Experience List
DWT
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Admitted to Practice

  • California, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1977
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1996

Judith Droz Keyes

Judy Judy KeyesJudith
Partner
T415.276.6512
F415.276.6599
M415.699.0835
Judy Keyes is a labor and employment lawyer who partners with employer-clients to navigate the complex system of laws and regulations that govern the California workplace. She is recognized for her "out-of-the-box" thinking and ability to solve complex human resources and labor relations problems in effective and efficient ways. She counsels clients on how to avoid and respond to discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims; comply with wage and hour laws (e.g., exempt vs. nonexempt, independent contractors, rest and meal periods); grant and limit periods of time off (e.g. leaves of absence, disability accommodation, vacation and sick leave, "kin care"); and reduce and reorganize staff to meet business goals.

Judy represents employers in all forms of dispute resolution — from single-plaintiff and class action litigation in federal and state courts, to mediation and arbitration, to proceedings before federal and state agencies. She also represents employers in union-related matters, including NLRB proceedings, grievance handling, and contract negotiations.

Practice Highlights
  • Advises employers in a variety of nonprofit and commercial industries (e.g., financial services, telecommunications, health care, entertainment) on developing sound personnel policies and practices, responding to threats of violence, investigating claims of harassment and discrimination, and assessing demands for disability accommodation
  • Advocates for human resource best practices, including elimination of routinized performance reviews
  • Assists employers and their executives in negotiating executive employment agreements, including change-in-control agreements, severance agreements and separation agreements
  • Trains human resources personnel and managers in managing within the law and in recognizing, preventing and responding to claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation
  • Mediates and arbitrates employment and labor disputes
  • Defends employers in lawsuits involving claims of failure to accommodate disabilities; sex, race, age and religious discrimination; sexual harassment; wrongful termination; invasion of privacy; and defamation
  • Works with employers to respond to government wage and hour audits and to conduct self audits
  • Represents employers in wage and hour class action lawsuits in federal and state courts
  • Represents unionized employers in grievance handling, negotiations and NLRB proceedings

Additional Qualifications

  • Evaluator and Mediator of employment disputes, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Nob Hill Association, 2013-present
  • Board of Trustees, Grace Cathedral, 2008-present
  • Executive Committee Member, 1994-2011; Chair, 1998-1999 – Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor and Employment Section
  • Board Member and Officer, 1992-1998; President, 1997 – Alameda County Bar Association
  • Track Coordinator, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section Annual Conference, 2010-2011
  • Lawyer Representative, 9th Circuit Judicial Conference, 1999-2001
  • Advisory Board, Center for Social Justice, University of California Berkeley Law School, 2006-present
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Evaluator and Mediator, 1985-present

Professional Recognition

  • Inducted to the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, 2001
  • Member of 9th Circuit-North Credentials Committee, 2010-present
  • Named one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Labor and Employment (California) by Chambers USA, 2003-2013
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Labor and Employment Law by Best Lawyers, 2001-present
  • Selected to "Super Lawyers Business Edition" in Employment and Labor Law, Thomson Reuters, 2009-2012 
  • Selected to "Northern California Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004, 2006-2013
  • Elected to the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, 2001