Howard Knee is a partner in Blank Rome’s Los Angeles office. He has more than 40 years of experience representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment matters in both the public and private sectors. Howard has a broad range of federal and state trial and appellate court experience. He has represented employers in jury trials involving employment discrimination, wrongful termination, race and sex harassment, wage and hour claims, defamation, and unfair competition. He also has significant experience in class actions and representative actions, including those involving the Private Attorney General Act ("PAGA"). Howard has handled cases before the United States and California Supreme Courts as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and state appellate courts. Howard also advises employers on employment matters in connection with the sale and purchase of public and private companies, including issues related to the Cal-WARN and WARN Acts.
Howard also has significant experience handling matters before the National Labor Relations Board. His experience includes representing management in union organizing campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, responding to and litigating unfair labor practice charges, and handling grievances and arbitrations.
As a student at UCLA Law School, Howard was an intern at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a Ford Foundation Fellow at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C., the country’s first public interest law firm. After law school, he returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked first in the Ralph Nader organization and then served as a Legislative Assistant in the United States Congress to the Hon. James Corman (Van Nuys).
Relocating to Los Angeles, Howard joined a union-side labor firm and represented a class of women in a landmark sex discrimination case in the United States Supreme Court, Manhart v. City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Water & Power, 435 U.S. 702 (1978). The Manhart case was recently featured in a book titled Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work as one of the ten cases decided by the United States Supreme Court that most affected women’s lives in the workplace.
Howard formed his own boutique employer and management-side law firm in 1980 where he practiced until joining Blank Rome in January 2010.
Howard was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2015. He was recognized by the Daily Journal as one of California’s top 75 labor and employment lawyers for 2014, has been listed in California Super Lawyers since 2006, and is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. Howard is also listed in 2019 Chambers USA as a “Recognized Practitioner” and in 2019–2022 Benchmark Litigation as a “California Star” and a “Labor & Employment Star”.