Marjorie S. Fochtman

Marjorie Fochtman provides strategic legal advice to corporate clients on all aspects of employment law. She helps clients successfully navigate the complex and challenging labyrinth of California employment regulations. A seasoned litigator and courtroom advocate, Marjorie handles all types of employment-related litigation, both single plaintiff and class action lawsuits.

What do you focus on?

I provide counsel to clients on all aspects of employment law, but throughout my career I have been especially focused on California’s particularly unique wage and hour laws and leave laws. As head of the firm’s West Coast Wage-Hour team, I lead the firm’s efforts on California’s wage and hour practice, helping clients to guard against costly lawsuits, such as meal and rest periods, exempt employee status, payroll practices and other California wage and hour requirements.

I work with clients in a broad range of industries, but I have significant experience working with food and beverage clients and with retail and financial services. I co-lead San Francisco’s Food & Beverage industry team, which is a cross-disciplinary team focused on the legal issues facing the industry.

I assist clients through the myriad leave laws in California and provide strategic advice in managing difficult employee issues involving disabilities and leave of absence matters. I provide a complete range of employment law advice, including corporate restructuring and reorganizations, executive employment agreements, protective covenants, trade secret protection and avoiding discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims. I frequently provide management training to clients on workplace issues, helping companies to take a proactive approach to better manage their workforce.

What do you see on the horizon?

I believe that the cases involving challenges to employee exempt status will not go away anytime soon, but they will decrease as employers convert more positions to non-exempt status. In their place, we are going to see an increase in the number of wage and hour lawsuits filed challenging employers’ payroll practices.


  • “An Employer’s Obligations for California’s Meal and Rest Periods,” Bloomberg BNA HR Decision Support Network, May 2012.


Marjorie is a frequent speaker on a variety of employment law topics.

  • “Can Employers Catch a Break and Rest After Brinker?” Nixon Peabody Webinar, April 17, 2012 (co-presenter with Paul Lynd)
  • “Social Media Boot Camp for Employers,” Employer Resource Institute, November 2011, Berkeley, CA
  • “California Leave Laws: Avoid Common Traps for the Unwary,“ Employer Resource Institute, November 2011, Berkeley, CA
  • “Labor & Employment Law Briefing 2011,” Nixon Peabody, October 2011, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, CA
  • “Wage & Hour Law Update and Challenges for 2011,” Bay Area Compensation Association, March 2011, San Francisco, CA
  • “Social Media: What Every Employer Should Know,” East Bay HR Leadership Forum, May 2010, Dublin, CA
  • “Best Practices for Internal Investigations in the Age of Technology,” Nixon Peabody LLP,  March 2010, San Francisco, CA
  • “Protecting Trade Secrets in an Era of Increasing Employee Mobility,” Northern California Human Resources Association, January 2010, Santa Clara, CA


Marjorie S. Fochtman


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8443

Fax: 866-579-2985

New York Law School, J.D., cum laude (Jackson Award for Outstanding Performance in Labor Relations Law)

Northern Illinois University, B.S.


Member, San Francisco County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law section; Advisory Board Member, Community Violence Solutions, 2004-present; Board Member, San Francisco Friends of the Urban Forest, 2012-present; Community Violence Solutions Community Champion Award, April 2005; Board Member, Ritter Center, 1997-2004.

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