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:

Successes

Oct 05

Payne & Fears LLP Wins Five-Year Battle on Behalf of Client Medway Plastics Corporation

Payne & Fears LLP won a five-year battle on behalf of client Medway Plastics Corporation, ending with the California Court of Appeal upholding dismissals by the arbitrator and trial court.

Two former employees of Medway filed their complaint in 2013.  We moved swiftly to compel arbitration, which the trial court denied. We appealed, and the Court of Appeal agreed with us and ordered arbitration.

When Plaintiffs waited more than a year to file their complaint in arbitration, we moved to dismiss their claims as untimely.  This argument was accepted by the arbitrator, who dismissed the case.  Plaintiffs then appealed, first to the trial court (who agreed with us and the arbitrator) and then to the Court of Appeal.

In its 22-page decision, the Court of Appeal upheld the decisions of the arbitrator and the trial court to dismiss the case.

Medway Plastics Corporation was defended by Phil Lem, who prepared the briefings and argued successfully before the arbitrator, the trial court and twice at the Court of Appeal.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, Appellate Law (Labor)

Attorneys: Blake A. Dillion, Daniel F. Fears , Laura Fleming, Philip K. Lem

Apr 24

Payne & Fears Secures Preliminary Injunction Against Former E*TRADE Employee

Payne & Fears obtained a victory in favor of client E*TRADE in an action brought against a former employee.

In the case E*TRADE Financial Corporation v.  Eaton, 305 F. Supp. 3d 1029 (D. Ariz. 2018), the former employee testified that he contacted his former employer’s clients, by telephone, to announce his new position and provide his new contact information. The former employee claimed that he was required, by certain rules applicable to certified financial planners, to provide his new contact information to the clients he previously serviced. The former employee admitted, however, that if he was unable to speak with a client in “real-time,” he did not send that client an e-mail, letter, flyer, or some other written communication to provide his new contact information.

The court found that by insisting on conveying his switching firms only in a live and real-time conversation and never following up to provide his new contact information to those former clients who did not assent to a telephone call, “[the former employee’s] primary purpose was to solicit their business to him and away from [his former employer].”  This, the court held, constituted improper solicitation in violation of the agreement between the former employee and employer.

Rod Sorensen and Rhianna Hughes defended the case on behalf of E*TRADE.  This case expanded the definition of client solicitation under Arizona law.  Now, not only is the content of the former employee’s communications relevant, but so is the manner in which the communication occurs.

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, Trade Secret and Unfair Business Practices

Attorneys: Rhianna S. Hughes, Rod Sorensen