California Labor & Employment Law



In a growing and employee-friendly state, we help companies develop creative strategies for managing a thriving workforce in California.

Our approach

California has more employees than any other state. And that number is projected to grow by nearly 40% by 2025.

The Golden State is a global hub for technology, biotech, arts and entertainment, agriculture and green energy. It’s also home to employee-friendly courts, aggressive administrative agencies and a vast and unique body of employment laws and regulations.

Obscure state and municipal laws further complicate areas of employment that already require watchful attention—such as pay and wages, discrimination and harassment, employee leave and reductions in workforce.

And incentives for whistleblowers and employee-led lawsuits and class actions heighten the risk for employers.

Our dedicated team of labor and employment attorneys in California guide our clients through this maze of laws so they can capitalize on the state’s abundant opportunities.

Who we work with

  • California employers of all sizes and in all industries
  • Particularly deep experience working with clients in the health care, food and beverage, agricultural, life sciences, technology and retail industries

Whistleblower attorneys are looking beyond safety law boundaries

Bloomberg Law | May 12, 2022

This article discussing alternatives to OSHA enforcement and OSHA’s whistleblower provision quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn, who mentions that employers need to be wary of workers who become aware of standards outside their normal duties that could turn up in a whistleblower complaint.

The biggest wage and hour cases of 2021

Law360 | December 20, 2021

This article looking at the year’s top wage and hour rulings quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca on how the retroactive application of the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex ruling, which made it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, could impact employers.

San Diego Crunch Fitness pays settlement in trans discrimination case

Q Voice News | December 09, 2021

The following article covers the successful resolution of a long-running pro bono matter for which NP teamed with the ACLU to represent a transgender woman who was denied access to the women’s locker room at a gym in San Diego on more than 70 occasions. This denial of access clearly violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in public accommodations. After more than three years, the parties reached a fair settlement. The NP team working on this case includes Intellectual Property partner and Life Sciences practice co-chair Seth Levy, Labor & Employment partner Michael Lindsay, and alum Erin Holyoke, all of the Los Angeles office.

Trans woman wins settlement in suit against California gym

Advocate | December 09, 2021

The following article covers the successful resolution of a long-running pro bono matter for which NP teamed with the ACLU to represent a transgender woman who was denied access to the women’s locker room at a gym in San Diego on more than 70 occasions. This denial of access clearly violated California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in public accommodations. After more than three years, the parties reached a fair settlement. The NP team working on this case includes Intellectual Property partner and Life Sciences practice co-chair Seth Levy, Labor & Employment partner Michael Lindsay, and alum Erin Holyoke, all of the Los Angeles office.

Is COVID a "grave danger"? If not Biden rule may fall flat

Law360 | November 19, 2021

This article, focusing on the possible challenges to the “grave danger” argument in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard, quotes Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader, OSHA practice chair and Los Angeles partner Benjamin Kim on what constitutes a grave danger, while he notes there will likely be continued legal scrutiny and discussion.

Biden's vaccine rule is here and half of employers aren't ready

Bloomberg | November 04, 2021

In this article discussing OSHA’s federal COVID vaccination and testing guidelines for large private employers, which were announced on Thursday, San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn is quoted on the potential burden and obstacles posed by weekly testing.

Vaccine mandates reach 25% of U.S. companies after Biden order

Bloomberg | September 30, 2021

This article, discussing President Biden’s directive to larger employers mandating vaccines or weekly testing, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn on the potential logistical heavy lift for employers in implementing weekly testing.

Cal/OSHA Updated COVID-19 Guidelines

CBS/KNX News Radio | June 09, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn discussed an upcoming Cal/OSHA emergency standard board meeting to review its recently updated COVID-19 guidelines on facial coverings, following the urging made by the California Department of Public Health to reconsider the board’s earlier guidelines to better align with CDC recommendations.

In Depth

CBS/KNX News Radio | June 01, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn discussed Cal/OSHA’ s proposed updated COVID-19 guidelines and other top-of-mind issues for California-based employers and employees, including whether employers can ask for workers’ vaccination status, Cal/OSHA’ s requirement for vaccination documentation, and whether employers can require employees to be vaccinated.

What's at stake as high court tackles union access case

Law360 | March 19, 2021

This article, focused on a case of whether a California regulation requiring growers to let union organizers on their property is unconstitutional, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Bonnie Glatzer on governmental policies and ways that the court could address the issue.

