Partner Laura Reathaford is a member of Lathrop Gage’s Employment & Labor practice team in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on employment litigation and class actions and she is especially knowledgeable in matters involving the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), receiving favorable judgments for clients matters involving these regulations. Laura represents the management of both public and private businesses across the country in the banking, grocery, fashion, retail, manufacturing, healthcare and telecommunications industries. Her experience includes litigating a variety of employment disputes, including claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unpaid wages, discrimination and representing management against union grievances.
In addition to defending employers in high-stakes litigation matters, Laura regularly advises clients on employment issues, including terminating employees, drafting employee handbooks and complying with California and federal wage and hour laws, as well as leave and disability rules. Laura’s successes include defeating class certification in various wage and hour class actions, narrowing the scope of PAGA representative actions during discovery and at trial, obtaining summary judgment, representing management against union grievances and litigating a variety of other employment disputes, including claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation, and discrimination.
Laura is a prolific author on employment and labor industry related matters and her articles are frequently published in leading legal publications, including her feature article, “PAGA Performance,” which appeared on the cover of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine in July 2016. In addition to her recognition by Benchmark Litigation as a Labor & Employment Star, 2019-2020, Los Angeles’ Daily Journal named Laura among the “Top 100 Women Lawyers in California” in 2018; Los Angeles Business Journal named her to its “Leaders in the Law,” 2018; and she is a 2018 recipient of Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Women’s Business Awards’ “Women of Promise” award.
Laura is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, of which she is a member of the Amicus Committee.
A native of Canada, Laura received her Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Last updated September 2019