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What we do

Employment Law

Our lawyers have represented and tried cases on behalf of public and private employers throughout California in virtually every area of workplace litigation in state and federal courts.

Hurrell Cantrall LLP and its predecessor firms have represented employers against single-plaintiff and large class-action allegations of retaliation, wrongful termination, and discrimination based on age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, and other prohibited forms of discrimination.  We serve as a contract firm for the County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Unified School District on employment litigation matters. 

In particular, we have represented clients across the entire spectrum of employment discrimination and related litigation, including claims under:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1984
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination In Employment Act
  • The California Family Rights Act 
  • The Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA)  
  • The Equal Pay Act, as amended
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1975
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 
  • The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
  • Sections 1981 and 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1966
  • State and local employment discrimination statutes and ordinances
  • State common law claims

We also emphasize the development of effective personnel-management strategies that help our clients avoid costly litigation and lengthy government investigations.  We can assist in the development of employment policies and procedures, handbooks, applications, job evaluation forms, offer letters, employment contracts and other documents that affect the employment relationship.  We also assist our clients by keeping them compliant with the law and minimizing the risks of exposure.

Illustrative Cases

  • Defense verdict on behalf of a school district in a lawsuit brought by an employee who claimed he was discriminated and retaliated against based on his age, gender and race.  Plaintiff, a Caucasian male over the age of 40, claimed he was highly qualified and experienced unlike the African-American female under the age 40 who was selected for a managerial position instead of him.  In its defense, we presented evidence of how plaintiff lacked the necessary qualities of an effective manager.  After an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a defense verdict.

  • Defense verdict on all causes of action in case arising out of plaintiff’s claims of unlawful termination, disability discrimination, the employer’s failure to accommodate her disability, and retaliation for exercising her family medical leave. 

  • Defense verdict in a case brought by a physician employed by a public entity alleging a claim of age discrimination based on a theory of disparate impact.  In less than 45 minutes, a unanimous jury delivered a defense verdict.  

  • Summary judgment in an action in federal court for retaliatory discharge in violation of, among other things, state laws and his First Amendment Right to Free Speech.  Defendants successfully moved for summary judgment as to the federal claims.  The state law claims were then remanded for further proceeding in state court.  Thereafter we successfully moved for summary judgment on the basis of res judicata and collateral estoppel as the issue of pretext had been previously adjudicated in federal court.

  • Dismissal of an action in federal court arising out of his termination from employment with a public entity. The plaintiff alleged claims for, inter alia, Title VII discrimination, breach of contract, hostile work environment, and defamation. On behalf of our public entity client, we filed a motion to dismiss the action on numerous procedural and substantive grounds, which was granted by the court despite plaintiff’s fierce opposition.  While the plaintiff was granted leave to amend initially, our motion to dismiss the first amended complaint was granted without leave to amend, resulting in a dismissal of the entire action against our client. In addition, while the plaintiff filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, his appeal was dismissed.

  • Summary judgment on behalf of a chemical company based in Ohio in an employment lawsuit where the employee claimed his employer violated his rights under the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), discriminated him in violation of the Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) based on his disability, and failed to reasonably accommodate his disability.  We argued that the plaintiff did not qualify for leave under the CFRA, that plaintiff could not establish his termination was due to his medical leave, that he was not disabled under FEHA, and that the employer had a legitimate basis for his termination.  After obtaining summary judgment, the Court awarded costs to our client.

  • Summary judgment in a case where plaintiff sought damages for violation of his rights under the FEHA while working as an executive of a public entity.  Plaintiff alleged that he was demoted without a legitimate reason, transferred to a less desirable assignment, and passed over for promotion.  Plaintiff also claimed the defendant failed to conduct a proper investigation or take corrective action after plaintiff complained about the purportedly discriminatory or retaliatory conduct against him.  We moved for summary judgment as to each of the three causes of action for discrimination based on race, retaliation, and failure to take corrective action.  The Court sustained the majority of defendant’s evidentiary objections and granted our motion in its entirety, determining there were no triable issues of fact as to plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation claims and that plaintiff failed to carry his burden to create a triable issue of fact despite filing over 1000 pages of evidence in opposition.  As to the third cause of action, the Court found that plaintiff’s claim for failure to take corrective action is derivative of the first two causes of action, and as such, failed as a matter of law.

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