There is not much Ann has not seen during her 30 years as a successful employment and business/commercial trial lawyer. As an associate, partner, and rainmaker she has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of cases throughout the country and implemented many in-house ADR programs for clients.
While in practice, she earned the respect of clients, colleagues, and opposing counsel for having a keen sense of the strengths and weaknesses of cases. Critically assessing the evidence, witnesses, and the law, she envisioned how each side would try their cases and utilized the information to develop trial and resolution strategies. As a full-time mediator, Ann is known to use this approach going above and beyond in preparing as if she was the trial lawyer on the case in each room. Depending on the complexity of the matter, she may have several pre-mediation mini-sessions and calls to formulate a framework for the mediation session in order to maximize the probability of settlement. She also is known to create a sensitive and respectful atmosphere so the parties gain trust in her and the process.
Many describe Ann as a patient and focused mediator who has extensive knowledge of the law and possesses unmatched skills and works tirelessly to obtain a resolution for the parties. One attorney said, “ Ann is a top-tier mediator. She has a knowledgeable and calming presence, and is persuasive on both sides.”
- All Types of Employment Related Matters
- Class Action
Ann enjoys gardening, baking, hiking, yoga, reading, painting and interior design.
- Mediator,Arbitrator, Judicate West (2016-Present)
- Mediator/Arbitrator, Ann Kotlarski Mediation (2015)
- Partner, Payne & Fears, LLP (2016)
- Partner, Bryan Cave, LLP (2013-2015)
- Partner, Seyfarth Shaw (2003-2013)
- Director, Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May (2001-2003)
- Lamb and Baute, LLP (2000-2001)
- Of Counsel, Yuhl, Rhames, Yul & St. Clair (1997-1999)
- Partner, Quinn Emanuel (1995-1997), Litigation Associate, (1991-1995)
- Whitman, Breed, Abbot & Morgan (1987-1991)
- University of San Francisco School of Law, cum laude (1985)
- B. A., Northwestern University (1982)
- Los Angeles County Superior Court CRASH Program
- Formal dispute resolution training at Pepperdine University School of Law's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, including Mediating the Litigated Case, Women's Negotiation Academy, and Resolving Workplace Disputes Through Mediation and Other ADR Processes
- The Current State of Affairs: Best Practices and Pitfalls In Negotiating Employment Law Disputes in Mediation, Southern California Mediation Association 2016 Employment Mediation Institute, May 19, 2016
- Valuation of Discrimination/Retaliation Cases In Mediation: A 360 Perspective, 2016 LACBA Labor and Employment Symposium, March 9, 2016
- Managing Leaves of Absence and Accommodations in California: An Essential Guide for In-House Employment and Corporate Counsel, Celesque for Westlaw, February 1, 2016
- Arbitrating in 2016: New Cases, Rules, Challenges and Opportunities, Judicate West Program, January 28, 2016
- HR Investigation Workshop: A Guide to Legal and Effective Inquiries, Business Management Daily, January 16, 2016
- Mediated commercial dispute involving major financial institution against whom claims pertaining to failure to abide by consumer protection regulations were alleged.
- Mediated ADA access claims involving paraplegic consumer who was unable to gain access to a retail establishment.
- Mediated ADA access claims involving seriously disabled customer who encountered various access barriers.
- Mediated ADA access case filed against national bank concerning absence of a lowered teller window for disabled customers.
- Mediated a matter brought against a national bank alleging that a disabled access teller window was not staffed allowing use by disabled persons.
- Mediated matter involving sexual harassment allegations asserted against a prominent public figure.
- Three day mediation involving sexual harassment and relations claimed against a prominent public figure.
- Mediated matter involving ADA allegations and various government tort claims asserted against a school district in connection with the educational placement of a disabled child.
Breach of Privacy
- Mediated dispute brought by applicant against a prospective law firm employer for allegedly conducting an illegal background search and invasion of privacy.
- Mediated commercial dispute involving a major financial institution where a co-signer sought declaratory relief from payment of loans allegedly procured as a result of identity theft pertaining to the co-signer
- Mediated dispute involving major telecommunications provider for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by allegedly using an automated telephone dialing system.
- Mediated matter involving claims for, among others, intentional interference with contract and prospective economic advantage where defendant allegedly made misrepresentations concerning plaintiff's finances which supposedly resulted in a loss of business.
A D A
- Mediated claims asserted by a high level executive for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and failure to engage in the interactive process, age discrimination, violation of Labor Code Section 970 and wrongful termination where the executive was not returned to his prior position or provided with another available position for which he was qualified following his diagnosis and treatment for a life threatening medical condition.
