People: Laura J. Maechtlen, Partner

Photo of Laura J. Maechtlen, Partner

Laura J. Maechtlen

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 544-1011
Fax: (415) 397-8549
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Laura J. Maechtlen is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Action Team Executive Committee.  Ms. Maechtlen’s practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions arising out of alleged violations of Title VII, California Labor Code, the Fair Labor Standards Act and state statutes prohibiting discrimination and harassment in employment.  Ms. Maechtlen also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.

Ms. Maechtlen has California state court trial experience.  She has been a member of multiple trial teams that have secured defense verdicts in the California Superior Courts in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara.  She also routinely handles arbitrations, often securing favorable rulings from arbitrators.  

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Maechtlen also provides day-to-day counseling and advice to clients about the various laws affecting the employment relationship. She also regularly reviews employer policies for compliance under state and federal law.    

Ms. Maechtlen is a member of Seyfarth Shaw's Retail and Hospitality Industry Practice Groups.  She also handles litigation for, and provides counseling to clients, in a variety of other industries, including logistics and transportation, airline transportation, construction, financial and professional services, restaurant, temporary staffing and technology.  

Ms. Maechtlen speaks and publishes regularly on a variety of employment law and litigation topics, and issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and has been quoted on those topics by CIO.com, Employment Law 360, the San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, CIO.com, The Recorder, The Daily Journal and the Insurance Journal.  She has also served as a contributing editor to multiple editions of The Fair Labor Standards Act (ABA) and The Developing Labor Law (BNA).

Laura J. Maechtlen is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and serves as a Co-Chair of the Firm’s Diversity Action Team Executive Committee.  Ms. Maechtlen’s practice is focused on employment litigation and includes the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions arising out of alleged violations of Title VII, California Labor Code, the Fair Labor Standards Act and state statutes prohibiting discrimination and harassment in employment.  Ms. Maechtlen also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.

Ms. Maechtlen has California state court trial experience.  She has been a member of multiple trial teams that have secured defense verdicts in the California Superior Courts in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara.  She also routinely handles arbitrations, often securing favorable rulings from arbitrators.  

In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Maechtlen also provides day-to-day counseling and advice to clients about the various laws affecting the employment relationship. She also regularly reviews employer policies for compliance under state and federal law.    

Ms. Maechtlen is a member of Seyfarth Shaw's Retail and Hospitality Industry Practice Groups.  She also handles litigation for, and provides counseling to clients, in a variety of other industries, including logistics and transportation, airline transportation, construction, financial and professional services, restaurant, temporary staffing and technology.  

Ms. Maechtlen speaks and publishes regularly on a variety of employment law and litigation topics, and issues regarding diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and has been quoted on those topics by CIO.com, Employment Law 360, the San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, CIO.com, The Recorder, The Daily Journal and the Insurance Journal.  She has also served as a contributing editor to multiple editions of The Fair Labor Standards Act (ABA) and The Developing Labor Law (BNA).

Education

  • J.D., Boston University School of Law (2002)
    Silvia Bieckne Robinson Award
  • B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder (1998)
    Political Science and Music
    cum laude

Admissions

  • New Mexico
  • California

Courts

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • 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 Districts of California
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico

Affiliations

  • California Minority Counsel Program, Board of Directors (2014-2015)
  • Lambda Legal Board of Directors (2013-2015)
  • National Lesbian Gay Law Foundation Board of Directors (2012-2014)
  • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)(2011-2012)
  • National Lesbian Gay Law Association Board of Directors (Immediate Past President 2010-2011, President 2008-2010, Incoming President 2007-2008)
  • Bar Association of San Francisco (LGBT Equality Subcommittee) (2010-2014)
  • Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedoms (Board of Directors, 2010-2014, Annual Dinner Committee 2009-2011)
  • San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Board of Directors (2007-2010; Secretary, Board of Directors 2008-2009)
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents Membership Committee (2009-2011)
  • National Conference of Bar Presidents, Diversity Committee (2008-2009)
  • San Francisco Bar Association Barrister’s Club Diversity Issues Committee (Co-Chair 2008)
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section, EEO Committee)
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • New Mexico Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section) 

