Douglas J. Farmer

Shareholder San Francisco

Mr. Farmer is a shareholder in the firm’s San Francisco office. He has served as lead defense counsel to major California employers in nearly a hundred wage and hour class actions, He has tried to verdict a wide variety of employment cases in California state and federal courts, including wage and hour, disability discrimination, FMLA/CFRA, sexual harassment, age discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and other wrongful termination matters.

Mr. Farmer has dedicated his career to achieving practical business solutions for clients in industries such as transportation, technology, manufacturing, hospitality, staffing, janitorial and retail. He routinely works with clients to implement compliance programs involving California pay practices, meal and rest break requirements, wage statement regulations, joint employment, piece rate pay, commissions, discrimination and harassment prevention, and emerging California legal developments.

In 2014, Mr. Farmer was one of eight California lawyers elected by his peers as a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. Recently, he was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has been recognized as one of California’s leading employment lawyers in a variety of peer review publications, including Chambers USA, America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and Super Lawyers (Northern California). His book, California Employment Law (www.employmentlawpublishers.com), is widely used by in-house counsel, human resources executives, and business owners throughout the United States.

Mr. Farmer is a former managing shareholder and a founder of the firm’s San Francisco office, He has served on a variety of firm committees, including its management committee, advisory committee, and class action steering committee. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and law degree from Harvard Law School.


Experience

Mr. Farmer currently serves or has recently served as lead defense counsel in a number of significant California wage and hour class actions, including:

  • Nationwide class action against major airline for alleged failure to make contributions to pilot pension and sick leave plans in violation of USERRA
  • California class action against one of world’s largest apparel and foot ware manufacturers for alleged wage statement and meal break violations.
  • Nationwide class investigation by United States Department of Labor of alleged independent contractor misclassification of “on-demand” delivery drivers by major international transportation and logistics firm.
  • California/FLSA class action against Fortune 10 company alleging off-the-clock, overtime, bonus, PAGA and meal and rest period violations on behalf of convenience store managers.
  • California class actions against Fortune 100 food manufacturing company for off-the-clock, donning/doffing, PAGA and meal and rest period violations (eight class actions).
  • California wage and hour class action against Fortune 200 clothing retailer alleging unpaid off-the-clock work by store managers and assistant store managers.
  • Class action against Fortune 500 manufacturer for off-the-clock, overtime, PAGA and meal and rest period violations (two class actions).
  • Multiple class actions against Fortune 500 industrial supply company for misclassification of store managers, failure to pay overtime, and meal and rest period violations (three class actions).
  • California wage and hour class action against Fortune 500 electrical supply company alleging unpaid overtime, PAGA and meal and rest period violations as to warehouse and driver employees.
  • Class investigation by Department of Labor of world’s largest convenience store chain for alleged minimum wage, overtime, and recordkeeping violations at 1500 California stores.
  • Multiple consolidated class actions against one of world’s largest transportation logistics companies for failure to pay drivers for hours worked, meal and rest period violations, and related penalties.
  • Multiple consolidated class actions against nationwide trucking and logistics company for failure to pay mechanics for all hours worked, meal and rest period violations, PAGA and related penalties.

Multiple consolidated wage and hour class actions against major California janitorial and maintenance company for failure to meet minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, provide required meal and rest breaks, comply with state wage statement requirements, and comply with PAGA (12 class actions). Lead trial attorney in the following matters:

  • Month long bench trial involving claims by multiple employees for unpaid off-the-clock work, PAGA violations, meal and rest period violations, wage statement violations, and waiting time penalties;
  • Two week bench trial involving claims for disability discrimination, failure to provide reasonable accommodation, and FMLA/CFRA violations;
  • Three week jury trial involving claims for pregnancy discrimination by female executive producer for television production company;
  • Two week bench trial involving claims of promissory fraud by mortgage industry executive;
  • Three week jury trial involving claims for sexual harassment and retaliation against chief financial officer of major corporation;
  • Two week jury trial involving claims for age discrimination against major employer;
  • Multiple arbitrations involving range of employment matters.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • California State Bar (Employment Law Section)
  • San Francisco Bar Association (Counsel to Board of Directors)
  • Civil Service Commission, City of Piedmont, CA (Commissioner and Past Chair)
  • East Bay Spanish Speaking Citizen’s Foundation (Board Member and Past President and Chair)

