Matthew B. Golper serves as a trusted advisor, litigator, and business partner to employers of all sizes, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 businesses, in all aspects of employment law and related litigation. Matt’s litigation practice is focused on providing employers with aggressive, but goal-oriented, representation in complex wage-hour matters, including class, collective, and PAGA representative actions. He also regularly defends employers in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination actions.
Drawing on his litigation experience and a deep understanding of the ever-evolving California employment law landscape, Matt also regularly serves in an advisor role to human resources, management, and in-house attorneys in the development of strategic risk-mitigating personnel practices and procedures. He regularly provides advice and counsel to employers on day-to-day employee relations issues and related-compliance, including recruiting, hiring and compensation; employee discipline, performance management and terminations; leave law compliance; complaint investigation; and wage-and-hour compliance. Matt’s experience includes developing training materials and providing training on various employment law issues (anti-harassment, EEO, and wage and hour) to management and human resources professionals; developing human resources practices from the ground up for startup entities; and conducting comprehensive wage-and hour-related audits for mature entities. Matt also drafts and reviews employee handbooks and related policies, executive and independent contractor agreements, separation agreements/releases, and commission/incentive compensation agreements.
Prior to joining the Firm, Matt was a Partner at an Am Law 200 firm where he led the firm’s California wage and hour practice.
Matt has successfully defended employers in state and federal court, in arbitration, and before various state and federal agencies. Matt’s class, collective and PAGA representative action experience includes defending employers in cases involving claims arising from alleged off-the-clock work (overtime and minimum wage claims), alleged regular rate of pay miscalculation, alleged unlawful rounding practices, alleged independent contractor misclassification, alleged exempt misclassification, alleged non-compliant meal and rest periods, alleged non-compliant wage statements, alleged failure to provide suitable seating, alleged failure to pay sick pay, and alleged failure to comply with California’s alternative workweek schedule requirements. Examples of Matt’s recent successes include:
Class, Collective and PAGA Representative Wage and Hour Experience
- Successfully opposed motion for class certification in wage-and-hour class action alleging unpaid overtime and minimum wage, missed meal and rest breaks, and inaccurate wage statement against financial services employer.
- Granted summary judgment and secured complete dismissal of PAGA representative action against Fortune 50 third-party logistics provider alleging claims for unpaid overtime and related penalties due to alleged invalid alternative work schedule.
- Brought successful motion to dismiss all claims brought under PAGA in class and representative action brought against a financial services organization.
- Secured numerous dispositive victories in PAGA representative action that reduced an employer’s liability by millions of dollars.
- Successfully navigated PAGA’s cure provisions and related LWDA investigation after Fortune 500 retailer was given notice of alleged wage statement inaccuracies.
- Successfully defeated numerous putative class and/or collective actions in state and federal court by enforcing class-action waivers and compelling individual, non-class arbitration of the alleged claims.
Other Employment & Labor Experience
- Granted summary judgment and secured complete dismissal on behalf of staffing services agency in action alleging sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and wrongful termination.
- Granted summary judgment and secured complete dismissal on behalf of retailer in single-plaintiff retaliation and wrongful termination action.
- Brought successful motion for judgment on the pleadings and secured complete dismissal on behalf of Fortune 50 retailer, resulting in dismissal of all claims in single-plaintiff disability discrimination, and wrongful termination action.
- Granted summary judgment and secured complete dismissal on civil rights claims brought against public entity. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- Granted summary adjudication and secured complete dismissal in disability discrimination claim brought against public entity. The decision was upheld on appeal.
- Successfully represented financial services employer in dozens of arbitrations brought under the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act after compelling individual arbitration of class and collective claims.
- Successfully obtained workplace violence restraining order against former employee for protection of current employees on behalf of video-game design company.
