Jim McDonald is managing partner of the Irvine office and a partner in the Los Angeles office. He is also the firm's marketing partner and chair of the firm's Development Committee. Jim tries employment cases before juries, judges and arbitrators.
His practice especially focuses on executive terminations, workplace harassment and discrimination claims, the Americans with Disabilities Act, mental health issues in the workplace, and trade secrets and unfair competition matters.
Jim also advises employers on how to prevent employment disputes from arising, on how to manage union strikes and picketing, and on the labor and employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Jim is editor of the second edition of the treatise,Mental and Emotional Injuries in Employment Litigationpublished by BNA Books in 2001 and author of more than 50 published articles.
He has spoken before many national organizations on issues such as the defense of psychological injury claims in employment litigation, mental disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, new theories of harassment and discrimination, and the use of expert witnesses.
Jim serves as Vice Chair and General Counsel of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, and he is a past Chair of the Chamber's Board of Directors.
Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management, and he teaches employment law in the Human Resources Management Program at the University of California, Irvine.
Class Action Defeated with Arbitration Agreement.Jim led a team of attorneys who defeated a putative class action alleging race and national origin discrimination against a Southern California employer. A judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court held that the twelve year old arbitration agreement signed by the plaintiff and putative class representative, which did not contain an express class action waiver, nonetheless barred a class action because the parties agreed only to arbitrate with one another and not with a class.
Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Disabilities Case.Jim successfully argued before a California Court of Appeal in favor of a trial court's award of summary judgment to a national manufacturing company against a former manager who was terminated after he failed to return to work after 14 months of medical leave.
Arbitration Victory in Defamation, Tortious Interference Case.Jim tried and won a case in arbitration before a retired judge in which the plaintiff claimed her former employer defamed her and interfered with her business following her termination for misrepresenting to an unemployment appeals judge the reason for her missing an appeal hearing.
Strike Victory Against Carpenters Union.Jim led a team of attorneys that assisted a national construction contractor in winning a strike by the Carpenters Union on all counts. The strike against three large construction projects in Southern California ended after less than a month, the strikers were replaced, and no delays occurred. Jim obtained two injunctions against violent and mass picketing and filed a section 303 lawsuit against the Carpenters that resulted in a six-figure settlement for the employer. The team also pursued unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board which issued a complaint.
Member, Editorial Board,Employee Relations Law Journal
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
Member, Society for Human Resource Management
Fisher & Phillips Attorney Selected For Inclusion In 2012 Southern California Super Lawyers
January 24, 2012
Listed inThe Best Lawyers in Americasince 2007.
Listed inSouthern CaliforniaSuper Lawyerssince 2007.
Recipient of Burton Award for Legal Writing, 2006.
AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
Labor And Employment Aspects Of Mergers And Acquisitions March 10, 2014
Will the DSM-5 Lead to Crazy Employment Law? July 11, 2013
New Mental-Health Manual Likely to Impact HR May 22, 2013
New Commission Agreements Law Requires Review of Pay Plans February 1, 2013
Not-So-Free Speech at Work September 25, 2012
Lookism: The Next Form of Illegal Discrimination November 10, 2010
Take Your Dog to Work Day - Everyday January 15, 2007
Eliminate Vacation Policies for Attorneys January 10, 2007
Humpty Dumpty Goes to Court September 25, 2006
You (Might) Have the Right to Remain Silent June 1, 2006
Social Framework Evidence: Why Social Psychology Should Not Supplant Clinical Evaluations in Harassment and Discrimination Cases April 1, 2006
Be Nice, or Be Sued March 25, 2006
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire December 1, 2005
I Want a Nicer Boss September 1, 2005
Let's Talk About Sex June 1, 2005
The Narcissistic Plaintiff March 25, 2005
You're Looking at Me Like I'm Crazy! December 25, 2004
Weeds in the Garden September 25, 2004
Taking Out the Garbage June 1, 2004
What's God Got to do With It? December 1, 2003
Civil Rights for the Aesthetically-Challenged September 1, 2003
My Life's a Mess and It's All Your Fault June 1, 2003
Posttraumatic Stress Dishonesty March 1, 2003
The Problem of False Claims of Clergy Sexual Abuse January 1, 2003
I'll Never Work in this Town Again December 1, 2002
The Ninth Commandment September 25, 2002
This Place Makes Me Sick! June 25, 2002
Personality Disorders in Employment Litigation April 25, 2002
Sticks and Stones March 25, 2002
Posttraumatic Latefiling Syndrome December 25, 2001
My Disability Made Me Do It! September 25, 2001
Putting a Price on the Pain December 25, 2000
The Equal Opportunity Jerk June 25, 2000
The Rise of Psychological Issues in Employment Law December 25, 1999
A Plaintiff's Obligation to Avoid Harm Otherwise September 25, 1999
Lawful and Effective Use of a Human Resources Expert Witness
California Labor & Employment Law Review -Volume 25, No. 5:
Quotes and Soundbites
Service-Dog 'Fakers': Could It Happen at Work? April 21, 2014
Employee Leaves In California: Your To-Do Checklist February 4, 2014
Fisher & Phillips Partners Quoted In Inside Counsel January 3, 2014
Disability Diagnoses August 1, 2013
New Mental Disorders Mean ADA Headaches For Employers May 19, 2013
Beauty Bias September 1, 2012
Bill Would Ban 'Unemployed Need Not Apply' Ads August 9, 2012
How to Hire Winners (and Avoid Wackos) August 1, 2011
My Disability Made Me Do It June 28, 2011
New Regs Could Lead to Greater Acceptance of Psychiatric Service Dogs in the Workplace June 7, 2011
Updated Psychiatric Manual May Pose New Challenges for Employers July 1, 2013
Has The NLRB Outlawed Courtesy? January 2, 2013
Here's Looking At You, Kid - The EEOC Looks For Beauty Bias July 2, 2012
Beauty And The Bias November 1, 2010
Ten Great Ways to Lose A Lawsuit in California - Anaheim, CA
August 26, 2013
New California Employment Laws for 2013 - Palm Desert, CA
December 11, 2012
You're Gonna Miss Me: Managing FMLA, CFRA and PDL Leaves - Irvine, CA
September 11, 2012
Reasonable Accommodation: When Are You Done? - Anaheim, CA
August 28, 2012
I'm Too Sexy for My Job! - Appearance Bias in the Workplace - Atlanta, GA
June 25, 2012
My Disability Made Me Do It! - San Francisco, CA
April 24, 2012
Is Lookism Illegal? Appearance Discrimination at Work - Webinar
April 3, 2012
My Disability Made Me Do It - Las Vegas, NV
June 28, 2011
Ten Good Ways to Get Your Company Sued By An Employee - Reno, NV
May 13, 2011
Employment Law for the Solo or Small Firm: Ten Mistakes to Avoid.
Orange County Specialty Lawyers Guild
April 9, 2014
The Fine Line Between Diversity and Just Not Fitting In,
2010 Professionals in Human Resources Annual Conference, Pasadena, CA.
Chairman of the Board of Directors (1998-99), Vice Chair and General Counsel, Irvine Chamber of Commerce (1999-present)
Vice President, The Colony at Indian Wells Homeowners Association (2010-present) (Also at Los Angeles Office)