From Hiring to Firing: The Nuts and Bolts of Employment Law

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 0 minutes
Recorded Date: January 01, 0001
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I. Employees/Independent Contractors/At-Will Employment II. Employment Contracts
III. Wage & Hour
IV. Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation
V. Public Employment Law
VI. Wrongful Termination/Public Policy


A panel of prominent Southern California employment attorneys will guide you through the complexities of this exciting and constantly developing practice area. Topics will include wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour law, independent contractors, public employment law, trade secrets, arbitration agreements and other employment contracts, employee handbooks, terminations and severance.

Recorded: February 4, 2006
Running Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes

Provided By

Los Angeles County Bar Association


Samuel J. Wells


Employee labor relations firm - handle all aspects of labor representation on behalf of public employees employed by municipalities and counties, including representation in internal affairs investigations, disciplinary hearings, superior court writ proceedings (disciplinary, retirement, and other), appellate practice, and contract negotiations.

Published appellate decisions include Throne v. City of Palos Verdes Estates (right of safety employees to utilize sick leave prior to being retired for disability); Boxx v. Housing Authority (right of employee, whose employer is a member of PERS, and who is performing safety duties, to force PERS and employer to provide him safety member coverage-use of estoppel against public agency); Downs v. DWP (pendency of EEOC investigation tolls running of one year time to file lawsuit based upon receipt of DFEH right to sue letter).

Civil employment practice, including litigation in areas of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, defamation; personnel advice; and conducting discrimination and harassment investigations. Numerous successful cases against governmental agencies.

Mr. Wells is rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell, and was voted a Southern California Super Lawyer in 2005.

Elaine M. Vukadinovich

Partner, Labor and Employment
Musick, Peeler, and Garrett

Ms. Vukadinovich is a partner in the Labor and Employment department of the firm's Los Angeles office. She specializes in labor and employment counseling, including discipline and discharge of employees, and all areas of wage and hour law. In addition, she represents clients in labor and employment litigation for management (including wage and hour litigation, wrongful discharge, and all forms of discrimination and harassment), and in matters before various state and federal administrative agencies. Ms. Vukadinovich also has substantial expertise in drafting and revising employee handbooks and all employment-related policies.

Ms. Vukadinovich received her B.S., summa cum laude, in Marketing from The Ohio State University in 1992. She received her J.D. in 1996 from UCLA School of Law. Ms. Vukadinovich is a member of the State Bar of California.

Curt Surls

Bornn & Surls

Curt Surls received his B.A. from University of Iowa in 1985 and his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles) in 1988. Since 1995, Mr. Surls has been associated with Nancy Bornn a Law Corporation, specializing in the representation of plaintiffs in employment discrimination and wrongful termination actions. In February 1999, Mr. Surls became a partner in the firm, now know as Bornn & Surls. From 1989 to 1993, Mr. Surls was an associate attorney with the Oakland, California civil rights firm of Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Bailer, specializing in employment class actions. From 1993 to 1995, he worked for the State of California as counsel to the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations. Mr. Surls also worked as a law clerk and later as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Mr. Surls is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association and the California Employment Lawyers Association, both organizations of which emphasize the practice of employment law on behalf of plaintiffs. He has been a speaker on employment law panels, and has written many articles on employment law.

Richard S. Rosenberg

Founding Partner
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt LLP

RICHARD S. ROSENBERG is a founding partner of the firm Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt LLP- An A-V rated law firm of twenty-two attorneys engaged exclusively in the practice of all aspects of labor and employment law on behalf of management. T. He is a graduate of the College of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and the University of Santa Clara Law School. Mr. Rosenberg has spent his entire career (28 years) providing advice and counsel to management (exclusively) on the entire spectrum of labor relations and employment law matters.

Mr. Rosenberg's work includes advice on employment law strategy and compliance, as well as litigation, covering such diverse areas as wage-hour collective and class actions, traditional labor relations matters (union organizing, strikes/ picketing, collective bargaining, grievance handling and arbitration and the acquisition/ divesture of unionized businesses), class actions and individual claims for employment discrimination, sexual and other workplace harassment, wrongful termination, whistleblower complaints, occupational safety and health, trade secret protection/ enforcement, WARN Act compliance, immigration law compliance, FMLA, ADA, COBRA, and HIPAA.

Mr. Rosenberg is widely recognized in the legal community for his expertise in employment law. He serves as a regular contributing author in the Los Angeles Daily Journal legal newspaper. Mr. Rosenberg authors a regular column in that publication on employment law.

