Dolores Y. Leal, a partner in our firm, specializes in sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and wrongful termination cases. Before joining our firm in 1991, Ms. Leal worked several years for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, handling cases of employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Equal Pay Act.
Ms. Leal held various positions while at the EEOC, including that of an investigator. Her last position was that of senior trial attorney. As a senior trial attorney at the EEOC, Ms. Leal tried several Title VII and ADEA cases, including cases involving “English-only” policies, national-origin discrimination, gender discrimination/harassment, pregnancy discrimination, and age discrimination.
Ms. Leal has also tried numerous discrimination and wrongful termination cases at Allred, Maroko & Goldberg. Her most notable victory was in the case of Tylo v. Spelling Entertainment Group, Inc., in which she served as co-counsel representing actress Hunter Tylo in a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit.
Ms. Tylo was awarded $4,894,601 in damages. Most important for other victims was a decision by the Court of Appeals, Hunter Tylo v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 55 Cal. App.4th 1379, 64 Cal.rptr.2d 731 (1997).
Prior to trial, Ms. Leal appealed an unfavorable decision rendered by the trial court in the Tylo case, in which during Ms. Tylo’s deposition the defendant sought to invade Ms. Tylo’s constitutional right to privacy. The Court of Appeals agreed to stay the trial court’s order and after review, ordered the trial court to reverse its order. Hunter Tylo v. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 55 Cal. App.4th 1379, 64 Cal.Rptr.2d 731 (1997).
This was a significant victory for persons suing their employers; the Court of Appeals made it clear that it will not allow employers to engage in “fishing expeditions” during the discovery phase of litigation.
Ms. Leal is the author of Litigating Sexual Harassment and Sex Discrimination Cases, published by James Publishing in Costa Mesa, California. She is a frequent speaker before attorney groups and the EEOC and has taught torts, employment discrimination, and critical studies at Peoples College of Law. She has authored a number of articles on employment law.
Until 2009, Ms. Leal was a member of the Executive Board and recent past president of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), a statewide organization of attorneys who represent employees. In September 1999 Ms. Leal was honored by CELA as its “Employment Law Attorney of the Year.”
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