About Rod

Experienced, trial-ready labor and employment law counsel

Rod Betts has represented employers on labor and employment law matters for over 40 years. One of the most experienced management-side labor lawyers in Southern California, he is also a very successful trial lawyer, having tried dozens of cases before juries, judges and administrative law judges. Rod focuses on:

  • Union matters, including negotiating collective bargaining agreements and arbitrations
  • Wage and hour matters, including class and PAGA actions
  • Employment law counseling

Rod takes a practical approach to solving client problems. With his many years of experience in labor and employment law matters, he can develop a strategy to achieve the client’s objective at the earliest possible stage. With a formidable and favorable record in the courtroom, Rod brings to the negotiating table a readiness to litigate that drives favorable settlements.

Experience in Action

  • Advising employers on a range of issues, including union negotiations and disputes, employment terminations, layoffs, and wage and hour and prevailing wage matters.
  • Defending employers in state and federal courts against claims of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, and wage and hour violations.


Union Matters

  • Represented the San Diego Padres Baseball Club in negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with SEIU United Service Workers West in regard to event staff employees and ticket sellers.
  • Represented KSL Resorts in negotiating first collective bargaining agreement for the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina with UNITE HERE Local 30.
  • Handled over 125 union arbitrations, including discipline and contract interpretation issues.

Wage and Hour Matters

  • Unanimous jury trial defense verdict in Superior Court representative action under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) involving call center employee claiming off-the-clock work and missed meal and rest periods.
  • Obtained denial of plaintiffs’ class certification motion in Superior Court wage and hour class action involving machine operators at manufacturing plant who claimed pre-shift time was compensable and missed meal and rest periods.

Wrongful Termination and Employment Discrimination

  • Obtained defense verdict in San Diego Superior Court jury trial brought by airline employee claiming she was fired due to whistleblowing about airport security violations, and due to her sex, age and in retaliation for filing discrimination claims. Also obtained $30,000 judgment on cross-complaint due to plaintiff’s illegal tape recording of company managers.
  • Obtained summary judgment in San Diego Superior Court in wrongful termination case brought by risk manager of corporation who claimed to be a whistleblower.

Professional Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2024: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment)
  • Los Angeles Times "Southern California’s Best Lawyers"
  • San Diego Daily Transcript and San Diego Magazine “Best Lawyers in San Diego” 
  • Received Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating (“AV”) for legal ability and ethical standards, based on the confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary
  • San Diego Super Lawyers® (2023, 2024: Labor & Employment)
  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2023: Labor Law — Management)
  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2018: Labor Law — Management)
  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2015: Litigation – Labor and Employment)
  • Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" (2013: Labor Law — Management)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, fellow

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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