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Welcome to the Golden State—for Wage and Hour Plaintiffs!'' - San Diego - May 04, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - ''Paycheck to Paycheck - California's New Fair Pay Act Amendments and Audit Strategies to Manage Risk'' - Napa - March 02, 2017
  • ACC - ''The Top 10 Employment Law Compliance Developments for In-House Counsel'' - San Francisco - June 17, 2016
  • The State Bar of California - ''Newest Developments in Wage and Hour Law: Hot Topics'' - Berkeley - April 21, 2016
  • NFP Insurance Services, Inc. - ''San Francisco’s Healthcare Security Ordinance: Who is Getting Prosecuted and Why?'' - San Francisco - September 17, 2015
  • Lorman Education Services Webinar - ''New California Employment Law Developments and How They Impact Your Business'' - September 15, 2015
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - ''Employee Handbooks'' - Monterey - September 03, 2015
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - ''Wage & Hour Law Compliance'' - Monterey - September 03, 2015
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Webinar - ''Bullying in the Workplace: California’s New Training and Prevention Requirements'' - August 27, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Hits Keep Coming – California Employment Law Update'' - San Antonio - May 15, 2015
  • Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA) -- HR West 2015 - ''Top 10 Employment Law Cases Affecting California Employers'' - Oakland - March 03, 2015
  • California Employment Law & Cabernet - ''Sick and Tired – Integrating Your Sick Leave and PTO Policies With California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law'' - Napa - February 26, 2015
  • Ultimate Software HR Workshop - ''2015 Employment Law Update'' - San Jose - February 10, 2015
  • Lorman Education Services Webinar - ''Inclement Weather Pay Policies'' - January 14, 2015
  • Center for Competitive Management (C4CM) Webinar - ''California Leave Law Update: Navigating the Golden State’s New Paid Leave Legislation and Changes to the CFRA/FMLA, PDL, and PFL'' - November 19, 2014
  • National Business Institute, Inc. – Human Resource Law From Start to Finish - ''Recruitment and Hiring – California'' - Oakland - November 05, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Headline News – Recent Developments in Employment Law and Legislation'' - San Francisco - November 04, 2014
  • ProVisors – Silicon Valley Mergers & Acquisitions Group - ''The Top 10 Labor and Employment Law Pitfalls in M&A Deals'' - Palo Alto - October 27, 2014
  • NFP Insurance Services, Inc. - ''Employment Law Compliance for Restaurants'' - San Francisco - October 22, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''CA Transportation Industry: The Top Three California Law Challenges for Transportation Companies'' - October 14, 2014
  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''California Dreaming: Updates from the Golden State'' - Dana Point - September 18, 2014
  • NFP Insurance Services, Inc. - ''2014 California Employment Law Update'' - San Francisco - July 30, 2014
  • Center for Competitive Management (C4CM) Webinar - ''2014 California Employment Law Update'' - July 25, 2014
  • California Employment Law for Multistate employers Bootcamp Webinar - ''California's Unique and Complex State Employment Law Requirements: Avoiding Employment Law Surprises'' - June 26, 2014
  • Testimony before United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - ''Growth of the Non-English Speaking Workforce and Recommendations for Change to EEOC National Origin Regulations and Enforcement Guidance'' - Washington, D.C. - November 2013
  • Vistage CEO Roundtable - ''Making Peace with HR: The Role of the CEO in Employment Law Compliance'' - San Francisco - July 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Wage and Hour Litigation - California Style!'' - New Orleans - May 2013
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''California's New Sales Compensation Guidelines'' - May 2013
  • California Employment Law Council - ''Armenta - Payment for Contract Hours & Minimum Wage in Piece Rate and Commission Compensation'' - Sacramento - April 2013
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Understanding the Overlap of CA Workers' Comp, Disability and Leave of Absence Laws'' - Oakland - March 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Wage and Hour Litigation in California - Avoiding Million Dollar Mistakes'' - Napa - March 2013
  • Serra Center - ''Mandated Reporting and Worker's Compensation'' - Fremont - February 2013
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Essential Forms and Policies to Manage Disability and Leave Issues'' - San Francisco - 2013
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Understanding the Overlap of California's Workers' Compensation, Disability and Leave of Absence Laws'' - San Francisco - 2013
