People: Mark P. Grajski, Partner

Photo of Mark P. Grajski, Partner

Mark P. Grajski

Partner

Sacramento
Direct: (916) 498-7006
Fax: (916) 558-4839
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Mark Grajski is a partner in the Sacramento office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation & Counseling and Wage & Hour Litigation practice groups. He is also a member of the firm’s National Trial Team. He has extensive experience representing clients in the retail, insurance, transportation, distribution, technology and agriculture industries in class and collective action lawsuits, as well as other types of high exposure claims.

During one year alone, Mr. Grajski secured three complete defense verdicts in separate jury trials, including a four-plaintiff lawsuit for racial discrimination and wrongful termination. He has tried cases involving claims of age, disability, race and sex discrimination, failure to accommodate disability, sexual and racial harassment, retaliation, independent contractor misclassification, exempt status misclassification and breach of contract. He also has wage & hour class action trial experience.

Mr. Grajski has a proven record of success in resolving cases short of trial as well, including through motions to dismiss, summary judgment, mediation and informal settlement discussions. He has secured a number of walk-away and nuisance value settlements, including the dismissal of a putative statewide class action for a single payment of $1,000 to the class representative in a case brought on behalf of approximately 500 call center employees.

Mr. Grajski regularly advises employers in all areas of employment law, including wage & hour issues, farm labor contracting, reasonable accommodation, leaves of absence, terminations, reductions in force and internal investigations.

Mark Grajski is a partner in the Sacramento office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He is a member of the firm’s Employment Litigation & Counseling and Wage & Hour Litigation practice groups. He is also a member of the firm’s National Trial Team. He has extensive experience representing clients in the retail, insurance, transportation, distribution, technology and agriculture industries in class and collective action lawsuits, as well as other types of high exposure claims.

During one year alone, Mr. Grajski secured three complete defense verdicts in separate jury trials, including a four-plaintiff lawsuit for racial discrimination and wrongful termination. He has tried cases involving claims of age, disability, race and sex discrimination, failure to accommodate disability, sexual and racial harassment, retaliation, independent contractor misclassification, exempt status misclassification and breach of contract. He also has wage & hour class action trial experience.

Mr. Grajski has a proven record of success in resolving cases short of trial as well, including through motions to dismiss, summary judgment, mediation and informal settlement discussions. He has secured a number of walk-away and nuisance value settlements, including the dismissal of a putative statewide class action for a single payment of $1,000 to the class representative in a case brought on behalf of approximately 500 call center employees.

Mr. Grajski regularly advises employers in all areas of employment law, including wage & hour issues, farm labor contracting, reasonable accommodation, leaves of absence, terminations, reductions in force and internal investigations.

Education

  • J.D., University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law (1995)
    Senior Research Editor, UC Davis Law Review
  • B.A., Columbia University (1985)

Admissions

  • California

Courts

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

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)
    -Co-chair, Trial Advocacy Subcommittee of the Employment Rights & Responsibilities Committee (2013 to present)
  • California Bar Association (Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections)
  • Sacramento County Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)

Representative Engagements

  • Rodriguez v. SGLC, Inc., et al., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (representing putative joint employer in minimum wage, overtime, meal and rest break class action filed on behalf of 120 migrant farm workers holding H-2A visas)
  • Russell v. Delta Dental of California, Inc., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (settled with individual plaintiff for nominal sum in putative off-the-clock class action with motion to dismiss pending)
  • Vierria v. California Highway Patrol, et al., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (complete summary judgment for co-defendant on civil rights, RICO and abuse of process claims)
  • Lopez v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (voluntary dismissal of disability discrimination/wrongful termination case on eve of trial after court granted partial summary judgment and key defense motions in limine)
  • Johnston v. HomeGoods, Inc., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (plaintiff dismissed entire action with prejudice in exchange for waiver of costs after court denied plaintiff’s remand motion)
  • Montoya v. Management and Training Corporation, (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (complete summary judgment granted for defendant on claims of age discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination)
  • Zellitti v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, (Sacramento County Superior Court) (court granted complete summary judgment for defendant on age discrimination and wrongful termination claims)
  • Daniels v. The Finish Line(United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (summary judgment in proposed nationwide “off-the-clock” class action)
  • Alvarez v. Fox Transport, et al., (Los Angeles Superior Court) (summary judgment in favor of putative joint employer in independent contractor misclassification class action)

