People: Eric M. Steinert, Partner

Photo of Eric M. Steinert, Partner

Eric M. Steinert

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 544-1006
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Mr. Steinert is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department representing employers in a wide range of state and federal employment-law disputes.  He is a member of the firm’s Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group and has defended large, complex class actions involving alleged wage-and-hour violations under both state and federal law.  Mr. Steinert also represents employers in single-plaintiff litigation involving wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims – including extensive experience with various whistleblower claims (including Sarbanes-Oxley).

Mr. Steinert is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration practice group.  Mr. Steinert specializes in representing financial-services clients in FINRA arbitrations, wage-and-hour class actions, and single-plaintiff employment litigation (particularly whistleblower cases).  Mr. Steinert has also worked as in-house counsel in the financial-services industry, managing litigation and advising various lines of business, including retail brokerage, wealth management, retail, wholesale, and commercial banking, mortgage and consumer finance, and insurance.

Mr. Steinert has traditional labor experience which includes union-organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, representation cases, and defending ULP charges before the NLRB.  He also advises clients on labor relations matters pertaining to corporate campaigns, labor disputes, contract interpretation, and negotiations. 

Mr. Steinert also provides advice and counsel with respect to state and federal wage-and–hour laws, leave and disability issues, WARN requirements, employee termination issues, and drafting employee handbooks, policies, and employment contracts.

Mr. Steinert has written and lectured on various employment law topics, including CLE panels on legal ethics, wage and hour litigation, traditional labor and disability law.  He is a former law clerk for District Court Judge Lawrence T. Lydick of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division, and served as the law clerk for the Central District Local Rules Committee. 

Mr. Steinert is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department representing employers in a wide range of state and federal employment-law disputes.  He is a member of the firm’s Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group and has defended large, complex class actions involving alleged wage-and-hour violations under both state and federal law.  Mr. Steinert also represents employers in single-plaintiff litigation involving wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims – including extensive experience with various whistleblower claims (including Sarbanes-Oxley).

Mr. Steinert is co-chair of the firm’s Financial Services Employment Arbitration practice group.  Mr. Steinert specializes in representing financial-services clients in FINRA arbitrations, wage-and-hour class actions, and single-plaintiff employment litigation (particularly whistleblower cases).  Mr. Steinert has also worked as in-house counsel in the financial-services industry, managing litigation and advising various lines of business, including retail brokerage, wealth management, retail, wholesale, and commercial banking, mortgage and consumer finance, and insurance.

Mr. Steinert has traditional labor experience which includes union-organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, representation cases, and defending ULP charges before the NLRB.  He also advises clients on labor relations matters pertaining to corporate campaigns, labor disputes, contract interpretation, and negotiations. 

Mr. Steinert also provides advice and counsel with respect to state and federal wage-and–hour laws, leave and disability issues, WARN requirements, employee termination issues, and drafting employee handbooks, policies, and employment contracts.

Mr. Steinert has written and lectured on various employment law topics, including CLE panels on legal ethics, wage and hour litigation, traditional labor and disability law.  He is a former law clerk for District Court Judge Lawrence T. Lydick of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division, and served as the law clerk for the Central District Local Rules Committee. 

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law (1993)
  • B.A., Rice University (1990)
    cum laude
  • Universität Heidelberg, Germany (Winter Semester 1988)

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central, Southern, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California

Affiliations

  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association – Compliance and Legal (SIFMA-CL)
  • German-American Chamber of Commerce
  • German-American Business Association
  • Golden Gate Restaurant Association
  • California State Bar Labor and Employment Law Section
  • American Bar Association
  • St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco

