Labor and Employment Experience
General Labor and Employment Experience
- Represented a publicly traded national corporation in a sexual harassment case, which included extreme allegations of sexual misconduct, with fingers pointing all the way up to the President and Vice Presidents of the company. We conducted a quick and confidential internal investigation, and before the plaintiff was able to conduct any major discovery, we persuaded opposing counsel to engage in a mediation session. The case, which could have been explosive from a public relations point of view, and could have resulted in punitive damages, settled for less than six figures to the client's extreme satisfaction.
- Represented a national supplier of construction equipment that employs nearly 10,000 workers in a national claim by the Department of Labor that the company had misclassified hundreds of exempt workers. The exposure on the claim was in the millions. We were able to quickly persuade the DOL to allow the company to correct the errors prospectively, and arranged a small settlement for the affected workers.
- Represented a local telecommunications company that experienced a loss of three key people, who then formed their own competing business and proceeded to lure away the company's best workers. We sought and were awarded a temporary restraining order against the former workers and negotiated a going-forward resolution to everyone's satisfaction.
- Represented a major national airline in a sexual harassment and retaliation claim. A female pilot claimed that a captain made inappropriate sexual remarks and that she was terminated for reporting them. We convinced the District Court that, even if true, the comments were not severe or pervasive as a matter of law. Further, we convinced the trial court that no credible evidence existed to support the plaintiff's claim of pretext. The court granted summary judgment on all claims.
- Defended a highly contentious sexual harassment case which became one of the cases the plaintiff's employment bar sought to use to challenge the Constitutionality of Arizona's Employment Protection Act (AEPA). We persuaded the trial court to dismiss plaintiff's tort claim of "wrongful discharge" based on the AEPA, and argued the case when plaintiff took a special action to the Arizona Supreme Court. Over 100 employment law attorneys attended the oral argument; the Supreme Court handed our client a complete victory, adopting all of the arguments we raised in our briefing. Finley v. Calvary Rehabilitation.
- Represented numerous large employers in class action and pattern and practice cases, including claims of age, gender, disability and race discrimination. The actions we have defended involve virtually every facet of the employment relationship, including hiring, promotions, job assignments, and layoffs.
- Represented major shipping / parcel company at an arbitration in which the union representing the parcel truck drivers was challenging the company's policy of automatically deducting a half-hour for lunch. The drivers claimed that they did not have time to take their lunch and that the policy violated the union contract. The company prevailed, and estimated that if we had lost this arbitration, the cost would amount to over $10 million annually.
- Handle literally hundreds of EEOC position statements each year, with very few resulting in cause findings. We have developed a program to assist several of our clients in developing their own internal procedures to investigate and draft responses to EEOC charges so that the attorneys fees expended is minimized.
- Represented a large national property and casualty insurer in a contentious male-on-male reverse gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit. Despite potentially problematic factual allegations, we collaboratively assessed with the client that the matter was defensible and could be won on a dispositive motion. After targeted discovery, we successfully moved for summary judgment on all claims and obtained a complete defense judgment and an award of attorneys fees. The fee award likely was not collectible, and we convinced the plaintiff to dismiss his appeal of the summary judgment in exchange for waiving the fee award.
- Represented a national auto parts and service chain in a nationally publicized case of alleged wrongful termination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by a naval reservist. This federal court lawsuit was the subject of inflammatory media publicity on CNN's MoneyLine and other major media outlets. We minimized the dispute by successfully compelling the federal action into private mediation after extensive briefing in which we convinced the Arizona district court not to follow California law precedent declining to enforce similar arbitration agreements. Compelling the action into private arbitration significantly reduced the value of the USERRA discrimination claims and positioned the case for an early and favorable settlement without adversarial arbitration proceedings.
- Representation of a municipality in a wrongful termination lawsuit by a former employee. The employee alleged that her termination resulted after she reported alleged illegal activity that her boss, the city judge, did nothing about. It was undisputed that after the report, the judge called the employee a “backstabber,” and eliminated her position shortly thereafter. We convinced the district court that the judge was entitled to legislative immunity in eliminating the position, and motive could not be considered. The court granted summary judgment on that basis.
- Represented a major pharmaceutical company in a wrongful termination claim, based on sexual harassment and retaliation. The plaintiff claimed that management condoned a vendor's sexual harassment and alleged assault of her. After extensive discovery, we convinced the district court that summary judgment was appropriate for several alternative reasons. The plaintiff did not appeal and fees/costs were assessed against the plaintiff.
- Represent national insurance company in multiple agent termination cases, including obtaining summary judgment on a male employee's reverser discrimination claim.
- Represent insurance companies in multiple agent wrongful termination cases.
- Represent financial service company in multiple registered representative wrongful termination and discrimination NASD arbitration proceedings.