Employment & Labor Law

With a unique combination of counseling and litigation capabilities, Hopkins & Carley's Employment and Labor team effectively leads clients through a myriad of regulations and litigation risks in a practical and cost-effective manner.

We handle a broad range of employment law matters, including counseling on day-to-day issues and litigation of disputes before courts and administrative agencies.  We advise and represent clients in all sectors, including technology, professional services, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and the public sector.

We provide clients with practical counseling advice on day-to-day issues such as:

  • Employment contracts
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Employee handbooks and personnel policies
  • Employee mobility, trade secrets, and covenants not to compete, particularly in the tech sector
  • Hiring "best practices"
  • Labor relations
  • Leaves of absence
  • Public entity employment
  • Reasonable accommodations for disabled employees and applicants
  • Reductions in force and WARN compliance
  • Termination of employment and employee discipline
  • Wage-and-hour compliance
  • Whistleblower complaints
  • Workplace violence

When litigation arises, our clients benefit not only from our deep knowledge of employment law, but also from our extensive experience in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels, arbitration and mediation.  We handle a wide range of disputes, including:

  • Class and collective actions
  • Discrimination (sex, age, disability, race, etc.)
  • Administrative agency complaints (including, EEOC, DFEH and EDD audits)
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Trade secrets, unfair competition and employee mobility
  • Wage-and-hour claims
  • Wrongful termination
  • Employee embezzlement

Please click here for additional information regarding our litigation capabilities.

We also provide training to managers and human resources professionals and publish frequent client alerts to our clients so they have the tools they need to respond to developments and prevent problems before they arise.   Some of the presentation topics we cover include:

  • Developing Effective Employee Handbooks
  • Managing Legal Risk in the Hiring and Onboarding Process
  • Leaves of Absence – The “Alphabet Soup of Leave Laws”
  • Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process — Getting it Right
  • Performance Management, Discipline, and Termination
  • Pay Them Now, or Pay Them Later: A Review of Current Issues and Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law
  • A Manager’s Guide to Discrimination, Harassment, and Abusive Conduct
  • Age discrimination/retaliation – Prevailed at trial on behalf of a financial services company in an age discrimination and retaliation suit filed by an employee who was terminated just one day after complaining to the Chief Executive Officer about age discrimination.
  • Unfair competition/employee mobility – Successfully defended two technology companies and three of their engineers in a case involving claims for more than $100 million based on alleged unfair competition and breach of non-solicitation covenants, negotiating a settlement that did not involve any payment by our clients.
  • Age discrimination and retaliation – Won summary judgment for a technology company in a lawsuit with 11 causes of action filed by a former manager who alleged age discrimination and retaliation.
  • Wage and hour class action – Defeated a motion to certify a class action lawsuit for violation of overtime laws filed by a group of truck drivers against a multi-state employer.
  • Unfair competition/employee mobility/covenant not to compete – Successfully opposed a motion for injunctive relief against our client, a Fortune 50 company, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of non-compete covenants for hiring two executives from a competitor, leading to a favorable resolution that enabled the executives to work in the roles for which they were hired.
  • Disability discrimination/reasonable accommodation – Successfully defended a national market research company against claims for discrimination and failure to provide reasonable accommodation, by winning dismissal of both claims through a motion for summary judgment.
  • Unfair competition/trade secrets – Obtained temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions in two separate jurisdictions on behalf of a leading financial services company after a regional sales representative shared proprietary and confidential data with competitors.
  • WARN Act/reduction in force – Successfully led a national manufacturer of semiconductor components through a large workforce reduction without triggering the WARN Act or generating any claims from affected employees.
  • Wage and hour class action – Represented a West Coast petroleum distributor in a class action suit regarding misclassified employees.  The case settled on terms that were favorable for our client.
  • Employee embezzlement – Recovered more than $750,000 misappropriated from a manufacturing company over time by a former payroll and accounting clerk.  
  • Collective bargaining – Negotiated more than 100 collective bargaining agreements for employers covered by the National Labor Relations Act, the Meyer-Milias-Brown Act, and the Educational Employment Relations Act.
  • Labor arbitration – Represented unionized employers in dozens of grievance arbitrations, including contract interpretation cases and just cause disciplinary actions and dismissals.
  • Retaliation – Represented an executive whose employment was terminated following complaints regarding the calculation of his bonus compensation, settling the dispute on favorable terms on the eve of arbitration.

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