People: Kristina M. Launey, Partner

Photo of Kristina M. Launey, Partner

Kristina M. Launey

Partner

Sacramento
Direct: (916) 498-7034
Fax: (916) 558-4839
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Kristina Launey is in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Managing Partner of the Sacramento office.  She is an efficient and effective litigator and counselor, specializing in employment and civil rights laws, who provides clients with options and helps them achieve results in light of their businesses realities.

A member of Seyfarth’s ADA Title III Specialty Team, Ms. Launey regularly advises and defends clients in litigation arising under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related California disability access laws - the Unruh Act and Disabled Persons Act.  She has defended disability access lawsuits ranging from the very complex and contentious to those resulting in relatively simple settlements, and engaged in structured negotiations.  Her Title II and III clients include a large non-profit symphony, hotels, restaurants, retailers, financial service providers, universities, manufacturers, investment, insurance, and technology companies.  Ms. Launey has counseled clients on issues ranging from physical accessibility, to compliance with service animal, reservations, effective communication, ticketing requirements of California law and the ADA 2010 Standards, to cutting-edge digital accessibility issues.  She is co-editor of Seyfarth’s www.adatitleiii.com blog, and frequently speaks on accessibility issues. 

In her employment counseling practice, Ms. Launey facilitates employers’ compliance with all federal and state employment laws, such as those governing non-discrimination and anti-harassment, pay equity, reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence, payment of wages, workplace violence, privacy, and exemptions.  She also represents clients before a variety of administrative agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, DOL, and DLSE.  Ms. Launey has extensive experience litigating single, multi-plaintiff, and class actions in federal and state courts as well as private arbitration, involving, as exemplar, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, torts, contract, and wage and hour claims. Ms. Launey is also an experienced negotiator, helping clients resolve disputes through various formal and alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation and structured negotiations.

Ms. Launey practiced employment law prior to joining Seyfarth as a Deputy in the California Legislative Counsel’s Office, where she drafted legislation affecting employers, advised the Legislature on compliance with employment laws, and supervised outside counsel in litigation.  Through her current work as Seyfarth’s California Legislative Team Leader, she helps employers understand, navigate, and implement the requirements of new legislation that impacts the way they do business in California.  Through this and her activity as a founding member of Seyfarth’s Pay Equity Group, she has also helped keep clients on top of pay equity developments and best practices.

Kristina Launey is in the Labor & Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Managing Partner of the Sacramento office.  She is an efficient and effective litigator and counselor, specializing in employment and civil rights laws, who provides clients with options and helps them achieve results in light of their businesses realities.

A member of Seyfarth’s ADA Title III Specialty Team, Ms. Launey regularly advises and defends clients in litigation arising under Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related California disability access laws - the Unruh Act and Disabled Persons Act.  She has defended disability access lawsuits ranging from the very complex and contentious to those resulting in relatively simple settlements, and engaged in structured negotiations.  Her Title II and III clients include a large non-profit symphony, hotels, restaurants, retailers, financial service providers, universities, manufacturers, investment, insurance, and technology companies.  Ms. Launey has counseled clients on issues ranging from physical accessibility, to compliance with service animal, reservations, effective communication, ticketing requirements of California law and the ADA 2010 Standards, to cutting-edge digital accessibility issues.  She is co-editor of Seyfarth’s www.adatitleiii.com blog, and frequently speaks on accessibility issues. 

In her employment counseling practice, Ms. Launey facilitates employers’ compliance with all federal and state employment laws, such as those governing non-discrimination and anti-harassment, pay equity, reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence, payment of wages, workplace violence, privacy, and exemptions.  She also represents clients before a variety of administrative agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, DOL, and DLSE.  Ms. Launey has extensive experience litigating single, multi-plaintiff, and class actions in federal and state courts as well as private arbitration, involving, as exemplar, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, torts, contract, and wage and hour claims. Ms. Launey is also an experienced negotiator, helping clients resolve disputes through various formal and alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation and structured negotiations.

