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Paul Hastings LLP

Work +1 202 551 1700
Fax +1 202 551 1705
Atlanta, Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Frankfurt and 16 more

Kenneth Willner

Work (202) 551-1727
Paul Hastings LLP

Work Department

Employment Law Department


Kenneth Willner is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and chairs the firm’s Employment Law practice in its Washington, D.C. office. He represents employers in employment law and litigation in federal and state courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. He has deep experience with employment law class actions; employment testing; statistics and expert witnesses, as well as individual cases; discrimination litigation; sexual harassment; disability discrimination; family/medical leave; affirmative action; compliance reviews; wrongful discharge; traditional labor law; labor relations; unfair labor practice charges; executive contract negotiations; wage and hour advice and litigation; protection of employer intellectual property; non-competition covenants; drug and alcohol testing; and employment law torts. Mr. Willner is a recognized leader of the management bar in the field of employment discrimination class actions and employment testing. Mr. Willner’s clients include companies that make or use employment tests, financial institutions, major retail chains, airlines, manufacturers, government entities, government contractors, high-tech firms, industry associations, local government associations, professional service organizations, accounting firms, law firms, real estate companies, environmental companies, and individuals.


University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1987; Order of the Coif; Virginia Law Review University of Virginia, B.A., 1984

United States: Labor and employment

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense

Within: Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense

Paul Hastings LLP has strong capabilities in the labor and employment sphere. Clients regularly engage the team to handle class actions and high-stakes claims relating to wage and hour, discrimination and trade secrets. New York-based practice head Patrick Shea has more than 35 years of experience; together with Barbara Brown and Carson Sullivan, both in Washington DC, he continues to represent Goldman Sachs in a nationwide gender discrimination class action. The group also handles a variety of matters for Google; in a recent work highlight, Cameron Fox is defending the tech giant in a widely publicized class action against a former employee, who claims that caucasians, males and political conservatives have suffered discrimination at Google. Elena Baca successfully acted for Fiber Systems International after a former executive and his new employer, Glenair, tried to invalidate the executive’s lawful post-employment restraints as well as the ones in every FSI contract on a nationwide level; Baca, alongside Fox and Jennifer Baldocchi, was able to dismiss the claims. Other members of the practice group include Nancy Abell, who is a widely recognized employment specialist, and Paul Grossman. Zach Hutton, Paul Cane and Jeffrey Wohl are key practitioners in the San Francisco office. Further recommended individuals are Neal Mollen and Kenneth Willner in Washington DC, Kenneth Gage and Marc Bernstein in New York, Bradford Newman in Palo Alto, as well as Donna Melby and Leslie Abbott. Felicia Davis made partner in February 2018. Stephen Sonnenberg retired. Named attorneys are based in Los Angeles except where indicated otherwise.

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Workplace and employment counseling

Within: Workplace and employment counseling

Paul Hastings LLP has expertise in advising on the full gamut of employment matters, including but not limited to terminations, internal harassment investigations and mandatory arbitration agreements. Practice head Patrick Shea is based in New York and focuses on employee benefits, employment discrimination, and wrongful discharge. He and Kenneth Gage led settlement negotiations in a global mediation for a telecoms company, which followed the acquisition of a satellite service provider. Other clients include Google, IBM and General Electric. In Washington DC, Barbara Brown  handles employment compliance diagnostics and strategic advice on diversity programs, while Kenneth Willner is a key contact for high-level testing and employee selection procedures and related questions; Carson Sullivan is also noted. New York-based Marc Bernstein has more than 25 years of experience. Senior counsel Kirby Wilcox in San Francisco, Bradford Newman in Palo Alto and Nancy Abell in Los Angeles are key contacts in California.

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