Labor & Employment


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Lara A. H. Shortz
Firm Recruiting Partner/Labor & Employment Practice Group Leader
[email protected]


Some of the most innovative and admired companies nationwide rely on M&R for our employment-related advice, counsel and litigation prowess.

While much of our guidance is aimed at reducing the risk of litigation—with the creation of policies, practices and procedures that serve to minimize lawsuits and related financial exposure—the firm’s employment litigators are always poised to zealously represent the interests of management, be it in state or federal court, at arbitration or mediation, or in the administrative setting. Indeed, we’ve compiled a proven track record of success defending employers in an array of cases involving wage & hour issues; benefits and compensation; disability, harassment and discrimination; employee hiring, discipline and termination; employment contracts; privacy rights; whistleblower claims; unfair competition and trade secrets; and union organization and collective bargaining.

Beyond the courtroom, our labor and employment specialists routinely perform workplace audits and compliance reviews, create handbooks and operations manuals, conduct training sessions, and help employers structure their organizations so as to optimize operations. No doubt about it, with M&R’s Labor & Employment Practice Group in their corner, employer clients are always well represented.

Areas of Expertise

Administrative Hearings
Employee Benefits & Compensation
Employment Practice Liability Insurance & Coverage Issues
Executive Employment Agreements
Harassment & Discrimination Claims
Hiring, Discipline & Termination
Labor Relations
Mergers & Acquisitions & Related Reductions in the Workforce
Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Cases
Wage & Hour Issues
Wage & Hour Class Actions
Whistleblower Defense
Workplace Audits & Compliance Reviews
Workplace Health & Safety

Representative Matters

Provided employment-related advice and counsel with respect to launch and operations of TV network for the streaming generation, aimed at gaming, pop culture, and esports audiences, including hiring and executive negotiations and guidance in connection with COVID-19.

Served as employment counsel for international automobile repair and roadside assistance company with over 500 employees.

Conducted and advised employers on numerous sexual harassment investigations relating to conduct in dealerships.

Represented multiple veterinary clinics in formation, compliance, and employment-related matters and litigation.

Represented talent agency in connection with employment-related fallout due to COVID-19, including advice and counsel concerning furloughs; separations; health and safety requirements (OSHA, etc.); workplace procedures, manuals, and employee training; telecommuting and electronic use policies; employee reintegration; and regulatory and municipal compliance.

Represented the former Executive Vice President of a Delaware-based financial services company in a lawsuit for defamation and related causes of action that was filed after a fellow company executive improperly suggested to third parties that the EVP was fired for stealing. After a five-day trial, a jury rendered a $1.05 million verdict in our client’s favor on his defamation claim and awarded punitive damages.

Successfully defended a regional radiology medical group in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by a former partner, which included a buyout of the partner’s interest.

Favorably resolved two separate age discrimination and retaliation lawsuits filed against a well-known medical group by employees that were terminated for cause—one for poor performance and the other for stealing. After threatening a cross-complaint against one of the plaintiffs who mishandled sensitive documents and absconded with company property, both cases settled for mere pennies on the dollar at mediation.

Resolved dual sexual harassment suits brought against regional painting company.

Successfully represented talent manager in sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former office personnel.

Represented renowned video game developer and publisher in several workplace discrimination disputes, including administrative hearings, and continue to provide employment-related advice and counsel to company pertaining to day-to-day operations.

Represented talent agent in connection with #MeToo-related matters and worked with talent agency regarding internal/external messaging and training.

Handled executive employment and compensation issues for major motion picture studios.

Prepared numerous executive employment agreements involving industry-specific compensation packages for educational institutions, health care providers, financial services firms, and entertainment, automotive, insurance, construction, restaurant, and food and beverage companies.

Represented hospitals’ nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Northern and Southern California in connection with labor arbitrations, strikes, collective bargaining negotiations and matters brought before the National Labor Relations Board.

Obtained a dismissal of a $50 million lawsuit filed against a Southern California hospital by hundreds of nurses who alleged the facility failed to pay overtime wages.

Conducted wage and hour audits for restaurant clients, which audits included an analysis of potential unpaid overtime, meal and rest break liability, pay stub violations and related issues.

Represented property managers in a $1 million class action lawsuit alleging plaintiffs were misclassified as exempt employees and entitled to overtime wages, meal penalties and related damages. Successfully established that plaintiffs were bound by an arbitration agreement.

Obtained a significant judgment in Illinois in favor of a computer programmer working on a visa whose employer had stolen a considerable amount of his wages, and successfully defended the programmer against a subsequent breach of fiduciary duty action filed against him by the employer. A motion to dismiss the case drafted and argued on behalf of the programmer was granted with prejudice.

Substantially limited the exposure of a national meat packing company in a whistleblower case brought by a human resources director who alleged that her employer hired illegal immigrants. After conducting a tactical investigation and proving that it was the director who knowingly hired the illegal workforce, the case was settled for one-tenth of what the damages would have been had it gone to trial.

Successfully defended an environmental consultant in an employment retaliation and discrimination lawsuit and a Qui Tam whistleblower case involving a related criminal investigation.

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