The Labor and Employment Department of Payne & Fears specializes in representing local, regional and national employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and related litigation. We defend employers in employment cases, ranging from single-plaintiff wage and hour actions to complex disparate treatment cases brought on behalf of thousands of employees. We deliver cost-effective results through early, comprehensive assessment of the facts and case strategy. While many of our cases are resolved by dispositive motions and early resolution, we are also skilled trial attorneys who successfully take employment cases of every size and type through trial, arbitrations and administrative proceedings. Our major areas of expertise include:
After a lengthy and contentious 2 ½-year court battle, Payne & Fears secured for its client a payment of $10,000 from a Plaintiff as part of a judgment in a case involving severe allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged multiple instances of sexual harassment by a coworker over an eight-year period, and subsequent retaliation by the client’s human resources department. Throughout the case, however, the client consistently maintained that the coworker and the Plaintiff had been involved in a consensual 8-year relationship. Over the course of the heavily-litigated discovery phase, Payne & Fears obtained love letters, greeting cards, gifts, and corroborating testimony supporting the client’s version of the case. Payne & Fears also secured an expert analysis of the parties’ personal cell phones, which resulted in the recovery of several deleted text messages from Plaintiff confirming the existence of a consensual relationship, as well as unlawful surreptitious recordings of conversations that Plaintiff had made at work. After filing a cross-complaint for common law and statutory privacy violations based on the secret recordings, Payne & Fears won summary judgment on those claims, and secured a judgment for its client of $10,000 against Plaintiff.
Jeffrey K. Brown and Alejandro G. Ruiz were the attorneys on the case.
Payne & Fears LLP secured complete summary judgment and a voluntary dismissal on behalf of a client in two separate cases filed by the client’s former employee. The employee filed one action alleging that she was discriminated and retaliated against due to a disability that put her out of work indefinitely, and that she was not reasonably accommodated for this disability. The employee filed a second action styled as a wage and hour class action alleging she and other similarly situated employees were denied overtime pay, meal periods, and rest breaks, among other things. In the individual discrimination case, Payne & Fears successfully argued that the employer had gone above and beyond its legal obligations to accommodate the employee and that her request for an indefinite leave of absence was per se unreasonable and therefore not required by law. The Orange County Superior Court agreed and granted summary judgment on all six causes of action in that case. Following the employer’s summary judgment victory in the individual discrimination case, the employee agreed to voluntarily dismiss her wage and hour claims from her class action lawsuit. Jeff Brown, Alex Ruiz, and Tyler Runge defended the case for the employer, with Alex Ruiz handling the oral argument of the summary judgment motion.