People: William J. Dritsas, Partner

Photo of William J. Dritsas, Partner

William J. Dritsas

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 544-1027
Fax: (415) 397-8549
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Mr. Dritsas is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw, specializing in the practice of labor and employment law on behalf of management. Since 1980, he has represented employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and litigation, including state and federal employment discrimination litigation, wrongful discharge litigation, National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act matters, union elections, arbitrations, strike activities, FMLA, OSHA, ERISA, OFCCP and wage and hour matters. He has advised clients extensively in various aspects of Human Resources and Labor Relations, including drug and alcohol testing programs, workplace violence, employee handbooks and general labor and employment counseling. His practice includes jury and administrative trials and federal and state appellate advocacy.

Mr. Dritsas has extensive experience in training managers, supervisors, and employees on a multitude of employment law topics, including sex harassment, discrimination, ADA, FMLA, dealing with the problem employee, and OSHA.

Mr. Dritsas was honored by the California Lawyer in 1999 as one of the top 20 attorneys in California for his contribution to the development of employment law.

Mr. Dritsas is a partner in the San Francisco office of Seyfarth Shaw, specializing in the practice of labor and employment law on behalf of management. Since 1980, he has represented employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and litigation, including state and federal employment discrimination litigation, wrongful discharge litigation, National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act matters, union elections, arbitrations, strike activities, FMLA, OSHA, ERISA, OFCCP and wage and hour matters. He has advised clients extensively in various aspects of Human Resources and Labor Relations, including drug and alcohol testing programs, workplace violence, employee handbooks and general labor and employment counseling. His practice includes jury and administrative trials and federal and state appellate advocacy.

Mr. Dritsas has extensive experience in training managers, supervisors, and employees on a multitude of employment law topics, including sex harassment, discrimination, ADA, FMLA, dealing with the problem employee, and OSHA.

Mr. Dritsas was honored by the California Lawyer in 1999 as one of the top 20 attorneys in California for his contribution to the development of employment law.

Education

  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School (1980)
  • B.A., University of Michigan (1977)
    with high honors
    Phi Beta Kappa

Admissions

  • California

Courts

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

Affiliations

  • California Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section)

Representative Engagements

Appellate Courts

  • White v. Ultramar (1999) 21 Cal. 4th 563 (Cal. Supreme Court holds supervisor’s ability to hire and fire insufficient for imposing punitive damages against corporation).
  • Spragg v. AT&T (Spragg-II) (9th Cir. 1999) (affirming summary judgment for employer on interference with contract and related tort claims).
  • Spragg v. AT&T (Spragg-I) (9th Cir. 1999) (affirming summary judgment for employer and benefit plan on breach of fiduciary duty and related ERISA claims).
  • Monica v. AT&T, 152 F.3d 927 (9th Cir. 1998) (affirming summary judgment in favor of AT&T on claims for assault and battery, false imprisonment and wrongful discharge) Pet. for Stay of Mandate Denied (9th Cir. 1998).
  • AT&T v. Superior Court (Voakes), 21 Cal. App. 4th 1673, 26 Cal. Rptr. 2d 802 (decision in favor of AT&T on wrongful discharge claim, establishing significant precedential authority on ERISA preemption), cert. denied, 115 S. Ct. 295 (1994).
  • Cal/OSHA v. United Air Lines, Inc. (Cal. App. 1991) (addressing Cal/OSHA regulations on safety shoes).
  • Melanson v. United Air Lines, 931 F.2d 558 (9th Cir. Court of Appeals 1991) (affirming motion to dismiss state tort claims based on Railway Labor Act).
  • Williams v. Caterpillar, 944 F.2d 658 (9th Cir. 1991) (affirming summary judgment in 10 plaintiff ERISA action).
  • Orozco v. United Air Lines, 887 F.2d 949 (9th Cir. 1990) (judgment for employer in ERISA action).
  • Karahadian Ranches v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board, 38 Cal.3d 1, 210 Cal. Rptr. 657 (1984) (California Supreme Court decision addressing union organizing issues under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act).

