Christopher W. Decker

Shareholder Los Angeles

Christopher Decker represents and counsels employers in a variety of labor and employment matters, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, common-law wrongful termination, the Family and Medical Leave Act, federal and California wage and hour issues, and the discipline of employees. In the area of litigation, Christopher has defended employers against claims of discrimination and harassment based on race, age, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, and other protected classes, as well as claims of wrongful termination and retaliation. Christopher also represents employers in wage and hour class actions involving claims of misclassification of employees and meal and rest period violations, waiting time penalties and other purported wage and hour violations. Christopher also has extensive experience drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements.

Christopher is fluent in both Spanish and French.


Experience

Arbitration Agreements:

  • Prosecuted two successful appeals from trial court decisions declining to enforce an arbitration agreement for a national automobile retailer, resulting in published opinions enforcing the client’s arbitration agreement under California law. Sanchez v. CarMax AutoSuperstores California, LLC, 224 Cal. App. 4th 398 (2014); Casas v. CarMax AutoSuperstores California, LLC, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1233 (2014).
  • Successfully enforced an arbitration agreement barring class and representative claims in arbitration after the California Supreme Court held that waivers of representative claims are unenforceable under California law. Langston v. 20/20 Companies, Inc., 2014 WL 5335734 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Successfully enforced an arbitration agreement barring class, collective and representative claims in arbitration, thereby terminating a nationwide class and collective action against a national automobile retailer. Luchini v. CarMax, Inc., 2012 WL 2995483 (E.D. Cal.)

Misclassification (Exempt/Non-Exempt):

  • Obtained summary judgment for a major national insurer against claims that its worker’s compensation claims adjusters were misclassified as administrative exempt employees and successfully defended the judgment on appeal. Bucklin v. American Zurich Insurance Co., 2013 WL 3147019 (C.D. Cal.) aff’d 619 Fed. Appx. 574 (9th Cir., July 20, 2015)
  • Obtained summary judgment for a national automobile retailer against claims that its sales consultants were misclassified as inside sales exempt employees.
  • Obtained a defense award in a week-long arbitration involving claims by an automobile sales manager that he was misclassified as an executive exempt employee.

Meal and Rest Period Violations:

  • Successfully resolved four putative class actions at mediation on favorable terms, avoiding extensive litigation and continued exposure.

Wrongful Termination/ Discrimination/Retaliation:

  • Obtained summary judgment for a national hotel chain against claims of wrongful termination based on an allegedly illegal drug test.
  • Obtained a defense award in a week-long arbitration involving claims of retaliation for taking FMLA leave and disability discrimination.
  • Successfully resolved more than one dozen individual actions on favorable terms at mediation or through informal negotiations with opposing counsel.
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