Leslie Abbott is a partner and co-vice chair of the Employment Law Department of Paul Hastings, where she has practiced since 1991. Ms. Abbott represents employers in all aspects of employment law.
Ms. Abbott co-chairs the firm’s nationwide wage and hour practice. She has significant experience defending complex class actions, including a significant number of wage and hour lawsuits for nationwide employers. She represents clients involved in investigations and audits by the Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, provides advice and training to clients, and conducts pay and exempt classification compliance audits involving thousands of employees nationwide.
Ms. Abbott also has extensive experience providing counseling and training on disability discrimination and leave laws. Ms. Abbott defends single plaintiff and class action lawsuits, and has represented employers during individual and systemic investigations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
- Defeated class certification and PAGA representative status on behalf of the Southern California Gas Company, in a hotly contested case alleging that field employees are not relieved of all duty during meal and rest periods and are not paid for donning and doffing time.
- Defeated class certification and PAGA representative status on behalf of Activision Blizzard, Inc. in a wage and hour case claiming that warehouse workers were not paid for all time worked and should be provided “suitable seats.”
- Defeated class certification on behalf of AIG Domestic Claims, Inc. in an exempt misclassification case.
- Won summary judgment for Alaska Airlines in a nationwide class and collective action challenging the industry-wide practice of not paying wages to flight attendant trainees.
- Defeated motion to remand on behalf of Aetna Health of California, Inc., based on a cutting-edge theory for establishing the amount in controversy requirement under PAGA.
- Achieved walk-away dismissals on behalf of numerous clients in class action cases.
- Negotiated settlement with Department of Labor regarding thousands of call center employees nationwide.
- Prepared amicus briefs in two California Supreme Court cases, Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. and Lolley v. Campbell.
Accolades and Recognitions
- Selected by her peers for listing in The Best Lawyers in America
- Recognized by corporate counsel in The Legal 500
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- JAMS Los Angeles Resolution Center, “Panel Discussion on Private Attorney General Act Claims” (February 2013)
- California Employment Law Council, "Practical and Legal Issues in Dealing with the Disabled Worker" (November 2012)
- Orange County Bar Association, "Developing Issues In PAGA" (September 2012)
- Matthew Bender's California Labor and Employment Law Bulletin, "A Win for Employers In Brinker. Meal Periods in California Need Not Be Ensured or Furnished on a Rolling Five-Hour Basis" (April 2012)
- Practical Law Company, “2012 Resolutions: Ensure Proper Exempt Classification of Employees,” practicallaw.com (December 2011)
- Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education, Eighth Annual Wage and Hour Litigation Conference, “The Emerging Use of PAGA, 17200, and Other Issues Specific to Wage and Hour Cases” (December 2011)
- Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) Webinar Series on Litigation Risk Management, “Employee Classifications: Best Practices for Identifying and Managing Risks” (November 2011)
- California State Bar Association, First Annual Wage and Hour Conference, "Damages Analysis and Settlement of Class Actions" (August 2011)
- California State Bar Association, Annual Meeting, “California Wage and Hour Update” (September 2010)
- Client Publication, “Broken Laws, Unprotected Workers: Wage and Hour Compliance in the National Spotlight” (October 2009)
- Loyola Law School, J.D., 1991 (Order of the Coif)
- London School of Economics, Diploma in International and Comparative Politics, 1985
- University of California Berkeley, B.A., 1983