MICHAEL L. GALLION
Partner
(310) 712-6140 (310) 712-6140
MICHAEL L. GALLION Partner

Michael Gallion is a partner in Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group, based in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

For over two decades, Michael has focused exclusively on representing clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has defended companies in virtually every type of employment dispute, administrative proceeding and regulatory action in venues throughout California and across the country. Maintaining a national practice, Michael services clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, retail, entertainment, advertising healthcare and real estate.  He has a concentrated skill defending California wage and hour class actions and high-stakes discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases. Michael also has deep experience handling trade secrets litigation.

Michael assists clients comply with the increasingly complex set of laws and regulations governing the workplace and develop preventative measures to reduce claims. Often serving as an extension of clients’ legal and human resources departments, Michael has helped them navigate the most challenging employment-related scenarios, including large reductions in force, mergers and acquisition due diligence, leave management programs, wage and hour compliance and high-profile investigations and terminations. Whether by providing practical advice, defending a lawsuit aggressively or negotiating a favorable settlement, Michael is committed to representing the best interests of clients both inside and outside the courtroom.

Michael is long-standing supporter and leader in the LGBT community who devotes significant time and resources to key organizations serving this community, including GLAAD, LAMBDA Legal, Lavender Law and the Human Rights Campaign. Most recently, Michael served as GLAAD’s outside general counsel, overseeing all of the organization’s legal affairs for the last four years. Prior to transitioning to Kelley Drye, Michael also served in several administrative roles at his prior firms, including Deputy General Counsel and Hiring Partner.

Wage/Hour Class Action

  • Circle K Stores Overtime Cases, Orange County Superior Court (Orange County Superior, 2003; Coordination Proceeding, 2005)
    California class action challenging exempt status of company store managers.
  • Dillon v. UnumProvident Corporation (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2004)
    Representative action alleging predatory pricing based on failure to pay overtime to certain classes of claims representatives.
  • Elliot v. Spherion, 572 F.Supp.2d 1169 (C.D. Cal., 2006)
    Hybrid nationwide FLSA collective action and California class action challenging company’s pay practices for temporary workers.
  • Farmer v. American Restaurant Group, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s meal and rest break policies.
  • Gorey v. Manheim (U.S.D.C., E.D NY, 2010)
    Hybrid FLSA collective New York class action challenging exempt status of the company’s outside sales employees.
  • Hernandez v. The YMCA of Orange County (Orange County Superior Court, 2007)
    California class action challenging exempt status of certain classes of employees.
  • Hogan v. NBC Universal, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    California class action challenging the company’s pay practices, provision of meal periods, and reimbursement of uniform cleaning expenses.
  • Iberna v. Manheim Investments, Inc. (San Diego Supreme Court, 2012)
    California class action alleging off-the-clock and meal period violations.
  • Janzen v. Miyagi’s Restaurant Corp. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2005)
    California class action challenging company’s tip pooling, and meal and rest break practices.
  • King v. UnumProvident Corporation (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2005)
    California class action challenging exempt status of certain classes of the company’s claims representative.
  • Louie v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s tip pooling practices.
  • Maple v. Manheim (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging exempt status of the company’s outside sales employees.
  • Martel v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2012)
    California class action challenging exempt status of company’s appointment center supervisors.
  • Martinez v. National Retailer (San Bernardino Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging company’s seating provisions, overtime pay practices and meal and rest period provisions.
  • Martinez v. Unum Group (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2008)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices, and provisions of rest and meal periods.
  • McClellan v. SFN (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2010)
    California class action challenging the exempt status of the company’s branch managers.
  • Montecito v. DHL (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the manner in which the company pays its temporary workforce.
  • Montecito v. Spherion (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2006)
    California class action challenging the manner in which the company pays its temporary workforce.
  • Morales v. TBI Airport Management, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2004)
    California class action challenging the company’s pay and compensable time practices.
  • Perez v. Yoshinoya (Orange County Superior Court, 2002)
    California class action alleging meal and rest break violations.
  • Ponce v. Yoshinoya (Los Angeles Superior, Complex Division, 2003)
    California class action alleging misclassification of the company’s store managers.
  • Riddoch v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2009)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.
  • Ruggles v. WellPoint, Inc. (U.S.D.C., N.D. NY, 2008)
    Nationwide hybrid FLSA collective action and New York state law class action challenging exempt status of classes of nurses.
  • Schaiy v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2008)
    Hybrid nationwide FLSA collective action and California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices and provisions of rest and meal periods.
  • Scott v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (Alameda Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging meal period practices for patient mobility coordinators and reimbursement of uniform expenses for hospital employees.
  • Seaman v. Unum Group (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2007)
    Nationwide hybrid FLSA collective action and California class action challenging exempt status of the company’s field investigators.
  • Simpson v. E*Trade Securities, Incorporated (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2007)
    California class action challenging the exempt status of certain classifications of financial advisors.
  • Stephens v. [Nationwide Retailer] (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2009)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.
  • Walker v. American Restaurant Group, Inc. (Santa Clara County Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s tip pooling practices.
  • Weatherspoon v. Nationwide Retailer (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2010)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.

