Mr. Burns has defended California and national employers in class and collective action cases that involve a broad range of state and federal wage and hour issues, including misclassification of exempt employees and independent contractors, violations of meal and rest break regulations, and failure to reimburse business expenses. In the class and collection action context, Mr. Burns experience ranges from supporting pre-litigation investigations, to defeating certification through dispositive motion practice, to conducting exposure analyses to inform settlement negotiations. In addition, Mr. Burns has defended employers against representative actions brought under the California Private Attorney’s General Act (PAGA).
He also has represented clients in the technology, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, and financial services industries ranging in size from local start-ups to multi-national public companies in single-employee disputes regarding a broad range of issues, including discrimination, retaliation, harassment, breach of contract, reasonable accommodations, wrongful termination, founder disputes, and unpaid wages.
In addition, Mr. Burns has offered clients business-focused, day-to-day counseling on a broad range of employment contexts, including recruitment and hiring; performance management; terminations; restrictive covenants; managing employee leaves and accommodation requests; drafting employment agreements, policies and procedures; and compliance with various local, state and federal employment laws. He also provides employment-related transactional support by conducting employment-related diligence and providing advice on the employment-related aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Burns has maintained an active pro bono practice by providing labor and employment advice to nonprofit organizations and through supporting the LGBTQ community.
Mr. Burns is a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco; Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom; the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California Lawyers Association; and the National LGBT Bar Association.