Gregory C. Cheng

Shareholder || San Francisco

Greg has been with Ogletree Deakins since 2006.  He has exclusively practiced management-side labor and employment law in California for his entire career.  As an experienced litigator, Greg has handled hundreds of matters for employers in state and federal courts, arbitration, and before administrative agencies.

Additionally, Greg has significant advice and counsel experience.  He regularly partners with in-house legal attorneys, C-Suite executives, and finance, operations, human resources, payroll and benefits professionals, as well as business owners and private equity groups in providing day-to-day advice and counsel on all facets of California employment and wage/hour issues.  His central focus is to be responsive, efficient, and place his clients in the best position possible to deter costly and unnecessary litigation.  Greg approaches each issue pragmatically and customizes his advice to fit the unique legal and business challenges facing each employer in proportion with its impact on operations and all economic/non-economic factors.

Specifically, Greg has substantial experience advising employers in the areas of disability accommodation, complex and intersecting leave of absence and related benefits scenarios, wage and hour compliance and the development of documentary evidence regarding the same, designing large scale reductions in force, commissions and bonus disputes, drafting agreements (severance, executive, incentive plans, restrictive covenants, trade secret protection), providing employment-related advice during the due diligence phase (on behalf of buyers and sellers), employee discipline or terminations, drug testing, and managing and/or conducting workplace investigations.

Greg is currently the Co-Chair of the Ogletree Deakins Asian-American Attorneys Business Resource Group and serves on the San Francisco Office’s Hiring Committee.

Learn more about Gregory C. Cheng

Greg has managed hundreds of litigation matters from inception to resolution before California state and federal courts.  He has resolved hundreds of matters for California employers and employers with California-based operations during all stages of litigation.

Greg has substantial experience defending employers against lawsuits claiming for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, Labor Code violations, complex wage and hour class actions alleging misclassification, unpaid overtime, meal and rest periods violations, travel time, off-the-clock work, and Business and Professions Code sections 17200 et seq.  He also has prosecuted/defended clients in trade secret, non-compete, and injunctive relief actions.  Moreover, Greg, working in conjunction with his Ogletree colleagues, has:

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national operator of cable television against a former employee claiming disability discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a hospital against a former employee claiming race discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a railroad company against an individual claiming ADA Title III violations and against threatened cross-claims from cross-defendant public entity.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an international computer consulting company against an individual for a variety of contract and tort claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a federal defense contractor against a former employee alleging age discrimination and harassment to have occurred in an extraterritorial jurisdiction.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of international printing company against a former employee asserting claims for gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national restaurant chain against a former employee asserting claims for disability discrimination and harassment.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a mobile software gaming company against a former employee claiming retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of public transit district against a former employee asserting disability discrimination and accommodation claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a bakery manufacturer and retailer against a former employee asserting harassment and discrimination based upon national origin.
  • Obtained multiple defense judgments against claims brought before the California Labor Commissioner.
  • Obtained a complete involuntary dismissal of a claim for unpaid bonus and other unpaid wages totaling more than $100,000 at the DLSE conference stage.
  • Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of several lawsuits without having to pay any money, including but not limited to:
    • a negotiated “walk-away” on the eve of trial (after 4 years of litigation) on behalf of an international media company against breach of contract claims in excess of one million dollars;
    • a negotiated “walk-away” on behalf of a semiconductor company against a former employee alleging race discrimination, retaliation, and fraud; and
    • a dismissal with prejudice by the Court on behalf of an international manufacturer and distributor of HVAC systems after prevailing in a series of discovery and sanctions motions. Plaintiff’s attorney withdrew from the case after Greg filed a trade secret misappropriation cross-complaint against the plaintiff.

Education

  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 2003
  • B.S., Purdue University, 2000

Admittance to Practice

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

Professional Activities

  • San Francisco County Bar Association
  • State Bar of California (Labor & Employment Section)

Speeches

  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Be Right Back . . . or Not: Managing California Employee Protected Leaves" - Napa - February 28, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Common California Leave of Absence Dilemmas . . . and How to Solve Them" - Napa - March 1, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Managing a California Contingent Workforce - The Other "Joint" Concern in the Workplace" - Napa - March 3, 2017
  • BLR Webinar, January 14, 2014 - "Religious Accommodations in California Workplaces: Your Obligations and Rights Explained" - January 14, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Managing a Workforce in 2013 - Bullying and Workplace Violence - Getting in Front of the Curve" - San Francisco - October 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "You're Not the Boss Of Me - Regulating Employee Conduct On And Off The Job" - San Francisco - October 2011
  • Employer Research Institute - "Travel Pay In California: Proven Strategies For Avoiding Devastating Wage/Hour Lawsuits" - August 11, 2011
  • July 9, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee from Unemployment Benefits"
  • March 28, 2014 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "Former University Employee Ordered to Pay $100,000 in Attorneys’ Fees for Bringing Frivolous FEHA Action"
  • Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star (2013-present)

Insights by Gregory C. Cheng