John Zaimes is Co-Leader of Mayer Brown’s US Employment & Benefits Group. He has extensive litigation and counseling experience with all manner of employment-related issues, including wrongful termination, wage and hour, harassment and discrimination claims, as well as OSHA matters and reductions in force.
He also frequently handles corporate internal investigations, matters involving covenants not to compete, employee solicitation and the protection of trade secrets/confidential information. John regularly defends companies in class action suits, including those claiming violations of California’s unique wage and hour laws, as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
He also defends class actions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and its state analogs, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. John and his team have successfully employed aggressive, innovative strategies to bring all of those class actions to an early resolution.
His wage and hour litigation experience includes successfully trying to judgment a major suit with statewide implications against the California State Labor Commissioner. Over his years of litigation, John has been involved in a number of published decisions, including:
- two United States Supreme Court opinions;
- Meghrig v. KFC Western, Inc., 516 U.S. 479 (1996) (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
- the California District Court of Appeal’s 2009 wage and hour class action precedent, Hernandez v. Vitamin Shoppe Industries, 174 Cal. App. 4th 1441 (2009)
- the landmark 2007 consumer credit reporting act decision, Trujillo v. First American Registry, 157 Cal. App. 4th 628 (2007)
- the 2003 employment discrimination precedent on the “stray remarks” doctrine, Gibbs v. Consolidated Disposal Service, Inc., 111 Cal. App. 4th 794 (2003)
Among the clients he represents are manufacturing concerns, credit and related reporting agencies, financial institutions, retailers, airlines, life sciences companies, consulting firms, hospitality industry and food service clients and sales organizations.
- University of California, Los Angeles, BA, with honors
- Northwestern University, MA
- Georgetown University Law Center, JD
- US Supreme Court
- US District Court for the Eastern District of California
- US District Court for the Southern District of California
- US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Southern District of New York
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- Tumampos v. Cathay Pacific Airways, Ltd.: Putative class action on behalf of airline flight attendants alleging violations of numerous California Labor Code provisions. We moved to dismiss the majority of plaintiffs’ claims under the Extraterritoriality Doctrine, which denies application of California law to employees who primarily work outside California. The plaintiffs and putative class members fly directly from LAX or SFO to Hong Kong and back, and thus work primarily outside California. The court granted our motion.
- Steeger v. PetSmart, Inc.: FLSA nationwide collective action and Rule 23 class action alleging wage and hour violations in five states. We employed an aggressive, innovate strategy to resolve 85% of the putative class claims early on, following which the case was settled for a low figure.
- Liechti v. Omni Hotels: Sexual harassment case in which plaintiff, a hotel employee, claimed she was harassed by the Director of Hotel Security by, among other things, his constantly watching her on hotel security cameras. After taking plaintiff’s deposition, we moved for and obtained summary judgment.
- Solar Turbines v. Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement: Declaratory relief suit against the California State Labor Commissioner over interpretation of the Alternative Workweek provisions of California’s wage and hour laws. Following a bench trial, we prevailed on all counts, validating our client’s interpretation in a case with statewide implications.
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