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Employment and Civil Rights


Employment matters in which we are experienced encompass a wide variety of issues, including:

  • Contractual relations and benefits for new hire executives and employees; severance or transition agreements, for terminated executives or employees.

  • Fraud-related matters concerning the nature, responsibilities and compensation of an employment offer or change in terms of employment.

  • Trade secret, confidential information, restrictive covenants claims against employees who go to work for competitor of ex-employer, or start a competitive business.

  • Discrimination, harassment or retaliatory actions based upon the employee’s status as a member of a protected class (such as gender, race, age, sexual orientation or disability) which may result in termination or other adverse job or career consequences.

  • Termination based upon reasons which were against public policy, primarily as set forth in statutes.

  • Loss of reputation in the employee’s industry based upon the employer’s statements, either prior to or after termination.

  • Civil rights of citizens and residents as set forth in a number of constitutional and statutory guarantees, both state and federal, which provide for protections for a variety of areas, including basic civil rights and employment rights with which the government may not interfere, use of force incidents by law enforcement, rights against discrimination in housing or retail establishments other than employment,, voting, and a variety other matters.

Representative cases we have handled in the Employment and Civil Rights areas include the following:


  • Accounting firm's covenants not to compete or solicit clients held invalid under Business & Professions Code Section 16600 as to plaintiff, its former manager.  Edwards v. Arthur Andersen, LLP, 44 Cal.4th 937 (2008).

  • CEO of publicly held company fired and then sued by company for damages due to CEO's pre-termination actions.  Cross-complaint by CEO for money owed and losses.  Settled after court trial and findings in favor of CEO on both complaint and cross-complaint, but prior to entry of judgment. Settlement to CEO:  $2,500,000. ​​

  • ​​​​Plaintiff supervisor was employed for 26 years and then terminated after reporting fraud/theft involving executives of company, and receipt of death threats. Verdict of $1,031,000 general damages, with finding of malice and oppression; settled prior to punitive damage phase of trial. 

  • Plaintiff hispanic store manager demoted, then fired, after repeated incidents of racial discrimination and harassment by employer's officers. Verdict: $2,087,500.

  • Plaintiffs husband and wife sales team fired despite excellent sales record after employer cut commissions.  Verdict: $1,807,512.

  • Plaintiffs were three African American refinery workers terminated after 9, 14 and 19 years of service by supervisor with history of racially discriminatory conduct.

  • Plaintiff Deputy Sheriff terminated for reporting information to Sheriff's Department on potential criminal conduct by other deputies obtained during joint task force investigation with DEA. Verdict: $4,506,015.  Reduced on appeal to $2,500,000. Hager v. County of Los Angeles,  228 Cal.App.4th 1538 (2014).  

  • Plaintiffs female firefighter and female paramedic sexually harassed by male captain with history of sexual harassment. Settlement: $1,350,000. 

  • Plaintiff Deputy Sheriff retaliated against, and forced to resign, after he refused to participate in senior executive's political campaign, and reported to Sheriff on political activities and misconduct within Department.

  • Plaintiff female county employee (age 49) with conversion disorder denied reasonable accommodation under ADA and FEHA, and terminated.  Jury verdict:  $1,033,500.  Settlement of $1,350,000 during post-trial motions. 

  • Three senior female executives (and the employer's only female executives) were terminated by employer which replaced them with male executives.  Gender discrimination claims against former employer.   


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