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Employment + Labor

Morrison & Foerster focuses on Employment and Labor Law matters of critical strategic importance to our clients.  We represent private and public companies from early stage companies to multinationals as well as non-profits and public sector entities.

The hallmark of the practice is high-stakes litigation involving theft of trade secrets, wage and hour class actions and other complex employment litigation, workplace privacy, and traditional labor relations.

We provide counseling, auditing, and litigation avoidance strategies concerning all aspects of the employment relationship, in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In addition, we work closely with our corporate lawyers to assist clients in the multi-jurisdictional employment aspects of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, dispositions, and sourcing transactions.

We are proud of our record as trial lawyers. We have successfully tried more than 100 cases to verdict, including worker misclassification, whistleblower, retaliation, discrimination, wrongful discharge, theft of trade secret, and employee raiding claims. We also have litigated some of the largest class action cases to date. In addition, we have an excellent record in obtaining, or defeating requests for, emergency preliminary injunctions, winning summary judgment motions, defeating class certification motions, or engaging in early ADR.

We regularly advise U.S. and multinational companies with international operations, on hiring, retention, performance management, and termination of employees, directors, consultants and independent contractors; expatriate assignments, secondments and inter-company agreements; compensation and benefits, including equity awards; employee handbooks and policies and procedures; cross border data protection and privacy; protection of trade secrets and confidential information and the use and enforcement of restrictive covenants; reductions in force, redundancies and collective dismissals; corporate and group change, including M&A, joint ventures and restructurings; outsourcing, including offshoring, and the effect of the Acquired Rights Directive; and contentious employment matters, including claims of wrongful and unfair dismissal, discrimination, and breach of contract, as well as mediation, arbitration and ADR.

Many of our attorneys have written extensively on important employment and labor developments. We are the leaders in advising clients on workplace investigations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and have published Whistleblowing: The Law of Retaliatory Discharge, Second Edition (BNA Books 2004 & Supp. 2009), a leading treatise on this subject which has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. Our lawyers have testified before Congress on issues concerning retaliation, whistleblowing, Sarbanes-Oxley, and disability access. In 2011, we were selected as a “Go-To Law Firm for Labor and Employment” in a national survey conducted by ALM. In addition, our labor and employment practice has been recommended by PLC Which Lawyer? and Chambers and Partners, and The Legal 500 US guide recognized us for our cutting-edge work in employee mobility and trade secrets. Several of our attorneys have also been recognized as leading employment and labor attorneys by Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500 US, The Recorder, The Best Lawyers in America, and Super Lawyers.

We respond to union campaigns and election petitions, including working with line supervisors to avoid campaign-related unfair labor practice (ULP) charges, litigating certification/election issues, including ULPs, negotiating contracts, and establishing working relationships with unions post-election when necessary.  Our attorneys have substantial experience practicing before the National Labor Relations Board and the California Public Employment Relations Board.  We counsel clients on union avoidance, and conduct seminars with companies on responding to employee questions about unions and creating a union-free environment.  Our management representation experience covers a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, hotel, and entertainment.

Law 360 -Employment Group of the Year
Employment Group of the Year

To view issues of our Employment Law Commentary, click here


A Guide to Hiring and Firing in Europe


Two Partners Named to Daily Journal's Top Employment Lawyers List


“The attorneys I have worked with have been incredible – from knowledge, compatibility and responsiveness to results. An absolute pleasure to work with.”
(Chambers USA 2014)