Photo of Philippe A. Lebel

Philippe (Phil) A. Lebel represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, defamation, trade secrets, and breach of contract litigation, in both the single-plaintiff and class- and/or representative-action context, at both the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies.

In addition to his litigation work, Phil regularly advises clients regarding compliance with federal, state and local employment laws, and assists a variety of companies and financial firms in evaluating labor and employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. Phil also has experience assisting employers with sensitive employee investigations and trainings.  Phil also represents employers in connection with labor law matters, such as labor arbitrations and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Phil has assisted clients in a wide array of sectors including in the biotech, education, entertainment, financial services, fitness, healthcare, high-tech, legal services, manufacturing, media, professional services, sports, and staffing industries, among others.

Phil regularly speaks on emerging issues for employers and has been published or quoted in Law360, the Daily JournalThe Hollywood ReporterBusiness Insurance, and SHRM.org regarding a variety of labor and employment law topics.

During college, Phil worked on political campaigns in Atlanta, Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama, and was an intern with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. Phil is a former member of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.

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

In 2018, California’s statewide Fair Chance Act (“FCA”) went into effect, imposing limitations on employers’ consideration of applicants’ criminal records and requiring a fair chance process before a candidate’s offer was revoked.  A year earlier, the City of Los Angeles had enacted its own Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring, which imposed similar obligations on employers within the boundaries of the City.  Now, Los Angeles County

On September 30, 2023, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 553 (“SB 553”) into law.  Among other things, the new legislation added section 6401.9 to the California Labor Code (“Section 6401.9”), which requires that virtually all employers implement a workplace violence prevention plan (“WVPP”) by no later than July 1, 2024.  Now, after months of waiting, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“CalOSHA”)

On November 8, 2023, the California Supreme Court heard oral argument in Estrada v. Royalty Carpet Mills, Inc., a case that could have profound implications for the future of Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) litigation.  The Court granted review in order to decide whether courts have the power to strike or limit PAGA claims that would prove to be unmanageable at trial.

A prior

Last week, the California Legislature passed Senate Bill 616 (“SB 616”), an amendment to California’s statewide paid sick leave law that significantly increases the amount of leave that employers need to provide and permit employees to carry over from year-to-year.  The bill was sent to Governor Newsom on Wednesday, and he is expected to sign it into law.

Many employers in California’s major population centers already

California Labor Code section 2802 (“Section 2802”) requires employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses” they incur as a “direct consequence of the discharge of … [their] duties, or … [their] obedience to the directions of the employer.”  So, in March 2020, when Governor Newsom issued a broad stay-at-home order requiring all non-essential workers to work remotely (if possible), questions arose about

As we reported (here), on June 15, 2022, a near unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) preempted the California Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los AngelesLLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), which held that actions brought under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) could not be divided into

Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), employers generally are strictly liable for a supervisor’s harassment, even where the employer is unaware of the supervisor’s alleged bad actions.  While this left many employers without much recourse in the event supervisors misbehaved, a recently published Court of Appeal decision offers some hope.  In Atalla v. Rite Aid Corp., 2023 WL 2521909 (Cal. Ct. App.

On March 10, 2023, financial markets were rocked by uncertainty over the future of certain significant financial institutions.  Among other concerns, bank failures raise the prospect of temporary or long-term cash flow problems for account holders, as deposits totaling more than $250,000 exceed the amount covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Often, companies’ largest financial commitments are their payroll obligations to employees, including their

Yesterday, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel revisited its own 2021 order and finally struck down California’s anti-mandatory employment arbitration law, Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”).  In an opinion drafted by the former dissenting judge, Judge Sandra Ikuta, the new majority declared AB 51 was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

The statute in question, signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2019, was California