Labor and Employment

California Employment Law

Nilan Johnson Lewis provides employers based in California, or with operations and employees in the state, with litigation defense and advice on California’s unique employment laws. Our combination of expertise and responsiveness, as well as our distinctive staffing model, sets us apart from other firms. We pride ourselves on offering practical, results-driven California know-how at a Midwestern value.

Our California employment law experts consist of five California-licensed attorneys ranging from experienced shareholders to senior and junior associates, including attorneys practicing on the ground in Northern and Southern California. Our California counseling work includes a full range of wage-and-hour, discipline and discharge, and pay equity issues; our practical legal and business advice helps our clients minimize the risks of class, collective, and PAGA claims. We litigate leanly and efficiently in California courts, combining boots-on-the-ground expertise in both Northern and Southern California with a range of talent based in Minnesota.

Representative Matters

  • Defending (in Southern California federal court and Kern County state court) a national healthcare services company in a California statewide class and PAGA action alleging off-the-clock, meal and rest break, wage statement, and reimbursement claims. We leveraged a motion to dismiss into an agreement to engage in early mediation. The matter is still in litigation.
  • Defending (in Los Angeles state court) a national hospital chain in a disability discrimination and CFRA claim. We anticipate success on a summary judgment motion to be filed.
  • Defending (in Northern California federal court) multiple Fortune 500 companies in a novel putative plaintiff and defendant class action involving allegedly age discriminatory Facebook recruiting advertisements.
  • Defending a national manufacturer before the DLSE in an off-the-clock and meal break claim. We are awaiting a decision from the DLSE following a contested hearing.
  • Defending (in San Bernardino state court) a national technology company in a California statewide reimbursement class action. We achieved a favorable settlement after successfully limiting the scope of the requested expenses.
  • Representing (in Southern California federal court) a national retail company in a California meal and rest break and off-the-clock case. We achieved a favorable settlement after strategically limiting informal pre-mediation discovery.
  • Defending (in Southern California federal court) a national technology company in a California statewide off-the-clock field service worker class and collective action. We achieved a favorable settlement after convincing the Court to significantly limit class-wide discovery.
  • Defending (in Los Angeles state court) a national medical technology company in an IT worker misclassification case. We settled the case on favorable terms one day before trial.
  • Implementing a statewide “Pick Up Stix” strategy and simultaneously resolving a class claim before the DOL and in federal court for a California technology company, reaching resolution with the DOL, avoiding class certification, and obtaining dismissal of the remaining claims.
  • Associated Professionals
Jen Cornell

Jen Cornell

Shareholder - Office head, California location


Joel O’Malley

Joel O’Malley

Shareholder - California & Minnesota locations


Pablo Orozco

Pablo Orozco

Associate - California & Minnesota locations


Barrett L. Schreiner

Barrett L. Schreiner

Of Counsel - California location