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Kristianne T. Seargeant
Ms. Seargeant is a principal attorney who practices in the firm's labor and employment law department. She represents both private and public sector clients with such matters as employment litigation, collective bargaining, arbitrations, administrative agency appeals, in-house training and general advice and counsel.
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
Prior Work Experience
Prior to and while attending law school, Ms. Seargeant worked for the Sacramento Fire Department, where she climbed the ranks from Firefighter to Fire Captain to Battalion Chief. Over the course of her 12-year career with the Sacramento Fire Department, Ms. Seargeant 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.
- 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.
Professional Activities & Affiliations
Ms. Seargeant’s professional activities and affiliations include:
- Northern California Rising Star (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- Member, Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Past Chair, Executive Committee, 2010/2011; Vice-Chair 2009/2010; Secretary 2008/2009)
- Member, Labor & Employment Policy Committee, CalChamber
- 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
B.A. University of California, Davis, 1994
J.D. University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 2006
- Dean's List, 2004-2005
- Earned Specialized Certificate Degree in Advocacy (completing coursework in negotiations, mediation and litigation)
- Received State Bar of California Public Service Award, 2004
- Externship - Board Agent, Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)