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 in industries including retail, technology, manufacturing, entertainment, finance, insurance, health care, real estate, hospitality, and many others.
Ms. Abbott co-chairs the firm’s nationwide wage and hour practice group. She focuses her practice on defending complex class and PAGA representative actions. She handles investigations and audits by the Department of Labor and the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, provides advice and training on wage and hour best practices, and conducts pay and classification compliance audits.
Ms. Abbott also advises extensively on disability and leave laws. She handles individual and systemic discrimination lawsuits and government investigations.
- Defeated class certification on behalf of Southern California Gas Company in a case alleging that breaks were not duty free and uniform donning and doffing time was unpaid; denial of certification affirmed on appeal.
- Defeated class certification and PAGA representative status on behalf of Activision Blizzard, Inc. in a 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 Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC in a PAGA “suitable seats” case involving thousands of employees who worked in various retail stores throughout California.
- Won summary judgment for Alaska Airlines in a class action challenging the industry-wide practice of not paying wages to flight attendant trainees.
- Persuaded EEOC to dismiss its nationwide investigation of client’s disability accommodation policies and practices.
- Achieved walk-away dismissals of class claims for numerous clients, and extensive experience negotiating favorable settlements.
- Negotiated settlement with Department of Labor regarding thousands of call center employees nationwide.
Accolades and Recognitions
- Selected by her peers for listing in The Best Lawyers in America
- Recognized by corporate counsel in The Legal 500
- Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Speaking Engagements and Publications
- JAMS Los Angeles Resolution Center, “Panel Discussion on Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) 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