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Admitted to Practice

  • California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2006

Aaron N. Colby

ColbyAaron
Partner
T213.633.6882
F213.633.4282
Aaron Colby represents employers in single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action disputes involving allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wage-and-hour issues such as overtime, meal and rest breaks, and off-the-clock work. Aaron has extensive experience doing so in state and federal courts and administrative agencies throughout California; and via arbitration, private mediation, judicial settlement conferences, and pre-litigation negotiations.

In his counseling practice, Aaron develops effective employment policies and practices that help management and staff manage risk and avoid litigation. He frequently advises on issues related to termination, workplace investigations, handbooks, and timekeeping and pay practices. In addition to his employment law practice, Aaron also provides counseling and defends companies against claims of defamation, trademark, and other business-related matters.

Aaron’s clients include leading companies and small businesses in the agriculture, produce, hospitality, banking, health care, manufacturing, and media industries.

Representative Experience

Single-Plaintiff Litigation

Retaliation/whistleblower litigation for large managed care organization

Defending large managed care organization against claims of whistleblowing and wrongful termination stemming from an employee raising concerns about an incentive program. (Ongoing)

Wrongful termination case for national bank

Defend major bank in wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former executive alleging claims of religious discrimination, harassment and retaliation. (Ongoing)

Wrongful termination litigation for national bank

Defending major bank in wrongful termination lawsuit brought by former executive alleging claims of religious discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. (Ongoing)

Wrongful termination litigation for large airline

Defended airline in two wrongful termination cases involving gate agents alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. Narrowed the claims on summary adjudication and resolved at private mediation. (2014)

Unpaid wages and wrongful termination litigation for software company

Defended software company based in Southern California against allegations of unpaid wages and wrongful termination. Resolved case at mediation after several months of direct negotiations. (2013)

Unpaid commissions and breach of contract litigation for national bank

Defended major bank against allegations of unpaid commissions and breach of contract not to terminate employment without good cause. Obtained dismissal of the breach of contract claim on summary judgment and resolved remaining claims at private mediation. (2013)

Wrongful termination litigation for national staffing company

Defended national health care staffing company against allegations of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation. After taking the deposition of plaintiff, obtained very favorable settlement through private mediation. (2013)

Retaliation litigation for national bank

Defended major bank against allegations of retaliation brought by two former employees who had previously filed lawsuits against the company. Obtained very favorable settlements within the first 60 days of litigation, through direct negotiations with counsel. (2013)

Harassment litigation for large managed care organization

Defended large managed care organization against allegations of discrimination, harassment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation. Obtained very favorable settlement through direct negotiations with counsel. (2012)

Retaliation/whistleblower litigation for large managed care organization

Defended large managed care organization against claims of whistleblowing and wrongful termination-based allegations that employee was retaliated against for reporting HIPAA-related concerns. Obtained very favorable settlement through private mediation. (2012)

Wrongful termination litigation of large managed care organization

Defended large managed care organization 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. Obtained summary judgment. (2011)

Butkus v. Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando*

Won summary judgment on behalf of plaintiff in right-of-publicity infringement case involving defendant's federal registration of "Butkus Award" as mark for annual football award. Court rejected defendant’s argument that it owned the "Butkus Award" mark, although plaintiff had consented to the mark and later revoked. In its published decision, court ruled that a contract without specified duration can be terminated at-will under California law. 2008 WL 2557427 (C.D. Cal. 2008)

Class Action and Multi-Plaintiff Litigation

Meal and rest break class action litigation for major produce distributor

Defending large fruit and vegetable distributor based in Southern California in wage-and-hour class action alleging over 100 employees were not paid overtime and were denied meal and rest breaks. (Ongoing)

Unpaid overtime class action litigation for major electronics distributor

Defending electronics distributor based in Southern California in wage-and-hour class action alleging that putative class of over 200 employees were shorted overtime because of improper calculation of non-discretionary bonus payments. Negotiated settlement at mediation, and awaiting final Court approval. (Ongoing)

Meal break and paystub class action litigation for national staffing company

Defending very large, national staffing company in wage-and-hour class action alleging over 40,000 employees were denied meal breaks and were issued non-compliant paystubs. (Ongoing)

