Photo of Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is "brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up." Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as "outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a "phenomenal strategist" and "one of the top employment litigators in the country."

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management ("SHRM"), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.

On June 27, 2024, by near-unanimous vote, the California Legislature passed two bills enacting much-needed reform to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).  We previously reported on the legislative compromise last week, when the deal was first announced.

The most profound changes are contained in AB 2288, which amended Labor Code § 2699—the beating heart of PAGA.  AB 2288 makes several significant changes to the

For the past 40 years, federal administrative agencies have enjoyed broad latitude in interpreting statutes passed by Congress.  Known as “Chevron deference,” courts have routinely deferred to the agencies’ often politically motivated and even self-empowering interpretation of an otherwise ambiguous statute.  This has led to a significant delegation (indeed, some would say surrender) of authority by the legislative and judicial branches to the executive

The Empire Struck Back last week when the California Court of Appeal held that the state’s latest back-door attempt to outlaw employment arbitration by any means necessary is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  Hernandez v. Sohnen Enterprises, Inc., 2024 WL 2313710 (Cal. Ct. App. 2024).  As indicated in our earlier post on this topic, it was just a matter of time before

Naranjo v. Spectrum Sec. Servs., Inc., 2024 WL 1979980 (Cal. S. Ct. 2024)

Gustavo Naranjo, a security guard, filed a putative class action against his former employer, alleging violations of California Labor Code section 226 based upon the employer’s failure to report missed-break meal premiums on employees’ wage statements.  Labor Code Section 226 imposes a penalty of up to $4,000 per employee when an

Vines v. O’Reilly Auto Enterprises, LLC, 2024 WL 1751760 (Cal. Ct. App. 2024)

Renee Vines filed an action against his former employer alleging discrimination and harassment under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) based on his race and age; that he was retaliated against when he was wrongfully terminated after he complained about the discrimination and harassment; and that his employer failed to prevent

Balderas v. Fresh Start Harvesting, Inc., 101 Cal. App. 5th 533 (2024)

Lizbeth Balderas sued her former employer on behalf of 500 other current and former employees of an agricultural company, seeking civil penalties under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).  In her complaint, Balderas stated she was “not suing in her individual capacity; she is proceeding herein solely under

Semprini v. Wedbush Secs. Inc., 101 Cal. App. 5th 518 (2024)

Joseph Semprini originally filed a lawsuit against his employer in 2015, which included individual claims, class action claims and a cause of action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”).  Soon after this, Semprini and the employer entered into a stipulation to arbitrate plaintiff’s personal claims but have

Vazquez v. SaniSure, Inc., 101 Cal. App. 5th 139 (2024)

Jasmine Vazquez began working at a pharmaceutical company through a staffing agency and was later hired by the company as an at-will employee.  At the time of initial hire, Vazquez agreed that claims she had against the company would be submitted to and determined exclusively by binding arbitration and that she would bring any

Huerta v. CSI Elec. Contractors, 15 Cal. 5th 908 (2024)

This decision arose from a class action asserting wage claims on behalf of contractors hired to assist with “procurement, installation, construction, and testing services” at a solar power facility on privately-owned land.  The California Supreme Court answered three questions certified by the Ninth Circuit as follows:

  • An employee’s time spent on an employer’s premises