People: Holger G. Besch, Partner

Photo of Holger G. Besch, Partner

Holger G. Besch

Partner

Los Angeles - Downtown
Direct: (213) 270-9624
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Mr. Besch is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Downtown Los Angeles office. 

He maintains a broad class action and single plaintiff litigation practice representing public and private employers in both unionized and non-unionized work environments.  His class action experience includes numerous cases filed under state and federal anti-discrimination laws and under state and federal wage and hour laws.  His single plaintiff experiences have included multiple lawsuits in federal and California state courts defending against claims of wrongful termination, violations of leave laws, employment discrimination, retaliation, privacy, and sexual and other forms of harassment. 

An accomplished appellate advocate and trial attorney, Mr. Besch has handled cases through verdict, including before a jury, as well as at the appellate level.  He has  been an advocate and presented oral argument before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.  His trial experience includes matters in the Superior Court as well as before various administrative agencies.  Additionally, he has represented employers in a variety of trial proceedings before the Regions of the National Labor Relations Board and on review before the Board.

In addition to litigation expertise, Mr. Besch maintains a multi-faceted counseling practice advising on employee discipline, termination and wage and hour issues.  He has maintained a particular emphasis on advice concerning reductions in force, the federal WARN Act, the California Mini-WARN Act, and corporate transactions.

Mr. Besch is a partner in the Labor and Employment Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Downtown Los Angeles office. 

He maintains a broad class action and single plaintiff litigation practice representing public and private employers in both unionized and non-unionized work environments.  His class action experience includes numerous cases filed under state and federal anti-discrimination laws and under state and federal wage and hour laws.  His single plaintiff experiences have included multiple lawsuits in federal and California state courts defending against claims of wrongful termination, violations of leave laws, employment discrimination, retaliation, privacy, and sexual and other forms of harassment. 

An accomplished appellate advocate and trial attorney, Mr. Besch has handled cases through verdict, including before a jury, as well as at the appellate level.  He has  been an advocate and presented oral argument before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court.  His trial experience includes matters in the Superior Court as well as before various administrative agencies.  Additionally, he has represented employers in a variety of trial proceedings before the Regions of the National Labor Relations Board and on review before the Board.

In addition to litigation expertise, Mr. Besch maintains a multi-faceted counseling practice advising on employee discipline, termination and wage and hour issues.  He has maintained a particular emphasis on advice concerning reductions in force, the federal WARN Act, the California Mini-WARN Act, and corporate transactions.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law (1997)
  • B.A., Amherst College (1993)
    magna cum laude

Admissions

  • California

Affiliations

  • California Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
     

Representative Engagements

Representative Collective and Class Action Cases

  • Dukes v. Walmart (co-author of amicus brief in discrimination class action before United States Supreme Court on behalf of major nationwide retailer)
  • EEOC v. DHL (defending against EEOC collective action alleging race segregation and discrimination)
  • Gattuso et. al. v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers (defending through Cal. Supreme Court ruling and remand against class action for alleged failure to pay business expenses)
  • Hodge v. Zale Delaware, Inc. (defending employer in state-wide class action alleging meal and rest period violations)
  • Hwang v. Caltech (defending against class action for alleged Cal-WARN violation and failure to pay severance)
  • Marroquin v. Swissport (defending against meal and rest break and overtime class claims)
  • Morales v. Airport Group Int’l (defending against statewide class action for alleged failure to pay overtime)
  • Takashima v. Chanel (defending employer in class action concerning alleged wage violations and Private Attorney General Act claims)
  • Tapia v. Zale Delaware Inc. (defending against nationwide off-the-clock, meal period and rest period class action)
  • Tran v. Protivi Inc. (defending statewide class action alleging misclassification)

Additional Representative Cases

  • Albertson’s, Inc. v. UFCW Local 135 et al. (seeking labor injunctions against striking unions to prevent mass picketing)
  • Anguiano v. Ormco (defending against race discrimination, privacy invasion, and wrongful termination claims through summary judgment and appeal)
  • Baca v. Zurich North America (defending employer in retaliation and leave discrimination case)
  • Hernandez v. Hillsides (defending employer through appeal and review by California Supreme Court in surveillance case alleging invasion of privacy)
  • Kinkaid v. Los Angeles Times (defending employer in disability and age discrimination case)
  • Rawlins v. Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Center (defending against dual plaintiff harassment lawsuit through summary judgment)
  • Skolnik v. Aurora Bank FSB (defending against executive compensation claims)
  • Trustees of the Operating Engineers Pension Trust v. Smith-Emery Company (defending employer in ERISA trust fund litigation through trial and Ninth Circuit appeal)
  • Woods v. Southern California Permanente Medical Group (defending race and retaliation case through trial and appeal)

Presentations

  • Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefings:  presenter on wage and hour issues.
  • PIHRA Legal Updates: presented labor and employment legal updates to the Professionals in Human Resources Association (PIHRA).
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Panel Lecturer (Privacy):  presentation on employee surveillance issues following the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Hernandez v. Hillsides.
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association Panel Lecturer  (Multi-Employer Issues): presented the employer’s perspective on alter ego, single employer, and joint employer liability issues.

Publications

  • “Sexual Harassment in Employment Law (2011 ed.),” Lindemann and Kadue, Chapter Contributor.
  • “Hidden Cameras in the Workplace: Hernandez v. Hillsides and the Permissible Scope of Employee Surveillance,” California Labor and Employment Law Review (January 2010) (co-author with Laura Shelby).
  • “Employment Discrimination Law 2009 Cumulative Supplement,” Lindemann and Grossman, Chapter Monitor.
  • “California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act,” Los Angeles Lawyer (September 2003) (co-author with William Emanuel).  Cited in MacIsaac v. Waste Management Collection and Recycling, Inc., 134 Cal. App. 4th 1076 (2005).
  • “The Developing Labor Law 2001 Cumulative Supplement,” Hardin and Higgins, Contributing Editor.
  • “Higher Standards: A Number of New Amendments Make California's Employment Laws Even Stricter,” Los Angeles Daily Journal California Law Business Supplement (April 24, 2000) (co-author with William Emanuel).

Accolades and Community Involvement

Accolades

  • The Best Lawyers in America (2013-14) (Labor Law - Management; Litigation - Labor and Employment).

Languages

  • German and French.

Community Involvement

  • Pro Bono Activities:  As part of the Firm’s involvement with the Alliance for Children’ s Rights, Mr. Besch has processed adoptions of foster children.  Further, through the Los Angeles Community Action Network, Mr. Besch has assisted the homeless and indigent with various legal issues.
  • Business and Community Organizations: Mr. Besch works to improve the economic conditions of Los Angeles County as a member of World Trade Committee for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.  Similarly, he is active in the business community as a member of the German-American Business Association.  Mr. Besch also serves the veteran, homeless and low-income population of Los Angeles as a Board Member for the Inner City Law Center.  As part of Union Station of Pasadena’s Personnel Committee, Mr. Besch serves the homeless and low-income community in the San Gabriel Valley.  He is also the current President of the Amherst College Alumni Association of Southern California.  In his free time, Mr. Besch pursues his passion for food and wine through various organizations in the region.