As of March 30, 2020, Maryland and Virginia became the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The directive to keep people at home began just two weeks ago in California and has now been adopted by more than half the states. READ MORE
Alex Stathopoulos defends employers in complex wage and hour class actions and high-stakes single plaintiff cases, and provides creative and practical counseling on a wide range of employment issues including new and developing areas of the law.
Alex is based out of Orrick's San Francisco and Los Angeles offices and represents clients across California in their most critical employment law disputes. Legal 500 has recognized Alex as a "stand-out" attorney "who communicates quickly, confidently, and efficiently" and noted that she is "prepared, firm, and patient in depositions, with opposing counsel and with witnesses, and thinks very well on her feet." A thought leader in the employment law space, Alex is active on the Executive Committee for the California Lawyers Association (CLA) Labor and Employment Section and is an Editor-in-Chief of the CLA Labor & Employment Law Review. Alex also serves on the Executive Committee for the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) Labor and Employment Law Section.
Alex's north star is understanding a client's business objectives first, whether in litigation or counseling matters. Alex defends employers in class, collective, and representative actions alleging wage and hour violations, discrimination, and other claims under federal and state laws, including Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claims. She also routinely defends employers in high-stakes single plaintiff cases involving contract disputes, leaves and accommodations, and allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblowing, wrongful termination, and trade secrets misappropriation. In her counseling practice, Alex provides bespoke counseling advice to management, designs workplace policies and procedures, and offers creative and practical solutions to address a wide range of employment issues including new and developing areas of the law.
Orrick’s Employment Law and Litigation group was recently named Labor & Employment Department of the Year in California for the fourth consecutive year 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.
Posts by: Alexandra Stathopoulos
The TRO on AB 51 is Still in Effect Following Oral Argument – With Modifications and Supplemental Briefing On The Way
On Friday, January 10, 2020, Chief United States District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California heard oral argument on plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction. As a result of clarifications made at the oral argument, the temporary restraining order (TRO) has been modified from its broad applicability to only enjoin defendants from enforcing AB 51 to the extent it applies to arbitration agreements covered by the FAA. The revised TRO will remain in effect until January 31, 2020, at which point we might have a ruling on the preliminary injunction. Judge Mueller concluded the oral argument by providing both parties the opportunity to submit supplemental briefing on two issues: (1) jurisdiction/standing; and (2) severability. As to the latter issue, Judge Mueller indicated she would accept specific proposals related to how the arbitration-related sections of the statute might be severed if she decided to grant the injunction on FAA preemption grounds. READ MORE
Can’t We Just Agree?: California Codifies It’s Hostility Towards Arbitration With AB 51.
On October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) prohibiting mandatory workplace arbitration agreements. AB 51 adds Section 12953 to the Government Code and Section 432.6 to the Labor Code. AB 51 applies to contracts entered into or modified after January 1, 2020. READ MORE
Ninth Circuit “Cleans House” in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Decision by Holding ABC Test Applies Retroactively and Opining on Its Effect on Franchisors
On May 2, 2019, the Ninth Circuit in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc. held that the California Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court applied retroactively. Dynamex adopted the “ABC” test for independent contractor classification for claims arising under California’s Wage Orders. For those claims, an employer must show that all three prongs of the ABC test are met to justify independent contractor status. For information on Dynamex’s adoption of the ABC test, read our prior coverage here. READ MORE
Federal Overtime Formula Falls Flat — California Supreme Court Adopts DLSE Interpretation for Flat Rate Bonuses
In a break from federal law, the California Supreme Court clarified in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corp. the proper formula for calculating flat-rate bonuses into overtime pay under California law. The Court adopted the Plaintiff’s position and held that, for purposes of calculating the per-hour value of a flat rate bonus, the divisor should be the number of nonovertime hours the employee worked in the pay period rather than all hours worked during the pay period. READ MORE
California Waves Goodbye to Salary History
On October 12, 2017, California joined a growing trend of jurisdictions attempting to address pay disparities by enacting a law that bans employers from seeking salary history information, including compensation and benefit information, from job applicants. We have previously highlighted a similar salary history ban in New York City and have written about the concerns with employers relying upon salary history. This includes the concern that relying upon salary history may perpetuate existing pay disparities. READ MORE
DOJ Flips the Switch on Class Waivers in Arbitration Agreements, Signaling Possible Changes to Come
On Friday, June 16, 2017, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed an amicus brief reflecting a change of heart when it comes to the enforceability of class waivers in arbitration agreements. In an unprecedented move, President Trump’s acting solicitor general, Jeffrey B. Wall, said his office had “reconsidered the issue and has reached the opposite conclusion” as the Obama administration in a set of consolidated cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA Inc. (Docket Nos. 16-285, 16-300, and 16-307).
First Dibs: New Ordinance Requires San Jose Employers to Offer Additional Hours “In-House” to Qualified Part-Time Employees before Hiring
For anyone who missed it, on Monday, March 14th the “Opportunity to Work Ordinance” (the “Ordinance”) went into effect in San Jose. The Ordinance, which was approved by voters on November 8, 2016, requires employers to offer additional hours to existing part-time employees before hiring externally, either directly or through a temporary staffing agency. Employers must offer the additional hours to employees who have the skills and experience to perform the work. Whether or not an existing employee has the requisite skill and experience is a determination left to the employer – modified only by the requirement that the employer act in good faith and with reasonable judgment. Further, an employer need not offer an existing employee additional hours if doing so would require the employer to compensate the existing employee at time-and-a-half or any other premium rate under the law or a collective bargaining agreement. READ MORE
The New Gold Standard: S.B. 1241 Limits Employers’ Ability to Include Non-California Venue or Choice-of-Law Provisions in Contracts with California Employees
On September 25, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1241 into law, prohibiting employers doing business in the Golden State from requiring California employees, as a condition of employment, to agree to non-California choice-of-law or venue provisions for claims arising in California, either in litigation or arbitration. Such provisions are frequently found in employment, arbitration, or non-compete agreements. The new law will be codified as California Labor Code section 925, and will apply to contracts entered into, modified, or extended on or after January 1, 2017.
So You Want to Accept That Board Position? One More Reason to Pause: Directors Can Be Personally Liable Under Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank
On October 23, 2015, in a suit filed by Bio-Rad’s former general counsel Sanford Wadler, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision granting in part and denying in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss in Wadler v. Bio-Rad Labs, Inc. (No. 15-CV-02356-JCS, 2015 WL 6438670 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 23, 2015), holding, among other things, that corporate directors may be held personally liable for retaliating against a whistleblower under both the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank).