Yesenia M. Gallegos focuses her labor and employment practice on a wide range of matters, including restrictive covenants, wage and hour law, discrimination and harassment claims, executive employment agreements, leaves of absence, employee terminations and reductions in force. Yesenia represents employers in employment litigation—including class actions—pending in both state and federal court. She also represents employers in actions against former employees in trade-secret and embezzlement actions that require immediate restraining orders, injunctions and/or liens.
Yesenia advises an array of domestic and international companies, from small business owners to Fortune 500 companies. Yesenia assists employers in establishing work rules and registering such with local labor regulatory agencies in Latin American countries. She also conducts and oversees workplace harassment and discrimination investigations and conducts wage and hour audits. Yesenia provides organizations with English and/or Spanish training on the following: sexual harassment prevention; employment law for managers and supervisors; compliance with California wage and hour law; and the interplay between disability law, reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence.
Yesenia is a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment topics, including those pertaining to the defense of wage and hour class actions and California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative actions. She also often speaks on diversity topics in the legal profession.
- Obtained a court order dismissing a wage and hour class action after more than five years of litigation on the grounds that continued litigation would violate California’s five-year rule*
- Obtained a court order dismissing an employee’s claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentations with the use of a special motion to strike/anti- Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) motion after the employee was unsuccessful in obtaining a judgment for wrongful termination against the employer and sought to prosecute new claims*
- Obtained a court order dismissing a program director of a nonprofit academic organization when both she and the school were sued by a former employee alleging retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims*
- Obtained declaratory judgment in favor of a California technology company and successfully opposed its competitor company’s efforts to enforce a noncompetition provision that would have precluded the California company from employing an executive who had previously been employed by the competitor (a non-California based company)*
- Obtained a judgment in favor of a global commercial battery manufacturer and service provider in a disability discrimination and failure to accommodate case filed by a former employee pursuant to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act by establishing that the employee was terminated in compliance with the employer’s non-discriminatory leave of absence policies, and by demonstrating that the plaintiff could not meet his burden of establishing that the employer’s decision was motivated by discriminatory animus*
- One of two partners who represented CLS Transportation in the pivotal wage and hour class action Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, wherein the California Supreme Court held that Concepcion v. AT&T overruled the state’s supreme court decision in Gentry v. Superior Court, affirming the decision that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreement are enforceable*
- Successfully appealed the California Employment Development Department’s tax and penalty assessment levied against a California employer resulting in an 85 percent reduction in penalties*
- Obtained judgment in favor of a national retail corporation sued by a former employee claiming disability discrimination, failure to engage in interactive process and failure to accommodate*
*Matter handled prior to joining McDermott.
- The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, 2023
- Los Angeles Business Journal, “Leaders in Law” Award, Nominee, 2018
- Super Lawyers Magazine, Southern California Rising Star, Women’s Edition, 2017
- Super Lawyers Magazine, Southern California Rising Star, 2013 to 2014, 2016 to 2017
- Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine, Named among Latinas of Influence, 2016
- Los Angeles Business Journal, Named among “Most Influential Minority Lawyers,” 2016
- Latino Leaders Magazine, Named among 25 most influential Hispanic lawyers in the United States, 2015, 2016
- Hispanic National Bar Association, “Regional President of the Year Award,” 2014
- Los Angeles Business Journal, Women Making a Difference Award Nominee, 2013 to 2015
- Hispanic National Bar Association, Named a “Top Lawyer Under 40,” 2013
- Hispanic National Bar Association, regional president for Southern California, 2013 to 2014
University of San Francisco School of Law, JD, 2003
University of California, Los Angeles, BA, 2000
Courts / Agencies
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California