Jeffrey M. Tanenbaum

Jeff is a member of Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group and the firm’s Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) practice. He represents employers in a very wide range of employment and labor law matters, with a particular emphasis on occupational safety and health compliance and litigation.

What do you focus on?

I have devoted my entire career to assisting employers with a broad array of employment and labor issues. I particularly enjoy working with my clients to find novel, yet practical compliance solutions for the increasingly complex world of employment regulation. Examples include policies and procedures to address the intersection of the ADA, leave laws and workers compensation; the development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) programs and the defense of ADR claims; guidance through complex terminations and RIFs and alternatives; cross-border employment issues; supply chain management; employee/independent contractor classification; workplace violence response plans; crisis response; and training of executives, managers and supervisors.

My practice also has a special focus on occupational safety and health compliance and litigation, including but not limited to Cal/OSHA and Fed/OSHA matters. This involves developing state of the art safety procedures, training, safety and health audits, appeals of citations, obtaining variances and representing employers in the rulemaking process. I have litigated well over a thousand OSHA citations.

While my practice crosses all industries, many of my clients are in the fields of technology, life sciences, manufacturing, health care, maritime, food and beverage, utilities, energy, retail and hospitality.

What do you see on the horizon?

Labor and employment law is extremely dynamic. In the foreseeable future I believe we will see significant developments in the following areas:

  • The aging workforce. These issues include more age and disability claims, as well as issues related to retirement and health plans. Scientists suggest that children today may live to be 120 years old. That puts a very different spin on the concept of retirement at 65.
  • Compliance issues and litigation under the Affordable Care Act and further health care reform.
  • Post DOMA: LGBT issues are on the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 21st century.
  • Immigration reform and the increased globalization of the workforce.
  • The coming pandemic: it is just a matter of time until the next significant pandemic strikes. Employers will need to be much more prepared.
  • Robotics in the workplace.
  • Remote work locations.
  • New efforts by unions to reinvent themselves.


Jeff's numerous publications have included:

  • Rutter Guide California Practice Guide Employment Litigation Workplace  Safety Chapter (Contributing Editor)
  • Cal-OSHA Handbook (technical advisor)
  • Senate Bill 198 and the Be a Manager Go to Jail Act (author)
  • Employee Handbook: How to Write One for Your Company (co-author)
  • Cal-OSHA: Beyond the Basics (co-author)
  • The Common Sense Employer (editorial advisor)
  • Terror and Violence in the Workplace (co-author)
  • Personnel Policy Solutions (co-editor)
  • Family Leave Laws: A Guide for California Employers (editor)
  • New Guidelines for Employment Contracts and Disciplinary Procedures (co-author)
  • The Five Biggest Mistakes Made by Employers (and How to Avoid Them!) (co-author)
  • California Employment Law Reporter (columnist)
  • The New Cal-OSHA Guidelines for the Contingent Workforce (co-author)
  • An Employer’s Pocket Guide to Cal/OSHA (author)
  • Preventing Workplace Violence (author)
  • Cal/OSHA Compliance Advisor (co-editor)


  • “Marijuana legalization’s impacts on labor and employment,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, San Francisco, January 2017
  • “Sex and the attorney-client relationship,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, San Francisco, January 2017

Coronavirus putting crimp on firms doing business in China

Rochester Business Journal | February 21, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk authored this column about how employers with business operations in China are responding to the coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions. The article is based on an alert by Hong Kong Corporate partner David Cheng, Los Angeles Labor and Employment partner Benjamin Kim, San Francisco Labor and Employment senior counsel Jeffrey Tanenbaum and associate Rachel Conn, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman

California 2020 Vision: HR will see a year of litigation, legislation and more

Society for Human Resource Management | January 10, 2020

This article features San Francisco Labor and Employment partner Jeff Tanenbaum discussing the changes in the definition of employee and employer that come from California’s recent passage of AB5.

UPS egress citations, settlement could put logistics firms on notice

Bloomberg Environment | January 10, 2019

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Jeff Tanenbaum is quoted in this article on a recurring set of safety issues identified by OSHA at a UPS distribution center in Ohio.

Tough California hospital worker safety rules here to stay

Bloomberg Law | August 12, 2018

San Francisco Labor and Employment partner Jeff Tanenbaum is quoted in this article discussing the new Cal/OSHA standards for workplace safety in health care professions.


Jeffrey M. Tanenbaum

Senior Counsel

San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8450

Fax: 866-268-2098

Georgetown University, J.D.

Brandeis University, B.A.


U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Jeffrey was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in the fields of Employment Law—Management and Litigation—Labor and Employment. Jeffrey has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Jeff has been recognized for exceptional standing in the legal community in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2020 for Labor & Employment (California). He has also been recognized in Chambers in previous years. He has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by the publishers of the Northern California Super Lawyers magazine since 2007. Inclusion in Super Lawyers is based on a peer-review survey.

A Matthew Bender publication has described Jeff Tanenbaum as one of California’s leading employment litigators, and Jeff Tanenbaum has been named by The Recorder, a legal newspaper, as one of the Bay Area’s Top Employment Attorneys.

Jeff Tanenbaum is a member of the State Bar of California and its Employment and Labor Law Section. Within the American Bar Association Jeff Tanenbaum is a member of the Section on Labor and Employment Law and the Occupational Safety & Health Law Committee.
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