Patricia S. Eyres (“Patti”) calls herself a “recovering litigator,” who knows first-hand the value of paying attention to prevention. After spending 18 years defending companies in the courtroom, she resolved to help business leaders recognize potential legal landmines before they explode into lawsuits. As a full-time speaker, trainer and consultant, she brings a unique and practical perspective to the critical legal issues impacting the workplace.
She is Managing Partner of Eyres Law Group, LLP, a specialized law practice focusing exclusively on helping employers in the areas of labor, employment and education law. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, school districts and public agencies. In addition to guiding employers through the maze of risks associated with workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, she is an expert on return-to-work, reasonable accommodation and leave of absence compliance.
As CEO/Publisher of Proactive Law Press, LLC, Ms. Eyres supervises the production and publication of books, training materials, educational products for business owners, managers and trainers. She is the author of four books and 350+ articles in trade and professional journals on proactive legal management of the workplace.
Ms. Eyres is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University (B.A. with Distinction 1974). She earned her law degree from Loyola Law School (J.D. cum laude 1977). She served as the Chief Note and Comment Editor of the Loyola Law Review and is a member of the California State Bar and the American Bar Association.
As founder and President of Litigation Management & Training Services, Inc., Eyres speaks internationally, consults with organizations on developing and enforcing effective policies, and trains managers to lead within legal limits. Her workshops focus on methods for preventing costly lawsuits or minimizing disruption when unavoidable claims occur.
Ms. Eyres has earned the National Speakers Association’s Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, the speaking profession’s highest international measure of professional platform skill and proven professional achievement. She was named a Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Platinum Speaker for 2006-2007. MPI Platinum Speaker designation denotes the top rated speakers at MPI National Conferences based on audience interaction, content, delivery, humor and professionalism. She is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.
Eyres Law Group, LLP has offices in Irvine, California and its Administrative Office in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Donnelly v. Greenburgh Central School District, a recent federal court decision, addresses one of the core eligibility issues under the Federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The court focused on what hours must be counted toward the 1,250 hours of actual work when determining whether an employee is eligible for leave under the FMLA […]
Effective December 30, 2012, the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing has a whole new set of disability discrimination regulations to enforce under the Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA). The regulations govern the rights of job applicants and employees with disabilities in every aspect of the employment relationship, from recruiting and hiring, to […]
On June 28, 2012, Governor Brown signed a budget reconciliation bill that made widespread changes to the organization of many state agencies. Buried in the 160 page bill are very significant amendments to the California Fair Employment & Housing Act (FEHA), which is the comprehensive statutory framework for California’s prohibition on categories for discrimination, harassment […]
As the current business culture evolves into one riddled with legal battles and threats of lawsuits coming from discharged employees, many managers and supervisors feel cornered when addressing employee performance evaluations. Even those employers who follow stringent documentation guidelines often feel pressured into keeping unproductive employees in their positions or giving ambiguous performance feedback, due […]
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) settled a group action lawsuit on behalf of newspaper delivery drivers against Penske Logistics, LLC for $450,000. The DFEH alleged that Penske refused to hire the drivers because of their real or perceived disabilities. The case arose after Penske entered into a contract with the Fresno Bee […]
On July 26, 2012, a federal judge in Las Vegas ordered Prospect Airport Services, Inc., a provider of wheelchair assistance services to airline passengers, to implement extensive measures to prevent future sexual harassment. After agreeing to a monetary settlement of $75,000 in a lawsuit brought by the the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Prospect refused to […]
On June 25, 2012, in Boliou v. Stockton Unified School District, an appeals court ruled that once a school district schedules a termination hearing against a tenured teacher, it cannot unilaterally rescind the dismissal charges and thereby avoid paying the teacher’s attorneys’ fees and costs. The district is required to conclude the proceedings only as […]
The premise of the civil jury system is that jurors decide the facts and judges rule on the law. At trial, jurors listen to conflicting evidence, evaluate the credibility of the witnesses and review documentary evidence. The judge then instructs the jury on the parties’ respective legal rights and responsibilities, and the jurors render a […]
On April 26, 2012, the California Fourth Appellate District in San Diego ruled that the anti-retaliation provision of the Reporting by School Employees of Improper Governmental Activities Act does not exempt management employees from liability, where those employees act in a supervisory capacity when they retaliate (Hartnett v Crosier). Rodger Hartnett worked as a claims […]
Yesterday, in a case that affects virtually every California employer, the state Supreme Court published its eagerly anticipated decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court. Brinker, which owns Chili’s and Romano’s Macaroni Grills, was sued by a proposed class of hourly employees who claimed that restaurant managers pressured them to skip their breaks by […]
Facebook Frenzy Over Password Privacy Misses the Bigger Legal Point: Most Social Networking Profile Content is Off Limits for Hiring Decisions Unless you took an early Spring Break on a deserted island over the last week, you’ve seen the explosion of media stories surrounding the practice by some employers of asking applicants for their Facebook […]
The California Supreme Court issued its decision in C.A. v. William S. Hart Union High School District On March 8, 2012, ruling that school districts may be held liable if a supervisory or administrative employee is found to have negligently exposed a student to a foreseeable danger of sexual abuse by a school employee. The […]
Pick up any newspaper and you will see headlines announcing the latest lawsuit filed against an employer for retaliation. Examples On March 1, 2012, a news story described a lawsuit by a TV anchor in Florida, fired after 17 years on the job, accusing the station of dismissing him as a reprisal for his complaint […]
The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act, passed with bipartisan support and signed by President Obama, allows military veterans to sue their employers for workplace harassment. The key provisions of the Act seek to reduce unemployment rates for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, but the legislation also amends the Uniformed Services Employment […]
And it’s Mandated for California Employers with 50+ Employees The best way for employers to reduce the risk of successful harassment claims is to maintain and enforce anti-harassment policies, train the workforce on the prevention of harassment, and respond to concerns promptly and effectively. California law requires two hours of sexual harassment prevention training for […]
This year, several new laws directly impact existing Employee Handbooks and employer procedures. Here is a summary of the most significant changes: AB 22 Severely Limits Credit Checks of Applicants or Employees Employers (with the exception of certain financial institutions) are prohibited from obtaining or relying on credit reports for applicants and employees, unless the […]
The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) allow employees to take up to 12 weeks of job protected leave for a qualifying reason and to return to the same or an equivalent position at the end of the leave. Interference with Family & Medical Leave Act rights can land […]