Ms Laura Maechtlen > Seyfarth Shaw LLP > San Francisco, United States > Lawyer Profile

Seyfarth Shaw LLP
SUITE 3100
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94105-2930
United States
Laura Maechtlen photo

Work Department

Labor and Employment Department


Laura Maechtlen is the Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Labor and Employment Department. Laura helps to minimize her clients’ involvement in systemic discrimination litigation, and her practice is also focused on the defense of class, collective and multi-plaintiff actions. Laura also has experience litigating against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) in systemic actions, both at the early charge stage and in large-scale EEOC pattern-and-practice litigation.  Laura is also a leading member of the Firm’s Workplace Compliance Solutions Practice, which focuses on change management and the delivery of proactive solutions that help global clients avoid mass litigation and develop internal compliance initiatives.  Laura manages administrative agency investigations, including systemic initiative, pattern-and-practice and disparate impact claims involving unequal pay, hiring and pre-employment testing, background checking, promotion, and reasonable accommodation processes.  Laura has trial experience, and has helped her clients secure defense verdicts in the California Superior Courts in the counties of San Francisco, Alameda and Santa Clara.

Laura has handled a significant number of high-profile matters arising from employer practices and policies in the wake of the #MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter movements, including investigations, audits, compliance reviews and rebuilding of company policy/practice following PR events and/or legal claims.  Laura has experience counseling senior executives and Boards of Directors about how to resolve/avoid mass litigation and develop internal compliance initiatives issues. Laura has conducted a multitude of employee and management trainings, including diversity and inclusion training, anti-harassment training and positive employment relations training. Laura has assisted clients in conducting pay equity and “barrier analysis” related to underrepresented employees in the workforce, helping to craft solutions and strategies for addressing pay equity risk, improving diversity and creating a culture of inclusion. 


Chair, Labor and Employment Department, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (2018-present); National Vice-Chair, Labor and Employment Department, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (2016-2018); National Chair, Diversity & Inclusion, Seyfarth Shaw (2007-present) Member, Compensation Committee, Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Member, SeyfarthLean Steering Committee; Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Department Leadership Team.


California Minority Counsel Program, Board of Directors (Chair Emeritus, Board of Directors, 2018-present; Co-Chair, Board of Directors, 2016-2018; member, 2014-2015)
National Board of Directors, Lambda Legal Education & Defense Fund (Executive Committee 2016-present; Director, 2013 to present, Co-Chair, San Francisco Leadership Council, 2013-2015)
Board of Governors, Hispanic National Bar Association (2016-2017)
Division Chair, LGBT Division, Hispanic National Bar Association (2016-2017)
Commissioner, Latina Commission, Hispanic National Bar Association (2015-2016)
Board of Directors, Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedom (BALIF) Foundation (2014-2016)
National Lesbian Gay Law Foundation Board of Directors (2012-2014)
Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)(2011-2012)
National Lesbian Gay Law Association Board of Directors (Immediate Past President 2010-2011, President 2008-2010, Incoming President 2007-2008)
Bar Association of San Francisco (LGBT Equality Subcommittee) (2010-2014)
Bay Area Lawyers For Individual Freedoms (Board of Directors, 2010-2014, Annual Dinner Committee 2009-2011)
San Francisco AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Board of Directors (2007-2010; Secretary, Board of Directors 2008-2009)
National Conference of Bar Presidents Membership Committee (2009-2011)
National Conference of Bar Presidents, Diversity Committee (2008-2009)
San Francisco Bar Association Barrister’s Club Diversity Issues Committee (Co-Chair 2008)


J.D., Boston University School of Law (2002); B.A., University of Colorado, Boulder (1998)

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Labor and employment > Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense

The L&E disputes team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP fields an impressive number of experienced practitioners. It is regularly engaged by nation-wide companies from a variety of industries to represent them in class and collective actions and the group is noted for its involvement in pay equity and BIPA litigation proceedings. Chicago’s Camille Olson is a well-tried litigator with particular experience in discrimination and harassment matters. Practice head Laura Maechtlen, based in San Francisco, has a similar focus. Gerald Maatman, also in Chicago, has long-standing experience in various class actions. Nancy Rafuse, who joined alongside Stan Hill from Polsinelli PC in August 2018, is a key contact in Atlanta for race and gender discrimination claims. New York’s Gina Merrill is noted for her expertise in wage-and-hour matters, among others. Other highlighted practitioners are Lisa Damon in Boston, Lorie Almon in New York, and the recently promoted Coby Turner in Sacramento as well as Brian Stolzenbach and Ellen McLaughlin in Chicago.