- Mediated disability and wrongful termination claims asserted against an entertainment establishment by a long term employee who received extended leaves of absence and multiple accommodations for several years.
Breach of Contract
- Mediated matter involving allegations asserted against a music industry executive and the executive's company by two former executives claiming sexual harassment, unfair pay act violations, breach of alleged stock option agreements and constructive termination.
- Mediated disability discrimination and wrongful termination claims asserted against an auto dealership in connection with attendance issues.
- Mediated disability discrimination case alleged against amusement park involving termination of employment for failing to provide medical documentation.
- Mediated a dispute where plaintiff alleged her disability prevented her from performing assigned duties resulting in her absence from work and subsequent termination for not reporting to work.
- Mediated matter against a Fortune 500 employer claims including failure to engage in the interactive process where the plaintiff's employment was terminated after he was declared permanent and stationary by the workers' compensation physician
- Mediated matter brought by a short term employee against national staffing company, a joint employer, for sexual harassment and wrongful termination.
- Mediated matter involving allegations of age discrimination where an elderly employee was terminated following an extended period of employment for alleged performance deficiencies.
- Mediated a case involving retaliation and disability claims asserted by a senior manager against an entertainment company where absent previous documentation plaintiff following a complaint of alleged sexual harassment, plaintiff was given the alternative of a performance improvement plan or resignation.
- Mediated a matter alleged against a retailer for misclassification of debt collectors as independent contractors and resultant multiple wage and hour violations.
- Mediated claims asserted against staffing company and manufacturer alleging joint employer status and liability for failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate and disability discrimination resulting in the termination of plaintiff's employment.
- Mediated matter brought against a large retailer for disability discrimination and wrongful termination where plaintiff allegedly violated the employer's associate discount policy.
- Mediated matter involving allegations against a property management company for, among other claims, failing to engage in the interactive process where plaintiff, although released to return to work without restrictions, continued to complain about physical problems.
- Mediated matter involving allegations of sex discrimination by a female fire fighter against a federal agency including claims of failure to promote and gender based harassment.
- Mediated matter alleging disability discrimination against a property management company where the plaintiff was released to return to work without restrictions but continued to complain about physical issues that purportedly were not addressed by the employer.
- Mediated matter involving claims of age and disability discrimination alleged against a school district by a current employee who was reassigned new duties potentially in violation of the parties collective bargaining agreement.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff, a highly compensated manager, made a complaint of sexual harassment about her prospective manager and shortly thereafter experienced retaliation culminating in the elimination of her position.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff a sales rep for a tech company took multiple leaves of absence in connection with plaintiff's treatment for cancer. Following each leave plaintiff was returned to a job that differed from the job plaintiff held as of the time plaintiff first went on leave. Following plaintiff's third leave of absence, plaintiff was informed that the job had been eliminated.
- Mediated matter involving claims for wrongful termination and disability discrimination as well as failure to engage in the interactive process or provide a reasonable accommodation where the employer upon receipt of plaintiff's work restriction told plaintiff to go home. Plaintiff, a long term employee, understood that his employment was terminated and the employer made no efforts to contact him.
- Mediated matter where employee informed her employer she was pregnant the second day on the job. Plaintiff's employment was terminated two weeks later for performance deficiencies about which she was never counseled.
- Mediated matter involving claims by a gay male plaintiff that his termination was the result of whistleblowing allegations concerning the entity's financial matters coupled with allegations of gender and sexual orientation discrimination.
- Mediated matter filed against major defense contractor for age discrimination involving the lay off of multiple plaintiffs with over 40 years of service.
- Mediated a matter where plaintiff asserted he was terminated following his alleged complaints that his employer, a Chinese based import business, was selling product that was not in compliance with certain regulatory requirements.
- Mediated matter involving claims of national origin and gender discrimination asserted against a municipality where plaintiff raised concerns on behalf of her Hispanic colleagues - pertaining to the employer’s English only policy, scheduling and break policies.
- Mediated matter involving claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and failure to engage in the interactive process as well as constructive termination asserted against national retailer as a result of employer’s unilateral decision to place plaintiff on leave due to the restrictions provided by the physician.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff's request for a second year leave of absence while his healthcare providers were treating him as a potential organ transplant recipient was summarily denied by management without engaging in the interactive process resulting in the termination of the plaintiff's employment.
