ABOUT Li-An C. Leonard

Li-An is the co-chair of the firm’s employment practice group. She counsels clients on a wide range of employment matters, from hiring employees to terminating the employment relationship. She assists clients in complying with California and federal wage and hour laws. She also guides clients through the maze of California and federal statutes and regulations which govern the various leaves employers are requires to provide eligible employees.

Li-An regularly reviews and prepares offer letters, employee policies and handbooks, employment agreements, and severance and release agreements. She also prepares confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements to help clients protect their proprietary information.
In addition, Li-An counsels clients on discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims. She assists with administrative proceedings before California and federal agencies on employment-related issues, which includes responding to charges or claims filed with such agencies.

Li-An prepares, reviews and negotiates the terms of various loan documents when clients are lending or borrowing money. She also assists clients in preparing and reviewing commercial leases and related documents.

Li-An has an AV® Preeminent™ peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell for Labor & Employment Law, 2012 and has been recognized as Martindale Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, 2011 and 2012.


Willful Misclassification of Independent Contractors
Effective January 1, 2012, California Labor Code section 226.8 prohibits any person or employer from engaging in the willful misclassification of individuals as independent contractors as opposed to employees. "Willful" is defined as voluntary and intentional.

NLRB - Effective Date of Mandatory Employee Rights Poster Delayed
Last August, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") issued a final rule requiring most private employers, regardless of whether they are unionized or not, to post a mandatory poster notifying employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").

Brinker . . . Finally! (California Supreme Court clarifies meal period and rest break rights & obligations)
The California Supreme Court finally issued its long awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation, et al., v. Superior Court of San Diego County, on April 12, 2012. California employers and employees (and their attorneys) have been waiting for this decision to clarify their rights and obligations under California law with respect to providing meal periods and rest breaks to non-exempt employees.

Wage Theft Act
The Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 added some new statutes and amended several existing ones to provide additional protections and rights to employees under California law. For example, existing law requires employers to post specified wage and hour information in a location where it can be viewed by employees.

Health Insurance Coverage & Pregnancy-Related Disability
Effective January 1, 2012, California Government Code section 12945 requires employers with five or more employees to maintain health insurance coverage, while an employee is on a pregnancy-related disability leave, at the same level and under the conditions that such coverage would have been provided if the employee had continued active employment. Such coverage must be maintained for the duration of the pregnancy-related disability leave, but not to exceed four months in a 12-month period.

Facebook and Twitter Are the New Water Coolers: Social Media Posts as Protected Concerted Activity
Under the National Labor Relations act ("NLRA"), employers must not chill or penalize communications between employees concerning work conditions, terms of employment (salary, benefits), managers, or management. As one administrative law judge stated, "discussions about the workplace are protected whether they occur at the water cooler or the virtual water cooler."

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Areas of LAW

  • Employment
  • Environmental
  • Intellectual Property

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