Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Service Details

Labor and Employment

California’s complex employment laws and regulations pose constantly evolving challenges and pitfalls for employers that often significantly threaten workplace productivity and profitability. Our Labor and Employment attorneys use their broad and substantial experience to provide proactive counseling and assist clients in successfully navigating such challenges.

Our clients range from multinational corporations with thousands of employees to small business owners with a handful of employees. What our clients do have in common is a need for attorneys that are experienced, efficient and responsive. That is what our attorneys deliver, whether in a ten minute proactive and preventative telephone call, or when they are helping shape California employment law in published court decisions, in written legal commentaries or in periodic employment bulletins.

Our attorneys regularly practice in all California state and federal courts, providing litigation representation in wage and hour matters, complex class actions, wrongful termination claims, discrimination and harassment disputes, non-solicitation and non-competition actions, enforcing confidentiality agreements, and in unfair competition actions involving former employees. Such representation routinely involves an early evaluation of whether such disputes can be most efficiently resolved through mediation, arbitration, or some other informal or formal dispute resolution procedure.

We similarly provide a wealth of experienced representation in administrative proceedings before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, Employment Development Department, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, OSHA and similar administrative agencies.

Our proactive transactional services include helping clients address:

  • Wage and hour issues
  • Discrimination and harassment investigations
  • Workplace privacy issues
  • Hiring systems and documentation
  • Employee discipline and terminations
  • Reasonable accommodations
  • Americans with Disability Act issues
  • Protection of trade secrets
  • Compliance adherence
  • Compensation and commission matters
  • Personnel policies and handbook drafting
  • Employment agreements and contracts including non-solicitation agreements and confidentiality agreements
  • Grievance administration, exit negotiation and severance agreements
  • Leave of absence issues
  • Employment matters relating to mergers and acquisitions
  • Affirmative action plans
  • Mass layoffs, reductions in force, and WARN issues
  • Class actions

We also have experience in union organizing campaigns, negotiations, grievances and arbitrations, collective bargaining and unfair labor practice charges. 

You will find regularly published alerts highlighting changes in employment law in our Media Center.

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Brinkley v. Public Storage, Inc. 167 Cal. App. 4th 1278 (2008) - Made new law regarding California requirements for meal and rest breaks, as well as wage statements.
  • Balatresi v. Consulate General of Italy in Los Angeles, Case No. cv 14-990 DMG (JEMx) (C.D. Cal., December 5, 2014) – Successfully argued that the Consulate General had sovereign immunity under state and federal employment laws.
  • BBA Aviation v. Superior Court (Engen), 190 Cal.App.4th 421 (2010) – Sccessfully argued that a foreign holding company was not subject to state jurisdiction in an employment action.
  • Palacio v. Progressive Insurance Co., 244 F. Supp. 2d 1040 (C.D. Cal. 2002) – The first case in which summary judgment was granted in favor of overtime exempt status of insurance claims adjusters under federal law, which was cited in the revisions to the regulations regarding exempt status and picked up by the United States Department of Labor, which again concluded that claims adjusters should be treated as exempt. 
  • Lee Myles Associates Corp. v. Paul Rubke Enterprises, Inc., 557 F.Supp.2d 1134 (S.D.Cal. 2008) – Achieved dismissal  of action for alleged breach of licensing agreement, trademark, infringement and unfair competition, making new law regarding the disgorgement of profits under California’s Unfair Competition Law.
  • Pike v. Public Storage Companies, Inc. ARB No. 00-072, ALJ No. 1998-STA-35 (ARB Aug. 10, 1999) – Successfully defended claim brought under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
  • Hamid v. Price Waterhouse, et al. 51 F.3d 1411 (9th Cir. 1995) – Obtained  dismissal  of claims against Emirate of Abu Dhabi in an international banking dispute involving close to one hundred parties.
  • Citibank v. Crowell, Weedon & Co., 4 Cal. App. 4th 844 (1992) – Represented broker-dealer in dispute regarding stolen bearer bonds.
  • Cacciaguidi v. Superior Court, 226 Cal. App. 3d 181 (1990) – Represented broker-dealer in action for abuse of process  and conspiracy.
  • Successfully defended national transportation company in wage and hour class action litigation.
  • Successfully defended regional retail company in wage and hour class action litigation.
  • Won summary judgment and successfully represented Fortune 500 client in meal and rest break class action litigated to the California Supreme Court.
  • Successfully defended national retail store operator in wage and hour class action litigation.
  • Represented national law firm in obtaining summary judgment on significant employment discrimination claims.
  • Created and coordinated the implementation of numerous reductions in force and plant closings for national companies.

Presentations & Publications