  • Center for Competitive Management Webinar - ''California Labor and Employment Law Update for 2013'' - January 2013
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''Inclement Weather Pay Policies'' - January 2013
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Essential Forms and Policies to Manage Disability and Leave Issues'' - Oakland - 2013
  • Serra Center - ''Mandated Reporting and Worker's Compensation'' - Fremont - January 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''California Sales Commission Agreements'' - December 2012
  • Center for Competitive Management Webinar - ''Caution: Pregnant Women at Work: Ensuring Compliance with California Labor Law'' - December 2012
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''CA New Commission Pay Rules for 2013'' - November 2012
  • California Employment Law Council - ''Independent Contractors Are They Really Your Employees? Joint Employer Issues'' - Los Angeles - November 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Payment of Regular and Final Wages, Deductions from Wages, and Computing Rates of Pay'' - November 2012
  • HR.Com and Clear Path Webinar - ''Getting Ready for 2013: 7 Tips to Build Your Business Case for a 1099 Independent Contractor Compliance Program'' - November 2012
  • Bridgeport's Annual Wage & Hour Litigation & Management Conference - ''Alternatives to Class Actions'' - San Francisco - October 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Determining 'Hours Worked,' Recordkeeping, and Timekeeping System 'Best Practices''' - October 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Eye on Employment Law: A Review of CA Legal Developments and How They Impact Your Business'' - San Francisco - October 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''CA Meal and Rest Periods, Wage Statements, and Methods of Wage Payment'' - September 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Addressing Transgender Issues In The Workplace'' - July 2012
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Employment Law Update'' - Oakland - July 2012
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''California Wage and Hour Update'' - July 2012
  • Business Forums International - ''The 8 Deadly Sins of Personnel Mismanagement'' - San Francisco - July 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Doing Business In California Is Unique – Basic Blocking And Tackling'' - Phoenix - May 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''California Focus: Wage And Hour Claims And Class Action Suits'' - Phoenix - May 2012
  • Practicing Law Institute - ''Top 5 Employment Issues for Non-Profits'' - San Francisco - May 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Meal And Rest Periods After Brinker: What Employers Need To Know To Comply'' - April 2012
  • California Employment Law Council - ''The Evolving Employment Relationship – Wage & Hour Liability For Your Subcontractor’s Violations'' - Sacramento - April 2012
  • Center for Competitive Management Webinar - ''Pregnant Workers: What’s Legal, What’s Not In California'' - April 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Employee Handbooks: Common Mistakes And How To Fix Them'' - San Francisco and San Jose - April 2012
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Wage And Hour Law For Companies Doing Business In California'' - San Jose - March 2012
  • Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators - ''Preventing Employer Liability In The Expanding Blogosphere'' - San Francisco - February 2012
  • Levinson Benefits Group - ''Benefits, Payroll And HR Developments'' - San Francisco - January 2012
  • HR.Com and ClearPath Webinar - ''Contingent Workers – New CA Misclassification Law'' - January 2012
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''Inclement Weather Pay Policies'' - January 2012
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''Essential Payroll Practices For Companies Doing Business In California'' - January 2012
  • Levinson Benefits Group Annual Non-Profit Benefits and HR Conference - ''California Employment Law Update: What Employers Need to Know for 2012-2013'' - San Francisco - 2012
  • HR.Com and ClearPath Webinar - ''Urgent Legislative Update on Contract Labor: Focus California'' - December 2011
  • California Employment Law Council - ''Dealing With The Obama Agencies – EEOC, NLRB, OFCCP'' - San Francisco - November 2011
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - Moderator - ''California Employment Law Fundamentals'' - San Francisco - October 2011
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - ''California Wage And Hour Law'' - San Francisco - October 2011
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) - ''Drafting California Employment Policies & Handbooks'' - San Francisco - October 2011
