Karen L. Corman
Labor and Employment Law
Karen Corman’s diverse practice covers a broad range of labor and employment matters. Ms. Corman’s litigation experience includes defending employers in both federal and state court in individual and class action wage and hour, discrimination, harassment and retaliation litigation, as well as in arbitration and mediation, including:
- class actions brought in state court on behalf of employees claiming to have been misclassified as exempt and on behalf of exempt and nonexempt employees claiming unpaid overtime and vacation wages and meal and rest break violations;
- a putative class action charging that an employer’s recognition of economic losses under its net profit-based bonus plan resulted in illegal deductions from employee pay;
- a class action by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging a popular local hotel with racially discriminatory recruitment and hiring practices; and
- obtaining summary adjudication of a former employee’s key claims against an entertainment industry trade association in a retaliatory discharge suit implicating high-profile movie industry figures.
Ms. Corman has represented clients before federal and state agencies, including the EEOC, state human rights agencies, the IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor, including:
- successfully settling a threatened race and sex harassment “affected class” action by the EEOC against a national restaurant employer;
- representing restaurant and retail employers in wage and hour compliance audits by state and federal departments of labor; and
- establishing the classification of workers as independent contractors before the IRS and various state employment tax agencies.
An important focus of Ms. Corman’s practice is prevention through counseling, compliance audits and training. Ms. Corman is a content adviser to an international business ethics, compliance and training organization and regularly consults with clients in training management regarding hiring practices, sexual harassment laws and other employment laws. In addition, she assists employers with developing workplace policies and procedures.
Ms. Corman regularly advises employers regarding employment contracts, arbitration agreements and restrictive covenants designed to prevent theft of trade secrets and protect their customer base, and assists in conducting workplace internal investigations and planning and implementing reductions in force. She has extensive experience in the employment aspects of business transactions, including conducting due diligence, drafting and negotiating employment, consulting and severance agreements, and structuring transitional services agreements.
Ms. Corman has volunteered her time in a Los Angeles Superior Court pilot program titled Civil Referee Assisted Settlement Hearing (CRASH). The program uses volunteer lawyers to help resolve employment-related lawsuits through negotiation instead of in a courtroom.
Ms. Corman has been recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and has been listed among the “Top Labor & Employment Attorneys” in California by the Daily Journal.
Co-Presenter, “Getting Your Settlement Approved,” JAMS, September 24, 2014
Panelist, “California Family Rights Act (CFRA),” National Employment Law Institute, July 16, 2014
Panelist, “Developments and Trends in E-Data: What to Look for When Employees Leave,” Association of Corporate Counsel, June 1, 2012
Panelist, American Conference Institute’s 14th Annual National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, January 30-31, 2012
Panelist, “Worker Classification Seminar,” Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, May 10, 2011
Panelist, “Staying Ahead of the Risk Curve in 2010: Tips from Top Attorneys,” sponsored by SAI Global, February 4, 2010
J.D., Harvard Law School, 1987
B.A., University of California at Los Angeles, 1984 (magna cum laude)