Practices

Primary Industries

Industry Associations

  • American Society for Healthcare Human Resources
  • Association of California Insurance Companies
  • California Association of Healthcare Facilities
  • Hospitality Lawyer
  • Insurance Brokers of the West

Bar & Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of California (Labor & Employment Section)

Los Angeles County Bar Association (Labor & Employment Section)

Community Involvement

St. Vincent De Paul Society

Ability First 5K (Board of Directors)

Education

University of Southern California School of Law, J.D.

University of Michigan, B.A.

Photo of Spencer  Hamer

Spencer Hamer

Partner
Los Angeles
T: 818.783.5530
F: 818.783.5507
Orange County
T: 714.557.7990
F: 714.557.7991
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Full Bio

Spencer Hamer represents employers in state and federal court, and before administrative bodies, on labor and employment matters including discrimination, harassment, breach of contract, family medical leave, disability, wage and hour, retaliation, unfair competition, trade secrets, wrongful termination and privacy rights.

Mr. Hamer believes that employers are best served by lawyers who help them avoid litigation, and he therefore devotes a substantial amount of his practice to advisory work. He conducts training on general employment law risk issues and routinely counsels on a variety of matters including leaves of absence, employment agreements, accommodations, employment policies and procedures, wage and hour audits, workplace investigations and anti-harassment training.

Mr. Hamer has represented a variety of health care industry employers, including hospitals, medical practice groups, urgent care centers, ambulance operators and emergency medical providers. He has conducted numerous wage and hour audits of restaurant industry clients, including analysis of potential unpaid overtime, meal and rest break liability, pay stub violations and related issues.

In the insurance industry, Mr. Hamer has advised employers on numerous matters regarding broker compensation, independent contractor issues, wage and hour risks, and unfair competition. Mr. Hamer has counseled automobile dealerships and transportation industry employers on workplace theft, sexual harassment, and wage and hour matters. He has also worked with numerous local colleges and universities to assist them with educational access and discrimination issues, development of codes of conduct, student privacy and tenure disputes.

Mr. Hamer is the Chair of M&R's Pro Bono Committee, and is a member of M&R's Affordable Care Act Advisory Group.

Education

Mr. Hamer earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law. While in law school, he served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Hamer was conferred his B.A. in English from the University of Michigan.

Representative Matters

  • Age Discrimination and Retaliation: A radiologist claimed that he had been discriminated against based on his age. During trial, Mr. Hamer filed a motion that resulted in dismissal of all claims of age discrimination and retaliation, convincing the court that the only issue for the jury to decide related to an alleged breach of contract. This substantially limited his client's potential liability. 
  • Defense of Retaliation Claim: An employee claimed that he had been fired for using Family Medical Leave to visit a sick family member in the Philippines. By obtaining certain documentary evidence and deposition admissions, Mr. Hamer was able to show that the plaintiff had, in fact, been in the United States during the alleged leave. At trial, the plaintiff decided to drop the case after the defense made it clear that it had overwhelming evidence that the plaintiff had fraudulently claimed to have been out of country. 
  •  Labor LawThe Teamsters Union sought to represent a group of employees at a California public healthcare district. Mr. Hamer was able to limit the scope of the bargaining unit. Subsequently, during collective bargaining, he convinced the union to drop the vast majority of its demands regarding wage and benefit increases that were unacceptable to the district. 
  • Sexual Harassment: The plaintiff made extensive and detailed allegations of sexual harassment. Mr. Hamer used a strategy that involved extensive review of computer forensic evidence, including a review of communications by the plaintiff, that directly contradicted her allegations. The plaintiff did not know that she had left this information on the company’s servers, and testified in contradictory fashion at deposition. Subsequently, the case settled for a nominal amount.
  • Unfair Competition: A representative action under the California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) filed against a Los Angeles area hospital went to trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiffs claimed that they were given inaccurate paystubs under California Labor Code Section 226. Mr. Hamer cross-examined the plaintiff’s expert and forced him to admit that the paystubs did not lack information specifically required by California law. As a result, Mr. Hamer and his team prevailed at trial.
  • Wage and Hour: A real estate insurance industry client was sued on a class action basis for wage and hour claims, including failure to pay overtime and failure to provide meal and rest breaks. Mr. Hamer convinced the opposing counsel to drop the case after establishing that the vast majority of the employees at issue were exempt employees, and thus were not entitled to overtime or breaks. 
  • Wage Hour Class Action: A class action lawsuit was filed against a hospital alleging failure to pay overtime for shift premiums. Although the regulations on the issue were unclear, Mr. Hamer was able to get the case dismissed at the summary judgment stage, convincing the court that the method of overtime payment used by the hospital was proper. 
  • Whistleblower Defense: A human resources manager sued her hospitality industry employer, claiming that she had been fired for reporting I-9 violations to the federal government. After conducting discovery, Mr. Hamer learned that she had in fact been falsifying time records, not only for herself, but also for one of her co-workers. In addition, he uncovered evidence that strongly suggested that she had stolen property after being terminated. The case settled for a nominal amount. 
  • Whistleblower Defense: An employee of a Los Angeles-based hospital filed suit, claiming that he had been terminated for pointing out unsafe working conditions during a major remodeling. Mr. Hamer was able to obtain dismissal of the case by filing a motion for summary judgment. The court agreed that the employee had been terminated for performance-related reasons only. 
  • Whistleblowing: An employee claimed that she was terminated for reporting the employer to the California Department of Insurance for improper quote practices. During discovery, Mr. Hamer was able to establish that the plaintiff had failed to perform numerous job duties, and that her report to the department was based on a failure to understand the distinction between commercial and personal lines. In addition, he obtained information that showed that the plaintiff was not suffering from emotional distress, as she had claimed. The case resolved for a nominal amount. 
  • Wrongful Termination: A yard supervisor claimed that he and his co-workers had been required to drive cement mixers in violation of the Department of Transportation’s hours of service requirements. Mr. Hamer was part of a trial team that obtained a defense verdict after a three-week jury trial. Mr. Hamer filed a crucial motion that barred evidence allegedly supporting the plaintiff’s theory of the case, and on which the plaintiff had relied in deciding to reject a settlement offer and take the case to trial.  

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