Seth L. Neulight

Seth Neulight is a dedicated labor and employment attorney with over 20 years of experience serving employers and executives. Seth represents clients in disputes before state and federal courts, administrative agencies, and in arbitrations, with an emphasis on complex class and representative actions. He provides practical, business-oriented advice on matters such as workforce restructuring, restrictive covenants, wage and hour laws, leaves of absence, and labor issues in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Seth serves clients in a range of industries, including technology, food and beverage, higher education, construction, retail, and hospitality.

What do you focus on?

I defend employers in complex wage-hour and discrimination class, collective and representative actions. I have served as lead defense counsel in hundreds of single- and multi-plaintiff lawsuits filed in California state and federal courts. I have significant experience with claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, and harassment, wrongful discharge, and wage and hour violations under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and California laws including the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Labor Code, and Unfair Competition Law (UCL). I help clients navigate difficult employment issues such as leave obligations, disability accommodation, employment terminations, and reductions-in-force. I negotiate and draft executive employment contracts and offer letters, incentive compensation plans, confidentiality and invention assignment agreements, and separation agreements. I help clients develop personnel policies. I regularly speak on employment law developments trends, and best practices for workforce management.

My practice also includes traditional labor relations. I help clients respond to union organizing campaigns, provide union avoidance training, and negotiate collective bargaining agreements. I defend clients in grievance arbitrations and unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board.

What do you see on the horizon?

The #MeToo Movement has led to a flurry of legislative activity, and a heightened awareness among workers, concerning issues of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Employers need to be more vigilant than ever in their efforts to prevent such misconduct, and to respond properly when it occurs. Separately, companies are facing increased pressure to adopt more policies that ease the burdens of working families, such as paid parental leave. Legislatures at all levels are paying attention, and will continue to enact laws that impose new employer mandates in this area.

Representative Experience

  • Won defense verdict as co-lead counsel in jury trial on disability discrimination and wrongful termination claims. Lauren Lord v. The Permanente Medical Group, et. al., California Superior Court, Alameda County (2015)
  • Defended university in mandamus action by graduate student challenging dismissal from program. Won denial of writ petition, affirmed on appeal. Animesh Patel v. Touro University, 2015 WL 8827888 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. 2015)
  • Won dispositive motions on claims by union-represented employee of race discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. Mayes v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, 917 F.Supp.2d 1074 (E.D. Cal. 2013)(motion to dismiss); 2014 WL 2506195 (E.D. Cal. June 3, 2014)(summary judgment)
  • Obtained summary judgment on disability discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation claims by former manager. Affirmed on appeal. Robert Weiss v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, 2008 WL 2445084 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. 2008)
  • Obtained summary judgment on FEHA age discrimination claim. Judgment affirmed on appeal. Reeves v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., 2007 WL 1032306 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. 2007)
  • Defended wage-hour class action alleging exempt status misclassification of employees. Obtained precedential Court of Appeal decision allowing deductions from vacation banks of exempt employees for partial-day absences. Conley v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 131 Cal. App. 4th 260 (2005)
  • Defended global consumer products company in class action alleging misclassification of truck drivers under federal Motor Carrier Act exemption and related wage and hour claims
  • Represented employer and CEO in multi-state litigation of unfair competition claims based on hiring of employees from competitor
  • Defended healthcare organization in action by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging Title VII pattern and practice discrimination. Negotiated settlement and consent decree with EEOC
  • Advised fruit company on response to Teamsters organizing campaign. Represented company in NLRB bargaining unit proceeding, and defended company against union unfair labor practice charge

Publications and Presentations

  • “Labor and Employment Spotlight Address,” 2019 Food & Beverage Exchange, Chicago, October 3, 2019
  • “Mergers & Acquisitions Employment Issues,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, San Francisco, January 2019
  • “Managing Employment Issues in Mergers & Acquisitions,” 30th Annual SVAGC All Hand meeting, October 16, 2018
  • “Labor Department withdraws Obama-era guidance on independent contractors and joint employers” Employment Law Alert, June 8, 2017
  • “EEOC issues proposed rule to collect pay data from employers” Employment Law Alert, February 5, 2016
  • “California enacts major overhaul of equal pay law” Employment Law Alert,
    October 7, 2015
  • “BYOD: The Evolving Risks (and Solutions) of Bring Your Own Device Programs,” 2014 NCHRA Legal and Legislative Conference, January 2014
  • “Workplace Agencies Tighten Belts For Sequestration” Law360, May 24, 2013
  • “Ethics in the Workplace: What You Need to Know,” BASIC HR Solutions, Webinar, November 2013
  • “California Employment Law: Latest Developments & Trends,” Thomson Reuters WestLegalEd Center, Webinar, September 2012
  • “California Employment Legislation: What’s New for 2013?” Employment Law Alert, October 2012
  • “Tips for Avoiding the Increased Enforcement Trap,” California Employer Resources (BLR), November 2012

Ninth Circuit won't jump-start Hertz age bias suit

Law360 | March 12, 2021

This article covers the recent Ninth Circuit judgement that affirmed a summary judgement win for Hertz in a suit involving a fired payroll worker’s allegations of age bias and defamation against the car rental company. San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Seth Neulight is mentioned for advising Hertz.

U.S. releases new guidance on status of on-demand service providers

Rochester Business Journal | June 28, 2019

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk wrote this contributed article outlining new guidance from the Department of Labor on whether “gig economy” workers should be considered independent contractors or employees.


Seth L. Neulight


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8377

Fax: 866-294-4276

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., (Editor, DePaul Law Review)

Northwestern University, B.A.


U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

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

Seth Neulight was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 in the field of Employment Law - Management.

Seth was recognized as a “Super Lawyer” from 2011 to 2018 by Northern California Super Lawyers magazine based on a peer-review survey.

Seth received the Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award in 2017 from Swords to Plowshares, a veteran services organization.

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Section
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
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