Trial Courts and Administrative Agencies

  • Barriga v. Jiffy Lube (Los Angeles Superior Court 2003) (summary judgment defeating Bus. & Prof. Code Section 17200 wage/hour representative class action).
  • Foster v. Hilton Hotels Corporation (San Francisco Superior Court 2003) (Plaintiff dismisses, with prejudice, for cost waiver, after one day of trial in medical condition discrimination case).
  • O’Neil v. Levi Strauss & Co. (San Francisco Superior Court 2001) (defense verdict in wrongful discharge/privacy case).
  • Deppe v. United Airlines (USDC N.D. Cal. 2001) (ADA discrimination jury trial favorably resolved at end of trial).
  • Spencer v. Caterpillar (USDC, N.D. Cal 1999) (summary judgment for employer in Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Deppe v. United Airlines (USDC, N.D. Cal. 1998) (summary judgment granted employer in Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Charles v. Caterpillar (C.D.CA. 1998) (summary judgment granted employer in race discrimination case).
  • Del Sol v. Lucky Stores (N.D.CA. 1998) (summary judgment granted employer in ADA case).
  • Dotson v. AT&T, S.F. Superior Court (1998) (summary judgment granted in favor of AT&T on race and sex discrimination).
  • Kreindler v. Sealy, Los Angeles Superior Court (1997) (summary judgment in favor of employer on sex discrimination claims)
  • Wadud v. Sealy (Dist. Minn. 1997) (summary judgment granted employer in religion and race discrimination case).
  • Wang v. AT&T, California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (199) (trial judgment in favor of AT&T, upholding AT&T’s classification of telephone interpreters as independent contractors).
  • Williams v. Pennzoil, California Superior Court (1995) (summary judgment granted employer on wrongful discharge/drug testing case).
  • Jacko v. AT&T, USDC, Northern District of California (1993) (motion to dismiss granted AT&T on grounds of ERISA preemption).
  • Barnes v. AT&T, USDC, Northern District of California (1992) (summary judgment granted in favor of AT&T on ERISA claims).
  • Major v. AT&T, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (1992) (decision in favor of AT&T on wage/hour claim).
  • Mullen v. AT&T, USDC, Northern District of California (1992) (summary judgment granted in favor of AT&T on disability discrimination claims).
  • Manuel v. AT&T, USDC, Northern District of California (1991) (summary judgment granted in favor of AT&T on ERISA claims).
  • Wackenhut Corporation v. Teamsters, 19-RC-12166 (NLRB 1990) (finding parking lot attendants, ticket takers, and ushers are guards and, therefore, union is disqualified to serve as their collective bargaining representative).
  • Empire Waste Management v. Teamsters, Local 350, 20-RC-16258 (NLRB 1988) (upholding election results in favor or employer and rejecting objections concerning coercive electioneering).
  • Cal/OSHA v. Champlin Petroleum, California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals (1985) (judgment in favor of employer on substantial OSHA case arising out of refinery explosion).
  • People v. Champlin Petroleum, Municipal Court (1985) (successful defense in 12-week jury trial arising out of alleged OSHA violations).
  • Sheraton Plaza La Reina Hotel v. HERE, Local 814, 31-CA-12866 (NLRB 1984)(decision in favor of employer on alleged coercive conduct in connection with union organizing campaign).

Presentations

  • Wrongful Discharge Update
  • The Developing Law of Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • How to Minimize Wrongful Discharge and Employment Discrimination Liability Risks
  • How to Avoid and Defend Against Sexual Harassment Claims
  • Cal/OSHA — Coverage, Obligations and Enforcement
  • Right of Privacy Issues in the Workplace
  • New DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules

Publications

  • “The Other Shoe Drops--Suits By Employees Fired For Harassment,” The California Labor Letter (March 1995)
  • “When What You Didn’t Know Can Help You--Employers’ Use of After-Acquired Evidence to Defend Wrongful Discharge Claims,” 44 Labor Law Journal No. 9 (September 1993)
  • “The Workplace Fairness Act Is Unfair to Employers,” Legal Times (August 16,1993)