About Sandy

Defending employers in the public and private sectors in labor and employment disputes

Sandy McDonough is an experienced litigator who also advises employers in all aspects of employment law and disputes. Representing both private and public sector clients – including the Regents of the University of California, National University, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the Board of Trustees of the California State University – Sandy focuses on:

  • Employment litigation, arbitration and mediation
  • Employment counseling

As a friendly competitor says, Sandy is an expert in employment law and keys in quickly to the true issues in a motion or matter, with an eye toward the end result. She takes a pointed, efficient and strategic deposition.

Sandy expertly identifies issues and potential defenses in cases and never takes her eyes off the ball during a case. She is at least one step ahead of her adversaries and effectively winnows down cases, including prevailing in pre-trial motion work.

Experience in Action

  • Representing employers in disputes, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, class actions and union matters.
  • Advising employers on workplace issues, including employee discipline, terminations, leaves of absence, and wage and hour issues.

Successes

  • Has a favorable history of obtaining dismissals at the initial pleading stage and through summary judgment and has also obtained advantageous settlements in numerous matters, both within and outside the mediation process. 
  • Also has a favorable record in the appellate courts and significant experience representing large entities in matters brought to arbitration.

Professional & Civic Activities

  • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA), member
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • Feeding America San Diego, board vice-chair
  • WISH Circle, Make-A-Wish San Diego, member
  • IMPACT San Diego Class of 2016, LEAD San Diego
  • Served as an adjunct professor of the Pre-Trial Advocacy class at USC Gould Law School.

    • Regularly taught masters-level students the legal aspects of human resources management at Webster University
  • Frequent lecturer on employment law issues for industry and human resources groups.
  • Regular contributor to Matthew Bender’s publication entitled “California Labor and Employment Bulletin” for several years.

Speaking Engagements

  • Addressing Accommodations, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), Austin, TX, February 2018
  • Retirement and Job Performance, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), Austin, TX, February 2018
    Report Writing Workshop, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2017
  • Understanding The Gig Economy, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2016
  • Conducting Workplace Investigations, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, October 2015
  • Disability Dilemma: Handling Difficult Workplace Accommodation Issues, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, October 2015
  • Disability Dilemma: Handling Difficult Workplace Accommodation Issues, PPSC Summer Seminar Series, La Jolla, California, August 2015
  • The General Counsel’s Employment Law Tool Kit, ACCA Presentation, San Diego, California, March 2013
  • Legal Pitfalls for Department Chairs Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), San Antonio, Texas, February 2015
  • Superintendent’s Executive Board Training, San Bernardino, California, December 2014
  • When Customer Information Winds Up in the Wrong Hands, ACCA Panel Discussion (Orange County and Los Angeles Chapters), March 2014
  • The General Counsel’s Employment Law Tool Kit, ACCA Presentation, San Diego, California, March 2013
  • Legal Pitfalls for Department Chairs Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), San Antonio, Texas, February 2015
  • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Academic Administration, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), Atlanta, Georgia, February 2014
  • Working Together Toward Compliance, JFK University, Seattle, Washington, January 2014
  • What You Need to Know about PAGA Claims, San Diego County Bar Association, December 2013
  • Disability Dilemma: Handling Difficult Workplace Accommodation Issues, PPSC, November 2013
  • Disability Accommodation and Leave Management, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, November 2013
  • Defending Against PERB Unfair Practice Charges, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, November 2013
  • Special Issues in Public Sector Investigations, Association of Workplace Investigators (AOWI), October 2013
  • University of California Liability Programs & Defense Counsel Conference, Oakland, California, September 2013
  • Private Attorney General Act, JAMS Panel Discussion, San Diego, California, June 2013
  • Sex, Lies and Videotape: How Private is Your Life?, Todd Inn of Court, San Diego, California, March 2013
  • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Academic Administration, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), San Diego, California, February 2013
  • Defending Against PERB Unfair Practice Charges, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, December 2012
  • Disability Accommodation and Leave Management, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, December 2012
  • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls in Academic Administration, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), Austin, Texas, February 2012
  • Best Practices for Investigations Training, San Diego County Bar Association, San Diego, California, December 2011
  • How to Use Public Sector Litigation Immunities and Privileges to Your Advantage, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, November 2011
  • Disability Dilemma: Handling the Three Most Difficult Workplace Accommodation Issues, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, November 2011
  • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), Charleston, South Carolina, February 2011
  • The Seven Habits of Frequently Sued Managers, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, Monterey, California, 2010
  • Special Issues in Public Sector Investigations, California Association of Workplace Investigators (CAOWI), 2010
  • Special Issues in Public Sector Investigations, County Counsels' Association of California Employment Law Study Section Conference, 2010
  • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls, Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP), 2010
  • 2011 Legal Update, PPSC Annual Employment Law Update, 2010
  • Conducting Workplace Investigations, CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, 2009
  • Public Sector Employment Law Briefing, 2009
  • Working Together to Prevent Workplace Harassment, various PPSC clients, ongoing
  • Bias and Discrimination Training, various PPSC clients, ongoing

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