- Mediated matter involving claims asserted against a national retailer for failure to accommodate and disability discrimination stemming from the termination of the plaintiff’s employment following an investigation about unauthorized use of personnel.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff, the bookkeeper for a law firm, suffered from PTSD and anxiety/depressive disorders due to domestic violence. Following plaintiff's hospitalization and while on a brief medical leave about which the defendant was fully informed plaintiff's employment was terminated for alleged performance reasons.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff, a cleaner for international airlines, was on light duty due to a back injury. Once plaintiff was determined to be permanent and stationary defendant terminated plaintiff's employment claiming there was no means of accommodating plaintiff's injury.
- Mediated matter involving claims of sexual harassment by a supervisor directed towards a nurse at a psychiatric skilled nursing facility. Plaintiff claimed she was suspended and placed on call in lieu of full time work because she complained about the alleged harassment.
- Mediated matter involving national retailer where plaintiff alleged she was terminated for excused absences related to post pregnancy complications which were substantiated by the medical note plaintiff alleged she offered to her employer in addition to informing her supervisor of the need to seek medical treatment.
- Mediated matter involving allegations of disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to engage in the interactive process or provide a reasonable accommodation asserted against a national restaurant chain where the defendant claimed that plaintiff voluntarily resigned her employment while on a protected leave of absence.
- Mediated matter against major clothing retailer where plaintiff alleged he was subjected to continuous harassment based upon his sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Mediated matter involving claims of age discrimination asserted a national tech company by a 34 year employee who was laid off with other employees all of whom were over 50 years of age.
Family Leave Act
- Mediated claims for disability and pregnancy discrimination, failure to accommodate and engage in the interactive process, retaliation and wrongful termination allege against a major financial institution where the plaintiff's employment was terminated while on leave for pregnancy related conditions.
- Mediated matter involving allegations of pregnancy discrimination where plaintiff's duties where reassigned while plaintiff was on leave and no comparable job was offered upon her return from pregnancy leave.
- Mediated wage and hour dispute involving claims for failure to pay overtime, provide meal periods and rest breaks, provide itemized wage statements and waiting time penalties as well as FEHA claims for race and national origin discrimination.
- Mediated PAGA action involving alleged violations of Labor Code Section 2802 where employer paid less than two times the minimum wage and did not provide hand tools to mechanics.
- Mediated PAGA action involving claims for meal period, rest break and overtime violations for alleged failure to include bonus payments in the regular rate.
- Mediated matter involving claims for pregnancy discrimination and retaliation asserted against a medical testing laboratory where the plaintiff was included in a reduction in force shortly after she announced her pregnancy.
- Mediated action where a clothing designer failed to return a pregnant employee to her position following protected leave and subsequently terminated her employment as part of an ongoing alleged downsizing.
- Mediated sexual harassment and wrongful termination claims based upon comments made by multiple male defendants. Plaintiff asserted the termination of her employment was due to complaining about the alleged harassment and requesting time off in connection with an unrelated matter.
- Mediated case involving manager's claim of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation based upon the manager's sexual orientation and whistle blowing activities pertaining to wage and hour violations including misclassification of the manager.
- Mediated sexual harassment claims asserted by former employee against an engineering company and its president including unwelcome touching.
- Three-day mediation involving sexual harassment allegations asserted against a prominent public figure. Case successfully settled in mediation.
- Mediated allegations of sexual harassment asserted by an independent contractor who also alleged misclassification claims.
- Mediated action brought against dental office by a short term, part-time employee for failing to reinstate plaintiff to her position upon the conclusion of her brief medical leave of absence.
- Mediated matter involving claims of sexual harassment and stalking where the plaintiff was subjected to sexually charged verbal and written comments, including social media postings, by a co-worker in the presence of a supervisory employee.
- Mediated matter against food distributor where the owner allegedly harassed a subordinate employee by making suggestive, sexual remarks. Plaintiff also alleged improper pay practices.
- Mediated matter involving claims of sexual harassment and constructive termination where plaintiff alleged her supervisor made sexual comments and engaged in inappropriate touching of her as well as other women. The me-too claimants consisted of both former and current employees all of whom supported the allegations of misconduct.
- Mediated matter involving sexual battery claims against a third party restaurant customer who engaged in unwanted touching of a restaurant employee.
Wage and Hour
- Mediated wage and hour case involving claims for alleged failure to pay prevailing wage, overtime, meal and rest period and wage statement violations.
- Mediated commission dispute involving allegations of fraud resulting in alleged failure to pay commissions to motor dealer ship sales personnel and management.
- Mediated and resolved contentious matter by long term disabled employee alleging claims for wrongful termination, failure to accommodate and failure to adequately engage in the interactive process.
- Mediated numerous wage/hour violations alleged by undocumented and documented immigrants against a garment manufacturer.