Mr. Rosenberg also is especially adept in resolving disputes through the creative use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, having represented many clients in mediation and other ADR procedures. Mr. Rosenberg brings a unique perspective to these matters because he is a trained mediator and serves as a neutral. Mr. Rosenberg holds certificates in mediation training from Dispute Resolution Services (Los Angeles County Bar Association), and Pepperdine University's Center for Dispute Resolution. Mr. Rosenberg serves as a court appointed mediator through the Los Angeles and Ventura County Superior Courts' mediation programs.

Angela J. Reddock

Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, LLP

Reddock is a partner with the law firm Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, LLP and is the Co-Chair of the firm's Employment Litigation and Counseling Group. Prior to joining Carroll, Burdick, Reddock was the Founding and Managing Partner of her own firm - The Reddock Law Group and was formerly a partner with the boutique litigation firm Collins, Mesereau & Reddock & Yu, LLP.

As an attorney, Reddock specializes in employment and labor law, representing both private and public sector employers in various claims including wrong termination, discrimination and harassment. Reddock also provides corporate training on such topics as "Preventing Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace" and advises employers on the implementation of innovative practices for creating positive and growth-oriented work environments.

In addition to her work as an attorney, Reddock also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District. Reddock is one of seven (7) Board members, all of whom oversee the nine (9) Community Colleges in the City of Los Angeles, including East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles Harbor College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles Valley College, Mission College, Pierce College, Southwest College and West Los Angeles College.

Reddock received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts and graduated cum laude. While at Amherst, she also studied abroad at Saint Catherine's College in Oxford, England where she concentrated her studies in modern British literature and politics.

After graduating from Amherst College, Reddock participated in a one-year fellowship in public policy and public affairs with the Coro Foundation of Los Angeles. Thereafter, Reddock matriculated to UCLA School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctorate in May 1995.

Reddock has received numerous awards and commendations for her commitment to civic and community service. Currently, she serves as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles City Transportation Commission and the Los Angeles County Local Government Services Reform Commission where she is the Chair of the Taxicab Taskforce. In the past, Reddock has served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Small Business Development Commission and as a Member of the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

Reddock also is Chair of the Board of the non-profit organizations the Los Angeles African American Women's Public Policy institute (LAAAWPPI), Ability First and the Willie J. & Armenta D. Thornton Scholarship Fund.

Reddock is a published author and legal commentator. Her published works include: "How to Survive Your First Job" (Special Editor) and "Inside the Minds: Labor & Employment Client Strategies. She also serves as a legal commentator for KFWB "Turning Point Business Minute" and for KCAL-9 and KCBS-2 television.

Wilmer J. Harris

Schonbrun, De Simone, Seplow, Harris, & Hoffman

Mr. Harris graduated from Stanford University in 1986 with an A.B. degree in Economics, with Distinction, and Honors in Humanities. Mr. Harris was elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa in 1985.

Mr. Harris graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1990, earning Order of the Coif honors and American Jurisprudence Awards in Evidence, Moot Court and Remedies. Mr. Harris worked as Law Clerk to the Honorable David W. Williams for one year after his law school graduation. He entered private practice thereafter, practicing business litigation for two years with the law firms Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler and Blanc, Williams, Johnston & Kronstadt.

In January 1994, Mr. Harris joined the Law Offices of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. His practice area changed dramatically as he began representing clients in civil rights cases. In August 1995, Mr. Harris joined the firm (named Schonbrun De Simone Seplow Harris& Hoffman in 1999) where he concentrates primarily on the representation of employees in disputes with employers.

In November 1999, Mr. Harris opened the Pasadena office of the firm where he remains the resident partner. Mr. Harris speaks regularly on employment law issues for the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In July 2004, Mr. Harris won a $1.6 million judgment in a race discrimination and retaliation action. Mr. Harris has been selected as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" by Los Angeles Magazine.

Maria G. Diaz

Litigation Attorney
Allred, Maroko, Golberg

Maria G. Diaz is a litigation attorney with one of the largest Plaintiff employment law firms in California, the Law Firm of Allred, Maroko, & Goldberg. Founded and led by Gloria Allred, Michael Maroko, and Nathan Goldberg, the Firm strongly advocates for the rights of women, minorities, and others whose civil rights have been violated.

Ms. Diaz focuses her practice exclusively on representing workers in a range of employment matters including sexual harassment, gender/pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, and wrongful termination. She has received numerous awards for her legal work including: the Wiley W. Manuel Award by the State Bar of California; Outstanding Legal Services Award from the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program; and a 2003 Outstanding Service Award from Senator Barbara Boxer. She has also published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and has appeared as a guest attorney on The Cristina Show, the # 1 rated Spanish-language talk show seen worldwide. In 2005, Ms. Diaz was selected as a "Rising Star" by Southern California Super Lawyers, an honor bestowed only on the top 2.5% of the best up-and-coming attorneys under 40 years of age.

