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Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Work +1 415 397 2823
Fax +1 415 397 8549
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London and 9 more

Laura Maechtlen

Work 1-415-544-1011
Seyfarth Shaw LLP

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)

United States: Labor and employment

Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions): defense

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

Seyfarth Shaw LLP fields a team of 'good experts, comprising seasoned lawyers supervising stellar long-term associates'. Noted for its expertise in wage-and-hour class actions and workplace litigation alleging discrimination, the nationwide group is praised for being 'hands on, extremely thorough, and extraordinarily knowledgeable'. Work highlights included Noah Finkel and Andrew Scroggins acting for Epic Systems as co-counsel (alongside Hogan Lovells US LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP) in a landmark case decided by the Supreme Court in May 2018, relating to the enforceability of the agreement into which the plaintiff entered requiring the parties to resolve wage-hour disputes through individual arbitration and waive class and collective proceedings. The 'one-of-a-kind' Gerald Maatman continues to lead a team acting for Sterling Jewelers (together with co-counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP) in an employment discrimination class action. Brian Ashe successfully acted for Digital Realty Trust before the Supreme Court in a case relating to the definition and statutory application of the term 'whistleblower'. Camille Olson is a 'world class lawyer' and Washington DC-based Raymond Baldwin is a ' zealous advocate for his clients with a practical approach'. In Los Angeles, Andrew Paley is an 'extremely well-versed adviser', and Jon Meer is praised for his 'immense knowledge and trial practice'. Atlanta's Robert Stevens is described as an 'expert in restrictive covenant work'; clients also appreciate Kerry Friedrichs in San Francisco and Pamela Devata for 'being leaders in their field and being able to answer questions on the spot'. Further recommended individuals are practice head Laura Maechtlen and Christian Rowley in San Francisco, Boston's Richard Alfred and the 'greatly experienced and knowledgeable' Lisa Damon, Lorie Almon and Gina Merrill in New York, as well as Richard Lapp. In Houston, the team was strengthen by the arrival of Scott Nelson from Baker McKenzie LLP in May 2018, while John Yslas joined the Los Angeles office from Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP in July 2018. Named attorneys are based in Chicago except where indicated otherwise.

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