Representative Engagements

Summary Judgments/Trials/Arbitrations

  • Obtained summary judgments in race discrimination cases on behalf of health insurance and industrial manufacturing clients.
  • Obtained summary judgment, upheld on appeal, in breach of implied contract and age discrimination case on behalf of national insurance company.
  • Successfully tried to verdict six-week jury trial, winning a majority of causes of action and receiving low-damages verdict in disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, harassment and retaliation case on behalf of national insurance company.
  • Successfully tried whistleblower claims to administrative law judge on behalf of defense contractor.
  • Successfully defended financial-services clients in over 30 FINRA arbitrations involving wrongful termination, whistleblower and retaliation claims, failure to pay incentive compensation, age discrimination, and sex harassment.
  • Successfully vacated adverse FINRA arbitration award in U.S. District Court.
  • Successfully defended financial-services client in whistleblower arbitration brought by former mortgage originator.
  • Prevailed in arbitration on behalf of broker-dealer against licensed banker alleging whistleblower and retaliation claims. 
  • Prevailed in arbitration on behalf of independent film producer regarding alleged breaches of collective bargaining agreement during principal photography of feature film.
  • Prevailed in multiple grievance/discharge arbitrations on behalf of clients in hospitality, entertainment, and manufacturing industries.

Wage-Hour Class Actions

  • Represented national insurance clients in multiple wage-hour class actions involving alleged misclassification of claims adjusters.
  • Represented national broker-dealer in federal multi-district class action litigation involving alleged misclassification of financial advisors.
  • Represented national insurance broker in wage-hour class action involving alleged misclassification of telesales employees.
  • Represented national insurance company in wage-hour class actions alleging misclassification of IT employees, including help desk, testers, and web server administrators.
  • Represented multiple banks in wage-hour class actions regarding alleged misclassification of retail bank, mortgage, and trust employees.
  • Represented numerous clients in financial-services and insurance industries in off-the-clock and meal-period class actions.

Traditional Labor

  • Represented numerous hotel and hospitality clients in organizing campaigns, grievance arbitrations, and collective bargaining negotiations.
  • Represented two major Southern California newspapers in multiple organizing campaigns by press operators.
  • Represented national media corporation in unfair labor practice litigation arising from successful decertification petition by cable installers against CWA.
  • Represented logistics company in disputes with ILWU at Port of Long Beach regarding subcontracting, picketing, and secondary boycotts.
  • Represented major entertainment studio in litigation with screenwriter regarding merchandising rights under Writers’ Guild collective bargaining agreement pertaining to NHL franchise.

Presentations

  • "San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights: New Burdens for San Francisco Employers," The Bar Association of San Francisco (August 20, 2015)
  • “The SF Retail Workers Bill of Rights:  New Burdens for Financial-Services Employers,” San Francisco Bank Attorneys Association (July 6, 2015)
  • “SF Retail Workers Bill of Rights: New Burdens for SF Employers Starting July 3rd,” Northern California Human Resources Association (June 12, 2015)
  • "SF Retail Workers Bill of Rights: New Burdens for SF Employers Starting July 3rd," Webinar, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (June 3, 2015)
  • “Recent Developments in Federal Qui Tam, False Claims Act and Whistleblower Litigation,” Breakfast Briefing, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, San Francisco, CA (June 6, 2013)
  • “Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Litigation,” 2011 Advanced Labor and Employment Law Conference, Seyfarth Shaw (November 8, 2011)
  • "Ethics for Employment Lawyers," Bar Association of San Francisco (April 6, 2011)
  • "Employers Hold On To Your Seats! A New Wave of PAGA Litigation Is Coming," Seyfarth Shaw Webinar (March 15, 2011)
  • "Legislative and Wage & Hour Law Update For California Employers,"  Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing (February 1, 2011)
  • "Independent Contractors:  The Steep Costs of Misclassification in California,"  2011 Legal & Legislative Conference, Northern California Human Resources Association (January 27, 2011)
  • "Ethical Considerations for Companies and Candidates Before, During and After a Job Search,"  Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (January 22, 2010)
  • "Avoiding Legal-Ethics Traps in Managing Internal Investigations, Government Inquiries, and Litigation," 2010 Advanced Labor and Employment Law Conference, Seyfarth Shaw (November 10, 2010)
  • "Ethics Issues for In-House Counsel," 2009 Advanced Labor and Employment Law Conference, Seyfarth Shaw (October 15, 2009)
  • "Managing Class Actions: What In-House Counsel Need to Know," Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter, (April 19, 2006)
  • "Cutting Edge Employment Compliance Issues," Association of Corporate Counsel, Southern California Chapter (April 20, 2005)

Publications

Accolades

  • AV Preeminent (5 out of 5) Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell