Michelle S. Strowhiro is an employment advisor and litigator. She provides trusted counsel to US and international companies on all aspects of employment law compliance. Michelle partners with clients to establish and maintain their strong and lawful employment policies and practices; manage their employee relationships from hire to termination; conduct workplace investigations; administer leaves and other workplace accommodations; and resolve disputes. She provides manager and employee trainings on management and sexual harassment. She regularly prepares and negotiates agreements, and advises companies on employment law issues for mergers and acquisitions. Michelle works with clients in the technology, fashion, food and restaurant, health care, sports, media and entertainment industries.
Michelle is an experienced employment litigator who advises on and defends clients against putative nationwide class actions, collective actions, and single- and multi-plaintiff lawsuits. Her litigation matters have involved a wide range of claims including those arising under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), and other state and federal employment laws. She advises on and defends clients against all employment claims, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to accommodate, meal and rest break violations, off-the-clock work, misclassification, improper wage statements, unpaid wages, other wage-and-hour issues, California seating claims, trade secret theft, breach of contract and other employment-related matters. She represents employers in state and federal court, as well as in administrative proceedings before governmental agencies. Michelle has successfully achieved dismissals for her clients with motions on the pleadings, motions for summary judgment, and by leveraging cases early to achieve aggressive and favorable resolutions. She has defeated class certification, and has won affirmation of these results on appeal.
Defended major retailer in a putative class action brought by its managers who alleged misclassification and wage-and-hour violations on behalf of a statewide class; achieved victory for employer with a preemptive motion to bar class certification, with the win upheld on appeal to the California Court of Appeal*
Represented global sports and entertainment agency in contract dispute litigation with former employees and competitor; succeeded on summary judgment for agency, winning judgment on significant unpaid fees and affirming enforceability of contractual arrangement that shapes the industry*
Defended national technology company in numerous individual and class complaints in pre-litigation, in administrative proceedings and in court; consistently achieved dismissals, judgments in company’s favor and aggressively low settlements*
Represented national restaurant chain against a number of litigations and pre-litigation demand letters by former employees; leveraged and negotiated nuisance-value settlements*
Advised international fashion company regarding a host of employment law issues including employment handbook policies, managing employee leaves of absence and workforce disputes, pre-litigation complaints, and RIF and WARN issues*
Represented major accounting firm during government audit of employment practices; successfully defended firm and negotiated nuisance-value settlement regarding employee claims filed with governmental agency*
Advised health care client regarding employment law liability issues, and drafted employment-related contract terms, representations and warranties related to an acquisition*
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