O’Melveny’s Labor and Employment team helps clients confront the full range of issues they encounter as employers—whether it’s non-compete and negative covenant litigation, wage and hour class actions, discrimination and wrongful discharge claims, or traditional labor and union issues. We work by building effective, collaborative relationships with our clients, grounded in an in-depth understanding of their business and industry, and the risks and opportunities they face on a daily basis.

We are a leading advocate for employers in litigation brought by single plaintiffs, multiple parties, and massive purported class actions. Our clients have succeeded in obtaining dismissals of all or substantial portions of class actions at the early stages of litigation—prevailing on demurrers, motions to dismiss, and summary judgments, as well as defeating motions for class certification. By working closely with our colleagues in other practice areas—including class actions, white-collar defense, restructuring, employee benefits, and intellectual property—we respond quickly and efficiently to large-scale workforce crises, including cases dealing with unlawful competition, trade secret misappropriation, covenants not to compete, and employee raiding.

We also provide clients with ongoing advice in connection with union-avoidance, elections, decertification proceedings, strikes, injunctions, and other traditional labor matters. In addition to day-to-day counseling in these areas, we represent employers in the defense and prosecution of unfair labor practice charges and other issues that arise before and against the National Labor Relations Board.

Businesses across a range of industries also turn to O’Melveny for trusted, tailored advice regarding personnel decisions, employment contracts, personnel policies and procedures, and disciplinary actions and terminations.

  • Strengths
    • Bankruptcy-related labor work
    • Class action and multi-plaintiff litigation
    • Collective bargaining
    • Discrimination and sexual harassment
    • Due diligence for corporate transactions
    • Employment counseling
    • ERISA litigation
    • Executive compensation and employee benefits
    • Independent contractors and contingent workforce
    • Internal investigations and audits
    • Management and supervisory training
    • MSHA proceedings
    • Non-solicitation, non-compete, and other negative covenant agreements
    • OSHA proceedings
    • Personnel policies and procedures
    • Railway Labor Act (RLA)
    • Reductions in force and downsizing (WARN)
    • Safety and health
    • Trade secrets
    • Union avoidance campaigns
    • Wage and hour
    • Whistleblower litigation
    • Workplace privacy

American Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny secured a victory for American Airlines in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in one of the first appellate decisions addressing the McCaskill-Bond amendment to the Federal Aviation Act, which was enacted in 2007 to ensure that the integration of airline seniority lists after a merger occurs in a “fair and equitable manner.” Read

Case Study: American Airlines

O’Melveny achieved an important victory for American Airlines when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by a putative class of nearly 10,000 legacy American pilots. Read

Coldwell Banker

O’Melveny successfully resolved a putative class action brought against Coldwell Banker that challenged whether the Company’s sales agents should be classified as independent contractors (as they are) or as employees. Read


O’Melveny secured victories for DIRECTV in wage-and-hour litigation in federal and state court. Read

Exar Corporation

O’Melveny represented Exar Corporation in its lawsuit against a former Vice President of the company for using trade secrets and highly confidential information to solicit a team of engineers to work for a new competitive venture in Hangzhou, China started by another former Exar employee. Read

H&R Block Inc.

O’Melveny successfully defended H&R Block in a nationwide class and collective action alleging failure to provide compensation for continuing education. Read

Public and Private Universities

O’Melveny is counseling several public and private universities in connection with their handling of student reports of sexual assault. Read

Ready-Mixed Concrete Suppliers

An O’Melveny team secured a preliminary injunction barring the State of California from enforcing the recent expansion of its prevailing wage law against a client group of ready-mixed concrete suppliers and other similarly situated companies. Read

Spirit Airlines

O'Melveny obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) for Spirit Airlines prohibiting Spirit pilots from disrupting Spirit’s operations. Read

United Airlines, Inc.

O’Melveny secured two major summary judgment wins for United Airlines, confirming that California labor and employment law does not apply to individuals who work primarily outside the state’s borders. Read

University of Virginia Board of Visitors

O’Melveny served as independent counsel to the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors in connection with the investigation into the University’s handling of an allegation of sexual assault as reported in an article published by Rolling Stone magazine. Read

US Airways/American Airlines

O’Melveny obtained dismissal of a US$100 million complaint brought by USAPA, the union for US Airways’ pilots, regarding pilots’ pay rates. Read

US Airways/American Airlines

O’Melveny represented US Airways in connection with its merger with American Airlines, both in structuring a complex set of labor agreements to secure union support for the deal, and as lead trial counsel in the Department of Justice’s attempt to enjoin the merger on antitrust grounds. Read

Workplace Misconduct Investigations

O’Melveny led the strategic response to multiple government investigations and performed internal investigations related to allegations of workplace misconduct in the technology, manufacturing, and entertainment sectors. Read


O’Melveny represents Yahoo! and a female executive, Maria Zhang, in a high-profile same-gender, quid pro quo sexual harassment case that has received wide-spread press coverage. Read
    • American Airlines Group
    • Arise Virtual Solutions Inc.
    • California Institute of Technology
    • Delta Air Lines
    • DIRECTV Group, Inc.
    • FedEx Ground
    • H&R Block
    • The Hershey Company
    • Korn/Ferry International
    • LA Fitness
    • Pattern Energy
    • Southern California Edison
    • Trader Joe’s
    • United Airlines
    • Warner Bros.