Practice Areas & Industries: Fisher & Phillips LLP

 




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Practice/Industry Group Overview

California is a different world for most employers. It has its own laws and agencies covering wage and hour, employment discrimination and harassment, and occupational safety and health. It has no limits on the amount of damages plaintiffs may recover in discrimination and harassment lawsuits, unlike under federal law, so jury trials in California are high-stakes ventures. It has many more state laws governing the employment relationship than most other states and the number of those laws continues to grow. Class actions covering overtime, meal and rest breaks and other employment law issues are much more prevalent in California than in most other states as well.

Fisher & Phillips has one of the largest labor and employment law practices in California with more than 50 attorneys in four offices: Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.  These include veteran jury trial lawyers, attorneys with extensive experience in defending class actions, attorneys well-versed in the unique features of California wage and hour law, and attorneys experienced in designing alternative dispute resolution methods that can keep employers out of California courts. Each of our California attorneys, moreover, is equipped to advise employers on how to navigate the tricky legal terrain in California.


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

2014 Flu Update, and Oh, Wash Your $%#! Hands!
Howard A. Mavity, December 16, 2013
Almost 4.1 million employees missed work due to illness last January, which was the most since 2008. Even worse, the four-month peak season lasted through March, so the numbers continued to add up. Some years, absences during that four-month period ran at 3.8 million a month, for a whopping total...

New Year's Resolutions: Five Areas Of Focus For 2014
Edward F. Harold, December 09, 2013
The Affordable Care Act has dominated the headlines of employment newsletters (justifiably) for the last six months. It will continue to be an area of focus for all employers. But don’t lose sight of the fact that all the other employment laws remain on the books and continue to pose...

Senate "Misclassification" Bill Bears Watching
John E. Thompson, December 09, 2013
Yet another "misclassification" bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would impose new prohibitions, requirements, and penalties relating to categorizing a worker as being either an employee or a non-employee. The "Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2013" (S. 1687) would among other...

State of the Unions: New Tactics Target Unorganized Workers
Matthew R. Korn, December 09, 2013
If you've been following the news, you probably realize that it has been a busy year for organized labor. The percentage of unionized workers in the private sector has fallen to historic lows, leaving unions with fewer dues-paying members, and motivating them to adopt new tactics to stem the...

Want To Be A Leader At Work? Look To Nelson Mandela
Howard A. Mavity, December 09, 2013
After 30 years of seeing the worst of the workplace, I have few heroes left. Today, I lost my JFK or MLK. I’ll remember where I was sitting when I learned that the lion who was Nelson Mandela, had roared his last. I choose to believe that’s how he went out. As a lion of a man.

Deep-Fried Discrimination Claim: Lisa T. Jackson v. Paula Deen, et al.
Craig A. Cowart, December 06, 2013
The whole country watched as celebrity chef Paula Deen was roasted over the lawsuit filed by a former general manager of a Deen-affiliated restaurant. Now that the media storm is starting to fade, what lessons can employers and human resources professionals learn from what happened? Keep reading...

Was It a Good Year or Bad Year? The 2013 Employment Law Year in Review
Richard R. Meneghello, December 06, 2013
It's pretty common each December to take stock and look back at the year that is ending, whether it’s recounting the happy times and counting one’s blessings, or reliving the disappointments and ruing over the regrets (and sometimes a bit of both). The world of employment law is no...

Wash Your *!&# Hands! Employers and the Flu
Howard A. Mavity, December 06, 2013
Almost 4.1 million employees missed work due to illness last January, which was the most since 2008. Even worse, the four-month peak season lasted through March, so the numbers continued to add up. Some years, absences during that four-month period ran at 3.8 million a month, for a whopping total...

When Is A Union Not A Union? When It's a "Worker Center.”
Steven M. Bernstein, December 06, 2013
In recent weeks, the fast-food industry has fallen prey to coordinated demonstrations by a number of loosely affiliated groups, rallying around wages, benefits and other conditions. The strategy invoked by these so-called "worker centers" (or "alt-unions") is not altogether new,...

Globalizing in Hong Kong
Alice Shelor Wang, December 05, 2013
With dynamic soaring towers, elaborate bright lights, and heart warming traditional customs, Hong Kong’s enigmatic economic and business climate serves as a financial capital for all industries, companies, and firms. Indeed, Hong Kong is a pivotal financial center of Greater Asia! As a former...

More Confusion Likely Over California's "Paid Family Leave"
, December 05, 2013
Earlier this year Gov. Brown signed into law an expansion of the state's "paid family leave" benefit. While the new law does not become effective until July 1, 2014, already media outlets have reported that employees will have expanded rights to paid time off from work next year. This is...

Comments by Celia Joseph on November 7, 2013
Alice Shelor Wang, November 29, 2013
With dynamic soaring towers, elaborate bright lights, and heart warming traditional customs, Hong Kong’s enigmatic economic and business climate serves as a financial capital for all industries, companies, and firms. Indeed, Hong Kong is a pivotal financial center of Greater Asia! As a...

Practice Thanksgiving At Work
Howard A. Mavity, November 29, 2013
Although Americans have celebrated some sort of Thanksgiving since 1661, Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday by proclamation on November 28, 1861. The Thanksgiving holiday takes on more meaning when one considers that an American people so exhausted by war, nonetheless...

When Is More Leave Not a Reasonable Accommodation?
Howard A. Mavity, November 29, 2013
Cases under the ADA are fact specific. Often it is difficult to find clear cut standards for determining if an employee is qualified to perform the essential functions and if an accommodation is reasonable. In Attiogbe-Tay v. Southeast Rolling Hills LLC, a court concluded that a nurse who returned...

