Employment Litigation

Panic is Not a Strategy

When an employee files a claim against your company or compromises your trust, Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin takes over the burden of seeking justice.  We efficiently gather evidence to develop a sound strategy, then seek resolution as efficiently as possible.  While we may pursue a negotiated settlement, we are equally skilled at pursuing trial if necessary. As a result of our decades of experience trying cases in Southern California and our knowledge of California procedure, out-of-state attorneys call us to serve as local counsel on employment law matters.  In these situations, we communicate clearly with lead counsel to ensure they remain informed throughout the process.

Some of Our Employment Litigation Cases

  • Successfully prosecuted a class action lawsuit against a national retail chain.  Ms. Tsylina’s clients alleged that they and other employees were misclassified as exempt employees, when they were actually non-exempt and entitled to compensation for overtime and breaks.  After engaging in extensive class action discovery and aggressively pushing the case to trial, defendant agreed to seven-figure settlement and to fairly treat such employees going forward.

  • Successfully defended wage-and-hour litigation and had Plaintiff-alleged employee agree to a mutual walkaway by filing a cross-complaint against him for breach of contract and disgorgement of profits for performing work without necessary licenses.

  • Co-defense counsel with a national law firm (AM Law 100) representing the owner/operator of national senior housing facilities.  Since 2006, have efficiently and effectively resolved a variety of employment litigation matters in California state and federal courts

  • Successfully represented an insurance brokerage in prosecuting claims of breach of fiduciary duty relating to employee embezzlement and misappropriation of trade secrets.  Employee had stolen  confidential client information.  After two-month jury trial, jury rendered $1.1 million verdict in favor of client.  Obtained judgment against the employee as well as her new employer for misappropriation of trade secrets.  

  • Successfully defended a large franchisee-employer against former employee’s allegations of pregnancy discrimination.   After conducting discovery, including the plaintiff’s deposition, filed a motion for summary judgment.  Settled plaintiff’s $300,000 claim in client’s favor without going to trial.

  • Representing the employer against claims of disability discrimination, used aggressive litigation tactics to obtain favorable settlements for clients.  Successfully reduced plaintiffs’ requested attorneys’ fees through motion practice. 

  • Representing the employer against claims of national origin discrimination, obtained favorable settlement at mediation.

  • Successfully and expediently defended a national retail chain against former employee’s allegations of sexual orientation and race discrimination.  In mediation, demonstrated that plaintiff’s termination resulted from performance issues and settled plaintiff’s $500,000 damages claim in client’s favor.

  • Successfully defended employer against employee’s allegations of failure to engage in an interactive process to reasonably accommodate employee’s alleged disability. Plaintiff had filed charges with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Thorough investigation revealed evidence that client terminated plaintiff after the employee had failed to respond to employer’s three separate attempts to engage in the interactive process to accommodate plaintiff’s injury. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing dismissed the charge without any adverse action to the employer.

  • Representing national retail chain, quickly settled former employee’s race discrimination claim in client’s favor.  After being terminated for selling alcohol to an underage informant for the Los Angeles Police Department, plaintiff denied action and alleged that another employee of a different race recently had committed the same offense without being terminated. 

  • Representing the employer, settled employee’s discrimination and wage and hour violation claims in client’s favor, with dismissal of the complaint with prejudice.  After working off the clock and then being passed over for a promotion, plaintiff filed litigation alleging unpaid wage and hour as well as discrimination claims.  After conducting extensive discovery and investigation, successfully settled for payment of undisputed wage claims.

  • On the eve of the employee’s deposition, successfully settled a complaint filed by former employee alleging breach of implied employment contract claiming that the offense for which her employment was terminated was a widely accepted practice by the employer.

  • Representing a restaurant, settled wage and hour claims for alleged overtime and failure to give meal/rest breaks.

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