Gregory Knopp Three-peats as Daily Journal Top Calif. Labor Lawyer

(Los Angeles) – Akin Gump labor partner Gregory Knopp has, for the third straight year and fourth out of the last five, been named among California’s top labor and employment lawyers by Daily Journal.

The accompanying profile notes the rise of exempt/non-exempt classification litigation by employees, to which Knopp said, “A lot of companies now classify their employees as nonexempt to neutralize possible claims.”  As a consequence, with the increased number of nonexempt workers, he noted, “There are many lawsuits now that are focused on off-the-clock issues.”

His profile also features his winning work on behalf of longtime Akin Gump client Starbucks in Troester, et al., v. Starbucks Corp., in which the plaintiff alleged that the coffee giant had failed to pay him for the time he spent closing the store after clocking out.  Starbucks moved for summary judgment, as the article notes, asserting “that the plaintiff's alleged off-the-clock closing tasks were minimal.”  The court agreed and ruled that Starbucks’ “de minimis” defense applied to California wage claims. 

Knopp said, "There aren't that many federal court decisions in California that apply to the de minimis defense. It is a defense that is very difficult to meet and, the fact that we now have a federal court decision applying that defense, is significant."

The profile also spotlights his successful representation of 24-Hour Fitness in a class action that alleged 24-Hour Fitness had failed to pay its trainers overtime.  In 2013, a California federal judge granted 24-Hour Fitness’ request to compel arbitration on an individual basis.

To read about Knopp’s 2013 victory, click here.  For his 2012 win, click here.