Jeffrey P. Michalowski


Jeff Michalowski represents employers in all aspects of employment law, with an emphasis on wage and hour class actions, equal employment opportunity litigation, and appellate advocacy.  He has defended against class actions ranging from 150 to 30,000 employees, and has successfully defended clients in individual actions through trial.  Most recently, he defended a law school against allegations that it had fraudulently mis-represented its graduates’ employment prospects — after a landmark three-week trial, the first of its kind nationally, the jury returned a complete defense verdict.  Previously, he co-tried a disability discrimination action to complete defense verdict following a two-week federal jury trial, and served as lead counsel in obtaining summary judgment in a EEO retaliation case in state court.  Jeff is also an experienced appellate advocate, and has authored numerous appellate and amicus briefs in the Federal Circuit Courts and for the California Supreme Court.

Jeff authored three chapters of the leading treatise on California wage and hour law (addressing independent contractor status, exempt status classification, and calculation of pay), and has published numerous articles addressing wage and hour law and Equal Employment Opportunity laws.  Jeff also teaches workplace law at California State University, San Marcos.

Jeff also maintains an active pro bono practice.  Most recently, he brought a petition for writ of mandate on behalf of two public benefits recipients, and obtained a settlement resulting in payment of back benefits to over a thousand of California’s neediest citizens.  Previously, he obtained relief from the Ninth Circuit for a political refugee seeking asylum in the United States.

Prior to joining Paul Plevin, Mr. Michalowski worked as an associate in the employment law department at Paul Hastings LLP for seven years.



  • Harvard Law School, J.D. cum laude, 2006
  • University of Virginia, B.A. with High Distinction, 2001

Professional Experience

  • Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton LLP, Partner, January 2017 – present; Associate, June 2013 – December 2016
  • Paul Hastings LLP, Associate, 2006 – 2013


  • All California state courts
  • United States District Courts of California, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Member, State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Instructor, Workplace Law, California State University, San Marcos



  • California Employment Law, Matthew Bender (Chapter 1 – Overview of Wage Hour Laws (Author); Chapter 2 – Applicability of Rules Governing Hours Worked (Co- Author); Chapter 3 – Determining Hours and Proper Payment Amounts (Co-Author))
  • Public Sector Complex Whistleblowing and Retaliation Issues, National Employment Law Institute, 2014, 2015 (Co-Author)
  • Whistleblowing, Retaliation, and Pervasive Harassment, National Employment Law Institute, 2013 (Co-Author)
  • Employees May Elect A Working Lunch (But Employers Beware): An Analysis of Brinker v. Superior Ct., Lexis-Nexis Emerging Issues Analysis, 2012
  • California Supreme Court Announces New Standard for Administrative Exemption: An Analysis of Harris v. Superior Court, Bender’s Cal. Labor & Employment Bulletin, 2012

Speaking Engagements

  • The Culture Wars, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2017
  • An Ounce of Prevention: Fair Pay and Wage-Hour Time Bombs, and How to Prevent Them, PPSC Briefing, September 2017
  • Retaliation and Whistleblowing, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2015
  • Complex Retaliation and Whistleblower Issues, National Employment Law Institute, July 2016
  • Severance Agreements Under Fire, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2015
  • Do You Know Who Your Employees Are?, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2014
  • New California Employment Laws, San Diego Employer’s Association, February 2014
  • Employment Law Update 2014, San Diego County Bar Association, January 2014
  • Wage and Hour Trends, PPSC Annual Employment Law Seminar, October 2013

  • November 2, 2018: Paul, Plevin's Annual Employment Law Seminar

Representative Matters

  • Obtained complete defense verdict in the first case tried nationally of a fraud claim against a law school based on allegations of misrepresenting post-graduate employment data following a three-week jury trial.
  • Defended transportation client in meal period class actions involving over 30,000 employees, and waiting-time penalty class actions involving over 20,000 employees
  • Defended high-technology and internet gaming clients in multiple class actions involving application of computer professional exemption to Technical Writers, Customer Service Representatives, Engineers, and various other positions
  • Defended telecommunications client in class actions and FLSA collective actions involving application of executive and administrative exemptions to Field Managers, Project Managers, and Business Managers
  • Defended retail client in class action regarding California’s “suitable seating” laws potentially impacting over 10,000 employees; obtained denial of state-wide class certification
  • Defended transportation client in numerous individual plaintiff actions and DLSE and EEOC charges. Obtained complete defense verdict in federal jury trial in Americans with Disabilities Act case, and obtained complete summary judgment from California state court in FEHA retaliation case
  • Represented banking client in California Supreme Court appeal regarding statute of limitations for wage-hour penalties
  • Represented hotel management company in federal appeal involving union bargaining rights

Trials, Arbitrations and Disciplinary Hearings

  • Defense verdict in jury trial for Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the first case tried nationally of a fraud claim against a law school based on allegations of misrepresenting post-graduate employment data (San Diego Superior Court)