Tyler Runge is a highly skilled labor and employer lawyer who defends public and private employers in a wide range of civil matters, from single-plaintiff lawsuits to large class and representative actions.

Tyler practices before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, at both the trial and appellate levels, and has represented clients in a variety of disputes, including wage-and-hour, California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), prevailing wage, discrimination, harassment, whistleblower retaliation, wrongful termination, and invasion of privacy claims.

In addition to his civil practice, Tyler has an active traditional labor practice, regularly representing employers in labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, including discipline and discharge arbitrations, collective bargaining agreement interpretation disputes, unfair labor practice charges, and representation petitions and claims. 

Tyler also routinely provides day-to-day counseling to employers on a broad array of labor and employment issues, including compliance with federal and state laws, and has experience drafting employment agreements, policies, and handbooks. He also provides training to employers, including EEO compliance and harassment prevention training.

Tyler has represented clients in many industries, including healthcare, entertainment, hospitality, financial services, aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, construction, airline, and retail.

Tyler leads Payne & Fears’ longstanding partnership with the Orange County Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section to analyze and present on appellate case developments in California state and federal courts.


Tyler graduated from Harvard Law School in 2015, magna cum laude, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Latino Law Review, a journal devoted to providing a forum for the scholarly discussion of legal issues affecting Latin American communities in the United States.

After graduation, Tyler clerked for the Honorable Sandra L. Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston.

Before joining Payne & Fears, Tyler was a Labor & Employment associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Outside of the office, Tyler enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, reading historical nonfiction (especially biographies, and books about California impressionism), building collections (Monopoly board games, Starbucks mugs, Supreme Court bobbleheads), and crocheting.

Representative Matters

  • Secured a complete summary judgment for a manufacturing client against a former employee who alleged she had been 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.
  • Obtained a complete defense victory, after a five-day arbitration, in a suit brought by a former employee of a Fortune 500 company who claimed he was discriminated against and wrongfully terminated on the basis of his age.
  • Negotiated a “walkaway” settlement of a lawsuit alleging failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, whistleblower retaliation, and wrongful termination, after filing a motion for summary judgment on all claims.
  • Negotiated a nuisance value settlement of a lawsuit alleging whistleblower retaliation under occupational health and safety laws, wrongful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress after successfully demurring to all causes of action.
  • Won reversal before the National Labor Relations Board of a regional director’s adverse decision in a representation proceeding, where Payne & Fears had filed on behalf of a healthcare client a UC petition aimed at imposing order on an arbitrary patchwork of three competing and overlapping bargaining units.
  • Successfully defended, after an eight-day arbitration, against a union’s challenge to a Fortune 500 company’s decision to subcontract work to individuals outside of the union’s bargaining unit.
  • Successfully defended, in a seven-day arbitration, against a union’s challenge to a healthcare employer’s termination of a long-term employee for sexual harassment of a coworker.
  • Successfully defended, in a five-day arbitration, against a union’s challenge to a healthcare employer’s termination of a long-term employee for engaging in acts of sexual harassment, sexual orientation harassment, and abusive conduct towards coworkers and trainees.
  • Successfully defended, in a five-day arbitration, against a union’s challenge to a healthcare employer’s termination of an employee for engaging in timecard fraud.