Trial Experience

  • Reyes v. Transamerica Life Insurance Company (United States District Court, Central District of California) (complete defense verdict in five-plaintiff exempt status misclassification case involving claims for unpaid overtime and failure to provide meal and rest breaks)
  • Lindsey v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (United States District Court, Northern District of California) (complete defense verdict on claims for sexual harassment and failure to prevent harassment)
  • Johnson v. Foster Dairy Farms, Inc. (Stanislaus County Superior Court) (sexual harassment jury trial, plaintiff verdict.)
  • Wasserman v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (Contra Costa Superior Court) (defense verdict on claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate disability)
  • Acosta v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (Riverside County Superior Court) (complete defense verdict in three-plaintiff sexual harassment and retaliation case after ten week trial)
  • Sallustio v. Kemper Independence Insurance Company, (Sacramento County Superior Court) (jury trial on defamation claim. Plaintiff verdict, appeal pending)
  • Apodaca v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (United States District Court, Central District of California) (defense verdict on claims for unpaid overtime and missed meal and rest breaks)
  • Velazquez et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (United States District Court, Central District of California) (lead attorney in four-day bench trial of claims for unpaid overtime and waiting time penalties by two plaintiffs on their individual claims after class certification was denied)
  • Hamilton v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, (United States District Court, Central District of California) (complete defense verdict on claims of disability discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process and failure to accommodate disability)
  • Sheridan v. Building Material Distributors, Inc. (Sacramento County Superior Court) (lead attorney representing defendant in two-week trial on age and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims)
  • Meston v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (Sonoma County Superior Court) (defense verdict in sexual harassment, retaliation and breach of contract case after two week jury trial)
  • Kelley v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (Sacramento County Superior Court) (defense verdict in age discrimination, harassment and retaliation case)
  • Robbson v. Delta Dental of California (Sacramento County Superior Court) (defense verdict in four-plaintiff race discrimination/wrongful termination case)
  • Thompson v. Costco Wholesale Corporation (Kern County Superior Court) (defense verdict in racial harassment and loss of consortium case)
  • Issaian v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (Los Angeles County Superior Court) (lead attorney in two week jury trial on breach of contract claims. Plaintiff recovered a nominal sum on only one count after making multi-million dollar demand)
  • Estrada v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court) (three-month bench trial of certified independent contractor misclassification class action)
  • Flores v. CNG Financial, Inc., (United States District Court, Eastern District of California) (second-chaired trial on sexual harassment and wrongful termination claims)

Presentations

  • “Best Practices for Using Experts at Deposition and Trial,” American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, New Orleans, LA (March 2016)
  • Law Conference, Philadelphia, PA, (November 2015 scheduled panelist)
  • "Formaldehyde Is Your Friend:  How To Best Preserve Critical Claims, Arguments, And Objections For Appeal," American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, Cabo San Lucas (March 2014 panelist)
  • “Love Triangle in Sin City: A Modern Day Mock Trial, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section,” Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, Las Vegas (March 2012)
  • “Finding Buried Workplace Treasure – Then Using It At Trial, American Bar Association,” Labor and Employment Law Section, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 2011)
  • “Navigating the Legal Shores When Disciplining and Terminating Employees,” Northern California Employment Law & HR Forum, San Francisco, CA (September 2009)
  • “California Wage & Hour Update: Surfing the Next Wave of Wage & Hour Litigation,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing Series, Sacramento, CA (October 2008)
  • “FMLA Update: Recent Legislation & Case Developments,” Sacramento Area Human Resources Association Annual Convention, Sacramento, CA (September 2008)
  • “Harassment and Discrimination Law Update,” Northern California Employment Law Forum, Sacramento, CA (September 2008)
  • “Family Responsibilities Discrimination: Cutting Edge Issues,” Seyfarth Shaw Breakfast Briefing Series, Sacramento, CA (November 2007)
  • “Too Hot to Handle? Hybrid Class/Collective Wage and Hour Actions,” American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, New Orleans, LA (March 2007)
  • “Employment Law Practice: 14th Annual Recent Developments,” Continuing Education of the Bar, Sacramento, CA (February 2005)
  • “Navigating the New Overtime Regulations,” Seyfarth Shaw California Labor & Employment Law Symposium, Sacramento, CA (November 2004)
  • “Recent Trends in Employment Class Actions – It’s Certainly Not Just Title VII Anymore,” Seyfarth Shaw California Labor & Employment Law Symposium, Sacramento, CA (November 2004)
  • Issues In Employment Law, interview published in UC Davis Business Law Journal (May 2004)

Publications

  • Chapter Author, "Chapter 26- Deductions from Wages," Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, ALM Law Journal Press (2012).  Definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation.