Morrison & Foerster focuses on employment and labor law matters of critical strategic importance to our clients, drawing on the firm’s core competencies, particularly in litigation and intellectual property. The hallmark of the practice is high-stakes litigation involving employee raiding and theft of trade secrets, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour and other employment class actions, workplace privacy, and traditional labor relations. We provide counseling, auditing, and litigation-avoidance strategies concerning all aspects of the employment relationship. In addition, we work closely with attorneys in our corporate practice to regularly assist clients in the multijurisdictional employment aspects of domestic and international mergers and acquisitions and sourcing transactions.

Our Advantages

  • We are strong trial lawyers, having successfully tried more than 100 cases to verdict, including whistleblower, retaliation, discrimination, theft of trade secrets, and employee raiding claims.
  • We have leading expertise in wage and hour issues, with former California Labor Commissioner Lloyd Aubry and partners Karen Kubin and Tritia Murata, who have defeated class certification in nearly all their wage and hour class action cases, including actions based on manager misclassification and lost pay for meal and rest breaks.
  • We have an experienced team of trade secrets litigators who have the necessary skills to handle emergency trade secrets and employee mobility matters. Our attorneys are contributing editors to the highly regarded treatise Trade Secrets (Law and Business) and on the board of review for the leading BNA treatises Trade Secrets: A State-by-State Survey; Covenants Not to Compete; Employee Duty of Loyalty; and Tortious Interference in the Employment Context.
  • We have litigated some of the largest class action cases to date, such as Kraszewski v. State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., Singleton v. Regents of the University of California, and Abram v. UPS.
  • We have substantial experience in responding to union campaigns and election petitions, litigating certification/election issues, negotiating contracts, and establishing working relationships with unions post-election when necessary. Our attorneys are contributing authors of the ABA treatise The Developing Labor Law.
  • We have cross-border capability and global reach in Asia and Europe, regularly acting for and advising U.S. companies with international operations and multinational companies on employment issues.
  • We are leaders in investigating and defending whistleblower retaliation claims under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and many other state and federal whistleblower protection laws, having published Whistleblowing: The Law of Retaliatory Discharge, Third Edition (BNA Books), a leading treatise on this subject that has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, we have testified before Congress on proposed federal whistleblower legislation and on the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court case on whistleblower protections under federal law.
  • We are leaders in national and international employee privacy issues. Our global privacy practice was also ranked as Band 1 by Chambers USA 2014and as Tier 1 by Legal 500 US 2014. Our attorneys have authored a leading treatise, Guide to Employee Privacy Law (BNA Publishing 2009).
Defense Verdict in an Employment Trial
Obtained a defense verdict for our client in a 3-week trial in San Diego County Superior Court. The plaintiff claimed our client had caused him to suffer economic and non-economic damages and sought an award of $13 million, not including punitive damages. The jury took a little more than one hour to deliberate and found in favor of our client on all claims.
Technology Integrated Group v. FusionStorm
Won a $10.8 million jury verdict and successfully defended all counterclaims in 2010. After a five-week trial involving the value-added reseller industry, a jury found that multiple defendants had violated their duty of care to their former employer and willfully misappropriated three trade secrets. The jury also found that the new employer aided, abetted, and ratified those acts, and awarded punitive damages against plaintiff’s former manager, the new employer, and three of its officers.
Independent Contractor Misclassification Trial Victory
Won a bench trial in which the plaintiff, a local pick-up and delivery driver, challenged his status as an independent contractor, arguing that he was in fact a common law employee despite the parties’ agreement to the contrary. The court found in favor of our client on all causes of action, holding that the plaintiff was an independent contractor in accordance with the parties’ agreement. Decision was affirmed on appeal.
Morris v. Ralphs Grocery Co.
Won our preemptive motion to strike class allegations in a putative class action on behalf of current and former store cashiers alleging failure to provide suitable seating for the cashiers. The plaintiff subsequently dismissed her case against our client Ralphs Grocery Company.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2015
National: Employment Law – Management (Tier 1)
National: Litigation – Labor & Employment (Tier 1)
National: Labor Law – Management (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: Litigation – Labor & Employment (Tier 1)
Los Angeles: Labor Law – Management (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Employment Law - Management (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Labor Law – Management (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Litigation: Labor & Employment (Tier 1)
Washington, D.C.: Employment Law – Management (Tier 1)
Washington, D.C.: Employment Law – Individuals (Tier 1)
Washington, D.C.: Litigation: Labor & Employment (Tier 1)


BTI Litigation Outlook 2014
Complex Employment Litigation (Honor Roll)


Chambers USA 2015–2016
California: Labor and Employment


Legal 500 US 2015
Litigation: Trade Secrets

Janie F. Schulman
Partner
Los Angeles
(213) 892-5393

Eric Akira Tate
Partner
San Francisco
(415) 268-6915

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“I think Morrison & Foerster has a great team and I know they are able to utilize that team in providing the great results they give us.”
(Chambers USA 2016)


“An exceptionally talented firm with a wide variety of services, as well as offices in a number of very convenient locations.”
(Chambers USA 2015)


“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)

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