About Aaron

Trial-tested employment defense counsel with wage and hour focus

Aaron Buckley has over 25 years of experience representing employers. A member of the Wage & Hour Defense Institute, an invitation-only group consisting of top management-side wage and hour litigators throughout the United States, he focuses on:

  • Employment counseling
  • Employment litigation, including class and PAGA actions

Aaron is known for providing practical, common-sense advice to clients facing litigation in California’s state and federal courts, focusing on each client’s unique needs and objectives. He also works closely with clients on compliance and litigation avoidance strategies, helping them navigate California’s complex web of often-confusing Labor Code requirements.

Prior to beginning his legal career, Aaron was an infantry officer in the United States Army.

Experience in Action

  • Defending employers from of a wide range of employment claims, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
  • Representing employers in class actions in California and federal courts involving wage and hour and other issues.
  • Advising employers on a full range of employment law compliance issues, including wage and hour, employee discipline and termination, and other human resources matters.
  • Representing employers in dozens of cases involving representative claims for civil penalties brought under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
  • Providing training to management on human resources and litigation avoidance topics.

Successes

  • Achieved defense verdict in a wage and hour misclassification trial on behalf of an insurance provider.
  • Achieved dismissal of a statewide PAGA lawsuit involving retail workers.
  • Successfully opposed class certification in a wage and hour class action involving shipyard workers; denial of certification affirmed by Court of Appeal.
  • Achieved dismissal of a Fair Credit Reporting Act class action on behalf of a shipyard contractor.
  • Achieved summary judgment in an employment discrimination case on behalf of a temporary staffing company.
  • Achieved decertification of a class of technology workers in a wage and hour misclassification case; decertification affirmed by Court of Appeal.
  • Achieved dismissal of a wage and hour class action on behalf of a public entity employer based on constitutional immunity (U.S. District Court, Southern District of California).
  • Achieved defense verdict in a wage and hour misclassification trial on behalf of a wireless communication company; judgment affirmed by Court of Appeal in published opinion.
  • Defense counsel in over 50 statewide class actions based on alleged violations of the California Labor Code, including claims for unpaid wages, misclassification, meal and rest breaks, and wage statements.

Professional Recognitions

  • Named to San Diego Super Lawyers for Employment and Labor Law (2019-present)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® (2023)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections, member
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • Wage & Hour Defense Institute, member
  • Authors a monthly column, “Wage & Hour Advisor,” which is published in Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin

Speaking Engagements

  • Wage and Hour Update, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, December 2022
  • California Employment Law Update, National Employment Law Institute, July 2019
  • New Developments, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, November 2018
  • California Employment Law Update, National Employment Law Institute, July 2018
  • New Developments, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, October 2017
  • California Employment Law Update, National Employment Law Institute, July 2017
  • July 12, 2017: NELI: 41st Annual Employment Law Update
  • The California Fair Pay Act, HR Academy for Professional Excellence, May 2017
  • Off-the-Clock Claims in the New Economy, American Conference Institute, January 2017
  • January 27, 2017: ACI National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions
  • Wage and Hour Developments, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, October 2016
  • The New Overtime and White-Collar Exemption Regulations, American Conference Institute, September 2016
  • Wage and Hour Class Actions: Hot Buttons to Watch for in 2016, The Knowledge Group, June 2016
  • New Pay Equity Laws in New York and California, American’s Conference Institute’s 27th Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions Conference, June 2016
  • September 26, 2016 - September 27, 2016: ACI's 28th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims & Class Actions
  • New Laws, Regulations and Executive Orders, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2015
  • Dealing with Employee Classifications, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2015
  • Defending and Managing the Latest Off-the-Clock Claims Involving the Use of Smartphones/Mobile Devices Outside of Scheduled Hours, the Continuous Work Day, Working Remotely and Alternative Working Arrangements, American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, September 2015
  • New Developments, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2014
  • Effectively Managing Wage and Hour Class Actions, Association of Corporate Counsel, September 2014
  • Iskanian v. CLS Transportation: New Pronouncement on Contractual Class Action Waivers and PAGA Representative Actions, San Diego County Bar Association, July 2014
  • The Million Dollar Chair and Other Wage and Hour Trends, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2013
  • Arbitration Agreements and Class/Collective Action Waivers, Wage and Hour Defense Institute, October 2013
  • Quarterly Update on Developments in Wage & Hour Law, Wage and Hour Defense Institute, February 2013
  • Wage and Hour Update, State Bar of California’s Advanced Wage and Hour Conference, July 2012
  • California’s New Wage Notice & Commission Agreement Requirements, Association of Corporate Counsel, April 2012