- Mediated representative PAGA action for various wage and hour violations filed against security guard company and PEO, the alleged joint employer.
- Mediated matter pre-litigation involving misclassification of retail territory managers.
- Mediated action involving claims for pregnancy and disability discrimination where a long term managerial employee with documented performance issues was terminated shortly after announcing her pregnancy.
- Mediated matter involving allegations brought against restaurant enterprise for split shift, over time, meal and rest and wage statement violations.
- Mediated matter involving wage and hour allegations asserted against a for profit university by an adjunct professor claiming failure to pay minimum wage, overtime and provide meals periods.
- Mediated matter involving multiple wage hour violations in conjunction with a PAGA claim asserted against a trucking company where the company contended it was not subject to overtime based upon the applicable regulations exempting truck drivers based upon the number of axels and weight of the trucks.
- Mediated multi-plaintiff PAGA action with underlying wage and hour claims for failure to pay minimum wage, overtime and related penalties where defendant employer paid employees in cash.
- Mediated multi-plaintiff case involving compensation of plumbers on a piece rate basis who asserted claims for non-payment of non-productive time, rest periods and overtime.
- Mediated matter involving overtime and reporting time claims asserted against a California based trucking company engaged in intrastate and interstate commerce.
Wage and Hour Class Action
- Mediated class action filed against a construction company where employees were compensated on a piece work basis without being paid overtime at the appropriate rate, reimbursed for tools, and equipment or compensated for reporting pay, among other claims.
- Mediated matter alleging failure to pay overtime at the legal rate, rounding of time to employees' detriment, and meal and rest break violations alleged against a manufacturer.
- Mediated class action and PAGA claims asserted against a non-profit entity for alleged violation of Labor Code Section 2802 due to the employer's failure to provide employees with a reasonable percentage of their cell phone bills as an expense reimbursement where employees utilized their phones for business purposes.
- Mediated class action involving alleged failure to appropriately reimburse employees for work-related cell phone use.
Whistleblower Wrongful Term
- Mediated claims asserted under multiple whistleblower statutes based upon allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse asserted by a peace officer against his former employer, a state governmental agency.
- Mediated matter involving claims of alleged wrongful termination when plaintiff, a construction crew member, was laid off as the construction project was winding down shortly after reporting an on the job injury and refusing to work off the clock.
Wrongful Term & Discrimination
- Mediated dispute involving national healthcare provider's termination of emotionally disabled employee for attendance related issues.
- Mediated disability discrimination and wrongful termination action where long term employee was terminated for policy violations shortly after requesting a transfer for accommodation purposes.
- Mediated matter involving long term employee taking a medical leave and not returning to work who subsequently filed suit for wrongful termination and disability discrimination.
- Mediated a matter where plaintiff alleged against his former employer, a public entity, claims based upon refusal to accommodate serious mental disabilities and wrongful termination associated with the plaintiff's inability to return to work.
- Mediated matter where employment leasing company terminated plaintiff's employment following his release to return to work without restrictions in connection with an undisputed on the job injury.
- Mediated matter where following a leave of absence for cancer treatments plaintiff’s sales leads were significantly reduced resulting in the termination of his employment based upon poor performance. Plaintiff alleged claims for disability discrimination and wrongful termination.
- Mediated dispute involving claims for religious discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination asserted against a telecommunications company stemming from plaintiff's complaints about cyberstalking by a co-worker.
- Mediated multiple plaintiff dispute involving claims for disability discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination brought against an entertainment company.
- Mediated dispute brought by a current employee who was injured on the job against a transportation and logistics company for failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate and disability discrimination.
- Mediated and successfully resolved a sexual harassment case involving conduct by managerial and executive level employees of an adult entertainment business.
- Mediated whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination claims alleged against healthcare organization by former employee whose employment was terminated for behavioral issues.
- Mediated disability discrimination case asserted against a public entity involving claims for failure to engage in the interactive process and reasonably accommodate a long term seriously disabled employee.
- Mediated case filed against major retailer alleging claims for failure to accommodate, disability discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination.
- Mediated whistle-blower claims against an auto dealership based upon alleged safety and financial violations of law.
- Mediated wrongful termination matter where plaintiff alleged he was terminated for complaining about bullying and physical violence in the workplace.
- Mediated matter brought against a moving and storage company for breach of contract, property damage, and false representations.
- Mediated a matter brought against a large auto dealership where plaintiff alleged that her whistleblowing about improper service charges lead to her termination.
- Mediated a matter where plaintiff was a documented high performer and was terminated for undocumented behavioral issues following a leave of absence.
