation, and that the termination was not based on his disability.
- Adekunjo, Demps, and Block v. Housing Authority – Summary judgment granted in favor of the Housing Authority in three separate employment discrimination claims involving a former employee. Demps appealed; however, the ruling was upheld on appeal.
- Secured a final binding arbitration award in an employment matter dismissing plaintiffs’ case in its entirety for failure to prosecute. Records produced established that defense counsel made at least nine requests for the Notice of Claim before filing defendant’s motion to dismiss.