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Laurence A. Shapero

Shareholder   |   Seattle

Laurence Shapero joined Ogletree Deakins in 2018 as a shareholder in the firm’s Seattle office after more than 20 years of experience providing labor law, employment law and employee benefits advice and counsel to employers in Washington and Illinois.

Laurence is an experienced civil litigator and trial attorney with a strong record of summary judgment and trial victories in state and federal courts in Washington state. His litigation experience includes matters involving alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Washington Law Against Discrimination, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Washington Minimum Wage Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and more. Laurence has successfully defended employers against claims asserted by a wide range of employees at every level in the organization, including claims by front-line employees, mid-level managers, licensed professional employees, and chief executive officers. He also has considerable litigation experience in non-competition and trade secrets matters, where he has obtained temporary, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief on behalf of employers with concerns that former employees have violated non-competition or confidentiality agreements. He is also experienced in labor arbitration and private arbitration matters.

In addition to his considerable experience in defending against single-plaintiff lawsuits, Laurence has led or participated on legal defense teams in wage/hour class-action lawsuits involving employee misclassification claims and other Washington state-law wage/hour claims. His class-action litigation experience is primarily in the transportation and insurance sectors, and his work on class-action matters has led to the dismissal or settlement of several such lawsuits prior to class certification or formal class discovery.

Although Laurence is an experienced and successful litigator, much of his law practice is focused on helping employers avoid workplace conflict and post-employment litigation. In this respect, He helps his clients adopt and implement sound human resources and people management practices, and also helps them take advantage of alternative-dispute resolution opportunities in litigated matters when appropriate.  Before becoming an attorney, Laurence spent more than 15 years in risk-management, human resources and other staff and front-line manager roles in which he was often called upon to work with outside counsel in a variety of litigation and pre-litigation matters. He is therefore particularly attuned to our clients’ interests in managing the risk and expense of litigation, and he incorporates this perspective into the guidance and advice he provides to employers.

Laurence’s advice-and-counsel practice includes most every area of workplace law, although his primary focus is on employment laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics; compliance with state and federal wage/hour laws (including those requiring the proper classification of employees and independent contractors); disability accommodation requirements; leave-of-absence laws and requirements; and trade/secrets and non-competition agreements. He routinely provides training to managers, human resources professionals and front-line employees on many of these topics, and is also a frequent speaker and contributor to continuing-legal-education programs for attorneys. Laurence has also provided employers with compliance advice and other legal advice regarding 401(k) plans and other tax-qualified retirement plans, group-health and other welfare benefit plans, and executive compensation plans.

During Laurence’s more than 20 years as an attorney, he has represented and advised regional restaurant operators, national retailers, regional and national transportation and logistics companies, local and national manufacturing companies, software design firms, regional bottling and beverage distribution companies, insurance companies, international airlines, telecommunications companies, biomedical research firms, not-for-profit hospitals, healthcare providers and other employers of all sizes.

Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Laurence was a principal for many years at Riddell Williams, P.S., a general-practice law firm in Seattle. he also was an attorney for several years at Katten Muchin Zavis (now Katten Muchin Rosenman) in Chicago, Illinois.

Before becoming a lawyer, Laurence worked for more than 10 years at United Airlines, where he served at various times as a human resources generalist, the airline’s General Manager-Station Operations in Vancouver, B.C., and as the airline’s Manager-Workers’ Compensation Programs at United’s corporate headquarters in Elk Grove, Illinois. Before joining United Airlines, he also served in several management positions at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California, where he was responsible at various times for ride operations, workplace safety/OSHA-compliance, property and guest security, and for managing outside legal counsel in personal-injury litigation matters.

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