Laura E. Hayward advises and represents a wide variety of employers, from start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies, in employment law matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She has assisted numerous employers in audits before the U. S. Department of Labor and hearings before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. She defends clients in wage and hour matters, both individual actions and statewide and nationwide class actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and California Labor Code. She has defended employers against claims alleging:

  • Misclassification
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Missed meal and rest periods
  • Off-the-clock work and rounding
  • Retaliation and wrongful termination

In 2011, Laura second-chaired a four-week class action meal period trial in Santa Clara County, which resulted in a total defense verdict. She has also successfully decertified several nationwide and statewide class actions, and in several cases, has negotiated with plaintiffs to drop their class claims and resolve their cases on an individual basis. She has also defended clients in class actions involving harassment and discrimination claims filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Additionally, Laura performs wage and hour audits and provides counseling and advice to employers on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Overtime exemptions and reclassifications
  • Meal and rest period issues
  • Overtime calculations
  • Wage and hour policies and procedures

Prior to joining Littler, Laura worked for five years at a top-ranked international firm, where she specialized in employment and general business litigation, and class action defense. While in law school, she participated in the DC Street Law Clinic, where she taught a legal course to high school students; and Law Students in Court, where she represented low-income clients in court on a variety of landlord-tenant disputes and other issues.

Professional & Community Affiliations


American Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

Wage and Hour Solutions for Exempt Employees

California Hotel & Lodging Association Webinar

November 21, 2013

Wage and Hour Solutions for Non-Exempt Employees

California Hotel & Lodging Association Webinar

November 14, 2013

Wine Flight of Employment Law: Tasting Notes to Keep Your Business Out of Trouble

San Francisco, CA

July 17, 2013

How to Keep the DOL From Being a Frequent Guest at Your Hotel: Wage and Hour Solutions for Bay Area Hotels

San Francisco, CA

June 6, 2013

Wage and Hour Class Actions In a Post-Brinker World

Wage and Hour Class Actions: Economic, Legal and Statistical Issues - ERS Group, Santa Monica, CA

May 10, 2012

Lessons Learned from a Successful California Class Action

March 15, 2012


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1999
  • A.B., Stanford University, 1996

Bar Admission



  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California