Laura Reathaford


Laura Reathaford focuses her practice on management-side employment litigation, with an emphasis on wage and hour collective and class actions, including representative actions under the Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”). She represents the management of public and private businesses in the banking, healthcare, telecommunications, and grocery retailer industries, both in California and nationwide.

Laura has litigated a variety of employment disputes, including claims for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, unpaid wages, discrimination, and representing management against union grievances. She is also an experienced trial attorney having received favorable judgments in FLSA and PAGA actions as well as in single plaintiff retaliation matters.

In addition to defending employers in high-stakes litigation matters, Laura regularly advises clients on employment issues, including terminating employees, drafting employee handbooks, and complying with California and federal wage and hour laws, as well as leave and disability rules.

Laura is a prolific author on labor and employment matters and is frequently published in leading legal publications, notably including her feature article, PAGA Performance, in the Los Angeles Lawyer (July 2016). While earning her J.D., Laura was a member of Dalhousie University’s Law Review. She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Justice Marshall Rothstein, Federal Court of Canada, Trial and Appeal Division.


  • Obtained a denial of class certification of meal/rest period, wage statement, and related PAGA claims.
  • Obtained a denial of class certification of meal/rest and seating claims.
  • Obtained a denial of class certification of expense reimbursement claims.
  • Obtained a denial of national class action allegations at the pleading stage.
  • Obtained a defense verdict at trial by stipulated facts in the San Diego Superior Court against a plaintiff who alleged that his employer unlawfully rounded his time entries to the nearest quarter hour and had improperly implemented an alternative workweek schedule.
  • Obtained a dismissal of class claims in a misclassification case.
  • First chaired a bench trial, receiving nonsuit on PAGA claims.
  • Received a defense verdict in a case alleging retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.
  • Obtained a string of favorable judgments in a hotly contested and procedurally complex wage and hour class action, which were affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.

News & Views

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  • 2019, "Labor & Employment Star - West," listed in Benchmark Litigation
  • 2018, "Top 100 Women Lawyers in California," listed by Daily Journal
  • 2018, Finalist, “Leaders in Law,” listed by Los Angeles Business Journal
  • 2018, “Woman of Promise,” by Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Women’s Business Awards 
  • 2013–2018, Southern California Rising Star, listed by Super Lawyers



  • American Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
Professional Activities

Laura is a member of various legal associations and organizations, including the American Bar Association, State Bar of California, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, of which she is a member of the Amicus Committee.

Laura serves as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management where she helps educate business students on the impact the law has on everyday business and business management decisions.



  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • California
  • California Supreme Judicial Court
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California


  • Dalhousie University, JD
  • University of Alberta, B.Comm.