  • Association of Otolaryngology Administrators - ''EEOC and the Disgruntled Employee – The Strategic Response To Complaints Of Discrimination'' - San Francisco - September 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Essential Payroll Practices for Companies Doing Business in California'' - September 2011
  • Lorman Education Services (Audio Conference) - ''California Wage And Hour Law – Essential Payroll Practices For Companies Doing Business In California'' - July 2011
  • Manager Training Program - ''Hiring & Termination -- Training For Partners And Principals'' - San Francisco - June 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar (Moderator) - ''Medical Marijuana in The Workplace'' - Chicago - May 2011
  • Manager Workshop - ''Supervisor Training – Hiring; Leaves Of Absence; Termination & Discipline; Wage And Hour'' - San Francisco - May 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Developments In California Wage And Hour Law – Wage Statement Defenses And Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) Claims'' - San Francisco - April 2011
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Effective Employee Documentation Strategies'' - San Francisco - March 2011
  • Levinson Benefits Group - ''Top Employment Law Issues Facing California Restaurant Owners'' - San Francisco - March 2011
  • Ultimate Software Human Resources Program - ''Wage And Hour Law – Trends In California Litigation'' - San Jose - February 2011
  • NCLR Affiliates Workshop - ''Employment Law Trends For Non-Profit Organizations'' - Oakland - February 2011
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Wage And Hour Law For Companies Doing Business In California'' - San Francisco - January 2011
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Employee Leaves Of Absence For Companies Doing Business In California'' - San Francisco - January 2011
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Employee Termination & Discipline For Companies Doing Business In California'' - San Francisco - January 2011
  • A.B. 1825 Training, Various Employers - ''Identifying And Preventing Sexual Harassment And Other Types Of Discrimination – A Management Responsibility'' - 2011
  • The Employers Group Annual Employer Seminar - ''New Pregnancy Leave Regulations, Social Media Policies, Off Work Email Use, And Workplace Investigations – Best Practices For Employers'' - Oakland - Winter 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Employment Law Developments'' - San Francisco - Fall 2010
  • Bridgeport Wage & Hour Litigation Conference - ''Class Certification -- The Defense Perspective'' - San Francisco - Fall 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Immigration Seminar - ''Extraterritorial Application Of Federal Civil Rights Laws'' - San Francisco - Fall 2010
  • San Francisco Annual Jewish Federation Benefits Seminar - ''California Employment Law Update'' - San Francisco - Fall 2010
  • Employer Research Institute (ERI) - ''What Supervisors Need To Know About Leave And Disability Laws'' - Las Vegas - Summer 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''California Class Action Litigation -- Still The Wild Wild West'' - Las Vegas - Spring 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Class And Collective Actions--The Latest Trends'' - Las Vegas - Spring 2010
  • East Bay SSCF Annual Employment Law Update - ''New Developments For California Employers'' - Oakland - Spring 2010
  • Levinson Benefits Group Compliance Update - ''Wage And Hour Law, Time Off From Work, And COBRA -- What Every Employer Needs To Know'' - Oakland - Spring 2010
  • A.B. 1825 Training, Various Employers - ''Identifying And Preventing Sexual Harassment And Other Types Of Discrimination – A Management Responsibility'' - 2010
  • American Features Syndicate Webinar - ''What’s New For 2009 – New Cases, Statutes And Regulations California Employers Need To Know'' - Winter 2009
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association - ''Managing Substance Abuse In The Legal Workplace'' - Walnut Creek - Winter 2009
  • Jewish Community Federation - ''The Top 10 Employment Law Issues Facing California Business Today'' - San Francisco - Fall 2009
  • University of San Francisco School of Education - ''Personnel Law For School Administrators'' - San Francisco - Fall 2009
  • Employer Resources Institute - ''Managing The Interplay Of ADA, FMLA & Workers Compensation: How To Properly Designate And Allocate Leaves'' - Las Vegas - Fall 2009
  • BLR - ''What You Should (And Should Not) Do To Avoid Legal Liability When Firing Employees'' - San Francisco - Fall 2009
  • National Retail Federation - ''Liability for Correcting Unlawful Employment Practices: The Impact of the Supreme Court's Ricci Decision on Retail Hiring, Promotions, RIFS, and Other Employment Practices'' - San Diego - Fall 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''New Changes To The FMLA And ADA – How They Impact California Law And Your Business'' - San Francisco - Summer 2009
  • National Soccer Association - ''Independent Contractors – Avoiding Liability Under California Law'' - San Jose - Spring 2009
