Kristianne T. Seargeant

Prior to Ms. Seargeant's legal career, she climbed the ranks at the Sacramento Fire Department from Firefighter to Fire Captain to Battalion Chief. Over her 12-year career, she was a 2-term Regional Fire Academy Drill Instructor, In-Service Training Officer, and a decorated member of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Team and the California Office of Emergency Services’ Water Rescue Team. Using her experience as an union employee turned supervisor, Ms. Seargeant customizes her approach to provide practical guidance to her clients. She represents both public and private sector clients with such matters as employment litigation, collective bargaining, arbitrations and administrative agency appeals, as well as performs workplace investigations and provides in-house training and general advice and counsel. 

Legal Experience

Ms. Seargeant provides her legal services to a diverse mix of private sector employers, local and state agencies and school districts. Her areas of emphasis include:

  • Advice and counsel on personnel issues, employee handbooks and policies, wage and hour matters, bargaining and disciplinary actions
  • Compliance with state and federal employment laws:
    • Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA)
    • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
    • Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)
  • Advice and counsel on Cal-OSHA enforcement and unemployment insurance matters
  • Drafting employment agreements, memoranda of understanding, employer-employee relations policies and other contracts
  • Investigating and responding to Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) complaints
  • Negotiations with labor unions

Ms. Seargeant also has a successful litigation practice defending private and public sector clients in labor and employment related lawsuits in both federal and state courts and in administrative hearings. Her specific experience includes:

  • Wage and hour violations
  • Wrongful terminations
  • Discrimination claims, including age, gender and disability
  • Harassment claims, including sexual harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation claims
  • Defending local entities in grievance arbitrations
  • Responding to unfair labor practice charges

Practice Examples

  • Ms. Seargeant assisted David W. Tyra, lead counsel for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the State of California, in 38 cases filed by public employee unions challenging Governor Schwarzenegger's executive orders furloughing California state employees, which ultimately culminated in a California Supreme Court decision that validated the furloughs of state employees based on the Legislature's ratification of Governor Schwarzenegger's furlough plan (Professional Engineers in California Government v. Schwarzenegger (2010) 50 Cal.4th 989).
  • Ms. Seargeant and David W. Tyra successfully defended the State of California in a meal period lawsuit that sought damages in the millions of dollars (California Correctional Peace Officers Association v. State of California (2010) 188 Cal.App.4th 646).
  • Ms. Seargeant and David W. Tyra successfully defended the State of California in a suit brought by prison guards upholding the State's right to implement alternative work schedules under the Fair Labor Standards Act without incurring overtime liability (California Correctional Peace Officers Association v. State of California (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 849).
  • Ms. Seargeant and Bruce A. Scheidt successfully appealed a 750K punitive damages award stemming from a wrongful termination suit (Scott v. Phoenix Schools, Inc. (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 702).
  • Ms. Seargeant has performed numerous independent investigations of harassment and discrimination complaints, providing timely and thorough analysis and conclusions, to the benefit of the employer and employee.

Representative Decisions

  • Brown v. Superior Court, 132 Cal.Rptr.3d 448 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. October 03, 2011)
  • Brown v. Chiang, 132 Cal.Rptr.3d 48 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. August 30, 2011)
  • Service Employees Intern. Union, Local 1000 v. Brown, 128 Cal.Rptr.3d 711 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. July 08, 2011)
  • Union of American Physicians and Dentists v. Brown, 124 Cal.Rptr.3d 704 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. May 16, 2011)
  • California Attorneys v. Brown, 125 Cal.Rptr.3d 463 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. May 05, 2011)
  • California Correctional Peace Officers’ Ass’n v. State, 117 Cal.Rptr.3d 109 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. October 29, 2010)
  • Professional Engineers in Cal. Government v. Schwarzenegger, 116 Cal.Rptr.3d 480 (Cal. October 04, 2010)
  • California Correctional Peace Officers’ Ass’n v. State, 115 Cal.Rptr.3d 361 (Cal. App. 1 Dist. August 18, 2010)
  • Service Employees Intern. Union, Local 1000 v. Schwarzenegger, 112 Cal.Rptr.3d 52 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. June 11, 2010)
  • California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment v. Schwarzenegger, 106 Cal.Rptr.3d 702 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. March 19, 2010)
  • Scott v. Phoenix Schools, Inc., 96 Cal.Rptr.3d 159 (Cal.App. 3 Dist. June 30, 2009)

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Ms. Seargeant’s professional activities and affiliations include:

  • Top Lawyers, Sacramento Magazine, 2016
  • Northern California Super Lawyer (2013-2016)
  • Northern California Rising Star (2009-2012)
  • Member, Executive Committee, State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Past Chair, Executive Committee, 2010/2011; Vice-Chair 2009/2010; Secretary 2008/2009)
  • Member, Education Committee, California Special Districts Association
  • Member, Labor & Employment Policy Committee, CalChamber
  • Adjunct Professor, Employment Law Practicum, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Vice President, River City Rowing Club (2009-2010)

Admitted to Practice

  • All California State Courts
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California

Academic Background

J.D. University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 2006

B.A. University of California, Davis, 1994