Amy Lessa is a partner in the San Diego office.
She handles employment matters before state and federal courts and has extensive experience defending employers in administrative matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Worker's Compensation Appeals Board and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
Amy's practice involves representation of employers in a variety of matters including harassment and discrimination litigation, workplace violence injunctions, immigration law, wrongful termination and breach of contract claims. Amy's practice focuses heavily on the prevention side of employment claims and positioning problem employment situations for the best possible defense.
Amy regularly advises employers on methods to avoid employment claims, including the effective use of policies and procedures, providing manager training on best practices, and giving day-to-day, practical advice on pressing employment issues, such as wage-hour compliance, employee leaves of absence and the management and termination of problem employees.
Amy works with employers in a diverse group of industries including automobile dealerships, restaurants, bars and franchises, law firms, hotels, amusement parks, banks, country clubs, property management firms, non-profits, and clothing and apparel, among others.
Amy is AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Amy obtained an arbitration victory in a difficult religion and national origin based harassment and constructive discharge lawsuit involving allegations of daily anti-Semitic and ethnic slurs by a top salesperson. The plaintiff claimed that he was forced to quit after management did nothing in response to his repeated complaints because it allegedly valued its top producer over the plaintiff. After a three-day arbitration the judge found for the employer on all claims. The victory was due in large part to our detailed reconstruction of the plaintiff's prior and subsequent employment history showing repeated poor sales performance in multiple jobs over the years. In addition, the arbitrator awarded our client its costs and attorneys' fees.
Amy's other litigation successes include:
An award of summary judgment in a lawsuit involving claims brought by a current employee for unlawful withholdings and deductions.
Early dismissal of a race discrimination lawsuit.
An award of summary adjudication on six of twelve claims brought by a former employee for retaliation, breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and Labor Code violations for wage discrimination. Amy was also successful in eliminating the plaintiff's ability to recover punitive damages.
After two years of aggressively defending a breach of contract claim brought by a vengeful and litigious former employee, Amy prevailed in getting the plaintiff to walk away, voluntarily dismiss his lawsuit and to pay her client a nominal amount.
Fisher & Phillips Attorneys Win Major Victory In California
Defense Victory on Religious/National Origin Harassment Claim: Judge Rewards Dealership for Taking Appropriate Action
Overtime Exemptions and Misclassification Issues: Brewing Wage and Hour Violations Could Seriously Interrupt Your Craft
December 3, 2014
Avoiding Common Employment Law Pitfalls for California Craft Brewers
June 1, 2014
What Does Immigration Reform Really Mean for Your Recruitment and Hiring Strategies?
January 24, 2014
Connected Women of Influence CEO/Executive Panel Forum - San Diego
October 30, 2013
“Moms in Business - Do Moms Sacrifice Their Business and/or Career by Having Kids?”
CEO/Executive Panel Forum for the San Diego chapter of Connected Women of Influence
December 7, 2012
“Essential Steps Every Employer Should Know When Designing Effective Workplace Policies and Procedures” - Webinar
Insurance Office of America
April 25, 2013
Amy serves on the Board of Directors and is a founding member of Many Moms, a non-profit corporation that helps children in need. Amy also supports Grace Babies' Home in Tijuana through YUGO ministries, a non-profit missions organization, and she annually participates in the Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County.