Ms. Launey practiced employment law prior to joining Seyfarth as a Deputy in the California Legislative Counsel’s Office, where she drafted legislation affecting employers, advised the Legislature on compliance with employment laws, and supervised outside counsel in litigation.  Through her current work as Seyfarth’s California Legislative Team Leader, she helps employers understand, navigate, and implement the requirements of new legislation that impacts the way they do business in California.  Through this and her activity as a founding member of Seyfarth’s Pay Equity Group, she has also helped keep clients on top of pay equity developments and best practices.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law (2002)
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley (1999)

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Affiliations

  • State Bar of California (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Sacramento County Bar (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • California Chamber of Commerce Labor and Employment Legislative Committee (Member)
  • Boys and Girls’ Club of Greater Sacramento (Board Chair)
  • Seyfarth Women’s Network National Leadership Team (Member)
  • Seyfarth California Legislative Team (Leader)

Presentations

  • “Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits”, Webinar, American Bar Association (December 1, 2016) 
  • "Seyfarth Pay Equity Think Tank", Presentation, Seyfarth Shaw, San Francisco, CA (November 30, 2016)
  • "Website Accessibility Demand Letters and Lawsuits: Businesses’ Questions Answered," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 3, 2016)
  • "Lawsuit Threats: Americans with Disabilities Act Website Accessibility and 'Terms of Use' - New Jersey Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act," Retail Leaders Industry Association Retail Law Conference, Atlanta, GA (October 26, 2016)
  • “Proposed New EEO-1 Pay Report: To Know and To Prepare,” National Restaurant Association, Financial Officers & Tax Executives Study Group, Denver, CO (June 16, 2016)
  • “Website Accessibility Challenges Under the ADA,” Women’s General Counsel Network, San Francisco, CA (June 14, 2016)
  • “2016 Update: The Peculiarities of California Employment Law,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (May 5, 2016)
  • "ADA and the Internet - Legal Update," Presentation, 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, San Diego, CA (March 23, 2016)
  • “ADA Compliance in the Digital Age,” Lawline CLE Course Presentation and Webinar (March 18, 2016)
  • "Pay Equity After the California and New York Equal Pay Acts: Answering the Biggest Questions," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (January 14, 2016)
  • “Is Your Website the Subject of an ADA Title III Lawsuit Yet?,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 2, 2015)
  • “California's New Fair Pay Act: Prepare to Defend Your Employee Compensation,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (October 22, 2015)
  • “California Employment Legislative Update—What’s Coming in 2016?,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (October 14, 2015)
  • “ADA Compliance in the Retail Industry,” Lawline CLE Course Presentation and Webinar (May 14, 2015)
  • “Are Your Facilities Accessible,” Presentation to the California Society of Healthcare Attorneys (April 17, 2015)
  • "Defending Digital Accessibility Lawsuits," Webinar and at CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference (February 26 & March 6, 2015)
  • “Defending Digital Accessibility Lawsuits,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (February 26, 2015)
  • "ADA Accessibility Compliance for Real Estate Owners and Developers," Stafford Webinar (November 25, 2014, September 12, 2013)
  • Co-Presenter, "2014 California Employment Legislative Update" Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 13, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, "California Paid Sick Leave—Prepare Now To Avoid Ill Feelings Later," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 03, 2014)
  • Co- Presenter, "Spotting and Managing the Risks Retailers Face Complying with the ADA's Accessibility Requirements for Technology," Retail Industry Leaders Association (October 16, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, "Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance: What Issues Should Be Keeping You Up at Night?" American Bankers Association Webcast briefing (May 29, 2014)
  • “Do My Websites and Mobile Apps Have to Be Accessible to People with Disabilities?,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (April 2, 2014)
  • Roundtable Member, “Central Valley Food & Wine Roundtable: Employment Law Speed Updating and Wine Tasting,” Modesto Roundtable, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Modesto, CA (March 12, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “The Pros and Cons of Mandatory Employment Arbitration,” Healthcare Human Resources Management Association (February 10, 2014)
  • “New California Employment Legislative Updates - Are You Ready for 2014?,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 11, 2013)
  • "ADA Accessibility Compliance: New and Evolving Legal Standards for Owners and Developers of Real Estate," Webinar, Strafford Publications (September 12, 2013)
  • Co-presenter, “Digital and Mobile Accessibility: Is your bank prepared?,” American Bankers Association Regulatory Compliance Conference (June 11, 2013)
  • “2013 California L&E Legislative & Regulatory Update,” Webinar, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (January 23, 2013)
  • “New ADA Title III Regulations For Health Care Providers Under The Obama Administration: What You Need To Know About The Last And Next Four Years,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 12, 2012)
  • “ADA Accessibility Compliance: New Legal Standards for Owners and Developers of Real Estate Determining Whether Projects and Renovations Must Comply and Avoiding ADA Claims,” Live Strafford Webinar (December 5, 2012)
  • “2012 Discrimination, Harassment, And Retaliation Updates,” SAHRA Annual Employment Law Update, Sacramento, CA (December 4, 2012)
  • “The New ADA Title III Requirements and Their Impact on Your Hotels,” Presentation to Utah Hotel & Lodging Association, 2012 Fall Conference & Trade Show (November 2, 2012)
  • “The New ADA Title III Regulations and Their Impact on Your Hotels,” Presentation to the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association (March 2012)
  • “Elimination of Bias,” Presentation to the Sacramento Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (September 2011)
  • California Legislative Update: Presentation at the Seyfarth Shaw In-House Counsel Symposium (November 2012)
  • “New Accessibility Requirements: Get Up to Speed,” Presentations to the Intercontinental Hotels Group Investors Conference (October 2010)
  • “A Hotelier’s Guide to ADA Title III Regulations,” Sponsored by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (October 2010)
  • “Understanding the New ADA Title III Regulations: The Retailer’s Perspective,” Sponsored by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (September 2010)
  • “ADA Basics,” Powerpoint presentation for large information technology company (January 2009)
  • Seyfarth Shaw California Annual Employment Law Update for California Employers (2007-2012)
  • “California Wage and Hour Update: Surfing the Next Wave of Wage & Hour Litigation,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing (October 2008)
  • “Issues of Religion in the Workplace,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing (May 2007) and presented to the Sacramento Area Human Resources Association and San Joaquin Human Resources Association (October 2007- 2008)
  • “Workplace Investigations: An In-Depth Discussion,” presented to the Sacramento Area Human Resources Association (October 2007)

