Mike is the Chair of Hanson Bridgett's Labor and Employment Practice and also leads practice groups focused on specialized investigations and privacy issues. In addition to the traditional labor and employment specialties, Mike is well-established as an independent investigator hired by public and private organizations to handle sensitive fact-finding and investigative matters. With the privacy subgroup, Mike counsels businesses on navigating general business and employment privacy issues.
In labor and employment law and privacy matters, Mike works with private clients ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as public employers and nonprofit organizations. For special investigations, Mike is retained on a case-by-case basis by public agencies, public universities, special purpose districts, as well as private employers.
Labor and Employment: Mike is experienced in litigation and counseling related to employment and labor law matters, including representing employers in disputes in state and federal court, arbitrations, administrative hearings and before government agencies. Mike has defended, through trial, cases involving claims of:
- wrongful termination, discrimination, and retaliation,
- racial harassment and retaliation,
- wage/hour and employment classification violations, and
- claims of violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims, unfair competition, and employment-related torts.
Mike also provides preventive advice and training to employers on a variety of employment law issues, including union organizing activity and collective bargaining. In addition to advice and counsel, Mike provides extensive training for employers in the areas of state and federal labor/employment laws, breach of contract, unfair competition, privacy rights, identity theft, union organizing campaigns (under state and federal law), picketing and demonstrations, EEOC, FEHA, FLSA, OSHA, Labor Commissioner and WCAB complaints, and negotiation/interpretation of collective bargaining agreements.
Special Investigations: Mike conducts investigations and fact-findings for sensitive matters involving elected officials and executives at public agencies and universities involving claims of:
- racial harassment and retaliation,
- harassment constituting hate crimes,
- sexual harassment and discrimination; and
- conflicts of interest and violations of ethics ordinances.
Mike is engaged as primary fact finder for these investigations in response to a need for independent advice and investigation in these complex, high-profile or media-sensitive issues.
Privacy: Mike provides advice and counsel concerning interpretation of state and federal laws related to privacy rights and obligations related to employment information/practices, health information, and consumer information. Mike also guides businesses on preventive measures related to business privacy obligations and strategic/tactical advice and guidance related to data security breaches and notification obligations.
"Governor Signs New Paid Sick Leave Law: Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 [AB 1522]," co-author, Labor and Employment Law Alert (September 2014)
"Employment Law Roundtable," California Lawyer (April 2014)
"Attack on Quick Service Restaurants - Escalating Campaign for Increased Minimum Wage and the Pending Fast Food Strike," co-author, Labor & Employment Law Alert (August 2013)
“Managing Leaves of Absence – FMLA, CFRA and the New ADA Regulations,” Employer Resource Institute/California Employment Law Update (November 2011)
"Employment Law Roundtable," California Lawyer (January 2009)
"A Hiring Tip That Can Keep You Out of Court," California Employer Advisor (November 2008)
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"The Press is Downstairs and They Have Cameras," co-presenter, County Counsels’ Association of California Annual Meeting (September 2014)
"Best Practices for Special Investigations," CALPELRA (November 2014)
"Advanced Issues in Management of Leaves of Absence," CALPELRA (November 2014)
"Privacy Gone Public: The Next Big Thing for Every Employer," CALPELRA (November 2014)
"Best Practices for Special Investigations," County Counsel Association of California Annual Conference (September 2014)
“An Employer’s Guide to Navigating Social Media Pitfalls," panelist, DLA Piper Labor and Employment and IP Sections Panel Discussion (May 2014)
"Social Media and Ethical Issues for Public Agency Attorneys," co-speaker, County Counsel Association of California – Land Use Spring Conference (May 2014)
"Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession," co-speaker, County Counsel Association of California – Land Use Spring Conference (May 2014)
"The Press is Downstairs and they have Cameras – Best Practices for Sensitive Investigations," co-speaker, State and Local Government Section – American Bar Association (April 2014)
"Conducting Sensitive Investigations," Hotel Council of San Francisco Human Resource Seminar (April 2014)
"Employment Law Update," California Association of Adult Day Services Annual Conference (April 2014)
"Privacy Issues for Employment Lawyers," co-speaker, BASF Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Yosemite Conference (February 2014)
"Taking An Employment Case to Trial," CALPERA Conference, Monterey (November 2013)
"Best Practices in Arbitration," PELRAC Training Conference, Long Beach (October 2013)
"10 Tips for Effectively Managing Employees," California Employment Law Update Conference, San Francisco & Anaheim (October 2013)
“Partnering with Human Resources to Control Risk,” National Bar Association Mid-Year Conference (April 2013)
"LGBT Employees & Residents – Emerging Issues," California Assisted Living Association (June 2012)
"Legal Update: Social Networking Media-Issues for Employers and Employees," State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section (May 2010)
"Wage and Hour Compliance" and "Security and Privacy Issues," Continuing Education of the Bar (November 2009)
"Hands-On Job Descriptions: How To Correctly Designate Workers as Exempt or Nonexempt," ERI California Employment Law Update 2009 (October, November 2009)
"Hiring: 6 Key Pre-Hire Mistakes to Avoid; How to Hire Smart and Avoid Lawsuits," Employer Resource Institute (July 2009)
"Best and Worst Practices for Employers Having to Consider Layoffs," Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (June 2009)
"Sittin' On The Blue Bayou: Managing Intermittent Leaves," California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (November 2008)
"Hiring/Interviewing Soup to Nuts," Employer Resource Institute (November 2008)
"Effective Hiring Practices," California Association of Adult Day Services (November 2008)
"Leave of Absence and Wage/Hour Issues," California Association of Adult Day Services (November 2008)
"Alternative Pay Arrangements: What You Need to Know About Bonus Agreements, Compensation Plans, Commissions, and Tipped Employees," Employer Resource Institute (September 2008)
"The Interaction & Overlap of FMLA, ADA, & Workers' Compensation," Center for Occupational & Environmental Health (August 2008)
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Honorary Member of the UC Hastings La Raza Law Students Association
Bar Association of San Francisco Barrister's Club Diversity Award
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal Recognition Leadership Award
Bar Association of San Francisco Award of Merit
Northern California Super Lawyer (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)