Representative Engagements

  • Ellis, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 04-CV-3341 (U.S. District Court/Northern District of California) (author of brief discussing effect of Dukes v. Wal-Mart decision)
  • EEOC v. Altres, Inc. et al., No. 1:11cv00799 (D.Hawai'i, Dec. 30, 2011)( EEOC alleged sex harassment on behalf of a class of females in the retail/restaurant environment)
  • EEOC v. Evans Fruit Co., Inc., No. 10-CV-3033 (E.D. Wash.) (full defense verdict reached in high profile EEOC pattern or practice lawsuit on behalf of a class of females in the fruit harvesting industry alleging sex harassment).
  • EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc, et al., No. (U.S. District of Hawaii)( representation of three defendants in one of the EEOC's highest profile lawsuits pending in federal court in Hawaii involving allegations of human trafficking and abuse by personnel suppliers to coffee plantations in Hawaii)
  • EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc. et al., No. 2:11-cv-03045-EFS (E.D. Wash.)(representation of two defendants in another of the EEOC's highest profile lawsuits pending in federal court in Washington involving allegations of human trafficking and abuse by personnel suppliers to coffee plantations in Washington)
  • Halladay et al.  adv. Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc. (EEOC, 2009)(EEOC action involving private plaintiff intervenor; class claims of sex harassment by female employees at regional location)
  • Wynne, et al. v. McCormick & Schmick’s, No. 06-CV-3153 (U.S. District Court/Northern District of California) (class action alleging race discrimination in the hiring, pay, and promotion of African-American employees)
  • Countrywide Financial Corp. adv. R.  Zamora, BC 351127 (Los Angeles Superior Court) (challenging provisions of Account Executive comp plan as unlawful forfeitures of wages)
  • Countrywide Home Loans adv. Chin, RG 08404332 (Alameda Superior Court) (misclassification of sales managers and branch loan originators, collateral Labor Code claims)
  • McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant adv. Schaiy, No. 08 CV 4330 (C.D. Cal.)(California and FLSA claims for off-the-clock work by non-exempt employees)
  • Party America adv. Lozoya, No. HG 06258395 (Cal. Super. Ct., Alameda County)(exempt misclassification of store managers seeking overtime and meal period penalties)
  • Pitney Bowes, Inc. adv. Nettles, RG 08397421 (Alameda Superior Court) (off-the-clock work, denial of meal periods, and denial of reimbursements to non-exempt service technicians)
  • Protivity (Robert Half) adv. Tran, No. BC 351862 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles County)(exempt misclassification of consultants and failure to reimburse business expenses)
  • Republic Services, Inc. adv. Cordova, et al., Alameda County Superior Court No. RG 11593578 (putative class action on behalf of hourly employees at waste collection company for failure to provide meal and rest periods and for failure to pay for off the clock work)
  • Republic Services, Inc. adv. Medina, et al., U.S.D.C. No.: CV12-02596 PSG (N.D. Cal.) (putative class action on behalf of hourly garbage truck drivers for failure to provide meal and rest periods and failure to reimburse expenses)
  • Republic Services, Inc. adv. Perez, et al., Orange County Superior Court No.: 30-2012-0056005-CU-OE-CXC (putative class action on behalf of hourly garbage truck drivers for failure to provide meal and rest periods and for failure to pay for off the clock work)
  • Republic Services, Inc. adv. Samano, et al., Orange County Superior Court No. 30-2010-00421264-CU-OE-CXC (putative class action on behalf of line workers at recycling facility alleging missed meal and rest breaks, failure to pay overtime, failure to pay final wages under Labor Code § 203, failure to provide itemized wage statements, and unfair business practices)
  • Republic Waste Services of So. Cal. adv. Checkman, et al., San Diego County Superior Court No. 37-2010-00086105 (putative class action on behalf of security guards and other hourly employees alleging missed meal and rest breaks, failure to pay overtime, failure to pay final wages, and unfair business practices)
  • Riddoch v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2009) (California class action challenging Company's overtime pay practices)
  • Robert Half International adv. Green, No. CIV 476641 (Cal. Super. Ct., San Mateo County filed Sept. 16, 2008)(temp candidates alleging that RHI failed to compensate them for the time and expense of interviewing for temp jobs)
  • Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc. adv. Perez, No. 05 CV 5338 BZ (N.D. Cal.)(overtime and meal periods for truck drivers carrying toxic substances)

