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Dwight L. Armstrong

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Biography

Dwight Armstrong partners with companies to manage a valuable resource—their employees. His counsel supports the proactive development and maintenance of policies and procedures and the expedient resolution of personnel problems. When an employment law claim escalates, he defends employers’ interests through arbitration, mediation, and litigation, handling trials and appeals in both federal and state courts.

Employment Law Counseling

Dwight’s balanced approach to preventative counseling saves employers time, money, and negative publicity. He drafts handbooks with clear guidelines for workplace behavior and develops tailored policies that establish and maintain safe and positive work environments. He conducts all levels of management training that emphasize the importance of consistency in applying workplace policies relating to sexual harassment, social media, drug and alcohol testing, workplace violence, family care, leaves of absence, and discipline and termination.

In addition to providing management and HR professionals with an affirmative defense should problems surface, he guides employers through reduction-in-force programs, including compliance with state and federal laws such as the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). He also leads client workshops covering state and federal employment regulations on recruiting, hiring, diversity, and whistleblowers, and best practices for compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), among others. 

Employment Related Dispute Resolution

Dwight provides a steady hand to employers of all sizes facing disruptive and potentially damaging employee lawsuits. He leads internal investigations into discrimination and harassment complaints and works with clients to develop and execute creative and practical strategies for resolving claims through negotiated settlements and alternative dispute resolution.

He also represents management at mediation and arbitration and during governmental audits and investigations into various compliance issues, such as:

  • wage and hour matters before the U.S. Department of Labor and the California Labor Commissioner;
  • allegations of employment discrimination filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing;
  • affirmative action reviews conducted by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs;
  • unemployment insurance claims;
  • section 132a discrimination petitions filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board; and
  • misclassifications of independent contractors alleged by the Internal Revenue Service and Employment Development Department.

Dwight also serves as a neutral arbitrator on the Employment Law Panel of the American Arbitration Association.

Employment Law Litigation

Dwight’s litigation experience extends from jury and bench trials to appellate arguments in both state and federal courts. He has successfully defended wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination, discrimination, trade secret, and unfair competition claims, as well as lawsuits filed under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), which authorizes aggrieved employees to file lawsuits to recover civil penalties on behalf of themselves, other employees, and the State of California for Labor Code violations. 

Labor Law

In the traditional labor law arena, Dwight works with employers to maintain positive employee relations and resolve labor issues when they arise. He guides management through union organizing campaigns and union elections and negotiates collective-bargaining agreements (including project labor agreements) to meet their objectives. He helps employers prepare for and respond to union picketing and strikes and represents them in grievances and arbitrations, including unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Leadership

As chair of the Allen Matkins Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, Dwight has appeared before industry groups, such as the American Bar Association, the Employers Group, the National Human Resources Association, PIHRA, the Council on Education in Management, the Employers Advisory Council, and others. His presentations cover a range of hot topics, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, workplace violence, dress codes, workplace privacy issues, and new California state and federal labor laws. Dwight has also taught graduate level labor and employment law courses.

Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • California Lawyers Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Orange County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

Accolades

  • Recognized as a leading individual in Chambers & Partners USA for California Labor & Employment (2010 - 2018)
  • Named the Best Lawyers' Orange County Labor Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year" (2014, 2018)
  • Named the Best Lawyers' Orange County Litigation - Labor & Employment "Lawyer of the Year" (2013, 2019)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, and Litigation - Labor & Employment (2011 - 2019)
  • Named among Daily Journal’s Top Labor & Employment Attorneys (2010) 
  • Selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers (2004, 2006 - 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated 

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Rated by Super Lawyers

 

Education

Dwight received his B.A. degree in political science in 1974 from Stanford University, where he graduated with departmental honors. He received his J.D. from the USC Gould School of Law in 1977, serving on the editorial board of the Law Review. Prior to commencing his career as a practicing attorney, Dwight clerked for the Honorable E. Avery Crary, a senior judge with the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern Mariana Islands