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B r g s john golper gmxjy5

John B. Golper Of Counsel

15760 Ventura Boulevard, 18th Floor
Encino, CA 91436

John is one of the initial Partners of the Firm and is now Of Counsel. John has been practicing labor and employment law for over 48 years. Even in college, John was focused on labor-management relations matters, having written his senior honors thesis (later published) on the role of central labor bodies within the AFL-CIO hierarchy. His published article gained national attention, such that he was hired as an expert witness while still in law school to testify in a National Labor Relations Board trial on whether a central labor council violated the National Labor Relations Act in refusing to become a signatory to a collective bargaining agreement.

John is one of the few employment lawyers who can honestly state that he knows both employment law and litigation but also traditional labor law on an equal footing. He is a very experienced trial lawyer, who has tried enough jury cases to verdict to qualify as an Associate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He has successfully litigated to a defense judgment hundreds of cases for employers in federal and state courts.

Yet, he is equally experienced in handling traditional labor law matters, including representing employers before the National Labor Relations Board, Department of Labor, EEOC, DFEH, DLSE and other administrative agencies. He has considerable experience representing employers in their relationships with labor unions, whether in collective bargaining or in their grievance or arbitration procedures.

He regularly counsels employers on general employment advisory matters and protecting their trade secret and other confidential proprietary information.

John is also experienced in Alternative Dispute Resolution, both as a practitioner and as a mediator. Since July 2019, John has served as an ADR Panel Mediator for the U.S. District Court (Central District-California). He has also served for many years as a volunteer mediator/settlement officer for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

John’s experience in labor and employment law and related litigation runs the gamut of litigation and trials in federal and state courts throughout California and numerous other jurisdictions as well as before numerous administrative agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, DOL, DLSE and DFEH. His clients have included several national and international companies for which he has been designated to be the labor and employment litigation counsel for their California operations. His list of clients has even included the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, which he was retained to represent when a District Administrator brought a claim alleging race and gender discrimination and the California Attorney General’s office declined to handle the matter.

Recent matters handled by John have included:

  • Defending numerous employers in federal and state courts throughout California on claims alleging discrimination or retaliation including a recent matter where the Court awarded $135,000 in defense legal fees to the Employer;
  • Defending employers in several NLRB proceedings including a prolonged trial in Northern California in which the employer was exonerated in a five ULP consolidated trial;
  • Defending employers in several class action and individual wage and hour claims including litigation against the Department of Labor in federal court;
  • Advising a distribution company on the overhaul of its pay and compensation system to comply with recent DOT and wage and hour rulings in the transportation industry;
  • Representing a law firm in a partnership dissolution matter including claims by a former partner alleging owed compensation and undistributed income per Jewel v. Boxer;
  • Advising and representing employers in collective bargaining matters with their unions;
  • Representing employers in several grievance and arbitrations under their labor contracts including a successful arbitration that sustained the discharge of a 25-year employee shop steward;
  • Advising several employers in trade secret and proprietary information disputes with former employees;
  • Advising an insurance company on “best practices” used by employment lawyers for determining underwriting policies and premium structures;
  • Being retained as an expert witness on the issue of reasonable attorneys’ fees to be awarded the prevailing party under FEHA;
  • Advising on drafting new employee handbooks and policies in bringing policies into line with new leave laws and other employment regulations; and
  • Advising a law firm during a detailed audit of its 401(k) and health insurance plans by the Department of Labor.

Admitted to Practice

  • California

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeal:
    • District of Columbia Circuit
    • Ninth Circuit
    • Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts:
    • Central District of California
    • Eastern District of California
    • Northern District of California
    • Southern District of California
  • B.A., Political Science, Indiana University
    • With Honors
  • J.D., UCLA School of Law
    • Student Director – Election Law Program
    • Certification in Labor Arbitration – University of San Francisco Labor Management School
    • Extern Law Clerk to Justice Winslow Christian of the California First District Court of Appeal
  • Certification in Negotiating Labor Contracts – NYU Law School
  • American Arbitration Association – 32 Hour Mediator Training
  • U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal) ADR Panel Mediator Training and also Advanced Mediator Training

