About Fred

Veteran trial counsel and trusted advisor for employment matters

Fred Plevin is an experienced trial lawyer with decades of experience advising and defending a wide variety of public and private sector California employers, including the California judicial branch, institutions of higher education, banks and technology companies. A fellow of the prestigious College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and with an excellent record in jury trials, Fred focuses on:

  • Employment disputes, including class actions
  • Employment-related counseling and risk management

Fred delivers practical guidance and solutions in his litigation and counseling roles, partnering with his clients to help them achieve their business objectives while minimizing risk and expense.

Fred was a co-founder of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, a management-side labor and employment law boutique, which combined with Quarles in 2023.

Experience in Action

  • Serving as lead trial counsel and representing employers in litigation involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and fraud, wage and hour class actions, and employee mobility disputes.
  • Providing employers with advice and counsel on a broad range of employment and workplace issues, such as mergers and acquisitions, reductions in force, employee discipline and termination, leaves and accommodation, wage and hour compliance, and workplace investigations.

Successes

  • Lead counsel in the trial court and on appeal for Orange County Superior Court in Wills v. Superior Court, 195 Cal.App.4th 143 (2011), a highly publicized opinion that affirmed summary judgment for our client and established that the California Fair Employment and Housing Act does not prohibit an employer from discharging an employee for making threats, even if the employee’s conduct is caused by a disability (bipolar disorder).
  • Defense verdicts in jury trial of claims by two laid off employees of a public entity who claimed age discrimination and retaliation (San Diego Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of court interpreter’s claim of age discrimination and fraud; upheld on appeal (Orange County Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of research scientist’s claim of national origin discrimination (San Diego Superior Court).
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of claims of hostile environment, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination by retail employee (Orange County Superior Court).

Professional Recognitions

  • Selected by The Best Lawyers in America (2005-present)
  • Selected by Southern California Super Lawyers and The Best of the U.S. attorney listings (2007-present) 
  • Holds Martindale Hubbell's highest peer rating ("AV Preeminent") for Legal Ability and General-Ethical Standards. 
  • Named “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation - Labor and Employment in San Diego (2012 and 2018)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, fellow (2017)
  • Management Labor Employment Roundtable, member
  • American Employment Law Council, member
  • Wage & Hour Defense Institute, chair
  • California Western School of Law, adjunct professor (2011-2014)
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member, former chair
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, member 
  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section (Fair Labor Standards Legislation and Employment Rights & Responsibilities sub-sections), member
  • California Legislature Workplace Conduct Panel (appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court), panelist
  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, member, board of visitors

Speaking Engagements

Fred is a popular public speaker on employment-related issues. Recent speaking engagements include:

  • What's Happening with Arbitration Agreements?, PPSC Annual Update, December 2022 California Update 

  • California Legislative Update, PPSC Annual Update, November 2021
  • An Employer’s Tool Kit for COVID-19, PPSC webinar, April 2020
  • California Employment Law Update, Business Management Daily national webinar, April 2020
  • Four Years After the Fair Pay Act, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update Seminar, November 2019
  • New Developments in Pay Equity and California Employment Law Update, 15th Annual Labor & Employment Advanced Program (LEAP), Las Vegas, April 2019
  • California Employment Law Update: Key HR Compliance Issues for Multi-State Employers, Business Management Daily national webinar, Spring 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022
  • When #MeToo Comes for You:  Investigations in the Post-Weinstein Era, ACCA San Diego, April 2018
  • Wage-ing War:  What You Need to Know and Do About Pay Equity, 14th Annual Labor & Employment Advanced Program (LEAP), Las Vegas, April 2018
  • Taking Your Investigations to the Next Level: Going Beyond the Basics, SHRM San Diego Law Day, January 2018 (12th consecutive SHRM Law Day presentation)
  • The First 290 Days of the Trump Administration, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update Seminar, October 2017
  • Advanced Master Class on Workplace Investigations, American Employment Law Council national conference, Dana Point, CA, October 2017
  • Demystifying the California Fair Pay Act, National Human Resources Association (Silicon Valley Chapter), Palo Alto, April 2017
  • Wage-ing War: Developments in Overtime and Pay Equity, 13th Annual Labor & Employment Advanced Program (LEAP), Las Vegas, March 2017
  • California: Litigation Here We Come!, 13th Annual Labor & Employment Advanced Program (LEAP), Las Vegas, March 2017
  • It’s a New World in Washington, DC: What California Employers Need to Know, Quarterly HR Leaders Symposium, San Diego, March 2017
  • Conducting a Gender Equity Compensation Audit, SHRM Law Day, January 2017 (11th consecutive SHRM Law Day presentation)
  • Top 10 Labor and Employment Mistakes, CALPELRA Annual Conference, November 2016
  • How To Conduct A Gender Equity Audit, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update Seminar, October 2016
  • The California Fair Pay Act, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update Seminar, October 2016
  • Wage & Hour Settlements:  Best Practices and Effective Strategies for Settling Class and Collective Actions, American Employment Law Council national conference, Naples, Florida, October 2016
  • Pay Equity and Compensation Discrimination:  Staying Ahead of the Curve, ACI Employment Discrimination Litigation Conference, Chicago, July 2016
  • New Federal Overtime Rules:  What Now? – The California Perspective, ADP Client Seminar, June 2016
  • The California Fair Pay Act and the EEOC’s Pay Data Initiative:  What Now?, San Diego County Bar Association Labor & Employment Section, April 2016
  • The California Fair Pay Act:  A New Chapter in Pay Equity, 2016 HR Leaders Symposium, March 2016

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