Presentations

  • "Bias and the Lavender Bar: LGBT Identities and Beyond," Continuing Education of the Bar, California (August 14, 2014)
  • “BYOD:  Bring Your Own Devices, Not Your Drama - How To Ensure BYOD Policies Work For Your Business,” National Employment Law Council, 19th Annual Conference (April, 2014)
  • “From Charge Practice To Pattern Or Practice: Litigating With The EEOC,” National LGBT Bar Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA (August 2013)
  • “Economic, Ethical and Legal Attributes of Working From Home,” Markkula Center For Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, Business and Organizational Ethics Partnership, Santa Clara, California (August 2013) 
  • “Legislative and Other Developments in LGBT Employment Rights,” American Bar Association 2013 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (August 2013)
  • “Preparing For Expanded Regulatory, Legislative and Enforcement Efforts With Regard To Increasingly Prevalent EPL Claims,” 19th National Conference on Employment Practices Liability Insurance (June 2013)
  • “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Legal Rights,” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission San Jose Seminar, San Jose, CA (June 2013)
  • “The Struggle of LGBT Equality in the South Asian Community: Marriage Equality and Beyond,” National American South Asian Bar Association 10th Anniversary Convention (June 2013)
  • “Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments,” National Conference On Equal Employment Opportunity Law by the American Bar Association Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, Savannah, GA (April 2013)
  • “Women In Leadership Symposium: Women Leaders As Architects Of Change,” National Diversity Council, San Francisco, CA (March 14, 2013)
  • “How to Prevent Workplace Conflict and Violence,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association Annual CLE Expo, San Diego, CA (March 2013)
  • “Elimination of Bias In Negotiations,” Seyfarth Shaw CLE Expo, San Francisco, CA (February 2013)
  • “Class Action Trends in California: Consumer and Employment Litigation,” Retail Law Conference, Retail Industry Leaders Association, Dallas, TX (November 2012)
  • “Social Media And The Law,” General Counsel West Coast Conference, American Lawyer Media, San Francisco, CA (October 31, 2012)
  • “Understanding the Peculiarities of California Labor and Employment Law,” HR Southwest Conference 2012, Ft. Worth, TX (October 2012)
  • “The ABC’s of LGBT,” Texas Minority Corporate Counsel Association Annual Conference, Houston, TX (October 2012)
  • “Doing Business In California? Employment Law For In And Out-Of-State Employers,” Workplace Training Center/Media Briefings, Webinar (August 2012)
  • “Trends In Employment, Benefits & Labor Law,” National LGBT Bar Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C. (August 2012)
  • “Social Media & The Law,” Bar Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (June 2012)
  • “Are Employment Class Actions Dead After Walmart & AT&T?,” Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA (April 2012)
  • “Complex Litigation: Preparing And Defending The High Stakes Case,” Hispanic National Bar Association 3rd Annual Corporate Counsel Conference, Jersey City, New Jersey (March 2012)
  • “Success Through Coaches, Mentors & Networks,” National Diversity Council, 3rd Annual California Diversity & Leadership Conference, Berkeley, CA (February 2012)
  • “Understanding the Peculiarities of California Labor and Employment Law,” HR Southwest Conference 2010, Ft. Worth, TX (October 2011)
  • “Wrongdoing in the Workplace - Internal Investigations from Employment to White Collar,” California Minority Counsel Program Annual Conference (October 2011)
  • “Update in Employment Law,” Los Angeles, CA (September 2011)
  • “Implications of Dukes v. Wal-Mart,” Retail Industry Leaders Association (July 2011)
