Tom E. Wilson

Senior Counsel | Palo Alto | (650) 813-5604
(650) 813-5604

Mr. Wilson has practiced employment law counseling and litigation in the Firm’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices for 40 years. His practice involves all aspects of labor and employment law, including litigation before the federal and state courts and administrative agencies. He has represented employers in wage-and-hour class actions and other complex employment matters involving employment discrimination claims, wrongful discharge and retaliation claims, and trade secrets and employee raiding cases. Among the clients for whom Mr. Wilson has tried cases are Lockheed, the Pebble Beach Corporation, General Motors, Xerox, and ActivCard.

For many years, Mr. Wilson has been recognized as one of “Silicon Valley’s top employment law attorneys” (by San Jose Magazine since 2001) and as a “Super Lawyer” in the field of Labor and Employment Law (by San Francisco Magazine since 2004). Mr. Wilson also has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America (since 2007) in two categories: Labor (Management) and Litigation (Labor). Best Lawyers named Mr. Wilson as “Lawyer of The Year” in San Jose/Silicon Valley for Employment Law-Management from 2016 – 2019, and for Litigation-Labor and Employment in 2018.

During his tenure with the firm, Mr. Wilson has authored and co-authored more than a dozen articles in publications such as the Employment Law Journal, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, the Stanford Law Review, the National Law Journal, the ALI ABA Course Materials Journal, the Practicing Law Institute, and the Stanford Lawyer. A frequent speaker on employment law topics, Mr. Wilson has appeared on National Public Radio and given presentations before groups as diverse as the American Electronics Association, the Computer and Internet Law Section of the Oregon State Bar Association, the Chrysler Management Training Seminars, and the Employment Litigation Section of the California Trial Lawyers Association.

Mr. Wilson holds a B.A. from Stanford University (Phi Beta Kappa, 1972), an M.A. from the University of California, Davis (1976), and a J.D. from Stanford Law School (1976). He also served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Edward J. Schwartz, United States District Court, Southern District of California (1976–1977).

Mr. Wilson joined Morrison & Foerster in 1977 and became a partner in 1982. He was the managing partner of the firm’s Palo Alto office from 1991 until 1994. After 32 years as a partner, Mr. Wilson became a Senior Counsel in 2015.

Representative Matters

  • Defended multinational employer in lawsuit brought by former CEO for wrongful termination and stock option forfeiture.
  • Defended retail employer in nationwide Title VIII case in which potential class exceeded 70,000 current and former employees.
  • Defended wage-and-hour class action involving compensation practice covering all general managers of client’s restaurants in California from 2005 until 2009.
  • Defended restaurant chain in wage-and-hour class action brought on behalf of 32,000 current and former employees for meal and rest period penalties and related claims for violations of California Labor Code.
  • Defended title insurance company in class action covering 800 current and former employees for overtime pay, meal and rest period penalties, and related claims for violations of the California Labor Code.
  • Represented government contractor in seven-day trial in which jury concluded plaintiff had not been terminated because of his race.
  • Represented auto manufacturer at trial in successful defense of wrongful discharge case.
  • Successfully defended resort in wrongful discharge/sex harassment trial brought by former executive chef.
  • Lead counsel in EEOC Commissioner Charge class action against a national laboratory.
  • Lead counsel in defense of an EEOC Commissioner Charge class action investigation of employment practices at a Las Vegas hotel and casino.
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