- Successfully navigated restaurant chain through wage-and-hour audit by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
Admitted to Practice
- U.S. Courts of Appeals:
- Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Courts:
- Central District of California
- Eastern District of California
- Northern District of California
- Southern District of California
- B.A., History/Race & Ethnic Studies, University of Redlands
- J.D., University of San Diego School of Law
- Dynamex Bites Back and Sinks Its Teeth In: California Supreme Court Confirms Retroactive Application of the ABC Test, Lexology, Jan. 2021
- California’s AB 2257 Changes State Independent Contractor Law, Lexology, Nov. 2020
- California’s AB 685 Imposes COVID-19 Workplace Exposure Notice and Reporting Requirements for Employers Effective January 1, 2021, Lexology, Oct. 2020
- California’s SB 1159 Codifies Workers' Compensation Presumption to Employees Who Test Positive for COVID-19, Lexology, Oct. 2020
- 2020 California Legislative Wrap-Up: California Employers Must Act Now, Lexology, Oct. 2020
- DOL Issues New FFCRA Guidance on School, Summer Camp, and Related Program Closures, Lexology, June 2020
- California Local Minimum Wage Increases and Other Laws Set to Take Effect on July 1, 2020, Lexology, June 2020
- City of Los Angeles Enacts Modified Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and New “Worker Protection Order”, Lexology, April 2020
- CARES Act: Loans to Cover Payroll, Unemployment Expansion, and Other Impacts for Employers, Lexology, March 2020
- DOL Provides Further Guidance on FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave and Publishes Required Poster, Lexology, March 2020
- DOL Offers First Guidance on Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave Now Effective April 1, 2020, Lexology, March 2020
- Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Lexology, March 2020
- California Governor Suspends Strict Employer Compliance With California WARN Act,Lexology, March 2020
- Preliminary Injunction Prevents California from Enforcing AB 51’s Anti-Arbitration Provisions, Lexology, February 2020
- California Prohibits Most Employer Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in AB 51, Lexology, October 2019
- “Supreme Court Upholds Employment Class Action Waivers,” Lexology, May 2018
- “California Supreme Court Reverses PAGA Discovery Ruling,” Lexology, July 2017
- “Are You at Risk of Joint Employer Liability?” Orange County Business Journal, Aug. 2014
United States District Court
J.L. v. Cissna, 2019 U.S. Dist. Lexis 16761 (N.D. Cal. 2019) (successfully moved to certify class of abused, abandoned, or neglected 18- to 20-year-old immigrants petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile status in action against U.S. Customs and Immigration Services and other government entities)
Vo v. LoanMe, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 224058 (C.D. Cal. 2018) (granting employer’s motion to dismiss Private Attorney General Act claims for unpaid overtime wages, inadequate meal and rest periods, unlawful deductions from wages, and derivative penalties)
Nguyen v. Impac Mortgage, 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 227091 (C.D. Cal. 2018) (granting employer’s motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss wage and hour class action lawsuit)
Warren v. Del Taco Restaurants, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 228153 (C.D. Cal. 2018) (granting employer’s motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss lawsuit)
Jaffey v. Del Taco Restaurants, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 141584 (D. Nev. 2018) (granting employer’s motion to compel arbitration and to dismiss background check class action lawsuit under Fair Credit Reporting Act)
J.L. v. Cissna, 341 F. Supp. 3d 1048 (N.D. Cal. 2018) (obtained preliminary injunction in class action against U.S. Customs and Immigration Services and other government entities on behalf of putative class of abused, neglected, or abandoned 18- to 20-year-old immigrants petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile status)
Vo v. LoanMe, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. Lexis 222328 (C.D. Cal. 2017) (granting employer’s motion to stay proceedings)
Kim v. CashCall, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. Lexis 222620 (C.D. Cal. 2017) (finding sufficient evidence of lost arbitration agreement via secondary evidence and staying wage and hour class action lawsuit)
Ismail v. County of Orange, 917 F. Supp. 2d 1060 (C.D. Cal. 2012) (granting defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s civil rights claims)
Court of Appeal of California
Christina C. v. County of Orange, 220 Cal. App. 4th 1371 (2013) (affirming summary judgment in favor of defendants where plaintiffs failed to show a violation of their civil rights)
Mooney v. County of Orange, 212 Cal. App. 4th 865 (2013) (affirming summary adjudication in disability discrimination action in favor of employer where employee was neither “dismissed” because of a disability nor “separated” from employment)
Superior Court of California
Martel v. FedEx Supply Chain, Inc., 220 Cal. Super. Lexis 3162 (2020) (granting employer’s summary judgment motion in Private Attorney General Act action alleging unpaid overtime wages and derivative claims)
Martinez v. El Pollo Loco, 2017 Cal. Super. Lexis 9580 (2017) (sustaining employer’s demurrer without leave to amend on breach of express and implied contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy)
Professional Activities & Recognition
- Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), Labor & Employment Section
- Orange County Labor & Employment Relations Association (OCLERA)
- Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- Southern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers 2014 - 2020
- “California Employment Law Update: 2020 Highlights and What’s Coming in 2021”, GS Webinar Series, December 3, 2020
- “Lingering Effects of COVID-19: Best Practices for Mitigating Your Workers’ Compensation and Employment-Related Exposure,” Marsh & McClennan Agency, Irvine, CA, November 19, 2020
- “Wage-and-Hour Developments and Trends”, GS Webinar Series, November 5, 2020
- “Managing Workers’ Compensation Litigation and Employment Law,” Marsh & McLennan Agency, Irvine, CA, November 6, 2019
- “Here Comes the Sun: Preparing for Employees Returning to Work”, GS Webinar Series, May 5, 2020
- “California Employment Law Update: 2019 Highlights and What’s Coming in 2020”, GS Webinar Series, December 11, 2019
- “The Art of a Clean Break – Best Practices for Ending the Employment Relationship", GS Webinar Series, September 26, 2019
- “2019 Employment Law Update: Critical New Laws and Updates for California Employers,” Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 13, 2018
- “Wage and Hour Wars!” Orange County Labor & Employment Relations Association, Sept. 13, 2018
- “Historic Ruling On Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, May 31, 2018
- Employment Law Update: Highlights from 2015 and What’s New in 2016,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 2, 2015
- “2015 Employment Law Updates,” Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, Dec. 3, 2014