Overview

Kevin Whittaker is an experienced trial lawyer who defends and advises employers under California and U.S. law. He works with employers in the technology, e-commerce, venture capital, entertainment, retail and finance industries. Kevin has substantial experience representing employers in courts, arbitration and administrative agency hearings. He has successfully defended employers through trial against claims involving gender, race and disability discrimination, and alleged retaliation and harassment.

Kevin also advises on litigation prevention, hiring and reductions in force, and workplace investigations. He often provides corporate training on policy implementation, particularly concerning the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Kevin is quoted in publications such as the Daily Journal, E! Entertainment and Bloomberg on issues affecting employers across the country, and is a frequent speaker at various events, including Advisen's Conference on Cyber Liability and Lorman Education Services seminars.

Experience

  • Defense verdict and attorney fees award for a prestigious university in race discrimination trial.
  • Defense verdict on behalf transportation company against allegations of race discrimination.
  • Defended a prestigious university against whistleblower retaliation claims.
  • Defended a California employer in arbitration against disability discrimination claims.
  • Prevailed on a Federal Rule 12(b)(6) motion in case of first impression involving the enforcement of an out-of-state employer non-compete agreements in California.
  • Prevailed at an NLRB hearing on behalf of a winery related to claims for unpaid wages and whistleblower retaliation.
  • Prevailed in a bench trial against the EDD, who sought more than $450,000 in back unemployment contributions from employer.
  • Led several California and national Equal Pay Act audits on behalf of employers, involving compensation, bonus, and equity structures.
  • Conducted national and international workplace investigations.
  • Recent investigations involve unequal pay and whistleblower claims.      

Personal Interests

In his spare time, Kevin competes in poker and backgammon and enjoys travels with his wife and daughter.

Services & Industries

Credentials

Bar Admissions

California

Education

Syracuse University College of Law
J.D. The Labor Lawyer - Senior Editor, Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce - Senior Editor, Hilary K. Josephs Research Assistant Scholar, World Bank Fellow, National Academics of Science Fellow (2002)

University of Iowa
B.A. in Philosophy (1999)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives

Publications

  • “Employee Classification: Easy as A-B-C, but not Exactly,” Daily Journal, November 2018
  • “Obesity as a Physical Disability: Easing Burden May Create More Complex Lawsuits,” Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin, August 2018
  • “Will Defamation Claims in the #MeToo Movement Revive the Self-Defense Privilege for Employers?” Bender's California Labor & Employment Bulletin, July 2018
  • “GC Agenda,” Interviewed by The Journal Practical Law, July/August 2017
  • “GC Agenda,” Interviewed by The Practical Law Journal, June 2016
  • “Bias Charges at Tech Firms Get Closer Look,” Interviewed by Daily Journal, October 2014
  • “Retail Workers Bill May Help Employers, Too,” Daily Journal, August 2014
  • “Defining Boundaries Mitigates Risk of Harassment,” Daily Journal, August 2014
  • “Employment Law Recap: 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” BASF Bulletin, April 2009
  • “Britney Spears’s Dad to Keep Pulling Strings,” Interviewed by E! Entertainment, Feb. 2008
  • “The Dept. of Labor Brings Wages and Hours Into The 21st Century,” AIA Newsletter, June 2004
  • “California Law: Ralph's Grocery Co. v. Massie,” Martindale- Hubble website, March 31, 2004
  • “Quantifying Cultural Habitat,” World Bank website, 2002
  • “Consular Notification Rights,” Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce, 2001 Ed

Speeches and Programs

  • “The Future of Class Action Waivers,” Presenter, Bloomberg, July 2017
  • “2016 Year in Review,” Presenter, Employment Law Yearly Orrick Biography: Kevin Whittaker 3 Update, December 2016
  • “Hot Issues for California Employers in 2016,” Presenter, Golden Gate Chapter of Legal Admin., January 2016
  • “Employment Law Hot Topics,” Presenter, MCLE Day, January 2015
  • “Leaves of Absence in CA,” Presenter Lorman Education Service, April 2007
  • “ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Comp. in CA,” Presenter, Lorman Education Service, December 2004

Leadership & Community

Professional Associations

  • San Francisco Bar Association
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