Stephen represents employers in all areas of labor and employment law, including claims involving harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and sex, race, age and disability discrimination. His experience includes defending clients across a wide array of industries in class actions, wage-and-hour single plaintiff and PAGA claims and representing employers in state and federal lawsuits, private arbitration and administrative proceedings. In addition, he has helped businesses respond to charges and investigations by the DFEH, DLSE, and NLRB as well as assisted with pre-litigation negotiations. Stephen also advises business owners and human resource professionals on employment matters, including workplace investigations, employee discipline, disability accommodations, and compliance with local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of global health care company in disability and age discrimination lawsuit brought by former manager.
- Second-chaired and successfully obtained complete defense verdict in arbitration over former employees' wage and hour claims against popular California restaurant.
- Drafted successful motions for summary judgment and motions to compel arbitration on behalf of private and public employers.
- Drafted motion for summary adjudication in disability discrimination lawsuit on behalf of national retail warehouse club resulting in a favorable settlement within days at a fraction of the previous demand and dismissal of a putative statewide class action.
- Took plaintiffs' depositions in discrimination, harassment, and wage and hour lawsuits against employers in the transportation and medical industries.
- Regularly investigated claims of discrimination and harassment on behalf of retail and restaurant clients before mediating claims.
- Regularly negotiated numerous favorable settlements for employers in restaurant, hospitality, and service industries over alleged failures to provide breaks and pay wages.
- Secured dismissal of NLRB unfair labor practice charge on behalf of tool manufacturer.
- Defended numerous statewide class actions and PAGA representative actions based on alleged violations of the California Labor Code.
Professional, Business and civic Affiliations
- Member, Japanese American Bar Association
Other Career Experience
- Associate, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
- Associate, Raines Feldman LLP
- Extern, The Honorable Alan M. Ahart of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California
- U.S.D.C., Central District of California
- U.S.D.C., Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
University of California Los Angeles School of Law, J.D., 2013
Wheaton College, B.A., 2009