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David B. Chidlaw

Partner
Overview
Honors
Experience
Thought Leadership
Memberships

Overview

David B. Chidlaw is a partner in the firm's San Diego office where he specializes in labor and employment matters on behalf of management, employers and high net worth individuals.

Areas of Practice

Mr. Chidlaw has broad experience counseling and defending employers on a wide variety of employment issues, including immigration. He has substantial experience representing employers in representative and class actions under Federal and California wage and hour law, including prevailing wage matters. He has defended employers in wrongful termination and employment discrimination litigation, including sexual harassment, race, age, national origin, gender, and disability discrimination. He also represents employers in unfair competition and trade secret litigation.

Mr. Chidlaw has substantial administrative litigation and counseling experience before State and Federal Agencies, including the NLRB, Cal/OSHA, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner), the California Apprenticeship Council and Division of Apprenticeship Standards, the U.S. Department of Labor, BCIS, the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing, the OFCCP, and the EEOC.

Mr. Chidlaw has advised both organized and merit shop employers for the length of his career.  He has advised and represented employers in collective bargaining negotiations, organizing drives, decertification efforts and grievance arbitration matters.  He regularly defends employers before the NLRB.  He also provides guidance and training on union avoidance.  Mr. Chidlaw provides daily advice to management clients on a wide variety of labor issues including wage and hour, reductions in force, personnel policies and employee handbooks, affirmative action compliance, employment-based immigration, protection of proprietary information, and discipline and termination matters. 

Honors

  • San Diego Super Lawyer, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
  • Top San Diego Lawyers, 2013, 2014

Experience

Fuson v. Conti Materials Service, Inc., United States District Court, Eastern District of California Case No. 1:06-cv-00769 and Stanislaus County Superior Court Case No. 617611 (2007).  Class action on behalf of drivers alleging failure to provide meal and rest periods, unfair competition and failure to pay vacation.  This case was settled after defeating class certification in the federal case.

Hahka v. New West Transportation, Inc., U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Case No. CV 05-07117R (CWx) (2005).  Class and representative action on behalf of truck drivers claiming overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The matter was settled.

Aguayo v. Oldenkamp Trucking, United States District Court, Eastern District of California Case No., F-04-6279 (2004).  Plaintiffs allege that truck drivers are entitled to overtime pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The parties have agreed to a settlement.

Hogue v. WH Smith, et al., San Diego County Superior Court, Case No. GIC 830653 (2004).  Plaintiff, on behalf of herself and other retail employees, is seeking overtime wages and meal break penalties.  The case settled.

Hohnbaum v. Brinker Restaurant Corporation, San Diego Superior Court, Case No. GIC834348 (2004).  Plaintiffs primarily allege failure to provide proper meal periods and rest breaks.  The trial court certified the class action, but Brinker appealed that decision.  The Court of Appeal overturned the order certifying the class and reversed several of the substantive findings of the trial court.  Recently, on appeal, the Court of Appeal denied certification of the plaintiffs' meal and rest period class action claims.  The Court reasoned that because employers are not obligated to ensure that meal and rest periods are actually taken, the assessment of whether employees were forced to forgo their breaks or voluntarily chose not to take them is necessarily "a highly individualized inquiry."  Determination of these claims requires an individual analysis of why each employee did or did not take meal and rest breaks.

Orellana v. Silva Trucking, United States District Court, Case No. S-04-0506 FCD GGH (2004).  Plaintiffs allege that truck drivers are entitled to overtime pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The case settled.

Altomare v. NRG Cabrillo Power Operations, Inc., San Diego County Superior Court Case No. GIN028736 (2003).  Representative action on behalf of power plant employees claiming entitlement to bonus.  The case was settled.

Hernandez v. Jim Aartman, Inc., United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. CIV F 03-5600 AWI LJO (2003).  Plaintiff is a truck driver and he claims violations of federal overtime laws, state uniform laws, and California Business and Processions Code § 17200.  Plaintiff seeks to certify a class of several hundred drivers.  The case settled.

Perea v RPM Enterprises, Orange County Superior Court Case No. 03CC00424 (2003).  This case was brought by roof removal employees seeking overtime under federal and California law.  The parties' settlement agreement was granted final approval by the court.

Annett, et al. v. Eurodesign Cabinets, Inc., San Diego Superior Court, Case No. GIC 798514 (2002).  This class action was brought by cabinet installers and assistants who allege that they were improperly paid on a "piece-rate" basis and should have been paid overtime.  Plaintiffs also alleged that they should have been paid for off-the-clock work and missed meal and break periods.  The case settled.

Saputo v. California Communications, Inc., et al., Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. 2002076169 (2002).  Plaintiffs seek prevailing wage payments and overtime under California law.  We forced plaintiffs to abandon class certification and join 72 plaintiffs.  The case settled.

Vasquez v. Jim Aartman, Inc., United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Case No. 02-CV-5624 (2002).  Plaintiff is a truck driver and he claims violations of federal overtime laws as well as California Business and Processions Code § 17200.  Plaintiff seeks to certify a class of several hundred drivers.  The case settled.

Kropke, et al. v. California Communications, Alameda Superior Court, Case No. 2001-032789 (2001).  This is a representative action under California Business and Professions Code § 17200 by union officials and former employees for alleged violations of state prevailing wage law and as well as other alleged labor code violations.  The Court granted in part our demurrer and motion to strike and the case then settled.

Lehmuth v. Qualex, Inc., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 00CC02825 (2000).  Plaintiff, a former store manager, sought overtime pay for self and class by challenging application of overtime exemption under California law.  The matter was mediated and settled prior to any class certification motion.

Grinstead, et al. v. Riviera Electric of California, Inc., Orange County Superior Court, Case No. 808917 (1998).  This class action was brought on behalf of former employees who claimed they were not paid the prevailing wage as required on public works construction projects.  Wage claims were alleged pursuant to the California Labor Code and Business & Professions Code § 17200.  The case settled.

Ward v. PHCC of the Greater Sacramento Area, Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 97 CS 03102 (1997).  Representative action on behalf of journeymen apprentices claiming subsistence unlawful use and registration entitling them to journeymen wages.  Case was dropped after we obtained ruling (upheld by 3 DCA) that Labor Code section regarding subsistence was unconstitutional.

Navarro v. Coast Plastering, et al., United States District Court, Southern District of California.  Eight related FLSA collective actions seeking overtime for pieceworkers.  The cases settled during discovery.

Thought Leadership

Newsletters

Speaking Engagements

  • Frequent speaker before employer and human resources groups on topics ranging from wage and hour to employment discrimination

Events

Memberships

  • Member, San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member, American Subcontractors Association
  • Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association