- California Hotel & Lodging Association
- California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA)
Bar & Court Admissions
- State Bar of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ (Admissions Committee)
Lawrenceville Club of Southern California (Co-President)
National MS Society
The Trevor Project
Southwestern University School of Law, J.D.
University of Southern California, M.A.
University of Southern California, B.A.
Lara A. H. Shortz
A partner in M&R’s Labor & Employment Department and member of the firm’s Hospitality Industry Group, Lara Shortz handles complex litigation and administrative matters and provides advice and counsel primarily within the hospitality and financial services sectors.
A seasoned employment lawyer, Lara has successfully litigated actions involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, misclassification, executive compensation and related business issues. From pleadings through trial, she has defended countless cases, both single plaintiff and representative matters (class actions and PAGA claims), having developed a particular expertise in driving favorable settlements for clients in decidedly problematic disputes.
Lara is highly sought after for guidance regarding the intricacies of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), among others. Likewise, she advises clients in a myriad of workplace matters, including discrimination and sexual harassment prevention, wrongful termination, workforce reductions, lawful hiring practices, non-competition agreements and wage and hour compliance. Beyond this, Lara handles executive employment contract disputes, and she conducts workplace training and investigations and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) audits.
In the administrative setting, Lara has vast experience negotiating with the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) as well as the EEOC. She is also a skilled advocate in administrative hearings, state and federal.
Outside the area of labor and employment, Lara is a California State Water Resources & Control Board’s Underground Storage Tank (UST) Fund authority. In that capacity, she has defended UST consultants in initial matters brought by the Water Board’s Fraud, Waste and Abuse Unit; been involved in Qui Tam (whistleblower) actions against UST consultants; and coordinated civil defense matters concurrent with criminal investigations by the California Attorney General.
A former Chair of the Women Attorneys of M&R (WAMR), Lara is also a member of the firm’s Recruiting Committee.
Lara is co-chair of and an admissions interviewer for the Lawrenceville Alumni Club of Southern California.
Lara earned her J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law, where she served as a board member of the Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Honors Program and was a semifinalist in the National Trial Competition. She was also Vice President of the Media Law Forum and a judicial extern to the Hon. Gregory W. Alarcon of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Before law school, Lara received her M.A. in Communications Management from the University of Southern California, where she also earned her B.A. and participated in the Annenberg School of Communication’s Honors Internship Program.
- Counseling & Negotiation: Audited approximately 400 positions at major gaming company to determine exempt and non-exempt employment status of workforce.
- Counseling & Negotiation: Advised hotel client regarding best practices relative to complex and sensitive employee leave (pregnancy and disability) issues.
- Counseling & Negotiation: Advised mortgage bank client regarding best practices relative to misclassification (exempt/non-exempt employee) issues.
- Litigation: Successfully defended multiple television and production companies against wage and hour misclassification and related PAGA claims.
- Litigation: Defended class action lawsuit on behalf of hotel sued for multiple wage and hour violations as well as violation of the Los Angeles Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance, an issue of first impression.
- Litigation: Acted as second chair in bench trial representing private high net worth investor in a technology company that created English language learning software distributed to the Chinese market. Recovered multi-million dollar verdict on behalf of client against principal who hid assets overseas and failed to deliver returns on investment.
- Litigation: Negotiated a highly favorable settlement for hotel client facing a pregnancy discrimination action prosecuted by a former employee.
- WARN Act: Successfully represented media and marketing business conducting mass layoffs, requiring exhaustive federal and state (California and New York) WARN Act analysis and transition to bankruptcy counsel that led to the ultimate restructuring of the company.
- WARN Act: Advised large food production company conducting mass layoffs under the WARN Act in coordination with the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
- Whistleblower Litigation: Successfully defended environmental consultant in an employment retaliation and discrimination lawsuit while concurrently defending a Qui Tam whistleblower case that involved a related criminal investigation.
- Law360, January 2, 2017
- Law360, May 23, 2016
- Hotel Business, February 24, 2016
- California Lodging News, February 16, 2016
- Law360, January 13, 2016
- AAHOA Lodging Business, October 6, 2015
- Law360, July 15, 2015
- Society of Human Resources Management , April 23, 2015
- Law360, March 25, 2015
- Hotel News Now, February 11, 2015
- Nation's Restaurant News, April 26, 2017
- Hotel News Now, January 20, 2017
- Hotel News Now, February 10, 2016
- HALA Newsletter, November 10, 2015
- Hotel Management, August 10, 2015
- HALA Newsletter, July 23, 2015
- Hotel News Now, March 16, 2015
Past Speaking Engagements
- Hotel Association of Los Angeles and Michelman & Robinson, LLPLos Angeles, CA, November 15, 2016
- Pacific Oil ConferenceLos Angeles, CA, September 7, 2016
- Southern California Hotel & Lodging ConferencePomona, CA, May 26, 2016
- 2nd Annual GGRA Industry ConferenceSan Francisco, CA, April 12, 2016
- Hospitality Law ConferenceHouston, TX, February 23, 2016
- 2016 InnSpire Conference & Trade ShowMonterey, CA, February 2, 2016
- Hotel Association of Los Angeles and Michelman & Robinson, LLPUniversal City, January 28, 2016
- California Hotel & Lodging AssociationSan Diego, CA, November 18, 2015
- 2015 Southern California Hotel & Lodging ConferenceCity of Industry, CA, September 23, 2015
- 2015 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade ShowLong Beach, CA, April 23, 2015
- Hospitality Law ConferenceHouston, TX, February 10, 2015
- Arbitration Agreements: Do Yours Include All Necessary Carve Outs? April 26, 2017
- No Relief in Sight: Ninth Circuit Refuses to Block LA Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance August 26, 2016
- How Can My Property Comply With All These New Minimum Wage & Sick Leave Laws? August 2, 2016
- In Rush to Comply With Minimum Wage Ordinance, Remember Your Vendors April 28, 2016
- Governor Brown Vetoes Controversial AB 465 October 27, 2015
- Seminal NLRB Decision Redefines Joint Employer Liability August 27, 2015
- Q&A: Los Angeles’ Hotel Minimum Wage July 23, 2015
- How to Avoid and Respond to a Cyber-Attack April 23, 2015
- Anatomy of a Hospitality Data Breach February 10, 2015
- House Passes Bill to Protect 40-Hour Work Week January 20, 2015
- Should Workers Receive Double Pay on Holidays? January 5, 2015
- HALA Breakfast SeminarNovember 15, 2016
- Southern California Hotel & Lodging ConferenceMay 26, 2016
- 2nd Annual GGRA Industry ConferenceApril 12, 2016
- Hospitality Law ConferenceFebruary 23, 2016
- Los Angeles Hotelier Guide to Navigating the 2016 Legal LandscapeJanuary 28, 2016
- CH&LA's Women in Lodging SeminarNovember 18, 2015
- 2015 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade ShowApril 23, 2015
- Hospitality Law ConferenceFebruary 10, 2015
- California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA)November 12, 2014
- M&R Food & Beverage Hot Topics Seminar: Growth Planning for Restaurant BusinessesOctober 13, 2014
- Professional Environmental Management Association (PEMA)February 18, 2014
- California Unified Program (Cal CUPA) Annual Training Conference ForumFebruary 3, 2014