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Emilio G. Gonzalez

Emilio Gonzalez is an employment litigator and trial attorney who has won jury verdicts in state and federal courts in cases dealing with civil rights, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful discharge claims. He also represents employers in wage and hour disputes, including those brought as class action claims, and has prosecuted and defended trade secret and unfair competition actions dealing with data breaches, employee raiding, and misappropriation of business records. Emilio also has represented employers before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

In his counseling practice, Emilio advises clients on hiring and managing employees, as well as compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), and other employment laws. He also helps clients find ways to prevent disputes and resolve them outside of litigation, either through early mediation or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods.

In 2014, Emilio was named one of the top employment lawyers in California by The Daily Journal, a leading statewide legal newspaper.

Emilio's clients include international technology and software companies, national and international banks and investment firms, major film and media companies, hospitals, medical groups, manufacturing companies, telecommunication companies, and restaurants.

Emilio currently serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and Pro Bono Committee. Outside of the firm, Emilio serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Endeavor College Prep, a public charter school serving students in east Los Angeles.

Practice Highlights
  • Won two unanimous defense verdicts in separate jury trials in 2013
  • Trial counsel in numerous single-plaintiff lawsuits alleging employment discrimination, harassment, civil rights violations, retaliation, and failure to accommodate
  • Lead trial counsel (both plaintiff and defense) in cases alleging theft of trade secrets, employee raiding, and unfair competition
  • Arbitration counsel before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Counsel to employers and executives in negotiating employment-related agreements

Representative Experience

Asia Fowler v. Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Lead defense counsel in action alleging violation of Labor Code section 432.7 and the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (“ICRA”), California Civil Code section 1786 et seq. Obtained summary judgment as to all claims. (2014)

Torres v. Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Lead defense counsel in action alleging race and national origin discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge and defamation. Obtained summary judgment as to all claims. (2014)

Arave v. Merrill Lynch

Unanimous defense verdict after six-week jury trial. (Riv. Cnty. (Cal.) Sup. Ct. 2013)

Giron v. Walt Disney Pictures

Unanimous defense verdict after eight-day jury trial. (L.A. Cnty. (Cal.) Sup. Ct. 2012, 2013)

Jimenez v. Franklin

Obtained verdict in favor of client, a detainee who was beaten by deputies in the Los Angeles County Jail, after an 11-day jury trial. Subsequently represented Mr. Jimenez in a successful appeal regarding adjudication of disputed outstanding judgment amount, resulting in published opinion. 680 F.3d 1096 (9th Cir. 2012)

Campbell v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Represented defendants through trial in this single-plaintiff case initially asserting 10 causes of action related to alleged discrimination and retaliation on account of her sexual orientation, disability, gender, and having filed a workers' compensation claim. Prior to trial, the Davis Wright Tremaine team secured summary judgment on behalf of one of two defendants and summary adjudication on 5 of the 10 causes of action. After a 10-day trial, secured a complete defense verdict on all remaining causes of action. (2011)

Farmer v. Searles Valley Minerals Operations

Defense counsel in action alleging disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and interference with alleged union-organizing. Obtained summary judgment on all claims; summary judgment was affirmed on appeal. (2011)

Cobilla v. Disney Worldwide Services, Inc. and Disneyland International

Obtained summary judgment in an age discrimination case. (2012)

Porteous, Teri v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Southern California Permanente Medical Group

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of various Kaiser entities and an individual defendant in a wrongful termination case alleging claims for age discrimination, retaliation, defamation, violation of Business and Professions Code § 17200, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (2011)

O'Gilvie v. The Walt Disney Company

Lead defense counsel in a pregnancy and gender discrimination case. (Ongoing)

Bouie v. Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Lead defense counsel in case alleging violation of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). (2012)

World Financial Group v. HBW Insurance Services

Lead defense counsel in action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and breach of contract. (Ventura Cnty. (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2011)

Friedman v. Merrill Lynch/Bank of America

Defended and prosecuted related actions in state court and in FINRA involving claims for breach of contract and defamation. (2010)

Latin World Entertainment v. H&M Communications Group

Lead defense counsel in action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and breach of contract. Obtained dismissal with prejudice on all claims. (2007)

Shymatta v. Microsoft Corp.

Defended Microsoft in a religious discrimination case under California law based on Microsoft's refusal to allow the plaintiff author permission to reproduce portions of its Encarta CD-ROM encyclopedia in plaintiff's book on the "science" of creationism. We obtained summary judgment in the trial court, which was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit. (2006)

Additional Qualifications

  • Litigation Associate, Fenwick & West LLP, Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Legal Writing Instructor, Hastings College of Law, University of California
  • Teacher, Teach for America, Los Angeles Unified School District

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Board Member, Futuro Prep Charter School, Boyle Heights

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Super Lawyers - Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2007
  • Selected to "California’s 75 Top Labor and Employment Lawyers," Daily Journal, 2014