News & Insights

  • "California Court of Appeal Decision Limits Dynamex ABC Test to Wage Order Claims"
  • "California Court Delivers Win to Employer in Time Rounding Case"
  • "California Court Decisions Expand Employer Liability Under PAGA"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court Adopts Strict New Worker Classification Test Presuming Workers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Court of Appeal: Temporary Staffing Company Not Liable for Client’s Meal Period Violations"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court Clarifies Required Method of Calculating Overtime on Non-Discretionary Flat Rate Bonuses"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "New Cases Continue to Shape PAGA Landscape"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Split of Authority in California Court of Appeal on Whether PAGA Claims for Unpaid Wages Can Be Ordered to Arbitration"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "DLSE: Employers May Not Require Employees to Remain On Site During Breaks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "New California Law Makes Contractors Liable for Subcontractors’ Unpaid Wages"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Nike’s De Minimis Defense Wins Bag Check Case"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Court of Appeal Orders Administrative Wage Claim to Arbitration"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court Allows PAGA Plaintiffs to Seek Employee Contact Information Statewide"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Bloomingdale’s Urges U.S. Supreme Court to Review the Iskanian Rule on Arbitrability of PAGA Claims"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court Clarifies “Day of Rest” Requirements"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Court Certifies Class Action For Retail Workers Subjected To Off-The-Clock Security Screening"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Assembly Bill Seeks to Raise Salary Threshold for White Collar Exempt Employees"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Court Rules Commissioned Employees Must Be Paid Separately For Rest Breaks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court to Decide Fate of De Minimis Rule"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court: Employees Cannot Be Required to Remain On-Call During Rest Breaks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Future of New FLSA Overtime Rule Uncertain After Federal Court Temporarily Blocks Implementation"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "New Law Prohibits Contracts Requiring California Employees to Adjudicate Employment Disputes in or Under the Laws of Another State"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Governor Brown Signs Bills to Expand California Fair Pay Act"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Ninth Circuit Joins Circuit Split by Holding Class Action Waivers Violate the NLRA"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • 'Does the Court or the Arbitrator Decide Whether an Arbitration Agreement Permits Class Claims? California Supreme Courts Says “It Depends”'
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Reclassifying Employees from Exempt to Nonexempt: Tips for Employers"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "FLSA Overtime Exemption Changes: What California Employers Need to Know"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Ninth Circuit Holds Neutral Time Rounding and De Minimis Rule Consistent with Federal and California Law"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California to Phase in $15 Minimum Wage"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "FLSA Exemption Changes Could Take Effect in Summer 2016"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "U.S. Department of Labor Issues New Interpretation on Joint Employment Relationships"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "U.S. Supreme Court (Again) Reverses California Arbitration Agreement Ruling"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Court Holds California Law Does Not Require Compensation for Avoidable Bag Checks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "2016 Ballot Likely to Include Initiative to Establish $15 Statewide Minimum Wage"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Ninth Circuit Adopts California Supreme Court’s Iskanian Rule; Holds PAGA Waivers Unenforceable"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Off-the-Clock Claims Involving Mobile Devices: Lessons From Recent Cases"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Paid Sick Leave Law Amended and Clarified"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Proposed Change to FLSA White Collar Exemption Could Have Big Impact in California"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Los Angeles to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Federal Judge: U.S. Supreme Court’s Bag Check Decision Not Applicable to California Law"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Ninth Circuit Asks California Supreme Court to Clarify “Day of Rest” Requirements"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Appellate Court Limits Healthcare Workers’ Ability to Waive Meal Breaks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Appellate Court: It’s Okay for Employees to Remain On-Call During Rest Breaks"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court: On-Call Employees Sleeping on Employer’s Premises Must Be Paid"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "How to Protect Yourself Against “Time Rounding” Claims"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Northern California Voters Approve Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Measures; San Diego's Ordinance on Hold"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Employers Must Provide Paid Sick Leave Beginning in July 2015"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Employers Must Reimburse Employee’s Cell Phone Expenses"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court Limits Commissioned Employee Exemption"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "The Iskanian Decision: Predictions on Long-Term Impact"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Recent Decision Shows How Employers Can Defend Against Off-the-Clock Work Claims"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "Miscalculating the Regular Rate of Pay: A Common and (Very) Expensive Mistake"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin
  • "California Supreme Court to Clarify Suitable Seating Requirements"
    Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin

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