Discrimination Class and Mass Actions

  • Activities Club v. Yoshinoya (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Disability discrimination class action.
  • DeCarvalho v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Alameda County Superior Court, 2005)
    Multi-plaintiff race, national original, and sexual orientation, discrimination and harassment case.
  • EEOC (Lopez Garcia) v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Inc. (U.S.D.C., S.D. NY, 2006)
    Pattern and practice race discrimination case.
  • EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (EEOC, 2007)
    Commissioner’s charge and threatened pattern and practice lawsuit alleging gender and national origin discrimination.
  • Lloyd v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Alameda County Superior Court, 2006)
    Multi-plaintiff race, national origin, sexual orientation, discrimination and harassment case.
  • Robinson v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Inc. (EEOC, 2007)
    Threatened pattern and practice race discrimination case.
  • Strong v. Blue Cross of California, et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    California race discrimination class action based on failure to promote theories.
  • Wynne v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2006)
    Nationwide race discrimination class action.

Trade Secrets/Restrictive Covenants Matters

  • Defense of case for international staffing company, a divisional president and several senior executives against lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and breach of fiduciary duty. Filed declaratory judgment action regarding choice of law and to render restrictive covenants unenforceable. Case is on-going.
  • Prosecution of case for commercial financial institution where company’s former mortgage department president misappropriated trade secrets and solicited employees and clients on behalf of a direct competitor. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Prosecution of case for consumer goods conglomerate where two senior vice presidents misappropriated trade secret information and solicited employees and clients to join a direct competitor. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Led threatened declaratory judgment and complex negotiations on behalf of senior executive officer and international real estate company to render non-competition agreement and other restrictive covenants unenforceable in California. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Represents one of the world’s largest retailers in the strategic use, litigation and negotiation of restrictive covenants.
  • Represents one of world’s largest real estate corporations in the strategic use, litigation and negotiation of restrictive covenants.
  • Has represented several financial institutions in the use and negotiation of restrictive covenants.

Other Representative Cases

  • Cole v. WellPoint (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    Disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Perine v. Arkansas Best (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2005); ABS Freight Systems, Inc., 457 F.Supp.2d 1004, (C.D. Cal., 2006)
    Misclassification of dispatch employee – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Puckasumsombut v. Yoshinoya West, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Retaliation, breach of contract, harassment – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Randall v. Unum Group (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2009)
    Disability and age discrimination – summary judgment granted on all claims and petition for attorneys fees granted.
  • Share v. SCPMG, et. al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliation – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Sorby v. Bell Microproducts, Inc. (San Diego Superior Court, 2001)
    Trial on pregnancy and gender discrimination and retaliation claims – prevailed on all claims at trial.

Leading Labor and Employment Lawyer, Chambers & Partners, 2009-2014.

Southern California Labor & Employment Super Lawyer, Los Angeles Magazine.

Leading Employment Lawyer, US Legal 500.

