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Gigi O'Hara

Partner

Gigi devotes her practice to defending employers in a broad range of employment-related matters, with particular emphasis on FLSA litigation and wage and hour class action defense.

Gigi is an accomplished trial attorney whose first-chair trial successes include securing a full defense verdict for her client in under one hour from a 12-person jury in a sex and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit pending in federal court. She has resolved many cases through successful dispositive motion practice, and she has an exemplary track record achieving “no cause” findings for employers from the EEOC, as well as state and local administrative agencies. In addition, Gigi has successfully handled employment arbitrations pending before FINRA and JAMS, and defended management in discharge grievances and labor arbitrations before the FMCS. In one such recent arbitration, she secured an arbitration award in favor of a new client who had never before successfully defended a grievance.  

A significant portion of Gigi’s practice focuses on wage and hour law and compliance, emphasizing issues relating to minimum wage, overtime compensation, independent contractor classification, exemptions, deductions, child labor requirements, and donning and doffing. She has defended wage and hour class and collective actions across the United States, including California, as well as single-plaintiff wage claims brought by employees. She also helps employers in preventive efforts by drafting policies and performing internal position audits, and she defends clients against wage and hour investigations initiated by the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Client testimonial

Gigi is knowledgeable, diligent, zealous, listens intently and she has a high degree of integrity and initiative. She is a hard worker and is upfront and honest. Gigi holds all of the characteristics that make her a successful and approachable individual and legal counsel. I certainly recommend Gigi for any employment consult or representation.

Her employment defense practice routinely involves counseling clients and litigating claims brought under a broad range of legal theories, including:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Title VII
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1981
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Family Medical Leave Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Constructive Discharge
  • Whistleblower Retaliation
  • Defamation
  • Breach of Contract
  • Tortious Interference
  • Unfair Competition
  • Unjust Enrichment
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Her traditional labor practice includes the successful defense of management in labor arbitrations following discharge grievances. She has also investigated and successfully defended against unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board involving various allegations of retaliation and discrimination, including claims related to threats made, or adverse action taken, as the result of union activity, organization or sympathies. Gigi’s advice and counseling includes guidance on protected concerted activity in the workplace and avoidance of NLRA violations.

Gigi is a frequent presenter on various employment topics for in-house counsel, SHRM and HRAM members, and other HR professionals. She regularly trains company managers and employees on compliance with employment discrimination laws, including sexual harassment and wage and hour laws. One client described Gigi’s training style as follows, “Gigi recently developed and facilitated an FLSA training for my team, focusing on exemption statuses. This can be a very dry topic, but Gigi made the training so relatable and engaging! Everyone enjoyed the training and benefited from it. Gigi was such a delight to work with!” Click here to see Gigi's LinkedIn page.

Other clients have described Gigi’s experience and abilities as follows: 

  • “Gigi is truly a life saver when it comes to advising on Employment Law. She is always responsive even when we reach out during non-business hours (which is often regrettably.) Her advice and counsel is always spot-on. We really could not do without her.” 
  • “She is extremely knowledgeable in employment law!! I would highly recommend her!!!” 
  • “While her strong track record speaks for itself, it is worth noting that she listens exceptionally well and offers clients thoughtful advice and customized solutions based upon their individualized needs. Her zealous advocacy is driven by how much she cares for her clients.” 

  • Lead trial counsel in Title VII lawsuit in Nebraska federal court; secured defense verdict from 12-person jury in under an hour.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of logistics company client in labor arbitration filed by former employee driver and union alleging wrongful discharge in violation of Collective Bargaining Agreement. 
  • Lead trial counsel achieving dismissals in state and federal courts across the United States on various employment claims, such as, for example, Title VII, the ADA, the FLMA, § 1981 and the ADEA, outrage/IIED, breach of contract, ERISA, negligence, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference with business relationship or expectancy.
  • Lead trial counsel in wage and hour lawsuit in Nebraska state court; secured dismissal and created new law regarding proper classification of independent contractor satellite installers.
  • Achieved decertification of class of drivers claiming misclassification as independent contractors in wage and hour collective action in Pennsylvania state court.
  • Achieved decertification of class of hourly employees claiming unpaid overtime for off-the-clock hours in wage and hour collective action in Arkansas state court.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of wage and hour class action in California state court brought by retail workers claiming unpaid overtime, wage statement violations, untimely wage payments, PAGA violations and unlawful business practices.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of banking and insurance client in Nebraska federal court filed by former employee under the ADA, ADEA and FMLA.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of financial services client in FINRA arbitration filed by former employee for breach of employment contract and violation of New Jersey wage payment law.
  • Co-trial counsel in negligence lawsuit in Nebraska state court; secured favorable verdict from 12-person jury; successfully defended before Nebraska Supreme Court on appeal; created new law regarding application of OSHA regulations.

Chambers USA®
Recognized Practitioner
Labor & Employment, 2018

Benchmark Litigation®
Local Litigation Star
2018, 2019

Benchmark Litigation®
Top 250 Women in Litigation
2016-2018

Martindale-Hubbell®
“AV Preeminent” Rating
2014-present