Practice Areas

Employment

Expertise in Employment Law

Employment lawsuits represent substantial financial exposure to employers, both in terms of verdict potential and costs of defense. Burnham Brown has long-standing experience and extensive expertise in advising employers how to avoid costly suits, and in providing aggressive defense strategies when suits do occur. Our Employment Law Practice Group offers case-tested knowledge of applicable laws regarding discrimination, harassment, whistleblower, privacy, wrongful termination, breach of contract, violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title IX, and other current issues. We identify core issues quickly, recommend the best avenues to resolution, and counsel clients on preventing similar issues from arising again. We regularly help them create more effective employment policies, avoid litigation, and comply with evolving statutes, regulations, and administrative procedures.

Areas of Expertise

Workplace Discrimination

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Sexual harassment
  • Disability

Termination

  • Wrongful discharge in violation of public policy
  • Breach of employment contract
  • Workforce reduction
  • Whistleblower/retaliation

Workplace Privacy

  • First Amendment
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • E-mail and Internet
  • Defamation

Advice and Counsel

  • Draft policy and procedures manuals
  • Conduct discrimination/sexual harassment investigations
  • Draft employment contracts
  • Train officers, managers, and employees
  • Negotiate separation agreements

Employer/Employee Disputes

  • Workplace competition
  • Pregnancy and family leave
  • Wage and hour regulations
  • Employment contracts
  • Independent contractor/permanent
  • Employee determinations

Class Actions

  • Wage and hour

Representative Engagements in Employment Law

Burnham Brown leverages our proven expertise to provide superior value to clients that include for profit and nonprofit companies ranging from small businesses to members of the Fortune 500, as well as insurers and public entities. Our combined strengths in litigation and investigation enable us to help the client decide whether cases should be settled, mediated, or tried to verdict. Our extensive experience in litigation management allows us to effectively control costs from discovery through final decision. We are similarly skilled in managing mediation and negotiating settlements that provide the best long-term results for our clients. We have convinced plaintiffs' attorneys to abandon cases of questionable merit without payment, obtained court orders dismissing complaints, settled matters for nominal amounts, and obtained defense judgments through trial.

Litigation

  • Defended national based food chain and defeated certification of purported wage and hour class action involving allegations that over 100 fast food restaurant managers were misclassified as exempt and owed unpaid overtime, and meal/rest break policies.
  • Defeated certification of purported prevailing wage class action involving allegations that employees of a large construction company were improperly classified as laborers and not electrical workers.
  • Defended national food distributor in a wage and hour class action and obtained order dismissing the class' overtime claims.
  • Obtained non-suit ruling for Fortune 500 Company on plaintiff's age discrimination claim and defense verdict on remaining claims
  • Obtained defense verdict in Superior Court for national chain in wrongful termination cases
  • Obtained defense ruling before WCAB: employee claimed termination based on admitted work injury
  • Obtained defense ruling before State Labor Commissioner: former executive director claimed entitlement to overtime and other pay dating to beginning of employment
  • Successfully eliminated all but one claim for relief in federal court jury trial alleging violations of First Amendment, section 1983, and whistleblower statutes
  • Persuaded appellate court to reverse trial court's erroneous decision refusing enforcement of contractual arbitration provision by former employee claiming wrongful termination based on sexual orientation
  • Convinced federal trial and appellate courts to sustain motion for summary judgment disposing of sexual harassment and constructive discharge claims against large communications supplier
  • Persuaded trial court plaintiff's diagnosis of generalized Anxiety Disorder did not constitute disability under ADA; judgment for the defense issued
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of government entity accused of violating ADA in interview procedures
  • Resolved trade secret dispute involving inevitable disclosure allegations; successful settlement did not include any monetary payment

Advice and Counsel

  • Assist clients on policies, plans, intended actions, and in revising policies and procedures to comply with frequent changes in statutory and case law
  • Provide legal opinions on specific application of employment law, including drug testing, First Amendment issues, electronic mail
  • Mediate employer/employee disputes
  • Investigate discrimination, sexual harassment claims
  • Conduct seminars and presentations, and prepare articles on legal topics ranging from specific employment law matters to general litigation management
  • Train employers' officers and staff to assist in complying with harassment, diversity, hiring/discharge laws

To speak with a Burnham Brown attorney specializing in Employment Law, please call 510-444-6800 and ask to speak to a member of the Employment Law Practice Group.

Employment Group Leaders

View All Employment Attorneys

News

Client Alerts

Events

Articles