Bingham

Bingham

Debra L. Fischer

Partner

Debra Fischer is chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and firm administrative partner. She also is the chair of the firm’s Committee on Associates, a member of the Management Committee and National Pro Bono Committee.

Debra has practiced employment law for more than 20 years, successfully trying cases in both California state and federal courts. She has experience in arbitrations, and her appellate work consists of briefing and arguing cases in state and federal courts of appeal, including briefing in the U.S. Supreme Court. She has defended clients in a wide variety of employment matters, including sexual harassment and wrongful termination suits; claims of race, sex, disability, pregnancy, age and sexual orientation discrimination; and assault, battery, invasion of privacy, defamation, fraud and false imprisonment allegations. Debra advises on trade secret and unfair competition issues that arise when employees change employment. In addition, she defends clients against wage and hour class actions and Section 17200 claims. She is often called upon to handle employment disputes with high-level executives and other highly confidential matters.

Experience

  • Obtained judgment after jury trial in favor of aviation company sued by former CEO for wrongful termination, fraud and alleged breach of an agreement to provide him with equity in the company
  • Secured arbitration award including legal fees on behalf of client and its owner in matter brought against client’s former COO for breach of a settlement agreement that precluded the COO from maintaining company property, slandering the company or initiating released claims
  • Successful defense of international trading company in wage and hour claim action against former subsidiary involving alleged violations of meal and rest periods and overtime laws
  • Defense of two wage and hour class actions brought against national restaurant chain for alleged misclassification of managers and assistant managers, failure to provide meal and break periods, and alleged charging of expenses in violation of California Labor Code Section 2802
  • Defense of global financial services firm that operates a nationwide retail securities business in a wage and hour representative and class action; plaintiff alleged that trainees were improperly classified as exempt employees and were not paid overtime compensation
  • Defense of leading cell phone company in multiple wage and hour class actions alleging misclassification of employees, failure to pay overtime or provide break and meal periods, and other violations of the California Labor Code
  • Defense of national and international manufacturers in wage and hour class actions alleging failure to pay overtime, meal and break period violations, and other labor code violations
  • Obtained summary judgment in age and disability discrimination case filed in Sacramento against paper products distributor
  • Won summary judgment in case filed in Los Angeles alleging wrongful termination, breach of contract and retaliation claims against well-known restaurant chain
  • Successfully defended national publishing company in jury trial where plaintiff alleged wrongful termination, sexual-orientation discrimination and fraud
  • Successfully defended national payroll company in court trial where plaintiff sought indemnity for claims against him by fellow employee; prevailed in counterclaim against plaintiff for taking kickbacks from vendor
  • Obtained seven-figure settlement on behalf of mortgage company who sued former vice president and her new employer for theft of trade secrets and raiding
  • Obtained summary judgment for national technology company in case filed in Santa Barbara claiming sexual harassment and race discrimination
  • Obtained summary judgment for Fortune 100 company in case filed by a former employee who claimed he was terminated for taking leave pursuant to the California Family Rights Act
  • Almost perfect record seeking and defending against temporary restraining orders where employees change employment and are alleged to have stolen trade secrets and wrongfully solicited customers and employees of the former employer
  • Obtained nuisance value settlement of purported class action and representative Business and Professions Code 17200 action alleging misclassification of brokers, unpaid overtime and false and fraudulent business practices after we removed the case to federal court and moved to compel arbitration

Events

  • Year in Review: Legal Update of California and Federal Law, Association of Workplace Investigators Annual Conference, Glendale, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2013)
  • The Golden State’s Unique Employment Laws – Ensuring Your Business is California Dreamin, Bingham Seminar, Los Angeles (May 2013)
  • What is Foreseen in 2013: Annual Update on California Employment Law Developments, Bingham Seminar, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Costa Mesa and Silicon Valley (February 2013)
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law, USC Institute for Corporate Counsel (December 2012)
  • Let’s Delve Into 2012: Annual Update on California Employment Law Developments, Bingham Seminar, Los Angeles and Costa Mesa (February 2012)
  • Examining Bias in the Legal Profession, Last Chance CLE Conference for Ethics, Substance Abuse and Bias Credit, Bingham Seminar, Los Angeles (Jan. 19, 2012)
  • Speaker, Advanced Issues in Workplace Investigations, Employment Roundtable of Southern California Annual Conference, Los Angeles (Nov. 3, 2011)
  • Legal Update, In-House Presentation to KPMG HR Team, Los Angeles (Oct. 12, 2011)
  • The Year in Review: The Best and Worst of 2010, The 31st Annual Labor and Employment Law Symposium, Labor and Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (March 2011)
  • What We Can Expect in 2011, Employment Law Update, Summary of 2010, Bingham Seminar, Los Angeles and Orange County (February 2011)
  • Preparing Your Case and Client for Mediation and Strategies for the Day of Mediation, Consumer Attorneys of California Annual Convention (November 2010)
  • Investigations Training, From the Eyes of a Trial Lawyer, Presentation to UBS (April 2010)
  • The Top 10 for 2010, California Employment Law Update, Los Angeles and Orange County (February 2010)
  • Faculty member, Prosecuting and Defending Corporate Raiding, Customer Trade Secret and Employee Mobility Cases, Los Angeles (February 2010)
  • Mastering the Mediation Process: Strategies and Secrets to Maximize Results, LACBA Saturday Seminar (January 2010)
  • Now What? Managing Performance in the Workplace in the Midst of a Discrimination Claim, EEOC Training Seminar (September 2009)
  • Toeing the Line in 2009, California Employment Law Update, Los Angeles and Orange County (February 2009)

Publications

Memberships

  • Fellow, The College of Labor & Employment Lawyers
  • Board of Directors, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • Board of Directors, The Forgotten International
  • Board of Directors, Alumni Association, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California (past)
  • Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles
  • California Women Lawyers’ Association
  • Securities Industry Association, Compliance and Legal Division
  • Advisory Board to the Street Law Project (past)

Awards & Honors

  • Chambers USA, Labor and Employment (California) (2014)
  • Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, Employment and Labor (2004–2012)
  • Los Angeles Business Journal, Women Making a Difference Award Nominee (2006–2009, 2012)
  • Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor (Southern California) (2011–2013)
  • Spherion Marketing Partner of the Year, National Marketing Partner Forum (2002)
  • Moot Court Commendation, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California
  • Managing and Executive Editor, Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California
  • Phi Beta Kappa, University of California at Davis

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