Publications

Media Mentions

  • Quoted, “Farmworker Overtime Bill Awaits California Governor’s Approval,” SHRM (September 7, 2016)
  • Quoted, “How to Handle Questions About Pay Equity,” Corporate Counsel (April 20, 2016)
  • Quoted, “New York City Joins the Push to Make Websites ADA Compliant,” Corporate Counsel (April 19, 2016)
  • Quoted, “U.S. Women Soccer Champs Demand Equal Wages,” Westlaw Journal Employment (April 12, 2016)
  • Quoted, “The Morning Risk Report: Soccer Suit is Wage Discrimination Reminder,” Wall Street Journal (April 4, 2016)
  • Quoted, “Plaintiffs Bar, Blind Clients Increasingly Targeting Companies’ Websites with Disabilities Lawsuits,” LegalNewsline.com (February 22, 2016)
  • Quoted, “California Employers Need to Comply with New Fair Pay Act,” InsideCounsel (January 6, 2016)
  • Quoted, “California's New Fair Pay Act has Companies Scrambling,” Marketplace (January 5, 2016)
  • Quoted, “Advocates Want Websites Accessible To Those With Impaired, No Eyesight,” Pittsburgh Tribune Review (August 19, 2015)
  • Quoted, “Web-related Bias Rules Up in the Air,” Business Insurance (June 21, 2015)
  • Quoted, “ADA Suit Over Fee for Gluten-free Restaurant Food Could Be Sign of Future Litigation,” Daily Journal (June 11, 2015)
  • Quoted, “Split Courts Muddle Question of Applying ADA to Websites,” Daily Journal (April 8, 2015)
  • Quoted, “Does ADA Accommodation Apply to Web-Only Businesses?” Corporate Counsel (March 26, 2015)
  • Quoted, “Calif. Family Leave Reforms Won’t Ease Burden On Employers,” Law360 (February 25, 2015)

Awards

  • Awarded “Lawyer of the Year” status by The Best Lawyers in America© (2017)
  • Recognized as a “Top Labor & Employment Attorney” in California by Daily Journal (2015-2016)