Julia C. Riechert

Senior Associate
Employment Law
Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Julia Collins Riechert is a senior associate in the Silicon Valley office and a member of the employment law group.

Orrick’s employment law group was named the 2013 and 2014 Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California by The Recorder, the premier source for legal news, in recognition of their significant wins on behalf of leading multinational companies on today’s most complex and challenging employment law matters.

Ms. Riechert began her Orrick career as a summer associate in 2006; and has defended many companies in class action, multi-plaintiff and single plaintiff wage-and-hour lawsuits under California and federal law. She has experience defending employers against a variety of wage-and-hour claims, including claims of misclassification and for unpaid wages, off-the-clock work, meal and rest break penalties, expense reimbursement, vacation pay and suitable seating. Ms. Riechert has assisted in successfully defeating class certification in wage-and-hour class actions, including for employers in the retail and technology industries.

Ms. Riechert has defended companies and individual defendants in single plaintiff and multi-plaintiff lawsuits under California and federal law, including claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation, blacklisting and intentional infliction of emotional distress, as well as disability and leave of absence claims. She has handled many government agency charges for her clients, as well as government audits. She has also helped clients resolve pre-litigation matters arising from employment terminations.

Ms. Riechert provides employment counseling to small, medium and large companies on a variety of employment issues, including terminations, compensation practices, performance management, independent contractor classification and policy implementation. She also provides training for company workforces, including California's mandatory sexual harassment training course.

Her clients have included retailers such as Gap, Gymboree, Pottery Barn, Chico’s, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., and Diane Von Furstenberg Studio, L.P. She has also represented many technology clients, including Genentech, Varian, Intuit, NVIDIA, Juniper Networks, VMware and Electronic Arts. She has also worked with a variety of start-up companies.

Ms. Riechert also performs pro bono work, including employment law training for small business owners and drafting employee handbooks for non-profit organizations. She was also part of a team that obtained summary judgment for The Humane Society of the United States, upholding a California statute banning cruel animal trapping.

Julia Riechert

Can Anyone Stop Them? NLRB’s New “Quickie” Union Election Rules Set To Take Effect April 14.

On December 12, 2014 the NLRB adopted new union election rules, claiming that they will “modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.”  These rules will become effective April 14th of this year.

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Prognosis Negative: You’re Not Immune to Company Policy Under California Leave Law

In Richey v. Autonation, Inc., issued January 29, 2015, the California Supreme Court reinstated an arbitration award against the plaintiff and confirmed that employers retain the right to terminate employees who violate company policy even while they are on a leave of absence under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).

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Franchisors Beware: NLRB Seeking to Super-Size Joint Employer Liability

The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) General Counsel’s Office has again signaled its commitment to expanding the scope of the current test for joint employment. In a move that could have implications for a broad array of franchise relationships, on December 19, 2014, the General Counsel of the NLRB announced that it has issued complaints against both McDonald’s franchisees and McDonald’s USA, the franchisor, as a joint employer. The decision to name McDonald’s as a respondent is consistent with the General Counsel’s recent advocacy that the current joint employment standard is too narrow.

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The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Busk: Could Employers Have to Pay for Employee Time Spent Passing Through Security?

On October 8, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk. In Busk, plaintiffs allege that, under the FLSA, their employer should have compensated them and other warehouse employees for time spent passing through the employer’s security clearance at the end of their shifts, including their time spent waiting in line to be searched. Busk is an important case to watch because the Court may provide employers with wide-ranging guidance on what pre-work or post-work tasks are compensable.

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Employers Should Act Now to Avoid Potential Data Minefields: The OFCCP’s New Proposed Rules for Collecting Compensation Data from Federal Contractors

On August 8, 2014, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (“OFCCP”) proposed new annual reporting requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors.  The proposal requires additional pay information and will become effective in early 2015, unless the OFCCP decides to amend them.

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Seeking Credit for Deferred Commissions? You Might Get Declined

Last week, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., deciding that employers may not apply commission payments to earlier pay periods for the purposes of establishing that an employee meets the minimum wage component under the commissioned employee exemption.

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From D-Day to Afghanistan: Honoring Our Veterans by Reemploying Them

Seventy years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies’ liberation of Europe began with D-Day. Anyone who has had the privilege to travel to Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer in France and walk Omaha Beach and the surrounding area is struck by the incredibly steep and intimidating terrain faced by anyone approaching from the sea. Reentering the civilian workforce after completing military service in Iraq or Afghanistan should pose no such challenge. Read More

Sick Employees in New York City? There’s an Expanded Sick Leave Ordinance for That

Late last month, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed amendments expanding the scope of the City’s Earned Sick Time Act. Starting April 1, 2014, all covered employees must begin accruing earned sick time. The amendments also imposed several other material changes: Read More

Get Paid for Getting Dressed? Supreme Court Clarifies “Changing Clothes” Under the FLSA

Updating a case we discussed last month, in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., No. 12-417 (January 27, 2014), the United States Supreme Court last week clarified the scope of Section 203(o) of the FLSA concerning which donning and doffing activities employers and employees can bargain to exclude from compensable time in collective bargaining agreements. In the process, the high Court also unanimously agreed upon which activities constitute “changing clothes” in regards to Section 203(o). Read More

If You Fire Me Without Cause, Can I Ignore My Non-Compete And Steal Your Clients?

In the decades since Post v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, 48 N.Y.2d 84 (1979), in which the New York Court of Appeals concluded it would be unreasonable to enforce a non-competition agreement requiring forfeiture of compensation against an employee terminated without cause, New York courts have struggled with articulating a clear rule as to whether an employee’s post-employment restrictive covenants are enforceable upon a termination without cause and, if so, when. Read More