Amy Patton represents employers in state and federal courts in a broad range of labor and employment law matters, including claims for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, trade secret misappropriation and wage-and-hour violations.
She handles both single-plaintiff litigation and class actions in state and federal court and has appeared before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
In addition to her litigation practice, Amy assists management in the development of sound workplace practices and policies. She counsels employers on compliance with family and medical leave laws, wage-and-hour compliance, and employee discipline issues. She advises clients on the creation and implementation of leave programs, conducts wage-hour and pay practices audits, analyzes exemption status under state and federal law, and drafts and updates employee handbooks and other personnel policies.
Amy is a member of the firm’s five-person Management Committee, which is the firm’s primary governance committee. She also is the Co-Chair of the firm’s Employment Law Group, and Co-Chair of the firm’s Marketing & Business Development Committee.
Before joining Payne & Fears, Amy was an associate for five years with Latham & Watkins, where she obtained significant experience in all areas of employment law and in business litigation. Amy started her legal career in the labor and employment department of a regional law firm in Texas. She also practiced in the commercial litigation department of a regional law firm in Arizona.
Amy enjoys her involvement with civic and charitable organizations, spending time with her family, and traveling.
- Successfully defended an employer in a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) lawsuit, obtaining a dismissal of the claims by demurrer on the grounds that a plaintiff cannot bring a second PAGA action after the defendant resolves an identical PAGA action in another matter. On appeal, successfully defended the trial court’s ruling. (See related opinion)
- Successfully resolved for nuisance value a class action lawsuit brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act alleging that workers nationwide were improperly classified as independent contractors rather than employees.
- Successfully resolved a PAGA lawsuit alleging that per diems meant to reimburse the expenses of traveling healthcare employees were disguised wages.
- Successfully resolved a class action lawsuit with PAGA claims alleging miscalculation of the regular rate of pay with regard to flat sum bonuses.
- Successfully resolved a class action lawsuit with PAGA claims alleging improper rounding of time-related to the start time and duration of meal periods.
- Successfully resolved, on an individual basis, a PAGA lawsuit alleging that nonexempt employees were paid improperly at the base rate of pay for sick time taken under California’s Healthy Families Healthy Workplaces Act.
- Successfully resolved, on an individual basis, a PAGA lawsuit alleging that the employer improperly failed to pay overtime and double time at the appropriate rate and failed to provide meal and rest periods in accordance with California law.
- Successfully resolved a single-plaintiff lawsuit under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) alleging sexual assault allegations. The allegations had already been tested in labor arbitration with a finding that they had occurred.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of the employer in a case alleging retaliation in violation of California Labor Code § 6310 for reporting unsafe working conditions and successfully defended the summary judgment on appeal. (See related opinion)
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of the employer in an Equal Pay Act lawsuit, and defeated cross-motion for summary judgment.