San Francisco: (415) 771-6400 | Oakland: (510) 272-0169

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Practice Areas:

Enforcing Employee Rights

Leonard Carder has a diverse caseload of national and statewide employment class actions, individual employee rights and discrimination cases, employee benefit (ERISA) cases, and other pro-worker litigation, including numerous cases under California’s Unfair Competition Law.

Leonard Carder continues to be at the forefront of challenging sham “independent contractor” arrangements against some of the largest corporations in America – from FedEx Ground, UPS Supply Chain Solutions, SuperShuttle and Carey Limousine. Having won a $27 million judgment for 200 FedEx Ground drivers in California, and establishing an important precedent in Estrada v. FedEx Ground Package Systems, Inc.(154 Cal. App. 1 (2007)), Leonard Carder has been co-lead counsel in the nationwide, multi-district litigation for most of the 27,000 FedEx Ground drivers who wear FedEx uniforms and drive FedEx logo-ed trucks each day but are called “independent contractors.” In 2010, Leonard Carder obtained approval of a $12.8 million settled for 660 UPS SCS drivers misclassified as “independent contractors.” Among our significant cases in this area was the milestone settlement in a class action against San Francisco’s infamous Mitchell Brothers O’Farrell Theater, on behalf of exotic dancers who were not paid for their work and were illegally forced to pay nightly “stage fees” out of their tips.

On behalf of both public and private employees, Leonard Carder has repeatedly secured sizable verdicts and settlements against employers who unlawfully fail to pay overtime. Leonard Carder has won or settled major overtime cases against Best Buy, Extended Stay America, AC Transit District, Central California Irrigation District, ProMess and other bike courier companies and many others. Among the firm’s precedent setting cases in this area was Klem et al. v. County of Santa Clara, 208 F.3d 1085 (9th Cir. 2000), in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed an exception that employers attempt to rely upon in defending overtime cases.

In a significant precedent under the California Constitution, Leonard Carder successfully obtained a permanent statewide injunction against Caltrans, prohibiting it from ordering employees to take random drug tests on their off-duty time. (Edgerton v. State Personnel Board, 23 Cal. App. 4th 1350 (First Dist. Ct. App. 2000)). In a second case, Leonard Carder secured a statewide writ against Caltrans, prohibiting it from treating breath alcohol test results of less than 0.02 percent as “positive.”

Working in conjunction with the Foundation for Fair Contracting and Northern California Electrical Construction Industry Labor Management Industry Cooperative Trust, and on behalf of groups of immigrant workers, Leonard Carder has won or favorably settled numerous cases against employers who refuse to comply with California’s Prevailing Wage Law. Leonard Carder has also brought a series of successful cases against employers that fail to properly reimburse delivery drivers for mileage on their own vehicles.

Leonard Carder represents employees in all manner of discrimination and sex harassment lawsuits, including hostile work environment cases and disability discrimination cases. In 2000, Leonard Carder represented a group of San Francisco police and firefighters in a far reaching dispute over pension benefits that led to a successful ballot initiative amending the San Francisco City and County Employees’ Retirement Plan.

Leonard Carder also represents individual employees in litigation against employee benefit plans in disputes over benefit claims, breaches of fiduciary duties, and other claims.

As active members of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the National Employment Lawyers Association and the California Employment Lawyers Association, Leonard Carder lawyers have lectured extensively on the subjects of misclassification, prevailing wage enforcement and overtime enforcement actions.


San Francisco: (415) 771-6400 | Oakland: (510) 272-0169