GLAAD, Outside General Counsel

California Grocers Association

National Retail Association

LAMBDA Legal, Leadership Committee

About

Michael Gallion is a partner in Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group, based in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

For over two decades, Michael has focused exclusively on representing clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has defended companies in virtually every type of employment dispute, administrative proceeding and regulatory action in venues throughout California and across the country. Maintaining a national practice, Michael services clients in a wide range of industries, including financial services, retail, entertainment, advertising healthcare and real estate.  He has a concentrated skill defending California wage and hour class actions and high-stakes discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases. Michael also has deep experience handling trade secrets litigation.

Michael assists clients comply with the increasingly complex set of laws and regulations governing the workplace and develop preventative measures to reduce claims. Often serving as an extension of clients’ legal and human resources departments, Michael has helped them navigate the most challenging employment-related scenarios, including large reductions in force, mergers and acquisition due diligence, leave management programs, wage and hour compliance and high-profile investigations and terminations. Whether by providing practical advice, defending a lawsuit aggressively or negotiating a favorable settlement, Michael is committed to representing the best interests of clients both inside and outside the courtroom.

Michael is long-standing supporter and leader in the LGBT community who devotes significant time and resources to key organizations serving this community, including GLAAD, LAMBDA Legal, Lavender Law and the Human Rights Campaign. Most recently, Michael served as GLAAD’s outside general counsel, overseeing all of the organization’s legal affairs for the last four years. Prior to transitioning to Kelley Drye, Michael also served in several administrative roles at his prior firms, including Deputy General Counsel and Hiring Partner.

Experience

Wage/Hour Class Action

  • Circle K Stores Overtime Cases, Orange County Superior Court (Orange County Superior, 2003; Coordination Proceeding, 2005)
    California class action challenging exempt status of company store managers.
  • Dillon v. UnumProvident Corporation (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2004)
    Representative action alleging predatory pricing based on failure to pay overtime to certain classes of claims representatives.
  • Elliot v. Spherion, 572 F.Supp.2d 1169 (C.D. Cal., 2006)
    Hybrid nationwide FLSA collective action and California class action challenging company’s pay practices for temporary workers.
  • Farmer v. American Restaurant Group, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s meal and rest break policies.
  • Gorey v. Manheim (U.S.D.C., E.D NY, 2010)
    Hybrid FLSA collective New York class action challenging exempt status of the company’s outside sales employees.
  • Hernandez v. The YMCA of Orange County (Orange County Superior Court, 2007)
    California class action challenging exempt status of certain classes of employees.
  • Hogan v. NBC Universal, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    California class action challenging the company’s pay practices, provision of meal periods, and reimbursement of uniform cleaning expenses.
  • Iberna v. Manheim Investments, Inc. (San Diego Supreme Court, 2012)
    California class action alleging off-the-clock and meal period violations.
  • Janzen v. Miyagi’s Restaurant Corp. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2005)
    California class action challenging company’s tip pooling, and meal and rest break practices.
  • King v. UnumProvident Corporation (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2005)
    California class action challenging exempt status of certain classes of the company’s claims representative.
  • Louie v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s tip pooling practices.
  • Maple v. Manheim (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging exempt status of the company’s outside sales employees.
  • Martel v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2012)
    California class action challenging exempt status of company’s appointment center supervisors.
  • Martinez v. National Retailer (San Bernardino Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging company’s seating provisions, overtime pay practices and meal and rest period provisions.
  • Martinez v. Unum Group (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2008)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices, and provisions of rest and meal periods.
  • McClellan v. SFN (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2010)
    California class action challenging the exempt status of the company’s branch managers.
  • Montecito v. DHL (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the manner in which the company pays its temporary workforce.
  • Montecito v. Spherion (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2006)
    California class action challenging the manner in which the company pays its temporary workforce.
  • Morales v. TBI Airport Management, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2004)
    California class action challenging the company’s pay and compensable time practices.
  • Perez v. Yoshinoya (Orange County Superior Court, 2002)
    California class action alleging meal and rest break violations.
  • Ponce v. Yoshinoya (Los Angeles Superior, Complex Division, 2003)
    California class action alleging misclassification of the company’s store managers.
  • Riddoch v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2009)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.
  • Ruggles v. WellPoint, Inc. (U.S.D.C., N.D. NY, 2008)
    Nationwide hybrid FLSA collective action and New York state law class action challenging exempt status of classes of nurses.
  • Schaiy v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2008)
    Hybrid nationwide FLSA collective action and California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices and provisions of rest and meal periods.
  • Scott v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (Alameda Superior Court, 2011)
    California class action challenging meal period practices for patient mobility coordinators and reimbursement of uniform expenses for hospital employees.
  • Seaman v. Unum Group (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2007)
    Nationwide hybrid FLSA collective action and California class action challenging exempt status of the company’s field investigators.
  • Simpson v. E*Trade Securities, Incorporated (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2007)
    California class action challenging the exempt status of certain classifications of financial advisors.
  • Stephens v. [Nationwide Retailer] (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2009)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.
  • Walker v. American Restaurant Group, Inc. (Santa Clara County Superior Court, 2006)
    California class action challenging the company’s tip pooling practices.
  • Weatherspoon v. Nationwide Retailer (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2010)
    California class action challenging company’s overtime pay practices.