Ms. Diaz is a member of several organizations including: the State Bar of California; the National Employment Lawyers Association; the California Employment Lawyers Association; the Mexican-American Bar Association of Los Angeles; and the Latina Lawyers Bar Association of Los Angeles. She currently serves on the board of The Los Angeles County State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Executive Committee.

Ms. Diaz holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.P.P. from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Stanford University.

John L. Barber

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

Mr. Barber serves as Co-Chair of the firm-wide Employment Practices Department. His practice is dedicated exclusively to employment-related litigation and counseling. Mr. Barber regularly defends employers in employment-related litigation and appeals before California state and federal courts. He also lectures throughout the United States on employment-related legal issues, and provides in-house training and investigation services for numerous California employers. Mr. Barber writes frequently for a variety of publications and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Employment Practices Quarterly. He is a member of the State Bar of California (member, Labor and Employment Law Section), the Los Angeles Bar Association and is admitted to practice before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and all of the federal district courts in the State of California.

Mr. Barber has tried numerous matters and participated in dozens of arbitrations and mediations. He has also defended employers in matters before the EEOC, DFEH (FEHC), DLSE and all California state and federal courts (he is currently admitted and practicing in all four of California's federal districts). Mr. Barber has also conducted numerous Berman and FEHC hearings, and is involved in all aspects of employment-related litigation.

Daphne M. Anneet

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

Ms. Anneet is a partner in the law firm of Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP and is a member of the firm¿s Labor and Employment, Public Law, and Trial and Advocacy Practice Groups. Ms. Anneet¿s practice focuses primarily on complex/class action litigation. Ms. Anneet has successfully defended public and private sector clients in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, contingent worker mis-classification claims, and product liability/toxic tort actions.

A skilled litigator, Ms. Anneet was recently recognized as a ¿Rising Star¿ in the area of Labor and Employment Litigation by the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers for the third consecutive year. Ms. Anneet has extensive experience litigating class action and multi-plaintiff claims, having served as lead defense counsel in several class actions involving contingent worker claims. Ms. Anneet is proud of her success in resolving every single- plaintiff employment action that she has handled, at or before, the summary judgment phase. Ms. Anneet has also successfully defended employers in contingent worker claims in administrative forums, achieving reversals of initially adverse administrative determinations. Ms. Anneet also recently served as a pro-bono city attorney prosecutor for the City of Inglewood where she obtained additional valuable jury trial experience.

A recognized expert on contingent worker issues, Ms. Anneet has lectured and written about the contingent workforce for a number of years. She is regularly invited to speak at annual training conferences and conventions on issues relating to the contingent workforce and has presented to a number of professional organizations, including PIHRA ¿ Professional in Human Resources Association; CalPELRA- California Public Employers Labor Relations Association; League of California Cities; ACWA - Association of California Water Agencies; and, Southern California Public Labor Relations Association. Committed to helping employers minimize the risks associated with the use of contingent workers, Ms. Anneet provides management-training workshops, conducts internal audits, performs independent contractor determinations, and assists employers in the development of policies and procedures relating to the contingent workforce.

Ms. Anneet received her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude from Southwestern Law School, where she was awarded the Outstanding Woman Legal Graduate award. Since her graduation, Ms. Anneet has remained an active alum. She has served as an Adjunct Faculty member of Southwestern Law School and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Ms. Anneet is an active member of several professional organizations. She sits on the Executive Board of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the LACBA and is a co-chair of the Saturday Seminar Committee. She is also a member of PIHRA and an affiliate member of CalPELRA.

Kevin Barnes

The Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes

Kevin Barnes began his private practice in 1997. The firm currently specializes in employment law, consumer fraud, personal injury, and products liability.

Kevin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1985 with a degree in Business Administration and Real Estate. He then graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, in 1988. Following law school, Kevin worked in the Los Angeles District Attorney's office before joining his father's law firm, The Law Offices of Carl Barnes, one of the top personal injury firms in the Los Angeles area.

Kevin opened his own firm in 1997 as The Law Offices of Kevin T. Barnes in Los Angeles. The practice initially thrived by focusing on personal injury, employment law, and criminal cases. He then expanded into the area of class action law, specifically regarding wage and hour violations. The firm has been very successful with a number of cases involving such wage and hour violations over the past several years.

Kevin has been a frequent speaker on class action and wage and hour employment issues by the Labor and Employment Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and various other legal organizations.

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