Dale A. Hudson

Dale Hudson provides strategic advice to California employers regarding employment law compliance and litigation avoidance. He also defends employers in employment and wage/hour litigation matters.

What do you focus on?

I focus on three areas, utilizing more than 30 years of experience to achieve successful outcomes for clients.

Employment Counseling and Litigation Avoidance

I assist clients in navigating the complex labyrinth of employment laws governing the workplace, and developing programs and policies to reduce legal risk. I have worked with certain key clients for over a decade to help them manage delicate employment situations. As a result of these partnerships, these clients have been virtually free of employment litigation for over ten years.

Class Action Defense

I have a proven track record of successfully defending class action lawsuits involving wage and hours claims of all types. I have repeatedly been successful in preventing class certification and have also achieved very favorable settlements for many clients.

Employment litigation

My work also includes successfully defending wrongful termination, discrimination, disability, harassment, retaliation and unfair competition litigation matters. I represent employers before state and federal courts, administrative agencies at the state and federal level and various arbitration tribunals.

What do you see on the horizon?

I believe that employers need to implement innovative alternative dispute resolution strategies, including arbitration programs, to manage the deluge of class action and other lawsuits that have targeted employers over the past decades. Such efforts will likely pay big dividends down the road.


Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment for a major apparel retailer in a wrongful termination lawsuit that included allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Plaintiff claimed that he had been wrongfully terminated after the employer declined, after receiving a negative background report, to promote plaintiff from a temporary position to a permanent position. Plaintiff also alleged that he was discriminated against because of his race, gender, and ethnicity. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer, holding that the employer had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for terminating plaintiff. The court also found that plaintiff had not been harassed by any managers or co-workers.
  • Represented California-based fruit farming company in a putative class action lawsuit regarding alleged wage and hour violations, “off-the-clock” work, missed meal and rest periods, and penalties. The putative class consisted of potentially 10,000 agricultural workers employed in grape growing and harvesting. A well-crafted defense strategy led to the district court denying plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. After briefing and argument, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of class certification in all respects, holding that district court had not abused its discretion in denying class certification, and rejecting all other arguments raised by plaintiffs. Garcia v. Sun Pacific Farming Cooperative, Inc., United States District Court, Eastern District of California, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111969; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 24999
  • Obtained summary judgment in a wrongful termination lawsuit against a major healthcare provider. The motion addressed a complex lawsuit with multiple claims including claims for defamation, wrongful termination, harassment, retaliation and disability discrimination. The court granted summary judgment as to all eight causes of action, and thereafter denied plaintiffs motion for new trial, resulting in dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Achieved an extraordinary outcome with respect to a wrongful termination claim against a manufacturing company. After the matter failed to settle at mediation, the employee ultimately fired her attorney and dropped the claim completely.
  • Defended transportation company in a claim in what originated as combined wrongful termination claim and potential class claim for violations of overtime and meal and rest period rules. After an aggressive letter-writing campaign, plaintiffs’ counsel abandoned all class claims and the wage and hour claims. The complaint ultimately filed by plaintiffs included only wrongful termination claims. These claims were settled pursuant to a confidential settlement agreement on an individual (non-class) basis.
  • Represented national retail chain and national hotel chain in a class action lawsuit regarding alleged improper inquiries on employment applications. Served as lead counsel for 105 defendants with respect to successful demurrer. Obtained voluntary dismissal as to one defendant. As to other defendant, participated in group settlement with nominal payment of $10,000.
  • Defended transportation company in a class action lawsuit regarding alleged wage and hour violations and “off-the-clock” work. Achieved non-class settlement with nominal payment to individual plaintiff, and unconditional dismissal of all class claims.
  • Defended a financial institution in an action for wrongful termination, sexual orientation discrimination and harassment. After several months of litigation, achieved a settlement funded 100% by a co-defendant. The client received a full release and dismissal without contributing any money to the settlement.
  • Successfully defended high-tech company at a hearing before the California State Labor Commissioner. The matter involved a claim by a former executive for severance pay and bonus pay. The Labor Commissioner found for the company and award nothing to the executive.
  • Obtained summary adjudication of issues in a wrongful termination/ sexual harassment lawsuit filed against a regional dental group by a former dental hygienist. The court granted summary adjudication as to all five causes of action addressed by the motion.
  • Defended transportation company in a class action lawsuit that initially alleged a broad array of wage and hour claims, including claims for overtime, minimum wage, wage statement, and meal period violations. Within one year, obtained dismissal of three causes of action, leaving only meal period claims. Thereafter achieved class settlement of meal period claims at fraction of potential exposure.
  • Defended national movie theater chain from a defamation claim arising out of an internal investigation that led to termination of plaintiff. After the plaintiff’s deposition elicited damaging admissions from the plaintiff, plaintiff’s attorney initiated settlement discussions. The matter was ultimately resolved pursuant to a confidential settlement.
  • Successfully defended an age discrimination case based on the plaintiff’s assertion of a failure to hire claim. Negotiated a settlement whereby the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the employer in exchange for a waiver of costs and no further consideration.
  • Represented guarantor in anti-deficiency legislation, liability of guarantors. Obtained reversal of $1 million judgment against client. Resulted in adoption of clarifying statute by the California Legislature. See California Civil Code section 2856(a). Cathay Bank v. Lee, 14 Cal. App. 4th 1533, Court of Appeal, 4th District

9th Circ. Says Suit Against H&M Hinges On Copyright Validity

Law360 | May 29, 2020

This article mentions Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan, Intellectual Property counsel Aaron Brian and Labor & Employment senior counsel Dale Hudson, all of Los Angeles, for representing H&M in a dispute involving allegations of fabric design copyright infringement. The NP team secured a unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth District to reverse the trial court’s decision.

What to expect after latest DOL overtime rule appeal

Law360 | November 15, 2017

Los Angeles labor and employment counsel Dale Hudson and Rochester labor and employment associate Jeffrey League authored this column about what employers should expect relating to the U.S. Department of Labor’s appeal, which invalidated the Obama administration’s overtime rule.


Dale A. Hudson

Senior Counsel

Los Angeles

Phone: 213-629-6015

Fax: 866-741-1399

University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Boalt Hall, J.D., (Order of the Coif)

University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., with honors


U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

  • Received a “Spirit of Volunteerism” award from OneOC, in recognition of his service to the American Red Cross
  • Recognized at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross for eight years of service on the Board of Directors.
  • Recognized as one of “Southern California’s Top Rated Lawyers” in Labor and Employment
  • AV® Preeminent™, Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Ratings
  • Honoree, Spirit of Volunteerism Award, Volunteer Center of Orange County, 2010
  • Orange County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • California State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Chairperson, Board of Directors, American Red Cross, Orange County Chapter; Past Chair, Board Development Committee
  • Past Chair, Human Resources Committee, American Red Cross, Orange County Chapter
  • Past Co-Chair, HR Roundtable, American Electronics Association, Orange County Chapter
  • Arbitrator, Orange County Bar Association, Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program
  • Delegate, California State Bar Conference of Delegates
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