Meal break class action litigation for large manufacturing company

Defending medical device manufacturing company based in Orange County, California in wage-and-hour class action alleging nearly 200 employees were denied meal breaks and were not paid for all time worked. (Ongoing)

Split shift and unreimbursed expenses class action litigation for pizza chain

Defending pizza chain based in Southern California in wage-and-hour class action alleging nearly 1,500 employees were denied split shift pay and were not reimbursed for business expenses. (Ongoing)

Meal break class action litigation for fast-casual restaurant

Defending fast-casual restaurant based in Southern California in wage-and-hour class action alleging non-exempt employees were denied meal breaks. (Ongoing)

Off-the-clock and multi-plaintiff litigation for national staffing company

Successfully settled multi-plaintiff case against national health care staffing company involving allegations of meal and rest break violations, off-the-clock work, and related penalties. (2012)

Meal break class action litigation for major produce distributor

Defended fruit and vegetable distributor based in Southern California in wage-and-hour class action alleging missed meal breaks for over 200 employees. After negotiating the terms of discovery stay and pre-mediation sharing of information, obtained a very favorable settlement on a class basis at mediation. (2012)

Administrative Agency Charges and Audits

Nationwide agency charges for national health club chain

Represent national health club chain in all Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and corresponding state agency charges of discrimination. (Ongoing)

Department of Labor audit for garment company

Represented mid-sized garment company based in Southern California in a Department of Labor (DOL) audit regarding unpaid overtime. After meeting with the DOL investigator on-site, obtained a negotiated settlement. (2013)

Discrimination charge for foster care agency

Defended foster care agency based in Southern California in charge of discrimination before California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH). Resolved charge in confidential mediation before litigation (2013)

ICE audit for major produce distributor

Advised on responding to audit of I-9 documentation and practices conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE). Resolved audit and negotiated fine amount to amount consistent with audit findings. (2013)

Labor Commissioner charge for major produce distributor

Defended fruit distributor based in Southern California in three separate charges before the California Labor Commissioner (DLSE) alleging misclassification of exempt workers and unpaid overtime. Claims resolved at fraction of potential liability before the hearings. (2012)

Advice and Counsel

Advise on employee leaves of absences

Advise on employee leaves-of-absence issues under California and federal law, including FMLA, CFRA, workers’ compensation, pregnancy, ADA/FEHA, and non-medical protected leaves of absences. (Ongoing)

Advise on exemption and misclassification issues

Advise large and small companies on issues related to classification of employees as exempt from overtime and other wage-hour requirements, and on classification of independent contractors. (Ongoing)

Advise on employment and due diligence for mergers and acquisitions

Advise on due diligence issues related to potential employment-related liabilities and risks, including successor liability, in connection with various corporate transactions, including asset-purchase deals. (Ongoing)

Advise on investigations, discipline/separation, and wage-hour issues

Advise wide range of companies on workplace investigations related to misconduct, policy violations, and workplace harassment; employee discipline arising from policy violations; wage-hour policies and practices, including meal and rest break and overtime issues; and on issues related to separation of employment, including final pay, layoffs, and terminations. (Ongoing)

Draft/revise employee handbooks and related workplace policies

Prepare and review employee handbooks compliant with California and federal law, including on wage-hour policies and anti-harassment policies. (Ongoing)
* Denotes experience completed at a prior firm

Additional Qualifications

  • Associate, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, LLP, Los Angeles, 2006-2010
  • Legal Department Extern, Screen Actors Guild, Los Angeles, 2004
  • Extern, Hon. Susan Bryant-Deason, Los Angeles Superior Court, 2004
  • Legal Department Intern, Mattel, Inc., El Segundo, Calif., 2003

Professional & Community Activities

  • Los Angeles Superior Court CRASH Volunteer Settlement Program Officer, 2014-present
  • Co-founder of Jeffery A. Colby Cancer Research Fund -- http://www.jeffsfund.org -- which promotes colon cancer research and awareness, 2003-present

Professional Recognition

  • Selected to "Southern California Rising Stars," Thomson Reuters, 2013-2015