Matthew Lewis is a partner in the Employment Law Group in the San Francisco office.

Matt focuses on representing management in employment law matters before state and federal courts as well as in arbitrations, and before various administrative agencies. Matt handles all aspects of employment litigation, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage-and-hour disputes. He represents a broad range of clients, from large companies to small startups, and has extensive experience litigating a wide array of cases, from complex class and representative actions and multi-plaintiff harassment and discrimination actions, to individual claims before the California Labor Commissioner. Matt particularly enjoys working with clients in an effort to avoid litigation in the first place, regularly providing advice and counsel on a wide range of employment and labor relations issues including, but not limited to, policy and handbook updates, leave management, disability and accommodation issues, pay practices, performance, hiring and onboarding, reductions in force, and employee discipline.


Before joining Payne & Fears, Matt worked for the labor and employment practice group of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. He began his career at Meyers Nave, representing public agency employers throughout California in labor and employment issues. During law school, Matt worked as a judicial extern to the Hon. William H. Alsup of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. He also served as Comments Editor for the University of San Francisco Law Review.

Matt grew up in Marin County and continues to love calling the county home, with his wife and two boys. He is an active member of the Marin County Bar Association, where he serves on the programming committee, setting the agenda for monthly MCBA events and meetings. 

Representative Matters

  • Represented a healthcare provider in a case in which the claimant alleged discrimination on numerous grounds (including race, national origin, marital status, religion), as well as retaliation for complaining about safety issues related to COVID-19. Our team of attorneys prevailed on all of claimant’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) claims at arbitration, and later settled the one remaining claim in the matter.
  • Represented a large solar manufacturer and installer in a contentious race discrimination claim. Succeeded in moving the case to arbitration, and later settled the matter.
  • Represented a beverage company in achieving a favorable settlement in high-liability class and Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) representative action that would have done substantial harm to the business had it continued in litigation.
  • Represented a home design website company in multiple overlapping class and representative PAGA actions and achieved a favorable global settlement.
  • Successfully achieved dismissal through demurrer of a defamation claim against a Bay Area church.