Kate S. Gold defends clients in employment and other business disputes in state and federal courts, arbitrations, and before agencies. She is Co-Chair of the Labor and Employment Group's Gender and Pay Equity Team.
Kate’s practice includes defense of individual, collective and class actions and focuses on business and employment litigation and counseling. She handles matters involving wrongful termination, retaliation, whistle blower, sexual harassment, race, age, family leave, pregnancy and disability discrimination, as well as wage and hour compliance; defends actions for misappropriation of intellectual property and trade secrets, interference with contract, and unfair competition; advises on employment issues in the context of purchase and sale of businesses and noncompetition agreements; negotiates and drafts executive employment and separation agreements; and prepares employee handbooks and policies. Kate also conducts workplace investigations and training on sexual harassment prevention.
Kate has over 25 years of experience defending clients in employment litigation. Among her representative matters:
- Defense of an aerospace research and development company in a putative nationwide collective and class action for age discrimination, arising out of a widespread reduction in force. Defeated class claims in both federal and state court and obtained summary judgment in remaining five single plaintiff cases.
- Defense of a national retail merchandiser in a putative class action alleging various wage and hour violations (off-the-clock, meal and rest break, expense reimbursement). Defeated class certification on all but one claim which was then resolved for a small fraction of Plaintiff’s original demand.
- Defense of beverage manufacturer and bottler in putative class action alleging wage and hour violations (off the clock, meal and rest break, expense reimbursement). Favorably resolved prior to class certification hearing.
- Defense of national restaurant supply wholesaler in putative class action alleging wage and hour violations (off the clock, meal and rest break, bonus/overtime claims). Favorably resolved prior to class certification hearing.
- Defense of national restaurant supply wholesaler in putative FLSA collective action alleging misclassification of department managers (motion to compel individual arbitration pending).
- Defense of leading national retailer of home goods in various actions for age and disability discrimination, as well as defamation. Cases have been resolved on summary judgment or for nominal amounts.
- Lead counsel for a prominent Southern California medical group in JAMS arbitration brought by hospital department chair for breach of contract, fraud, and defamation. Prevailed on all claims. Lead counsel for a television network and production company in a pregnancy discrimination claim by a former model. Obtained summary judgment for defendants, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Lead counsel for television network and production company in a companion state court action by former model/actress who alleged pregnancy and gender discrimination and misappropriation of likeness. Prevailed on a new trial motion, vacating verdict.
- Lead counsel on behalf of a for-profit educational institution in state court action filed by an admissions counselor, alleging individual and private attorney general act claims for wage and hour violations. Obtained a favorable settlement for nominal amount.
- Lead counsel for a talent agency in a state agency proceeding for retaliation, wage and hour claims. Obtained a favorable settlement after employee's appeal from agency ruling.
- Lead counsel in federal court action on behalf of radio broadcasting company in a lawsuit brought by competitor for tortious interference with contract, misappropriation of commercial identity, and unfair competition in connection with the client’s hire of a popular on-air disc jockey. Obtained a favorable settlement after defendant's summary judgment motion filed.
- Lead counsel in an arbitration on behalf of the nation’s largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company to enforce exclusivity provisions of an employment agreement for a morning drive-time star disc jockey.
- Lead counsel in an arbitration on behalf of production company that owns and produces the longest-running, nationally broadcast television game show. Obtained an arbitration award in an action brought by a former employee for retaliatory failure to hire and age and gender discrimination; argued before the California Court of Appeals, which affirmed the arbitration award in full.
- Lead counsel in defense of an international retailer of skin care products in a state court action by a former employee who alleged disability discrimination, violation of state and federal family and medical leave laws, and violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. Negotiated a favorable settlement following the plaintiff’s deposition.
- Lead counsel in defense of a production company in a state court action by a current and former employee/model who alleged sexual and racial harassment and discriminatory contestant selection process. Negotiated a favorable settlement following the plaintiff's deposition.
- Defended an international apparel and housewares retailer in an OSHA whistleblower action. Negotiated a favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
- Defended a national trucking company in a putative class action that alleged unlawful business practices under the California Business & Professions Code section 17200 concerning an alleged violation of Workers' Compensation Act for deduction of funds from compensation of independent contractors to obtain workers' compensation insurance. Obtained a favorable settlement following aggressive initial factual investigation.
- Defeated a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction for broadcasting company and a celebrity disc jockey in a lawsuit by a competitor for breach of employment contract and tortious interference with the contract, which led to a settlement with no payment by the client. On behalf of global financial services firm, successfully defeated applications for temporary restraining orders in several superior court actions that alleged violation of trade secrets and employee raiding that resulted from an alleged solicitation of competitors' brokers.
- On behalf of global financial services firm, successfully defeated applications for temporary restraining orders in several superior court actions that alleged violation of trade secrets and employee raiding that resulted from an alleged solicitation of competitors' brokers.
Kate also has extensive experience representing clients in commercial litigation. Her representative matters include:
- Defended international retailer of skin-care products in putative class action alleging claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
- Defended a global manufacturer and distributor of office products in an action alleging breach of contract and tort claims arising out of its termination of an international distributorship agreement with a Mexican distributor. Prevailed in motion to dismiss and reached favorable resolution of client's counterclaims.
- Defended hospital in an action by a hearing impaired patient who alleged violations of Unruh Act and Disabled Persons Act.
- Defended a multinational information technology corporation in a putative consumer class action alleging violations of the constitutional right of privacy and Consumer Legal Remedies Act arising out of the alleged request for personally identifiable information in connection with a sale. Obtained dismissal.
- Defended an international retailer in Consumer Legal Remedies Act putative class action based on an alleged violation of California’s gift card redemption statute and in a class action for an alleged violation of Fair and Accurate Credit Act (FACTA).
- On behalf of one of the world’s largest music publishers, prosecuted a copyright infringement and breach of contract action involving the music publishing rights of the pre-1982 MGM film library.
- Prosecuted, on behalf of an energy exchange, an inverse condemnation claim against the State for the Governor’s commandeering of the block forward energy contracts, seeking approximately $1 billion in damages.
- Represented a real estate developer and major grocery store chain in five-week Santa Barbara Superior Court bench trial to enforce the purchase and sale agreement to acquire a multimillion-dollar Santa Barbara property and to develop high-end supermarket. Prevailed after a five-week trial and on appeal and recovered a seven-figure attorneys' fee award. Defended a nationwide distributor of office equipment and business supplies in a California class action alleging multimillion-dollar damages for fraud, breach of contract and unfair business practices in violation of the Business and Professions Code 17200 in connection with the sale and distribution of state-of-the-art color photocopiers. Obtained a favorable settlement prior to class certification.
One of the Top Labor & Employment Lawyers in California, Daily Journal (2018)
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
- University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D.
- University of California, Berkeley, B.A., highest distinction
- University of Paris, Sorbonne
- Constitutional Rights Foundation, Board Member
- Litigation and Employment Law Sections, Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
- Joint Task Force of Los Angeles County Bar Association and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms (2008-2013)
- Los Angeles Superior Court, Volunteer Judge Pro Tem
- Beverly Hills Bar Association Work/Life Committee, Executive Committee (2007-2008)