Michele Haydel Gehrke Photo

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Michele focuses her practice on labor and employment matters on behalf of management, and takes time to understand the client’s objectives and crafts employment counseling, litigation or traditional labor legal strategies that align to the desired outcome. She has successfully defended employers in single-plaintiff and class-action cases involving allegations of harassment, retaliation, and discrimination in both state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies. Michele's areas of focus include claims alleging wage and hour, and California Labor Code violations; Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations; Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act violations. She also defends client against allegations of whistleblower, retaliation, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract violations.


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2001, J.D., cum laude, Order of the Coif;  Thurston Honor Society
  • University of California, Los Angeles, 1998, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

  • California

  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of California

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section;  Railway Labor Act Committee (2018 Contributing Editor); Developing Labor Law (2017 and 2018 Contributing Editor); Practice & Procedure under the NLRA 
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor and Employment Law Section 
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section 
  • Member of the Labor Relations Advisory Committee of health care labor law professionals

Awards & Recognition

  • Selected as one of the Daily Journal’s 2018 Leading Labor and Employment Lawyers in California
  • Selected as one of the Daily Journal’s 2017 Top Women Lawyers in California
  • Recognized as a Top Labor & Employment Litigator - Benchmark Litigation, Labor and Employment Edition, 2018
  • Recognized as a Top Litigator - Benchmark Litigation, 2017
  • Recognized as a “Top Litigator Under 40” - Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2017

In the News

  • 13 August 2018 “High Court’s OK of Class Action Waivers Spur New Plaintiff Tactics,” The Daily Journal 
  • 9 August 2018 “Social Media Screening of Potential Hires Can Cause Employers Even More Problems," The Daily Journal
  • 20 July 2018 “Bill Forbidding Use of Prior Pay to Justify Wage Gaps Signed into Law,” The Daily Journal 
  • 24 May 2018 “What Does High Court’s Arbitration Ruling Mean for California?,” Society for Human Resource Management: State & Local Updates
  • 21 May 2018 “High court upholds class action waivers,” The Daily Journal
  • 21 May 2018 “5 Takeaways From Employers' Win On Class Waivers,” Law360, Vin Gurrieri
  • 21 May 2018 “Supreme Court OKs Arbitration Agreements Waiving Employees' Right to Join a Class Action,” Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • 13 February 2018 “Airports Offer New Frontier in Union Fights,” Bloomberg Law
  • 8 August 2017 “Breast-Feeding Moms Get Support from San Francisco Ordinance,” Society for Human Resource Management: State & Local Updates