Laura E. Hayward advises and represents a wide variety of employers, from start-ups to established Fortune 500 companies, in wage and hour matters before state and federal courts and administrative agencies. She has extensive experience defending statewide class actions under the California Labor Code and Private Attorneys General Act involving a wide range of claims including paystub format, unpaid overtime including regular rate calculations, meal and rest periods, off the clock work, rounding, misclassification, expense reimbursement. Laura has also assisted numerous employers in audits before the U.S. Department of Labor and hearings before the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. 

Laura has rare class action trial experience having 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, including in cases involving defenses based on a collective bargaining agreement. In addition to litigating class actions, Laura has assisted numerous clients to achieve early resolution of high-risk class actions and develop a plan for future compliance.

Additionally, Laura performs compliance audits to identify and quantify wage and hour risks and assist with remediation efforts such as training and policy drafting. She also provides counseling and advice to employers on a wide variety of topics, including overtime exemptions and reclassifications, meal and rest period issues, overtime calculations, expense reimbursement, and wage and hour policies and procedures.

Prior to joining Littler, Laura worked for five years at a top-ranked international firm, where she focused on 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

2021 California Virtual Regional Employer Conference

Sacramento, CA

October 28, 2021

The Impacts of Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel (CA Supreme Court): Meal and Other Premiums Must Be Paid at the Regular Rate

September 2, 2021

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