Sample Personnel Policies (four sections) PIHRA (2002)

  • Comparable Worth Pay Methodology Should Not be Legislated in California, Co-Author, California Comparable Worth Task Force Minority Report to the California Legislature (1986)
  • Federal Law EEO Prohibitions Against Termination; Entitlements of Employees in Arizona: Statutory and Common Law; Entitlements of Terminated Employees Under Federal Law; and Plant Sales and Closures, The Seller’s Concerns and How It Will Seek to Be Rid of Them in Termination Law Briefing Notebook, Employee Relations Law Journal (1985)
  • The Current Legal Status of ‘Comparable Worth’ in the Federal Courts, 34 CCH Labor Law Journal 563 (1983)
  • Central Labor Bodies: The Community Link of the AFL-CIO, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Business Reprint Series No. 2 (1973)

United States Court of Appeals

  • Windsor Redding Care v. NLRB, 944 F.3d 294 (D.C. Cir. 2019) (granting employer’s petition for review and denying NLRB’s petition for enforcement of its decision because NLRB ignored crucial evidence in trial before an ALJ. The Court of Appeals set forth standards of review NLRB must follow if it overturns an ALJ decision).

United States District Courts

  • Gutierrez v. Sea World LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 139793 (S.D. Cal. 2014) (granting employer’s motion to compel arbitration and stay court proceedings pending arbitration of employee’s claims)

Supreme Court of California

  • State Department of Health Services v. Superior Court, 31 Cal. 4th 1026 (2003) (amicus brief; court held that employers will not be liable for harassment damages that could have been prevented if employee used employer’s internal complaint procedures).
  • Turner v. Anheuser-Busch (1994) 7 Cal. 4th 1238 (establishes the law in California on what is a constructive discharge

Court of Appeal of California

  • Davis v. Consolidated Freightways (1994) 29 Cal. App. 4th 354 (employer that adheres to progressive discipline policies or procedures does not defeat at-will employment policy; restricts recovery for employee republication of defamatory statements; and restricts when employees can sue for alleged unlawful polygraph examinations)


  • AV Rating (highest possible rating) from Martindale-Hubbell (1986 – present)
  • Southern California Super Lawyers (Labor and Employment Law and Employment Litigation – Defense) (2004 – present)
  • Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law, Labor Law, Litigation-Labor and Employment) (2003 – present)
  • Top 25 Lawyers of the San Fernando Valley, San Fernando Business Journal (2002)
  • “Top Attorney” – Employment Law Pasadena Magazine (2015)
  • Dean’s Circle Award Winner, UCLA School of Law (2014)
  • Appointed by Governor Deukmejian to the 11-member California Comparable Worth Task Force (1984-86)
  • Recognized for Accomplishments by the American Compensation Association National Conference (1986)
  • Profiled in articles in Verdicts & Settlements magazine editions published on January 7, 2000 (cover story) and again on May 21, 1999
  • Certification in Negotiating Labor Contracts
  • American Arbitration Association – 32 Hour Mediator Training

Speaking Engagements

  • Taking a Knee? Holding a Torch? Speech in the Workplace, Moderator, Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association 36th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference (July 2018)
  • Employment Law for California Employers – Arcadia (CA) Rotary Monthly Meeting (September 2017)
  • College Athletes: Are They The Next Group To Be Organized?, Panelist, Orange County Labor & Employment Relations Monthly Meeting (November 2014)
  • Preparing Witnesses for Labor Arbitration, Panelist, Orange County Labor & Employment Relations 31st Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference (July 2013)
  • The Latest Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Litigation, Panelist, Los Angeles County Bar Corporate Law Departments Roundtable (March 2010)
  • Motions to Compel Arbitration Based on Pyett v. 14 Penn Plaza, Panelist, Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association (January 2010)

Professional Associations

  • California State Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County and Pasadena Bar Associations
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Defense Research and Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (Associate Rank)
  • Bruin Professionals (Board of Directors 2014-2017)
  • Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association – Vice President Management (2018-2019)
  • Society of Human Resources Management
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