Practice Areas & Industries: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Morris Polich & Purdy's Employment Law attorneys provide full service employment representation to public and private employers of all sizes, from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies. For employers, avoiding litigation is a top priority, and our lawyers are experts in providing advice and counseling that help to minimize the risk of litigation and provide the proper groundwork to defend against spurious litigation, including review of employment contracts and handbooks. In cases where employment litigation is unavoidable, however, we provide focused and effective legal assistance.

Our law firm represents clients before state and federal administrative agencies, trial and appellate courts in lawsuits pertaining to every type of employment matter, including:

  • Wrongful discharge and termination claims
  • Negligent hiring, retention and supervision
  • Unfair competition and trade secrets
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Defamation
  • Wage and hour disputes
  • Workplace violence
  • Protection of proprietary information
  • Breach of contract
  • Retaliation

Our attorneys keep abreast of changes in employment law, as well as the ways in which the courts are ruling on employment matters. This, in combination with their experience and involvement, enables them to implement the most effective strategies on behalf of their clients.


A CROSS SECTION OF OUR EXPERIENCE

Breach of Contract

  • We represented a major pharmaceutical company in an action alleging wrongful termination and breach of contract after a layoff as a result of a reduction in force. After discovery, the matter was settled for a minimal amount.

Negligent Hiring, Retention and Supervision

  • We represented a restaurant in a negligent hiring/retention matter where the plaintiff alleged that the restaurant negligently hired and retained a manager who allegedly sexually harassed the plaintiff. After extensive discovery demonstrated that the plaintiff’s claims were false, the matter resolved for a fraction of plaintiff’s initial settlement demand at mediation.
     
  • Shortly before the hearing on summary judgment, plaintiffs accepted a nominal settlement in a lawsuit where the plaintiffs claimed that a football league negligently hired and retained a volunteer football coach who allegedly attacked one of the plaintiffs.
     
  • We obtained a defense verdict at arbitration in a lawsuit filed against a security company alleging that it negligently hired and trained a security officer who purportedly sexually assaulted the plaintiff.
     
  • We obtained summary judgment, that was upheld in appeal, in favor of a client sued for negligent supervision of child’s party when fight broke out causing the plaintiff to suffer permanent facial lacerations due to being struck in the face with a broken beer bottle.

Discrimination

  • We represented a real estate brokerage company in a discrimination/retaliation case brought by three plaintiffs against their former employer and two managers. A defense verdict was obtained.
     
  • We represented a major retailer in wrongful discharge/sex discrimination action. We successfully demurred the case down to a breach of contract claim, which eventually settled for nuisance value.
     
  • We obtained a dismissal of a discrimination complaint on behalf of a major day spa at the administrative level. Plaintiff chose not to file a subsequent action in state court.
     
  • We represented a major pharmaceutical company in a matter alleging discriminatory discharge based upon the plaintiff's sexual preference. The case was resolved favorably.

Harassment

  • We represented a major retailer in a matter alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment. Although the initial settlement demand was quite substantial, after initial discovery, the case resolved for a minimal amount.
     
  • We conducted an internal investigation of a sporting goods manufacturer to determine the veracity of sexual harassment allegations.
     
  • We represented an employee of a municipality against claims by six employees for sexual harassment, as well as racial and sexual discrimination. On motion for summary judgment, the court dismissed five of the six lawsuits. The remaining plaintiff then dismissed their case against our client.

Workplace Violence

  • We provided advice and counsel to a major international pipe manufacturer to determine veracity of allegations of workplace violence and employer obligations under Cal OSHA and the California Labor Code.

Wrongful Termination

  • We obtained a defense verdict in a two week trial in a wrongful termination case wherein the plaintiff claimed pregnancy discrimination.
     
  • We obtained a defense verdict for a Fortune 100 client in a wrongful termination in violation of public policy and violation of breach of covenant of good faith/fair dealing case. Non-suit was granted by the judge (Rule 50 motion) at the close of plaintiff's case on the wrongful termination claim. The breach of covenant claim went to jury, and a defense verdict was awarded.
     
  • We represented the employer and individual supervisors in connection with a claim brought by a former employee who alleged he was terminated for his refusal to engage in unlawful activity. The arbitrator found that the employee's refusal to work was not protected despite the employer being subject to heavy regulation.
     
  • We represented an exclusive resort-hotel in a claim by a former employee for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The employer terminated the employee for violation of dress code. Prior to the commencement of the trial, the matter was settled for a fraction of the settlement demand.

Other

  • We recovered a 6-figure amount for a hospital on a fidelity bond claim based on employee dishonesty. The amount was in addition to another large sum that was seized from the former employee's bank and credit union accounts. In combination, the amounts represent a complete recovery of the hospital's loss.
     
  • We represented a major clothing retailer in litigation involving causes of action of wrongful termination, retaliation in violation of public policy, defamation, breach of Employment Contract, and breach of Stock Option Agreement. The matter eventually settled for much less than the initial demand, including a complete stock buy back by the clothing retailer.

 
Group Presentations
  California Employment Law: Updates & Changes for 2013, February 20, 2013
California Employment Law: Updates & Changes for 2013, February 13, 2013