FAQ: What Employers Need To Know About Portland Paid Sick Leave
, November 26, 2013
Beginning January 1, 2014, Portland, Oregon will require most employers to offer paid sick leave to their employees. The following list of Frequently Asked Questions will help employers get up to speed with the ordinance and accompanying administrative regulations.

Hotels, Motels Still Drawing USDOL Attention (Updated 11 21 13)
John E. Thompson, November 25, 2013
One of the U.S. Labor Department's continuing federal Fair Labor Standards Act enforcement initiatives targets hotels and motels. Officials are following-through on their 2010 warning that they see the hospitality industry as presenting a "high risk" for non-compliance.

"Right to Know" Initiative Apparently Expanded
John E. Thompson, November 19, 2013
The U.S. Labor Department has announced another proposal to conduct a survey relating to "worker classification issues" under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

'Tis The Season: Employers And The Flu
Ruth N. Mackey, November 07, 2013
This flu season may be one of the worst in years, but the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot monitor its severity and scope because of the federal government shutdown. Unofficial flu trackers in the U.S. report elevated instances of flu-like illness in some...

Are You Paying Your Detailers Correctly?
Matthew R. Simpson, November 07, 2013
Over the last year, there has been an increase in dealership payroll audits by the U.S. Labor Department (DOL). Some DOL investigators have implied that these audits are part of a broad internal "initiative" to check wage-hour compliance at dealerships. As the audits have played out, it...

Compliance With Child And Forced-Labor Laws
Cheryl L. Behymer,Celia M. Joseph, November 07, 2013
Many countries are uniting for one simple cause: stopping child and forced labor. The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) is committed to stopping child labor and has adopted this as a key platform. On June 13, the World Day Against Child Labor, Carol Pier, Acting Deputy Undersecretary of the Labor...

Facebook: The New Water Cooler - Not The New Vegas
Karen Luchka Wingo, November 07, 2013
As of June 2013, Facebook, the reigning social-media giant, had 1.15 billion monthly active users who spent an average of 8.3 hours a month on Facebook. During roughly the same period of time, Facebook users "liked" a Facebook posting 4.5 billion times a day and uploaded an average of 350...

Manitoba’s New Privacy Law Has Implications For Cross-Border Employers
Danielle S. Urban, November 07, 2013
Last month, the Canadian Province of Manitoba enacted privacy legislation governing the collection, use and dissemination of personal information, including employee personal information. With the legislation, Manitoba joins the other Canadian Provinces of Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia in...

Plan Now To Minimize Liability For Holiday-Party Misconduct
D. Albert Brannen, November 07, 2013
36% of employers report employee misconduct at holiday parties. The misconduct ranges from excessive drinking to sexual advances, off-color jokes, vulgar language, arguments, or even fistfights. This article summarizes risks to employers and lists precautions you can take to minimize your...

What's An "Individualized Analysis" - And Why Should I Care?
A. Kevin Troutman, November 07, 2013
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) poses ongoing compliance challenges and attracts significant attention from plaintiffs' lawyers and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The resulting litigation continues to illustrate that inflexible policies and practices are a recipe for...

"Comp Time" Might Be Moving Up On The Agenda
Ted Boehm, November 06, 2013
We reported in April and May about the fast-tracked "Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013" passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. This measure proposes to amend the federal Fair Labor Standards Act to permit private-sector employers to offer compensatory time off in lieu of...

FLSA Investigations Result In Criminal Convictions
John E. Thompson, November 06, 2013
A U.S. Labor Department press release serves as a reminder that violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act can result in more than just back-wage payments and other civil remedies.

Implementing a Trade Secrets Protection Program
Michael R. Greco, November 06, 2013
In the business world, protection of trade secrets can make the difference between success and failure, or profit and loss. This post seeks to show you how to protect your company’s trade secrets so that in the event one of your employees steals a trade secret, you will be in the best...

It's Past Time To Dispel The "Half-Time" Fog
Ted Boehm,John E. Thompson, November 06, 2013
A decision by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (with jurisdiction over Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) illustrates and exacerbates the utter and unwarranted morass into which the calculation of overtime pay has descended in so-called "failed exemption" cases under the federal...

The World Post-Windsor: Rethinking Benefit And Leave Policies For Same-Sex Spouses
Tabatha L. George, November 06, 2013
Following a highly-publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent guidance from both the Labor Department (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employers need to rethink how they treat same-sex spouses under their employee benefits plans and leave policies.

How The New "SharedWork Ohio" Law Will Affect Employers
, November 04, 2013
This summer, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law "SharedWork Ohio," an initiative designed to help workers and employers alike by preventing layoffs. The "SharedWork Ohio" program gives Ohio employers new flexibility to keep their workforce intact when experiencing a downturn...

San Francisco's New Flextime Ordinance
, November 04, 2013
Under the San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance signed on October, 30, 2013 by Mayor Edward Lee, parents and caretakers have been afforded the right to request modified work schedules, such as a change in start times, part-time and part-year schedules, telecommuting and schedule...

Excuse Me Judge, Could I Be Heard On That?
Michael R. Greco, October 28, 2013
A few months ago, I filed a motion for a TRO on behalf of a client. I thought I had a pretty rock-solid case. My client had discovered that in the weeks and months leading up to the resignation of a former employee, the employee had created a detailed spreadsheet containing proprietary customer...

Internships Might Be Vanishing
John E. Thompson, October 28, 2013
We have observed for some time now that the spate of wage-hour lawsuits might be expected drastically to curtail the availability of internships of both the unpaid and paid varieties.

"Naughty Or Nice?" App Bogs Down
John E. Thompson, October 21, 2013
We reported in July that the U.S. Labor Department had launched a "Fair Labor Data Challenge" asking application developers to create "an innovative tool that lets an informed consumer find out if a business is obeying the law when it comes to paying workers properly." As we...