Overview

Theodora R. Lee has extensive courtroom experience and practices before all state and federal courts in California and all employment-related regulatory agencies. She represents employers in:

  • Class action litigation
  • Wrongful termination and employment discrimination litigation
  • National Labor Relations Board matters
  • Representation cases
  • Unfair labor practice proceedings
  • Grievance arbitrations
  • Title VII proceedings, including race, sex, religious and age harassment and discrimination
  • Unfair competition proceedings
  • State and federal wage and hour litigation

Theodora's recent litigation successes include class actions involving disparate impact; unpaid commissions and expense reimbursement; employee status, overtime, meal and rest periods; and overtime and exempt status under the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act. She also has served as lead trial counsel or co-counsel in multiple jury trials and obtained defense verdicts in cases alleging race discrimination, racial harassment, sexual harassment  and retaliation,  as well as a case alleging violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Additionally, she defends various corporations in cases in state or federal courts alleging Fair Employment and Housing Act violations, wage and hour class actions, and whistleblower and wrongful termination claims, and has obtained dismissals via summary judgment in countless cases.

A settlement commissioner, AAA certified arbitrator and mediator, Theodora has concluded more than 1,000 matters through use of private arbitration or mediation, including large, complex, multi-party litigation actions, and individuals suing their employers.

Theodora also counsels employers on:

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Uniform Trade Secrets Act
  • The California Business and Professions Code
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Employee terminations
  • Corporate compliance
  • Litigation avoidance
  • Reductions-in-force
  • The development of personnel policies and procedures
  • Workplace violence
  • Pre-employment screening
  • Federal and state wage and hour issues
  • Employment agreements
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Drug and alcohol testing

Theodora has been a contributing writer to numerous employment law publications and presents seminars on a wide variety of employment issues and regularly conducts in-house employment law training programs.

Prior to entering the practice of law, Theodora worked as a Senate intern in Washington, D.C., for Senator Sam Nunn.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Advisor, Executive Committee

Labor and Employment Law Section

State Bar of California

Former Member, Executive Committee

Labor and Employment Law Section

State Bar of California

Member, Board of Directors

Bay Area Legal Aid

Member, Board of Directors

United Negro College Fund, Northern California

Member, Board of Directors

YMCA - San Francisco

Member

Charles Houston Bar Association

Member

Bar Association of San Francisco

Member

Alameda County Bar Association

Member

California Women Lawyers

Member

American Bar Association

Former President

Bay Area Black United Fund

Former President

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Former President

Barristers Section

Alameda County Bar Association

Former Member, Board of Directors

Leadership California

Recognition

Named, Leading Law Firm Rainmakers

Minority Corporate Counsel Association

2010

Named, Super Lawyer

Northern California

Super Lawyers

2011-2014

Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating

Martindale-Hubbell

Publications & Press

Speaking Engagements

Mock Trial of a Disability Case

Trial Demonstration Seminar, Labor & Employment Law Section – The State Bar of California, Los Angeles, CA

November 18, 2014

Ethical Minefields and eDiscovery: A Perfect Match

San Diego, CA

September 11, 2014

They’re Not Our Employees. Really! Legal Compliance in the Age of the Contingent Workforce

Professional Casualty Services, Inc., Monterey Park, CA

March 20, 2014

The Affordable Care Act: Implementing Obamacare

Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA

March 12, 2014

What’s it Worth? Valuing Employment Cases for Mediation and Trial

San Francisco, CASan Jose, CAWalnut Creek, CA

September 20, 2013

Give 'em L! LGBT Ladies Salon & Talk-Show: Supreme Court Edition

San Francisco, CASan Jose, CAWalnut Creek, CA

September 12, 2013

Labor and Employment

Acquiring or Selling the Privately Held Company 2013 - Practising Law Institute (PLI), San Francisco, CA

April 30, 2013

Damages in EEO Cases: Strategic Use of Expert Witnesses & Motion Practice

46th Annual Pacific Coast Labor & Employment Law Conference, Seattle, WA

April 26, 2013

Ethical Minefields and eDiscovery: A Perfect Match

18th Annual Conference - National Employment Law Council, Houston, TX

April 25, 2013

Goodbye is Forever—or Is It? Planning for Departure, Getting Clear Title to Your Social Media Assets and Other Ways of Protecting Your Confidential Information

2013 Social Media Summit: The New Reality

Littler Mendelson, San Francisco, CA

April 10, 2013

What’s Missing From the DOL Regulations: A Litigator’s Wish List

6th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference - American Bar Association (ABA)

November 1, 2012

Current Issues in Trade Secret Litigation

Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CAIrvine, CA

June 14, 2012

The Paperless Future is Here: Implementing an Electronic Payment of Wages Program, the New Wage Theft Prevention Act and Lessons for California Employers from the Brinker Decision

HR West 2012

April 25, 2012

Recent Developments in Wage and Hour Law

5th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Section of Labor & Employment Law - American Bar Association, Seattle, WA

November 4, 2011

RIFs -The Advanced Course: How to Do It Right and Why Ricci May Affect Internal Reviews and Impact Layoffs

29th Annual Meeting, Labor and Employment Law Section - State Bar of California, Anaheim, CA

October 14, 2011

Social Media Grows Up: The Legal and Effective Business Use of Social Media

84th Annual Meeting - State Bar of California, Long Beach, CA

September 15, 2011

The Great Digital Communication Migration: The Legal Impact of Social Media, Smartphones and Testing

27th HR West Annual Conference - NCHRA, Oakland, CA

April 11, 2011

Litigating Wage and Hour Class Actions

Labor and Employment Law Section - State Bar of California, San Francisco, CA

November 16, 2010

Pay-Up! What do FLSA Violations Really Cost

Annual Conference, Section of Labor and Employment Law - American Bar Association, Chicago, IL

November 5, 2010

Unscrambling the Alphabet Soup of Employee Leave Laws: FMLA/CFRA/ADA/WC

83rd Annual Meeting - State Bar of California, Monterey, CA

September 26, 2010

2010 Employment Law Update

85th Annual Convention, Labor and Employment Law Section - National Bar Association, San Diego, CA

August 11, 2010

Punching Employers’ Clocks: Top Ten Ways Payroll and Timekeeping Systems are Being Used to Create Class Actions

26th HR West Annual Conference - NCHRA, San Francisco, CA

April 26, 2010

Supreme Court Review—The Justice Sotomayor Factor

3rd Annual Labor and Employment Law CLE Conference - National Bar Association, Atlanta, GA

March 26, 2010

Taking a Faculty Academic Misconduct Case to a Jury Trial

2010 Spring Workshop - National Association of College and University Attorneys, San Diego, CA

March 18, 2010

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1987
  • B.A., Spelman College, 1984

Bar Admission

California

Courts

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado