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Earlier this year, The Recorder, which publishes California Employment Law magazine, invited a group of in-house counsel from San Francisco Bay Area companies to participate in a roundtable discussion focusing on labor and employment issues. The roundtable was moderated by Lynne Hermle, a labor and employment partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The following is an edited version of the conversation. A recorded version of the full 90-minute discussion is available on compact discs and audiocassettes as part of The Recorder Roundtable series of CLE programs. Call (415) 749-5406 or go to www.therecorder.com/roundtable for further information. This and other Recorder Roundtable programs are also available in online CLE versions at www.law.com/recordercle.

“We’ve had a tidal wave of wage-and-hour class actions throughout California for several years. And we now have Labor Code �796, which some people have referred to as a bounty hunter provision …” – Lynne Hermle

“The frustration is that you could have an innocent oversight on a particular provision, but now you’re going to get hit with a lawsuit that becomes expensive.” – Kevin Marks

“I think the role that in-house counsel can play is to really understand and be able to marshal the resources to be able to respond to something that may be very complicated.” – David Otsuka

“For larger employers, everybody is now looking for every little piece of lint on their wage-hour compliance, things that nobody paid much attention to …” – Anne Libbin

“Some time during the investigation the confidentiality obviously is going to be lost because the person against whom the allegation is made is going to need to know who’s made the allegation.” – David Cover

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