California & New York Employment Lawyers

Employment Lawyers for Employees in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York

For more than twenty years, Ottinger Employment Lawyers has focused on just one thing: helping employees resolve serious employment problems. We are one of the country’s top boutique employment law firms with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Ottinger Employment Lawyers Have Been Helping Employees for Over 20 Years

We devote our practice to helping employees in difficult situations throughout California and New York. Formed in 1999, our San Francisco and Los Angeles employment lawyers have helped thousands of employees. We have handled most every kind of employment case imaginable from illegally fired sanitation workers to rock stars and artists engaged in compensation disputes. We have helped top level executives negotiate employment and severance agreements. We have helped financial executives, salespeople, designers, tech workers, drivers, marketing and advertising executives and people in most every industry resolve complex problems. Our employment lawyers handle cases in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and New York that range from employment discrimination, whistleblowing, sexual harassment, and wage & hour class actions. We also have an executive practice area that focuses on severance, employment contracts and non-compete negotiations. We represent clients in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Fernando Valley, the Silicon Valley, the Bay Area and New York City.

Sexual Harassment

We represent sexual harassment victims throughout California and New York City. Our San Francisco and Los Angeles employment attorneys have handled hundreds of sexual harassment cases covering a wide range of situations from abused hotel workers to high level executives forced to endure the harassment of ranking company officials. There are two types of sexual harassment. The first type of sexual harassment concerns managers who use their authority to coerce subordinates into unwanted sexual relationships. The other type of sexual harassment happens when employers create a sexually hostile work environment characterized by severe and pervasive sexual conduct in the workplace. We recently handled a highly publicized sexual harassment case in which the CEO of a large technology company created a sexually hostile work environment that permeated throughout the organization. We represented several victims and settled the case but not before the company was forced to fire the CEO and create a safer work environment for thousands of employees.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs whenever an employee is fired for an illegal reason such as discrimination, retaliation or whistleblowing. Our New York wrongful termination attorneys help the victims recover their losses. Employees who are fired illegally have the right to recover lost earnings, damages for emotional distress, penalties, costs and legal fees.

Employment Discrimination

The Ottinger employment lawyers in New York and California have been fighting employment discrimination since 1999. Employment discrimination is the most common basis for a wrongful termination claim. By law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their race, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy or marital status. These laws exist at the federal, state, and local levels; there are slight variations between the jurisdictions. For example, California and certain cities such as San Francisco and New York City have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, marital status, sexual identity (including transgender orientation), arrest or conviction record, and unemployment status.

Retaliation & Whistleblowing

Retaliation and whistleblowing cases concern employees who are punished for complaining about illegal conduct in the workplace. These are designed to protect employees who report misconduct in the workplace. Both New York and California have strong anti-retaliation laws that protect employees who complain about illegal workplace practices such as discrimination, harassment or failing to pay overtime wages. Various federal and state laws protect whistleblowers.

Overtime Pay

The Ottinger employment lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in unpaid overtime in New York and California. Employees must be paid overtime pay at the rate of one and a half times the regular hourly rate for each hour worked over 40 hours in a week. In California, employees are also entitled to overtime pay for each hour worked over eight in a day. Failure to pay overtime pay is one of the most common violations we see. It is estimated that American workers lose billions per year in unpaid overtime and regular rate wages. Most overtime pay cases are handled as class-actions, but our firm recently recovered a $2.5 million verdict for a single employee.

Meal & Rest Breaks

Our San Francisco and Los Angeles employment lawyers help employees recover damages for missed meal & rest breaks. California employees have the right to take meal and rest breaks. In a typical eight-hour workday, most employees are entitled to receive two 10-minute rest breaks and one 30-minute unpaid meal break. If a meal or rest break is missed, late or cut short, the employee is entitled to one hours pay. Many companies in California do not have valid meal & rest break programs in place and employees are denied their right to breaks and not paid for missed breaks.

Unreimbursed Business Expenses

California employees must be reimbursed for all business-related expenses that they incur. For example, employees must be reimbursed if they use their own mobile phone or home internet service for work. Other commonly incurred business expenses include mileage, tolls, tools, travel, lodging and entertainment.

Severance Packages

Departing executives are often provided with severance agreements to smooth the transition. We assist executives in understanding and negotiating severance agreements. In many cases, the terms of a severance package can be improved.

Non-Compete Agreements

Our New York employment lawyers have helped hundreds of people with non-compete agreements. Non-compete agreements are an ugly fact of life in New York. New York employees are routinely forced to sign them as a condition of employment. These agreements attempt to restrict an employee’s movement between companies and people often feel trapped. We help employees avoid these restrictions. California, on the other hand, outlawed non-compete agreements over a hundred years ago and therefore Californians are largely free of these restraints.


Call us at (800) 668-7984 for a free consultation to see if we can help. We are available 24/7. We handle many of our cases on a contingency fee basis which means there is no fee unless we recover money for you.

California Employment Lawyer Blog
Client Reviews
Wonderful Experience working with the Ottinger Firm! I was upset and very emotional after losing my job. The attorneys at the firm were very patient, caring and knowledgeable. They fought for me and won! Candith J.
Everybody at this firm was helpful, thorough, and knew what they were doing! They efficiently managed to get results. Any questions I had were answered with depth. The process in which they work made things feel very at ease when it came to the case I hired them for. I would highly recommend this firm! Christian S.
I never hesitate to recommend Robert Ottinger to friends and family. He is thoughtful, responsive, realistic in managing expectations, an expert in employment law and really cares about helping people with their employment situations. I'm grateful for the help he has provided to me Amy Z.
Thank you to the Ottinger firm for taking our case, fighting for us and getting positive results. When a business does not pay you what you are owed and you want results, The Ottinger firm is your go to! Robin H.
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