  • “Transgender Employees in California: Best Practices for Eliminating Bias and Ensuring Respect in the Workplace,” Business and Legal Reports, Webinar (April, 2011)
  • “2011 California Labor and Employment Law Update,” Center For Competitive Management, Webinar (March, 2011)
  • “Social Media and the Law,” The Recorder Roundtable Series, San Francisco, CA (January 2011)
  • “Explaining Why (and How) California Employment Laws Are So Different From Other States,” Business and Legal Reports, Webinar (November, 2010)
  • “Understanding the Peculiarities of California Labor and Employment Law,” HR Southwest Conference 2010, Ft. Worth, TX (October 2010)
  • “2010 California Labor and Employment Law Update,” Center For Competitive Management, Webinar (September 2010)
  • "The Sea-Change: The Billable Hour, Alternative Fee Agreements and Diversity," Miami, Florida (August 2010)
  • "Current Issues in Labor Law," Miami, Florida (August 2010)
  • "Weathering the Storm:  What Every Law Firm Needs to Know About Employment Law in 2010," San Francisco, CA (March 2010)
  • “Elimination of LGBT Bias In the Legal Profession,” Sacramento, CA (January 2010)
  • “Explaining Why (And How) California’s Employment Laws Are So Different From Other States,” San Francisco, CA (November 2009)
  • “Ethics Panel - LGBT Bias In The Legal Profession,” San Francisco, CA (November 2009)
  • “New Lawyers ‘Survival:’  A Panel Discussion on How to Navigate the Waters of Your First Five Years of Labor and Employment Practice,” Berkeley, CA (November 2009)
  • “Coming Out in the Profession:  ‘But, What Will the Clients Think?’” Brooklyn, NY (September 2009)
  • “Workplace Protections and Employee Wish Lists,” Brooklyn, NY (September 2009)
  • “Complying With California’s Unique Employment Laws,” Center for Competitive Management Webinar (September 2009)
  • “California Peculiarities,” New York, NY (June 2009)
  • “FMLA And Leave Of Absence Management,” San Francisco, CA (February 2009)
  • “Documenting Investigations and Poor Performance,” San Francisco, CA (September 2008)
  • “Beyond ENDA, Capitol Hill and the 110th Congress:  Current Issues for Practitioners in LGBT/HIV Employment Law,” San Francisco, CA (September 2008)
  • “Issues of Religion In The Workplace,” San Francisco, CA (June 2007)
  • “Navigating Employment Law Agencies,“ San Francisco, CA (March 2007)
  • “Preparing For the Next Wave Of Wage And Hour Litigation,“ San Francisco, CA (October 2006)
  • “Litigating Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Cases,“ San Francisco, CA (August 2006)
  • “Wage and Hour Update,” San Francisco, CA (October 2005)
  • “Domestic Partner Benefits and Issues: Changing Responsibilities for California Employers, “ San Francisco, CA (October 2005)  
  • “Overview of Employer Responsibilities Under California's New Domestic Partnership Laws,“ Sacramento, CA (April 2005)
  • “Council on Education in Management Public Sector Employment Update 2005, Leaves of Absence in the Public Sector,“ Sacramento, CA (March 2005)
  • “Leaves of Absence in the Public Sector, Council on Education in Management Public Sector Employment Update 2005,“ Sacramento, CA (March 2005)
  • “Leaves of Absence Update, Construction Industry Seminar,” Sacramento, CA (March 2005)
  • “Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims: the Current Law,” Sacramento, CA (September 2004)

Publications

Accolades

  • “Top 75 Employment Litigators,” Annual List of Top Leading Labor and Employment Lawyers In California, Daily Journal (2014)
  • “Top 75 Women Litigators,” Annual List of Top 100 Leading Women Lawyers In California, Daily Journal (2014)
  • “Rising Star,” Super Lawyers Magazine (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • James C. Hormel Philanthropist Award, San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel (2013)
  • “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40,” National LGBT Bar Association (2011)
  • Seyfarth Shaw Pro Bono Partner Of The Year (2010)