Employment Litigation (Discrimination/Harassment)
We know success is different for everyone.
Sometimes, despite our best practices approach to assist you in ensuring that your workplace is legally compliant and respectful, litigation occurs. Hirschfeld Kraemer is there to help you achieve your goals in managing the demands of that often complex process. We have the experience – be it state and federal court or administrative agencies such as the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. We regularly defend employers in wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, non-compete, defamation and other labor and employment claims.
We consider ourselves “thoughtfully aggressive.” We work with our clients at the onset of a case to first define what success on a given matter might mean for the organization. As early as possible, we determine whether the case can be dismissed by motion, what discovery needs to be conducted to best position the case for you, and whether to pursue resolution through mediation or another alternative dispute resolution technique, and, when a case needs to be tried, we look forward to the challenge and really shine. Our attorneys know how to successfully try a case before an arbitrator, judge or jury, and we know the difference in the approach necessary for the positive result that you expect.
Labor and Employment Arbitration
We are obsessed with careful preparation.
Whether the arbitration centers on a union contesting employee discipline or on contract interpretation, or involves an employee termination in a non-union context, we bring a wealth of experience and success to the table. Our outstanding results stem from an obsession with careful preparation informed by a high level of creativity in presenting a defense specific to the arbitral forum.
Class Actions and PAGA Claims
We believe in the importance of thinking things through.
Class actions can be a gold mine for industrious plaintiffs’ lawyers – pooling together numerous small claims of wage and hour for missed meal and rest periods, off-the-clock work or alleged misclassification can be far larger than any single plaintiff lawsuit. And these cases can be daunting.
That’s why we believe in thoughtful early evaluation, partnering with clients at this stage to get a sense of the case. We will develop the most effective strategy in each case, routinely negotiating favorable settlements, even in the most complex cases, when liability is established. We bring a special expertise to these cases because many of our most experienced class action defense lawyers also regularly counsel clients in exactly the same areas. We are actually one of the few firms to have tried a wage and hour class action, and have been involved in cutting edge appellate litigation in the state and federal courts.
Plaintiff-side class action lawyers all know and respect us, which works to each of our clients’ advantage.
Wage & Hour
We’ll bring in the specialists.
Wage and hour has become a hotbed of litigation, as many employers have discovered the hard way. Hirschfeld Kraemer has extensive experience defending employers when they find themselves the target of a governmental audit or legal claims. We regularly represent employers in audits by state and federal wage/hour and tax agencies, administrative proceedings before the California Labor Commissioner and other agencies, lawsuits alleging wage/hour violations brought by individuals, wage and hour class actions, and appellate-level proceedings.
trade secrets / unfair competition
We protect and defend what’s critically valuable to the organization, but may be intangible.
When confidential and trade secret business information is in hard data form, it can be fairly straightforward to protect. But when the information resides in the minds of key employees, it can be far more challenging. When disputes arise over unfair competition, covenants not to compete, duty of loyalty, trade secrets and related issues surrounding losing – or hiring – key employees, our experienced litigators are there. Just as importantly, when an organization loses a key employee, we will help you respond immediately to prevent theft of trade secrets or confidential information, limit the misuse of customer information and stop any improper raiding of other employees in the first place. And when you’re hiring, you may unwittingly become the target of the former employer’s anger just as much as the former employee. We’ll help you avoid becoming the target of litigation and aggressively resist any improper efforts to limit full and fair competition.
We handle your unique legal needs.
Higher education clients have many of the same legal needs as other employers, but deal with many unique issues as well. We regularly defend our educational institutions in legal matters including wrongful termination, tenure denial, discrimination, harassment and student-initiated litigation. At the outset of any litigation, we work with our clients to define what success for a given litigation matter might mean for the institution. We don’t drive the litigation; our clients’ desired outcome does.
We’ll take things to the next level.
Whether your organization is appealing an adverse trial court result, defending the appeal of a trial court success, or seeking review by the highest state or federal court, Hirschfeld Kraemer attorneys will be zealous and effective advocates on your behalf.
We’ve prevailed in both the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court on an issue of first impression concerning an employer’s entitlement to attorneys’ fees under the California Labor Code; obtained the complete reversal of an $8.2 million punitive damages verdict in a wrongful termination case brought by a former physician; obtained a new trial on a former university professor’s discrimination claims in the Ninth Circuit due to the erroneous admission of testimony from a “racism” expert; and successfully defended an order granting a new trial after an adverse jury verdict against a university client, in both the California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court.
Resolving litigation inevitably involves a process. There are often many twists and turns along the way. Even when a client’s actions, such as a legitimate, non-discriminatory termination of an employee, is wholly justifiable, the employee may, nevertheless, strike back.Read More ›
Before retaining our firm, this company was inundated with grievances and lawsuits, most of which lacked any merit. However, the company had in most cases concluded that it was easier and cheaper to settle them quickly, regardless of merit. And when the cases did go to trial or arbitration, they’d often lose because they weren’t willing to commit the necessary resources to defend these cases because of their perception that the costs outweighed the potential liability.Read More ›
One matter involved a corporation that provides health care services to patients in their own homes, nationwide. The company employs sales representatives who meet with physicians to explain the roster of services it offers to individuals requiring home care. Based on such meetings, the doctors, in turn, ultimately recommend the company’s home health services to their patients.Read More ›