  • National Soccer Association - ''Hiring & Firing – Avoiding Liability Under California Law'' - San Jose - Spring 2009
  • Lorman Education Services - ''California Employment Law Update'' - San Francisco - Spring 2009
  • National Bar Association - ''Downsizing And Reductions In Force'' - New Orleans - Spring 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Social Media'' - Miami - Spring 2009
  • Sterling Education - ''California Workers Compensation Law, California Family Rights Act, And Disability Accommodation Under FEHA'' - San Francisco - Spring 2009
  • East Bay SSCF - ''California Employment Law Mid-Year Update'' - Oakland - Spring 2009
  • A.B. 1825 Training, Various Employers - ''Identifying And Preventing Sexual Harassment And Other Types Of Discrimination – A Management Responsibility'' - 2009
  • Lorman Education Services - ''California Laws Of Hiring And Firing'' - San Francisco - Winter 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''California Leave, Disability And Workers Compensation Laws: Understanding The Overlap'' - San Francisco - Winter 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''New California Employment Legislation'' - San Francisco - Winter 2008
  • Business and Legal Reports (BLR), American Features Syndicate webinar - ''FMLA Regulations And Their Impact On California’s CFRA'' - Fall 2008
  • Practicing Law Institute - ''The Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make In A Down Economy'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • California Continuing Education of the Bar - ''Fundamentals Of California Employment Law'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Employer’s Group Annual Workplace and Employment Law Update - ''Reductions In Force'' - Sacramento and Oakland - Fall 2008
  • Employer’s Group Annual Workplace and Employment Law Update - ''Handling The Toughest FMLA Issues'' - Sacramento and Oakland - Fall 2008
  • Continuing Education of the Bar (moderator) - ''Employment Law Fundamentals'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), Two Day Employment Law Fundamentals Course - ''California Hiring And Firing'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) Two Employment Law Fundamentals Course - ''California Employee Handbooks'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Taking Control Of Leading Indicators Of Employment Law Risk'' - Los Angeles and San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Minimizing Class Action Risks Through Wage And Hour Audits'' - San Francisco - Fall 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Best Practices In FMLA, ADA And Workers Compensation Law'' - Oakland - Fall 2008
  • Annual EEOC Training Program For Agency Attorneys and Investigators - ''Navigating The EEOC Conciliation And Litigation Process: Working With California Employers'' - San Francisco - Summer 2008
  • Marin County Human Resources Association - ''California Disability, Leave And Workers Compensation Law: Understanding The Overlap'' - San Rafael - Summer 2008
  • University of San Francisco School of Education - ''California Employment Law For School Administrators'' - San Francisco - Summer 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Employment Law From A-Z: An Introduction To California Employment Law'' - San Francisco - Summer 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''EEO Compliance For California Employers'' - San Francisco - Summer 2008
  • San Francisco Human Resources Council For The Arts - ''San Francisco’s New Health Insurance Ordinance: What It Means For Your Business'' - San Francisco - Spring 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''California Wage And Hour Class Actions'' - New Orleans - Spring 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - ''California Employment Law Update'' - San Francisco - Spring 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins webinar - ''San Francisco’s New Health Insurance Ordinance'' - Spring 2008
  • Lorman Education Services webinar - ''When Work And Lifestyles Collide – The New Litigation Arena'' - Spring 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''California Wage and Hour Law For Managers'' - San Francisco - Spring 2008
  • Lorman Education Services - ''California Employment Law Developments'' - Oakland - Spring 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''San Francisco's New Health Insurance Ordinance'' - Spring 2008
  • A.B. 1825 Training, Various Employers - ''Identifying And Preventing Sexual Harassment And Other Types Of Discrimination – A Management Responsibility'' - 2008

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Media Quotes

September 08, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Farmworker Overtime Bill Awaits California Governor’s Approval"
October 26, 2015 - Law360 - "5 Tips To Keep A Jury On The Employer's Side In A Bias Trial"

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