Nicholas J. Horton

Senior Associate

Sacramento


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

As a former active duty Marine and combat veteran, Nick Horton understands adversity and pressure. Now as an employment litigator, he uses that experience to calmly guide clients through high-stakes collective and class actions.

Nick handles matters related to pay practices for global tech corporations, including a nationwide FLSA collective action seeking damages for up to 40,000 workers, multiple putative California class actions and a regulatory compliance matter, each affecting thousands of employees. When helping clients navigate these challenging cases, Nick draws upon his range of litigation experience. Prior to focusing on employment, Nick handled breach of contract, fraud, and unfair competition law cases in both federal and state courts, and was a member of an Orrick trial team that secured a $52.8 million verdict in a trade secrets trial. 

To help his clients avoid litigation, Nick walks them through the most recent employment laws, case trends and ways to mitigate potential loss.

Before attending law school, Nick served seven years as an infantry officer and instructor in the United States Marine Corps.

Posts by: Nicholas Horton

Catching Up with the Times: DOL Issues Final Rule Simplifying Retail Exemption Under the FLSA

As we recently reported, the DOL promulgated three new final rules regarding wage and hour issues last month. One of these rules brings a much-needed dose of clarity for certain employers on an unusually thorny issue: what exactly is a “retail or service establishment” for purposes of the “retail exemption” under Section 7(i) of the FLSA? This section exempts certain commissioned employees in “retail or service establishments” from the FLSA’s overtime compensation requirement, but the list of qualified employers has been notoriously confusing and vague. Effective May 19, 2020, the DOL’s final rule nixed its almost half-century old catalog of qualifying establishments and adopted a new and uniform framework for determining eligibility for the exemption. READ MORE

California Executive Order Allows Businesses To Assert An “Unforeseeable Business Circumstances” Exception to California WARN Act For Events Caused By COVID-19; Notice Must Be As Soon As Practical.

California maintains its own “mini” WARN Act, Labor Code section 1400, et seq., which requires employers with 75 or more employees to give 60 days’ notice prior to mass layoffs, substantial relocations, or termination of operations at a covered establishment.  Unlike the federal WARN Act, California’s statute also applies to furloughs as few as three weeks, according to a 2017 Court of Appeal decision in Int’l. Bhd. of Boilermakers, etc. v. NASSCO Holdings Inc., 17 Cal. App. 5th 1105, 226 (2017).  Also, unlike the federal WARN Act, California does not have an unforeseeable business circumstances or natural disaster exception to the 60-days’ notice requirement. READ MORE

Get it on the Calendar: Employees’ Sabbath Work Claims Survive, but Tenth Circuit Rejects Broad “Complete” or “Total” Theories of Religious Accommodation

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah granting summary judgment in favor of Kellogg USA in a case involving an alleged failure to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs.

The case, Tabura v. Kellogg USA, emerged after Richard Tabura and Guadalupe Diaz, both Seventh-day Adventists, were terminated for refusing to work on Saturdays, the Sabbath day in their religion.  The former employees filed suit in February 2014, claiming that Kellogg violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by failing to accommodate their religious beliefs. READ MORE

EEOC Warning: Confidentiality Provisions of Settlement Agreements Cannot Restrict An Employee’s Right To File EEOC Charges

The flurry of high-profile harassment allegations across various industries has drawn the public’s attention to the issue of sexual harassment over the past several months.  Unsurprisingly, it has also resulted in increased scrutiny in this area by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). READ MORE