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M&R’s Labor & Employment Practice Group prides itself on the innovative and client-focused approach it takes to the representation of employers in a range of industries – advertising and digital media, financial services, health care, hospitality, insurance, luxury goods, retail and apparel and technology, among them. Whether embroiled in litigation or handling transactional matters, we advance strategies completely aligned with our clients’ stated objectives and business goals.

Much of the guidance the firm furnishes employers is aimed at minimizing the risk of potential lawsuits. That begins with the creation of policies, practices and procedures that serve to limit litigation and otherwise minimize exposure. But when disputes do arise, our labor and employment litigators stand ready to zealously represent client interests, be it in state or federal court, at arbitration or mediation, or in the administrative setting. Indeed, we maintain a proven track record of success defending employers in an array of cases involving wage and 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 lawyers 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 well represented.

Areas Of Expertise

Labor Arbitrations; Strikes; Collective Bargaining: 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.

Misappropriation of Trade Secrets: By way of summary judgment, defeated a wrongful termination case filed against the owner of a small insurance brokerage by two former employees. Thereafter, obtained a $500,000 jury verdict on the defendant’s cross complaint, which alleged that the former employees misappropriated trade secrets (client lists).

Retaliation and Age Discrimination: 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.

Unfair Competition: 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.

Wage and Hour Audits: 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.

Wage and Hour Class ActionRepresented 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.

Whistleblower Defense: Substantially limited the exposure of a national meat packing company in a whistleblowing 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.

Whistleblower Litigation: 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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