Matthew Golper represents employers in all aspects of employment law and related litigation. He has particular experience defending employers in complex wage and hour matters, including in high-exposure class, collective, and representative action matters brought under California’s Labor Code, California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, California’s Unfair Competition Laws, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and related state analogues. He also has substantial experience representing employers and executives in single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and related tort claims, and breach of contract matters. Matt has represented employers in employment-related litigation in state and federal court, the courts of appeal, and before state and federal agencies. Matt also has significant experience defending employers in arbitration, which is the result of his extensive success enforcing class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements.
Matt also uses his litigation experience and extensive knowledge of employment law to provide practical business-minded advice and counsel to employers on a variety of employment and personnel issues. Matt regularly helps employers review and revise their employment policies and procedures, and guides employers through day-to-day employment and personnel matters (including hiring and termination practices, leave law compliance, harassment and other workplace-related investigations, employment and separation agreements). Matt also counsels employers on employer arbitration programs, conducts wage and hour audits, and provides training to employers on a variety of employment-related subjects, including sexual harassment and discrimination prevention.
- Class, collective, and PAGA representative action experience includes the defense of claims against employers arising from alleged independent contractor misclassification, alleged exempt misclassification, alleged regular rate of pay miscalculation, alleged unlawful rounding practices, alleged off-the-clock work, alleged non-compliant meal and rest periods, alleged non-compliant wage statements, and alleged failure to provide suitable seating.
- Successfully opposed class certification in putative class action asserting off-the-clock overtime, meal, and rest breaks.
- Brought successful motion to dismiss all claims brought under PAGA in class and representative action brought against financial services organization.
- Secured numerous dispositive victories in PAGA representative action that reduced employer’s liability by millions of dollars.
- Successfully defeated numerous putative class and/or collective actions in state and federal court by enforcing class action waivers and compelling individual, non-class arbitration of the alleged claims.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of staffing agency in single-plaintiff action alleging sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and wrongful termination.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of retailer in single-plaintiff retaliation and wrongful termination action.
- Brought successful motion for judgment on the pleadings on behalf of retailer, resulting in dismissal of all claims in single-plaintiff disability discrimination, and wrongful termination action.
- Won summary judgment on civil rights claims brought against public entity. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- Won summary adjudication on disability discrimination claim brought against public entity. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- Successfully represented financial services organization in multiple arbitrations brought under the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act after compelling individual arbitration of class and collective claims.
- Successfully obtained workplace violence restraining order against former employee for protection of current employees on behalf of video-game design company.
- Successfully navigated restaurant chain through wage and hour audit by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
- Obtained preliminary injunction against U.S. Customs and Immigration Services and other government entities on behalf of putative class of abused, neglected, or abandoned 18-20-year-old immigrants petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. J.L. v. Cissna, et al., 341 F. Supp. 1048 (N.D. Cal. 2018)
- Successfully moved to certify class of abused, abandoned, or neglected 18-20-year-old immigrants petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in action against U.S. Customs and Immigration Services and other government entities. J.L. v. Cissna, et al., No.18-cv-04914-NC, 2019 WL 415579 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 1, 2019)
Honors & Awards
Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2015–18
- U. S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 2010
- University of Redlands, B.A., 2005
- Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), Labor & Employment Section
- Orange County Labor & Employment Relations Association (OCLERA)
- Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Publications & Events
- Co-Author, “Supreme Court Upholds Employment Class Action Waivers,” Lexology, May 2018
- Author, “California Supreme Court Reverses PAGA Discovery Ruling,” Lexology, July 2017
- Co-Author, “Are You at Risk of Joint Employer Liability?” Orange County Business Journal, Aug. 2014
- “Managing Workers’ Compensation Litigation and Employment Law” Co-Presenter, Marsh & McLennan Agency, Irvine, CA, November 6, 2019
- “2019 Employment Law Update: Critical New Laws and Updates for California Employers,” Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 13, 2018
- “Wage and Hour Wars!” Orange County Labor & Employment Relations Association, Sept. 13, 2018
- “Historic Ruling On Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, May 31, 2018
- “Employment Law Update: Highlights from 2015 and What’s New in 2016,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 2, 2015
- “2015 Employment Law Updates,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 3, 2014
- “The Art of a Clean Break – Best Practices for Ending the Employment Relationship,” Co-Presenter, GS Employment and Labor Webinar Series, September 26, 2019