Payne & Fears regularly represents local, regional, and national employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and related civil litigation. Our major areas of concentration include employment discrimination and wrongful termination litigation, wage-and-hour litigation, class action defense, union prevention and labor-management relations, unfair competition litigation, and consultation and advice on a broad range of personnel matters. Our attorneys frequently lecture and publish on employment law topics to teach other attorneys and business professionals about employment law.

The following are some of the areas in which we possess particular experience:

Labor & Employment Litigation: Employment Discrimination

We have an extensive employment discrimination practice in the state and federal trial and appellate courts and before governmental agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the California Civil Rights Department (CRD). We regularly represent employers in response to charges, investigations, and litigation involving discrimination and harassment claims. Our employment discrimination litigation practice runs the gamut from straightforward disparate treatment cases to class action lawsuits and other cases raising novel theories or posing the risk of substantial verdicts. We also defend administrative actions and civil litigation where property management firms are charged with housing discrimination.

Labor & Employment Litigation: Wrongful Discharge Litigation 

Wrongful termination and related claims arising out of the employment relationship continue to proliferate in California. Tort and contract theories appear regularly in wrongful discharge cases and are often pled in sexual harassment actions as well. Intentional infliction of emotional distress and other related tort theories often accompany Title VII and other civil rights claims. We have significant experience handling such litigation, this being a major focus of our practice.

Labor & Employment Litigation: Labor-Management Relations 

We represent companies in the traditional labor law field in matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including union organizing campaigns and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and in the courts. We also represent employers in collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations of grievances under collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, we represent our clients in federal court in contract actions and duty of fair representation matters, as well as litigation in both state and federal courts arising from picketing and strikes. We also provide union avoidance labor relations counseling programs to our clients.

Labor & Employment Litigation: Wage-and-Hour Litigation

Payne & Fears’ labor and employment litigators have significant experience defending employers against wage-and-hour violation claims brought individually, collectively, or through class action lawsuits. 

We defend employers in administrative and judicial proceedings under federal and state laws governing independent contractor status, entitlement to overtime pay, calculation of overtime pay, payment of vacation, personal and sick pay, and recordkeeping obligations. 

Our employment attorneys have experience with the California Labor Code and Wage Orders, Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Davis-Bacon Act, and the Service Contract Act. We are committed to staying current on court decisions and legislative actions that affect the complex laws governing wage-and-hour requirements.