A seasoned litigator, Emily T. Patajo has successfully represented employers in high-value employment matters in state and federal courts, and in binding arbitration. She is routinely involved in the risk assessment and defense of matters involving claims of wrongful termination and unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Her practice extends to advising on wage and hour and class action cases and representing employers in labor arbitrations.
Emily has argued employment matters before the California Court of Appeal. She has successfully obtained an appellate court opinion affirming an employer’s motion for summary judgment on national origin and age discrimination causes under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. Notably, she successfully persuaded the Court of Appeal to reverse a trial court’s order denying an employer’s motion to compel binding arbitration, which resulted in a published opinion that informs on the interpretation of arbitration terms in employment agreements.
In addition to Emily's litigation practice, she addresses administrative matters, advising employers on charges and complaints pending before state agencies, including the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Moreover, her in-house experience guides her advisory practice. While at Littler, she was selected to serve on a secondment to a global biotech firm where she advised and consulted on various management and human resources issues, including disciplinary actions, terminations, and workplace investigations.
Emily is co-chair of the firm's Career Advocacy Program (CAP) and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Subcommittee. Before joining Littler, she was a litigation associate at a law firm in San Diego, where she handled employment, complex business, unfair competition and false advertising matters. After law school, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. Louisa S. Porter of the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California. During law school, she clerked for the California Attorney General's Office, was a teaching assistant, and a member of the San Diego International Law Journal.