Payne & Fears LLP specializes in representing local, regional and national employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and related civil litigation. Our major areas of expertise include employment discrimination and wrongful termination litigation, wage and hour class action defense, union prevention and labor-management relations, unfair competition litigation, consultation and advice on a broad range of personnel matters, and immigration advice.  Demonstrating our level of expertise and experience, our attorneys frequently lecture and publish on employment law topics to teach other attorneys and business professionals about employment law.

The following are some of the areas in which we possess particular expertise:

Employment Discrimination

We have an extensive employment discrimination practice in the state and federal trial and appellate courts and before governmental agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. We regularly represent employers in response to charges, investigations and litigation involving discrimination and harassment claims. Our employment discrimination litigation practice runs the gamut from straightforward disparate treatment cases to class action lawsuits and other cases raising novel theories or posing the risk of substantial verdicts. We also defend administrative actions and civil litigation where property management firms are charged with housing discrimination.

Wrongful Discharge Litigation

Wrongful termination and related claims arising out of the employment relationship continue to proliferate in California. Tort and contract theories appear regularly in wrongful discharge cases and are often pled in sexual harassment actions as well. Intentional infliction of emotional distress and other related tort theories often accompany Title VII and other civil rights claims. We have significant experience handling such litigation, this being a major focus of our practice.

Labor-Management Relations

We represent companies in the traditional labor law field in matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act, including union organizing campaigns and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and in the courts. We also represent employers in collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations of grievances under collective bargaining agreements. Additionally, we represent our clients in federal court in contract actions and duty of fair representation matters, as well as litigation in both state and federal courts arising from picketing and strikes. We also provide union avoidance labor relations counseling programs to our clients.

Recent Successes


Payne & Fears Wins Jury Trial for Employer

Payne & Fears won a two-week jury trial and obtained a complete defense verdict for its client in Kravitsky v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a wrongful termination case before the Los Angeles Superior Court. The plaintiff brought claims against his former employer for disability discrimination, religious harassment, wrongful termination, retaliation and defamation. Payne & Fears represented the defendant employer, and put on a case demonstrating not only that the employer had complied with all of its legal obligations...

Attorneys: Jeffrey K. Brown , Ray E. Boggess


Payne & Fears LLP Obtains Summary Judgment in Whistleblower Case

Payne & Fears LLP prevailed in New Jersey state court by winning defense summary judgment for the Firm’s client.  In John Kahn v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., Everest Institute, and Patricia Tripp the plaintiff alleged that he had “blown the whistle” on improper conduct, and that he was terminated in violation of New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act for doing so.  In their summary judgment motion, Payne & Fears demonstrated that the plaintiff’s complaints were immaterial and did not amount to “...

Attorneys: Andrew K. Haeffele, Jeffrey K. Brown


Payne & Fears LLP Obtains Summary Judgment in Discrimination Case

Payne & Fears LLP prevailed in obtaining a summary judgment for its client in Jefferson v. Boeing. The plaintiff was a long term engineer who was involuntarily reclassified and then terminated because he ranked lowest in his new classification.

Attorneys: Daniel F. Fears , Laura Fleming, Philip K. Lem


Payne & Fears LLP Wins Jury Trial for Employer

Payne & Fears LLP won a complete defense verdict for its client, a nationwide employer, following a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. In Wagner v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., the plaintiff alleged that her former employer had discriminated against her based on her alleged disability (a foot injury) and her gender, and claimed to have been wrongfully discharged. Payne & Fears obtained partial summary judgment on the disability claim, then went on to obtain a unanimous jury...

Attorneys: Jeffrey K. Brown , Rachel Warren


Payne & Fears LLP Wins Appeal From Defense Jury Verdict

Payne & Fears LLP successfully defended a judgment in its client’s favor before the Second District of the California Court of Appeal. In Massoud v. Corinthian Colleges, Inc., Payne & Fears had obtained a complete defense verdict after a jury trial on claims of age discrimination and retaliation. The unsuccessful plaintiff appealed, asserting that the trial court had improperly denied several jury instructions that the plaintiff had requested. Payne & Fears argued in response that a litigant is not entitled to a slew...

Attorneys: Erik M. Andersen, Jeffrey K. Brown , Rachel Warren