Practices

Primary Industries

Industry Associations

  • 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

Community Involvement

The Lawrenceville School, Lawrenceville, NJ (Admissions Committee)

Lawrenceville Club of Southern California (Co-President)

National MS Society

The Trevor Project

Education

Southwestern University School of Law, J.D.

University of Southern California, M.A.

University of Southern California, B.A.

Photo of Lara A. H. Shortz

Lara A. H. Shortz

Firm Recruiting Partner
Los Angeles
T: 310.299.5500
F: 310.299.5600
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Lara Shortz, M&R’s Firm Recruiting Partner, handles the full spectrum of employment issues on behalf of management. Recently named one of the most influential women attorneys in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, Lara is frequently called upon to litigate single plaintiff and collective actions (class actions and PAGA claims) and administrative matters on a state and federal level (like those before the State Labor Commissioner, Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Occupational Safety and Health Administration). She has compiled a track record of success in cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour matters and executive compensation.

An extraordinary negotiator, Lara takes great pride in her ability to drive favorable settlements in both formal and informal settings. She puts those same skills to work negotiating executive employment agreements (which oftentimes involve complex equity and tax issues), commission agreements, independent contractor agreements, agreements involving restrictive covenants, non-competition agreements, severance agreements and related disputes.

A significant portion of Lara’s practice involves advice and counsel. She is sought after to provide guidance on a variety of legal and human resources issues (lawful hiring practices, leaves of absence and wage and hour compliance); investigations (sexual harassment, discrimination and employee and executive misconduct); workforce reductions (for example, mass layoffs in multiple states under the WARN Act); terminations; administrative and internal compliance audits; and supervisor and management trainings (including sexual harassment prevention). Lara has also helped multiple emerging companies establish their employment infrastructure in the form of policies, best practices and operational mechanisms that set them up for growth and success.

A member of M&R’s Hospitality Industry Group, Lara focuses much of her time servicing clients in the hotel and restaurant/food industry spaces. She represents clients in other sectors as well, including tech, real estate, manufacturing, financial services and insurance.

Community Involvement

Lara is co-chair of and an admissions interviewer for the Lawrenceville Alumni Club of Southern California, and a frequent volunteer at Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles.

Education

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.

Representative Matters

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 ActSuccessfully 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 LitigationSuccessfully defended environmental consultant in an employment retaliation and discrimination lawsuit while concurrently defending a Qui Tam whistleblower case that involved a related criminal investigation.

Publications

Past Speaking Engagements