Kathleen M. Erskine is a civil litigator with a broad range of experience in state and federal courts. Among other areas, Kathleen specializes in business litigation and labor and employment matters. Prior to joining Cohen Williams LLP, Kathleen was a founding partner of Love & Erskine, LLP, a law firm handling business litigation, employment, and civil rights matters.
Kathleen is a member of the Executive Committee and Saturday Seminar Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section. She has organized dozens of seminars for labor and employment practitioners, and has moderated and been a featured speaker on employment issues on many occasions for LACBA and other organizations. Kathleen also conducts training on employment issues.
Kathleen was honored as a Rising Star in Thompson-Reuters list of “Super Lawyers” for seven consecutive years, from 2006 through 2012, and has been named a Super Lawyer in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Obtained $4.5 million jury verdict on behalf of a Sheriff’s Deputy fired after reporting his fellow deputies’ suspected involvement in criminal activity, including the murder of another deputy. As a matter of first impression, the appellate court’s affirmance of the verdict established that California’s whistleblower retaliation statute protects employees who are not the first to report wrongdoing.
Prevailed in arbitration on all claims brought against owners of, and investors in, a drug treatment center, following suit for defamation, breach of contract, interference with contract, and breach of fiduciary duty. The arbitrator awarded $550,000 in attorneys’ fees, which represented the full amount of fees sought.
Negotiated six- and seven-figure settlements on behalf of disabled clients who were fired after requesting disability-related accommodations. Settlement was reached only after the filing of motions for summary adjudication against the employer on several affirmative defenses.
Negotiated a favorable settlement in an age-discrimination case on behalf of a sales associate employed by a cosmetics company. The case settled within weeks of the first case status conference, following compelling argument demonstrating the employer’s creation of unfair and unattainable objectives for the client, and subsequent unlawful termination for alleged shortcomings in performance.
Negotiated a pre-litigation walkaway on behalf of an employer threatened with legal action for various harassment and discrimination claims.
Represents corporate employer and individual supervisor sued for wage and hour violations and sexual orientation harassment. The case is expected to proceed to trial.
Represents a former truck driver physically assaulted after complaining to his employer about wage theft. The claims include assault, battery, retaliation under the California Labor Code, violation of the Ralph Civil Rights Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and various wage and hour violations. The case is expected to proceed to trial.
Regularly provides advice and counsel to employers on a variety of issues, including developing and publishing employment policies, training employees on harassment and discrimination, managing organizational change, and addressing individual employee discipline, leave of absence, disability accommodation, and other personnel matters.
Counsels employees negotiating employment contracts and severance agreements, and assist employees with disabilities as they navigate the process of requesting workplace accommodations.
Frequent guest speaker for attorney, employer, and industry groups on wide-ranging employment law topics, including most recently: litigating sexual harassment cases in the #MeToo era, the impact of the legalization of marijuana on drug testing and disability accommodation, and drug and alcohol use and abuse vis-à-vis disability discrimination and leave-of-absence laws.