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Laura Reathaford

Laura Reathaford leads the firm's California Employment practice from its Los Angeles offices, providing labor and employment legal services to the firm's California-based clients and clients with California-based employees. She focuses her practice on wage and hour class and collective actions with a particular emphasis on representative actions under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).

Laura is an experienced trial attorney and has received favorable judgments in FLSA and PAGA actions, as well as in single plaintiff harassment and wrongful termination matters. She represents the management of both public and private businesses across the country in the banking, grocery, fashion retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunications industries. She regularly defends and advises clients on employment issues, including terminating employees, drafting employee handbooks and complying with leave and disability rules as well as state and federal wage and hour laws.

Laura's successes include defeating class certification in various wage and hour class actions, narrowing the scope of PAGA representative actions during discovery and at trial, obtaining summary judgment, representing management against union grievances and litigating a variety of other employment disputes, including claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation and discrimination. 

Court Memberships

  • California
  • Supreme Court of California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 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

Honors

  • Top Women Attorneys, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2020
  • Labor & Employment Star - West, Benchmark Litigation, 2019 - 2020
  • Top 100 Women Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2018
  • Finalist, Leaders in Law, Los Angeles Business Journal, 2018
  • Woman of Promise, Comerica Bank and Los Angeles Lakers' Women's Business Awards, 2018
  • Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2013-2018

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Amicus Committee
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • The State Bar of California

Publications

  • Co-Author, How Strong Corporate Guidance Can Prevent Seven-Figure Liability in Employment Cases, Attorney At Law Magazine, July 1, 2020
  • Author, SB 806 and the Proposed New Test for Independent Contractor Misclassification, Attorney At Law Mangazine, April 29, 2020
  • Quoted, PAGA litigation expected to accelerate in wake of California Supreme Court ruling, Northern California Record, March 19, 2020
  • Author, Employer's Perspective: PAGA 15 Years Later, California Lawyers Association, July 2019
  • Author, Ignoring Compelling Legislative History Opens PAGA Floodgates, Daily Journal, June 4, 2018
  • Author, Avoiding Labor Entanglements for Commission-Earning Employees in a Changing Legal Landscape, The State Bar of California Business Law News, 2017
  • Author, PAGA Performance, Los Angeles Lawyer, June 2016
  • Author, He said, she said: Employment litigators debate California’s Private Attorney General Act, Westlaw Journal Employment, June 7, 2016
  • Author, Advising Clients On The Best Way to Navigate Whistleblower Issues, Verdict Magazine, Summer 2015
  • Author, Has PAGA Really Made a Difference, Daily Journal, June 2, 2015
  • Author, San Francisco Handcuffs Employers to Give Ex-Cons a Break, Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2014
  • Author, Responding the Right Way to PAGA Employment Litigation, The Recorder, July 23, 2014
  • Author, California Courts May No Longer Be Able to Certify a Ham Sandwich, Corporate Counsel, June 26, 2014
  • Author, Guidance on Statistics in Class Actions, Daily Journal, June 4, 2014
  • Author, Appellate Courts Shift Course on Certification, Daily Journal, January 9, 2014
  • Author, Calif.: New Law Expands Protections for Whistleblowers, Society for Human Resource Management, December 16, 2013
  • Author, How to Defend Regional Class Actions, Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 23, 2013
  • Author, Plaintiffs look to PAGA as Class Certifications Get Tougher, Daily Journal, May 1, 2013

Quoted

  • Quoted, 3 Takeaways From The Calif. Supreme Court's Apple Ruling, Law360, February 14, 2020
  • Quoted, Uber Case Lawyers Face Tall Order to Produce More Info, Daily Journal, July 5, 2016
  • Quoted, Attorneys React to High Court's Auto Service Advisors OT Ruling, Law360, June 20, 2016
  • Quoted, Case of allegedly negligent plaintiffs' lawyer shows murkiness of PAGA, Daily Journal, May 6, 2016
  • Quoted, Lawyers Balking at Governor's PAGA Reforms, Daily Journal, February 24, 2016
  • Quoted, California Supreme Court Weighs 'Suitable Seating' Law, Bloomberg, February 16, 2016
  • Quoted, In 2015, Arbitration, Misclassification Disputes Dominated Employment Law, Daily Journal, December 30, 2015
  • Quoted, Calif. Justices Make Deal Unconscionability A Tough Sell, Employment Law360, August 3, 2015
  • Quoted, Victoria's Secret On-call Policy Remains Under Wraps, CBS News MoneyWatch, July 1, 2015
  • Quoted, California's Provides Extensive Whistleblower Protections, Society for Human Resource Management, July 4, 2015
  • Quoted, Cases, Manageability Issues Persist, Daily Journal, May 2015
  • Quoted, California Supreme Court Enforces Part of Arbitration Agreement, Society for Human Resources Management, July 4, 2014
  • Quoted, 5 Best Practices for Firing Bad Employees, Law360, April 2, 2013
  • Quoted, Employee-Friendly Pregnancy Rules Could Get More So, The National Law Journal, May 22, 2012

Presentations

  • Presenter, Dealing with Unconscious Bias & Discrimination, Women, Diversity & Change Summit, Nov. 7, 2018
  • Presenter, PAGA Trials, Bridgeport PAGA Workshop, Los Angeles, March 24, 2017
  • ’Rest’ Means Rest, Daily Journal Podcast, Jan. 13, 2017
  • The Spread of ‘Ban-the-Box’ Laws, Bloomberg Radio, August 11, 2014
  • Employee Expense Reimbursements: A Potential Wage and Hour Hotbed?, BLR, November 2013
  • Donning and Doffing & Walking Time Allegations, and the Latest Claims Arising from Meal and Rest Breaks, American Conference International, May 29-30, 2014
Photo of Laura  Reathaford
  • Los Angeles

    2049 Century Park East
    Suite 3500S
    Los Angeles, CA 90067-1623
F: 310.789.4601

Assistant

Patricia Johnson
310.789.4673

Industries

Education

  • Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, J.D.
  • University of Alberta, BCom.