Lara C. de Leon

Shareholder || San Antonio, Orange County

Ms. de Leon is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law. She represents employers of all sizes in all aspects of employment law, including employment litigation and counseling. She has extensive experience defending clients in federal and state courts, arbitrations and before administrative agencies, including actions alleging wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, disability, leave of absence, and wrongful termination claims.

In addition to litigation, Lara regularly advises, counsels and trains clients on a wide array of employment-related matters, such as terminations and reductions in force, employee discipline, pre-employment screening and hiring, internal investigations, leaves of absence, workplace accommodations, wage and hour compliance, pay equity and other matters of legal compliance.

Lara also spent ten years as in-house employment counsel for two large publicly-traded companies. She currently co-chairs the firm’s Life Sciences Practice Group and the Pay Equity Practice Group.

Learn more about Lara C. de Leon
  • Obtained Summary Judgment and complete dismissal of federal court matter involving claims of age discrimination and retaliation.
  • Obtained appellate court reversal of trial court ruling denying motion to compel arbitration of employment claims.
  • Obtained Favorable Arbitration decision for a client against a former employee’s claims involving sexual harassment, sexual assault and retaliation.
  • Obtained Jury Verdict and dismissal for client in a state court lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and sexual battery.
  • Obtained Favorable Arbitration decision and subsequent judgment for client against a former employee’s claims involving disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, wrongful termination and interference and retaliation in violation of the California Family Rights Act.
  • Obtained Summary Judgment and complete dismissal for client in a current employee’s state court lawsuit involving claims of age and religious discrimination, failure to accommodate religious practices, and retaliation.
  • Obtained Partial Summary Judgment for client in federal court in connection with former employee’s claims of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, wrongful termination and interference and retaliation in violation of the California Family Rights Act.

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, 1998
  • B.A., , Government, high honors, University of Texas at Austin, 1995

Admittance to Practice

  • California
  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California
  • U. S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Orange County Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • State Bar of California (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • State Bar of Texas (Labor-Employment Section)
  • San Antonio Bar Association

