Employment & Labor

Why Cooley

Cooley advises a wide variety of industries on the full spectrum of employment counseling, agreements, litigation, investigations, strategies, infrastructure, problem solving and dispute resolution. Our diverse employment team performs these services, along with our Compensation and Benefits group, for public and private companies, boards of directors, senior executives, investment funds, nonprofits, trade associations and government contractors. We have acted as strategic employment counsel for numerous national and international companies.

Cooley has an excellent track record in defending employers against individual plaintiff employment claims, as well as employment-related class action claims. We have defended such claims from the investigative phase to victories in trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitrations throughout the country. We have handled cases involving claims alleging breach of contract, discrimination of all types, sexual and other harassment, whistleblowing, retaliation, wage/hour violations, trade secret theft, noncompetition agreements, employee raiding, stock and stock option disputes, and officer fiduciary duties. We have also successfully pursued trade secret misappropriation and related claims against former employees in both criminal and civil arenas.

In the class action realm, our practitioners are experienced in class certification contests, negotiation and creative structuring of class action settlements and, when necessary, trial of class actions. In multi-district class action litigation, we have successfully moved to transfer class actions from district courts around the country to a single district court for coordinated or consolidated proceedings and served as lead counsel after transfer.

Strategic Employment Counseling

  • Undertaken comprehensive compensation and wage and hour audits of clients, and worked with clients to implement modifications to their compensation and pay policies and practices
  • Created and implemented intellectual property and trade secret audits, methods and procedures to protect their intangible assets
  • Conducted internal investigations for clients in response to misappropriation and whistleblower allegations, navigating complex employment and technology problems
  • Advised clients with respect to significant reductions in force and restructurings impacting multiple facilities and workforces and international operations
  • Undertaken due diligence review for clients in connection with the acquisition of companies or expansion of operations, including risk-analysis diligence on deals where proprietary rights and trade secret claims are alleged or may exist
  • Designed ethics and compliance programs and hotlines and provided training and advice with respect to the implementation of such programs
  • Advised employers with respect to the complex issues raised by the overlay of federal and state paid and unpaid leave and disability laws

Employment Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

  • Defense of leading business software company against former employee's whistleblower retaliation claims where the jury returned a verdict in favor of the company, and that verdict was affirmed by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Successfully represented our client in numerous arbitration hearings involving extensive and diverse claims ranging from gender discrimination to usurpation of corporate opportunities
  • Investigated and resolved gender discrimination and sexual orientation claims alleged by then-employed in-house counsel at a public company
  • Successful defense of our client in a litigation involving retaliation claims allegedly arising from clinical safety data reporting
  • Successful defense of purported wage/hour class action case involving pay statement claims, donning/doffing claims, rest break claims, and individual discrimination claims
  • Successful defense of our client in a suit brought against it by one of its previous executives, who alleged numerous claims arising out of the cancellation of her 10b5 trading plan in the Company’s stock
  • Secured a complete victory for our client in a confidential arbitration in a case alleging that our client failed to give a former employee proper notice of nonrenewal of his employment agreement