On the Move

The Recorder (California) | January 28, 2021

Los Angeles Project Finance & Public Finance partner-elect Jade Turner-Bond and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner-elect Rachel Conn were included in this roundup of notable legal moves for their promotions to partner.

California Poised For Growth Despite Pandemic Impacts, Regulations

Engineering News-Record | December 10, 2020

In this article on the workplace requirements for contractors and other employers in the construction industry, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted for her outlook on Cal/OSHA’s definition of “exposed workplace” and the potential overlap of notifications requirements with AB 685.

In Depth

KNX-AM | December 10, 2020

San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn appears as a guest in this radio news segment to discuss the dilemma employers are facing and what they should consider—Cal/OSHA, California sick leave laws and other advisories—as they navigate how to provide a safe workplace for their employees during the holidays.

3 Tips Now That DOL's Joint Employer Rule Is Struck Down

Law360 | September 16, 2020

This article, which examines last week’s Southern District of New York judgment striking down the U.S. Department of Labor’s joint employment rule, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Jade Butman on the complexities of multiple layers for employment law compliance with respect to the National Labor Relations Act, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and FLSA.

Employer Object To Cal/OSHA Virus Reporting Split From Federal OSHA

Inside OSHA | July 28, 2020

This article, discussing employer objections to the differences between Cal/OSHA and the federal OSHA requirements to record and report COVID-19 cases, quotes an NP alert providing guidance for California employers on the differences. The alert was authored by Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) practice co-chair and Los Angeles Labor & Employment partner Ben Kim and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Maritza Martin.

DOL Must Hand Over Amazon Safety Data to Journalism Outlet

Bloomberg Law | July 07, 2020

In this article on a recent decision requiring the U.S. Labor Department to provide unredacted safety records to an investigative journalism organization, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted on how the decision could make it easier for media outlets and labor unions to request injury and illness data from the government. The decision could also lead to adverse publicity for companies.

How employers can prepare for expected waves of coronavirus-related litigation

Daily Journal | June 03, 2020

Labor and Employment partner Bonnie Glatzer and associates Hillary Baca and Jade Butman, all in San Francisco, contributed this article on potential coronavirus-related litigation matters that California employers should be aware of, and how employers can prepare for possible lawsuits.

Signet furloughs workers, appoints accounting officer

JCK Magazine | March 31, 2020

This leading trade publication in the jewelry industry quotes San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Hillary Baca, who explained in a recent industry webinar why many employers prefer furloughs to layoffs during this time of economic uncertainty.

California Employers Should Start Working on Violence-Prevention Plans

Society for HR Management | December 09, 2019

In this article, San Francisco labor and employment associate Rachel Conn provides her insights related to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s draft regulation on workplace-violence prevention programs.

New California law redefines who gets employment benefits. The lawsuits are just starting.

The Sacramento Bee | December 09, 2019

San Francisco labor and employment partner Bonnie Glatzer is quoted in this article about California’s Assembly Bill 5, a new law that redefines how companies classify employees and who qualifies to receive full employment benefits.

California nears enactment of nation’s first workplace violence prevention regulation for general industry

Recorder (Law.com) | September 17, 2019

Los Angeles partner Ben Kim and San Francisco associate Rachel Conn, both of the Labor and Employment practice group, co-wrote this contributed article analyzing California’s latest effort to prevent workplace violence through regulations.

Storms on the horizon after high court’s Dynamex ruling

Los Angeles Daily Journal | July 10, 2019

Partner Ben Kim, counsel Alicia Anderson and associate Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan, all of the Labor and Employment group in Los Angeles, co-wrote this contributed article. The authors analyze the impact of a California Supreme Court ruling that drivers for Dynamex, a package delivery company, are employees rather than independent contractors.

INSIGHT: California overhaul of injury recordkeeping rules just a start

Bloomberg Law | June 04, 2019

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn wrote this contributed article outlining California’s recent actions to strengthen its occupational safety record-keeping rules in response to weakened protections at the federal level.

  • U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” 2020 ranked as National Tier One in: Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, Employment Law—Management, Energy Law, Franchise Law, Health Care Law, Labor Law—Management, Litigation—Construction, Litigation—Labor & Employment, Litigation—Real Estate, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions—Defendants, Patent Law, Public Finance Law, Real Estate Law, Securities Regulation, Tax Law
  • In addition, many Nixon Peabody practices received U.S. News/Best Lawyers Tier 1 rankings at the regional level in the following geographies: Albany, NY; Boston; Buffalo; Chicago; Long Island; Los Angeles; Manchester, NH; New York City; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; San Francisco; and Washington, DC.
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
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