Discrimination Class and Mass Actions

  • Activities Club v. Yoshinoya (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Disability discrimination class action.
  • DeCarvalho v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Alameda County Superior Court, 2005)
    Multi-plaintiff race, national original, and sexual orientation, discrimination and harassment case.
  • EEOC (Lopez Garcia) v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Inc. (U.S.D.C., S.D. NY, 2006)
    Pattern and practice race discrimination case.
  • EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (EEOC, 2007)
    Commissioner’s charge and threatened pattern and practice lawsuit alleging gender and national origin discrimination.
  • Lloyd v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (Alameda County Superior Court, 2006)
    Multi-plaintiff race, national origin, sexual orientation, discrimination and harassment case.
  • Robinson v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, Inc. (EEOC, 2007)
    Threatened pattern and practice race discrimination case.
  • Strong v. Blue Cross of California, et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    California race discrimination class action based on failure to promote theories.
  • Wynne v. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, Inc. (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal., 2006)
    Nationwide race discrimination class action.

Trade Secrets/Restrictive Covenants Matters

  • Defense of case for international staffing company, a divisional president and several senior executives against lawsuit alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and breach of fiduciary duty. Filed declaratory judgment action regarding choice of law and to render restrictive covenants unenforceable. Case is on-going.
  • Prosecution of case for commercial financial institution where company’s former mortgage department president misappropriated trade secrets and solicited employees and clients on behalf of a direct competitor. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Prosecution of case for consumer goods conglomerate where two senior vice presidents misappropriated trade secret information and solicited employees and clients to join a direct competitor. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Led threatened declaratory judgment and complex negotiations on behalf of senior executive officer and international real estate company to render non-competition agreement and other restrictive covenants unenforceable in California. Case settled on favorable terms.
  • Represents one of the world’s largest retailers in the strategic use, litigation and negotiation of restrictive covenants.
  • Represents one of world’s largest real estate corporations in the strategic use, litigation and negotiation of restrictive covenants.
  • Has represented several financial institutions in the use and negotiation of restrictive covenants.

Other Representative Cases

  • Cole v. WellPoint (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2007)
    Disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Perine v. Arkansas Best (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2005); ABS Freight Systems, Inc., 457 F.Supp.2d 1004, (C.D. Cal., 2006)
    Misclassification of dispatch employee – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Puckasumsombut v. Yoshinoya West, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Retaliation, breach of contract, harassment – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Randall v. Unum Group (U.S.D.C., C.D. Cal., 2009)
    Disability and age discrimination – summary judgment granted on all claims and petition for attorneys fees granted.
  • Share v. SCPMG, et. al. (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2003)
    Sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliation – summary judgment granted on all claims.
  • Sorby v. Bell Microproducts, Inc. (San Diego Superior Court, 2001)
    Trial on pregnancy and gender discrimination and retaliation claims – prevailed on all claims at trial.

Honors

Leading Labor and Employment Lawyer, Chambers & Partners, 2009-2014.

Southern California Labor & Employment Super Lawyer, Los Angeles Magazine.

Leading Employment Lawyer, US Legal 500.

Memberships

GLAAD, Outside General Counsel

California Grocers Association

National Retail Association

LAMBDA Legal, Leadership Committee