Speeches

  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Eye on Pay Equity: Midyear Update and Practical Takeaways from Recent Cases" - June 11, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Eye on Pay Equity: Practical Takeaways From Recent Litigation" - Las Vegas - May 2, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Podcast - "Salary History Bans: FAQs, Best Practices, and Latest Updates" - April 25, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Advanced Workshop Series: Workplace Investigations" - San Antonio - March 27, 2019
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Disability Accommodations and The Interactive Process" - San Antonio - February 28, 2019
  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Leading the Charge on Pay Equity: How In-House Counsel Can Influence Change" - La Quinta - November 8, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Texas Labor and Employment Law Update - "Happy 50th Anniversary, ADEA: The Latest Issues, Trends, and Strategies" - Austin - November 2, 2018
  • SAHRMA General Membership Meeting - "What to Expect When You Are Expecting: Protections for Pregnant Workers" - San Antonio - July 10, 2018
  • 2018 National SHRM Conference - "What to Expect When You Are Expecting: Protections for Pregnant Workers" - Chicago - June 20, 2018
  • Hill Country SHRM - "What to Expect When You Are Expecting: Protections for Pregnant Workers" - San Marcos - June 14, 2018
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - "Baby on Board: HR, Pregnancy & Accommodating Moms" - May 15, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Demystifying Pay Audits, Pay Transparency, and Pay Disclosures" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Advanced Leave of Absence Workshop" - San Antonio - April 13, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Back to the Future: Strategies for Accommodating the Aging Workforce" - Laredo - April 5, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Back to the Future: Strategies for Accommodating the Aging Workforce" - McAllen - April 4, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "New Year, New Pay Equity Laws: Bans on Salary History Inquiries" - January 9, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Employment Law Breakfast Briefing - "Pay Equity: What is Working and What is Not" - San Antonio - November 16, 2017
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "The Avalanche Is Here: The Latest on Pay Equity Legislation, Audits, and Litigation" - Boca Raton - November 9, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Gender Pay Equity: What’s Working, What’s Not" - Austin - October 20, 2017
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - "Baby on Board: HR, Pregnancy & Accommodating Moms" - October 13, 2017
  • Rio Grande Valley Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference - "Pay Equity – What’s Working, What’s Not" - Mission - September 28, 2017
  • 2017 NATERA Conference - "Texas "Million Dollar" Jeopardy: Employment Law Game Show" - Houston - September 19, 2017
  • SHRM 2017 National Annual Conference & Exposition - "Equal Pay Is Here to Stay: Keeping Ahead of the Pay Equity Curve" - New Orleans - June 19, 2017
  • Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Forum - "Pay Equity Laws and Regulations Update" - Brenham - June 7, 2017
  • UT CLE Corporate Counsel Institute - "Pay Equity – Recent Developments and How to Tackle Them" - Houston - May 12, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Pay Equity—What’s Working, What’s Not" - San Diego - May 5, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder? Managing Employee Return-to-Work Issues" - February 8, 2017
  • 201 San Antonio Manufacturers Association Employment Law Seminar - "Gender Pay Equity: Reducing and Defending Bias Claims" - San Antonio - February 2, 2017
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, South Central Texas Chapter - "The Latest in Pay Equity”" - San Antoino - February 1, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Gender Pay Equity: Reducing Risks and Defending Bias Claims" - Austin - October 28, 2016
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - "Baby on Board: Accommodating Moms at Work During Pregnancy & Post-Partum" - August 11, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Eye on Pay Equity: Keeping Up With Recent Developments" - July 14, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "From Start-Up to Long-Term: a Three Part-Employment Law Series for California Business (Part 3)" - Costa Mesa - June 16, 2016
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Sports and Entertainment Committee Legal Quick Hit Webinar - "Pay Equity in Sports and Entertainment" - May 17, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "From Start-Up to Long-Term: a Three Part-Employment Law Series for California Businesses (Part 2)" - Costa Mesa - May 12, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "It’s Not Just Lilly Ledbetter Anymore: Reducing Risks and Defending Pay Bias Claims" - Chicago - May 5, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Men, Women, and Unequal Paychecks – California’s New ‘Fair pay Act’ and What It Means for Your Business" - Costa Mesa - April 20, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "From Start-Up to Long-Term: a Three Part-Employment Law Series for California Businesses (Part 1)" - Costa Mesa - April 14, 2016
  • Orange County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section - "Recent Changes to California’s Fair Pay Act" - Newport Beach - April 11, 2016
  • Lorman Webinar - "Updating Your Employment Application: Top 5 Issues You Need to Address Now" - March 23, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Moderator) - "The Hits Keep Coming . . . Be Prepared!" - Napa - February 25, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - "The Intersection of the ADA and FMLA: Key Strategies for Managing Complex Leave Issues" - Phoenix - November 12, 2015
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - "Pregnancy-Related HR Issues, Bundles of Joy, Bushels of Paperwork & Legal Risks" - October 23, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Right Things to Do to Avoid Wrongful Termination Claims" - Costa Mesa - October 21, 2015
  • Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA), California HR Conference - "Jerks at Work" - Anaheim - September 1, 2015
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - "Pregnancy-Related HR Issues, Bundles of Joy, Bushels of Paperwork & Legal Risks" - May 22, 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Sports and Entertainment Committee Legal Quick Hit Webinar - "Bring Your Own Device Policies" - May 19, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting" - San Antonio - May 14, 2015
  • The Labor and Employment Section of The State Bar of California, 21st Annual Public Sector Conference - "Accommodations and Interaction: Best Practices for Handling Requests" - Berkeley - April 24, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Seminar - "The President’s Executive Immigration Orders, New California Immigration Laws, and Their Impact on California Business" - Costa Mesa - April 15, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Moderator) - "Employment Law Pressure Points-High Intensity California Issues" - Napa - February 26, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Interactive Process Under the ADA and FEHA" - Costa Mesa - November 5, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins’ Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - "Telecommuting, Workplace Cursing, and Occasional Napping – An Employer’s Ever-Expanding Obligation to Provide Accommodations Under the ADA" - Dana Point - September 19, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Disability Accommodations and the Interactive Process: Steps to Take, Shortcuts to Avoid, and Traps for the Unwary" - August 15, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Bring Your Own Device, Beware Your Lost Data" - Las Vegas - May 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - "Disabling Business (and Enabling Lawsuits) – Special Nuances to Disability Laws in the Golden State" - Napa - March 28, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Navigating the Interactive Process" - Costa Mesa - October 15, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Eye on Employment Law: A Review of California Legal Developments and How They Impact Your Business" - Costa Mesa - October 23, 2012
  • May 17, 2019 - SHRM Blog - "When Looks Deceive: Detecting & Accommodating Invisible Disabilities A #SHRM19 Blogger Interview with Lara de Leon"
  • March 8, 2019 - SHRM Online - "Are Salary-History Questions Off Limits Under the Equal Pay Act?"
  • February 25, 2019 - Law360 - "Justices Nix 9th Circ. Pay Bias Ruling Due To Judge's Death"
  • February 25, 2019 - Law360 - "Justices Nix 9th Circ. Pay Bias Ruling Due To Judge's Death"
  • June 13, 2018 - The Hill - "The Hill Equal pay for women elusive 55 years after landmark law"
  • May 8, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Conducting Gender Pay Audits in a Changing Landscape"
  • June 27, 2017 - Employee Benefit Adviser - "Pay equity compliance becoming more burdensome"
  • June 26, 2017 - EBN - "Pay equity compliance becoming more burdensome"
  • April 20, 2017 - SHRM Online - "Using Data to Help Close the Gender Wage Gap"
  • March 27, 2017 - SHRM Online - "How to Conduct a Multistate Fair-Pay Audit"
  • March 3, 2017 - SHRM Online - "How to Conduct a Fair-Pay Audit in California"
  • February 27, 2017 - Bloomberg BNA - "Company Self Audits Suggested in States With Pay Equity Laws"
  • February 27, 2017 - Bloomberg BNA - "Company Self Audits Suggested in States With Pay Equity Laws"
  • August 4, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Viewpoint: Firing for Cause Beats Position Eliminations Every Time"
  • August 4, 2016 - SHRM.org - "Viewpoint: Firing for Cause Beats Position Eliminations Every Time"
  • January 17, 2016 - Business Insurance - "Employers walk a fine line in accommodating alcoholic workers"
  • January 8, 2016 - SHRM.org - "Alcoholics Must Be Accommodated"
  • December 8, 2015 - The AmLaw Litigation Daily - "Ex-USC Football Coach Says He Was Wrongly Fired For Being an Alcoholic"
  • March 16, 2015 - SHRM Online - "Workplace Biometric Technology Outpacing the Law"

Insights by Lara C. de Leon