Barbara A. Cotter
- State Bar of California
- Labor and Employment Section
- Sacramento County Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Section
- Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section (2003-2004)
Every dollar counts when defending a hotly contested employment dispute. Every case Barbara handles – whether a class action or an individual claim – incorporates that critical principle. Because litigation can spin out of control absent clear goals and ongoing cost benefit analysis, she crafts client-centered defense plans, suiting each client’s budget and priorities.
As a litigator, she has extensive experience defending wage and hour class action claims and representative claims – including those under the Private Attorneys General Act. She represents a broad range of businesses, including financial institutions, manufacturers, retailers, professionals, contractors, public entities, and restaurants. In addition to representative actions, she defends wrongful termination claims, harassment claims, individual wage and hour disputes (including claims for overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and misclassification), claims under the Business and Professions Code for alleged unfair business practices, and other employment related claims such as trade secret misappropriation, defamation, emotional distress, and breach of contract.
Barb provides advice and guidance on hiring and firing, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, disability accommodation, contract disputes, and protection of trade secrets. She drafts and reviews personnel policies, employment manuals, contracts, and severance agreements. She provides harassment prevention training – customized to meet each client’s specific goals. She is fluent in Spanish.
Prior to joining private practice, she served as law clerk for the Honorable Milton L. Schwartz of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Barb is licensed to practice before all California state courts, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Northern, Eastern, and Central federal district courts of California.
- Served as lead counsel in successful defeat of a wage and hour class action filed by a trade union against a Bay Area contractor.
- Advised manufacturing and biotech clients on hiring and firing, mass layoff, and discipline policies.
- Represented and defended public agencies against wage and hour claims on individual and class-wide basis.
- Represented small businesses on gender, harassment, and discrimination claims in state and federal court.
- Provided individualized training and instruction on claim avoidance and dispute resolution.
- Bill Signed Outlawing Mandatory Arbitration of Employment Disputes
- Gig Economy Bill Signed into Law
- Stemming the Tide of PAGA Litigation: An Ongoing Battle for California Businesses
- Test Your Knowledge – Harassment
- Medical Leave: How and Why Chipotle Prevailed in a High-Stakes Pregnancy Discrimination Trial
- Alert: Court Decision Changes On-Call Pay Rules
- As Private Attorneys General Act Filings Increase, Businesses Intensify and Expand Defense Efforts
- Supreme Court Ruling a Win for Employers
- California Supreme Court Clarifies the Rule Requiring Employers to Provide One Day of Rest During Each Work Week
- Personnel Policies: Retaliation Claims, Ubiquitous but Preventable
- Commission-Based Pay for Rest Breaks? Good Question!
- Employment Policies Worth Considering in 2017: Arbitration Agreements with Class Action Waivers and Mandatory Exit Interviews
- New Federal Overtime Rules Suspended and Will Not Take Effect December 1
- Pay Stub Data Reporting of Accrued Vacation
- EEOC’s New Policy Provides Concrete Tips for Avoiding Retaliation Claims
- Wrongful Termination Claims: Be Prepared
- Employee Handbook – Spot Check Compliance
- Uber’s Arbitration Woes – Lessons for California Employers
- Arbitration Agreements: A Meaningful Advantage to Employers?
- Court Decisions in 2016: Deadlines Matter When Opposing an Assessment of Withdrawal Liability
- Public Sector Employee Disputes: Law Mandates Fact-Finding
- Sex Harassment Training: How to Get the Message Across
- Employment Law Developments in 2019 Workshop on Oct. 24, 2019
- Sexual Harassment Claims: Owners and Executives at the Front Lines on Feb. 21, 2018
- Cook Brown Breakfast Forum: Sexual Harassment Claims – Owners and Executives on the Front Lines
- Proposition 64 “How Will Legalized Marijuana Affect California Workplaces?” Interview with CBC 13 News
- Preventing Sexual Harassment Training (in English and Spanish)
- A.B. 1825 Training for Sales Managers
- The Multilingual Workplace
- How to Draft an Appropriate Social Media Policy (10 Steps to Drafting a Social Media Policy Appropriate for YOUR Business)
- Wage and Hour Update for the Wine Industry
- Protecting Trade Secrets in California