Charles L. Thompson, IV

Shareholder || San Francisco

Charles L. Thompson IV counsels and defends employers in wrongful termination, discrimination, and other employment-related matters.  These areas include trade secrets and unfair competition, California and federal leaves of absence, ADA compliance, and wage and hour compliance.

Charles also represents employers in traditional labor law matters. He advises and represents employers in collective bargaining. He also represents employers in matters before the National Labor Relations Board, including in unfair labor practice and representation hearings. In addition, he represents employers in discharge and contract interpretation arbitrations.

He creates and provides workplace training programs to California employers on sexual harassment, workplace violence, corrective action and discipline, workplace investigations, managing the borderline employee, and avoiding wrongful termination claims.

Charles was a judicial clerk for The Honorable Patrick E. Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  He has been a faculty member of San Francisco Law School, where he taught constitutional law and employment discrimination law.

Charles also has served as President of and outside counsel to Mission Neighborhood Centers, a non-profit organization providing social services to the Mission District in San Francisco, California.  In addition, he has served as First Vice President, Secretary and outside counsel to the NAMES Project Foundation, sponsor of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Learn more about Charles L. Thompson, IV
  • Obtained unanimous jury verdict in San Francisco, CA, in favor of the employer and individual defendant, following employee’s claims of same-sex sexual harassment, national origin discrimination relating to language use, and retaliation.

Representative industries:

  • Building maintenance, facility, and operations
  • Staffing
  • Health care
  • Hospitality restaurant
  • Food manufacturing
  • Transportation


  • J.D., University of Texas, 1987
  • B.A., cum laude, Yale University, 1982

Admittance to Practice

  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Employment and Litigation Sections)
  • San Francisco Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
  • State Bar of California (Labor and Employment Section)
  • Northern California Human Resources Association Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco (“BOMA”)


  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Be Right Back . . . or Not: Managing California Employee Protected Leaves" - Napa - February 28, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "When Employees Return From Leave, the Journey for HR Continues" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Paid Sick Leave Laws Update—The Latest Compliance Challenges" - San Diego - May 5, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "“Headline News”—The Perfect Start to Your Workplace Strategies" - San Diego - May 4, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Choose Your Own Adventure - Accommodating Disability in California" - Napa - March 4, 2017
  • California Staffing Professionals - "Employment Law Update" - Mountain View - February 16, 2011
  • Employer Advisory Council - "Surviving Leaves of Absence in California" - Sonoma - January 12, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Eye on Employment Law" - San Francisco - October 26, 2010
  • HR Star Conference - "Preparing for the Coming Upturn" - San Francisco - July 14, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Managing Medical Information" - San Francisco - November 17, 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "EFCA and Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act" - San Francisco - July 30, 2009
  • San Francisco Employer Advisory Council - "Mastering Leaves of Absence in California" - San Francisco - June 4, 2009
  • Northern California Human Resources Association - "Employment Litigation Trends" - San Francisco - December 11, 2008
  • Council on Education in Management - "How to Design a Proactive Reasonable Accommodations Process" - Huntington Beach - October 30, 2008
  • Northern California Human Resources Association - "Wage and Hour Update" - San Francisco - November 13, 2007
  • July 30, 2018 - SHRM Online - "When Are California Employees Eligible for Leave?"
  • March 21, 2018 - National Law Journal - "Why Management Lawyers Are Tracking DOJ's Suit Against California"
  • May 8, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Waiting Periods for Vacation Accruals May Be on the Way Out"
  • August 30, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Revived Calif. Parental Leave Bill Aims to Expand Coverage"
  • June 17, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Navigating the Maze of California Leave Requirements"
  • April 7, 2016 - San Francisco Business Times - "How to prepare your business for San Francisco's new paid parental leave law"
  • October 20, 2015 - Workforce Magazine - "Sneezy Does It"
  • July 1, 2015 - Law360 - "5 Tips Every Co. Should Know About Calif.'s Sick Leave Law"
  • January 7, 2007 - New York Times - "Fight Over Quilt Reflects Changing Times in Battle Against AIDS"
  • January 4, 2007 - San Francisco Chronicle - "AIDS Quilt Permanent Return to City in Doubt"
  • Articles Editor, Texas Law Review
  • Order of the Coif
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2013-present)

Insights by Charles L. Thompson, IV