- Mediated action brought against a print media company alleging multiple wage and hour violations as well as retaliatory termination following complaints about wages and reimbursement of expenses.
- Mediated matter involving wrongful termination claims asserted by a management level employee of a private religious based hospital based upon allegations of whistle blowing including misuse of funds and understaffing.
- Mediated matter involving claims for various wage and hour violations and age discrimination where property management company terminated a 30-year employee who had been paid with rent credits absent a voluntary agreement providing that rent credit could be applied against minimum wage.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff was terminated within a week of being injured on the job and requesting medical care.
- Mediated matter where the employer, a non-profit healthcare organization, denied plaintiff’s request for additional leave, in part because the employer believed the plaintiff would not return to work on the specified date and therefore, terminated plaintiff’s employment following 24 weeks of leave asserting undue hardship.
- Mediated action filed against an insurance broker where shortly following the announcement of the plaintiff's pregnancy working conditions altered including a change of duties, reduction of hours and alleged threat to terminate plaintiff's employment in the absence of turning over her complete medical files.
- Mediated action filed against a national industrial company where plaintiff alleged claims of sexual harassment and retaliation. During the course of her employment, plaintiff's supervisor allegedly engaged in unwanted touching and persistently contacting plaintiff during and after hours for non-work related matters.
- Mediated matter involving major national retailer where supervisor allegedly made sexual and racial comments about others in plaintiff’s presence and allegedly made social media postings of a racial nature while plaintiff made social media postings with sexual content.
- Mediated matter involving sexual harassment allegations asserted by a female complainant against a gay male manager who allegedly made inappropriate comments. Shortly after plaintiff complained about the conduct she was informed that her position had been eliminated.
- Mediated matter involving claims for wrongful termination of the plaintiff's employment where plaintiff, a corporate officer and alleged whistleblower, raised issues of misconduct and misrepresentations and was terminated shortly thereafter.
- Mediated matter involving claims asserted against a national retailer for disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation where plaintiff allegedly did not timely return from a leave of absence and was investigated for theft during her absence resulting in the termination of her employment.
- Mediated matter involving allegations of wrongful termination and demotion asserted by police officers who contend adverse actions were the result of protected speech activities.
- Mediated matter where multiple male employees of a defense contractor were accused of sexual harassment by a female employee. Two of the three alleged harassers were terminated based upon the allegations asserted which consisted primarily of verbal comments, one touching and some inappropriate photos.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff a high-level manager was performance-managed, resulting with a termination within thirty days of receiving a performance improvement plan following the defendant’s acquisition by a private equity company. Plaintiff alleged that post acquisition terminations had a disparate impact upon older employees.
- Mediated matter asserting that national retailer failed to engage in the interactive process or reasonably accommodate the plaintiff. Plaintiff also asserted his employment was constructively terminated when he was required to voluntarily resign as part of his workers’ compensation settlement.
- Mediated matter involving claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and/or engage in the interactive process asserted by a former Human Resources employee who was terminated shortly after she utilized all statutory pregnancy disability leave and CAVER leave for baby bonding but continued to suffer from a pregnancy related disability for which no further accommodation was provided.
- Mediated matter involving a warehousing company where plaintiff was injured on the job. He and the other employee involved in the accident were drug tested. Plaintiff was accommodated with light duty until his drug test results returned with a positive finding leading to the termination of his employment for violating the company's zero tolerance drug policy.
- Mediated matter involving allegations that the plaintiff, a child care giver, was terminated for reporting health and safety violations to the defendant employer and government agency in violation of Labor Code Section 1102.5.
- Mediated matter involving claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and/or engage in the interactive process where plaintiff, a long term employee was released to return to work provided she did not return to her prior department. Plaintiff was given two months to locate a new position for which plaintiff was qualified and being unable to do so her employment was terminated.
- Mediated matter where sales representative was terminated for job abandonment following her failure to return to work following the expiration of her leave of absence. Had plaintiff returned to work the employer anticipated terminating plaintiff's employment for engagement in a fraudulent scheme which resulted in the payment of plaintiff of inflated commissions.
- Mediated matter involving allegations against a manager who made inappropriate comments to an individual whom he did not supervise. Shortly after plaintiff complained to the owner about the alleged conduct she was laid off.
- Mediated matter involving claims of race discrimination, harassment and retaliation asserted against an insurance brokerage where a high level manager made racist, sexist and ageist comments about broker applicants. Plaintiff, a short term employee, was terminated for performance related reasons which were not disclosed before or at the time of termination.
- Mediated matter brought against an international construction/engineering company where plaintiff asserted his employment was terminated shortly after requesting paternity leave.
- Mediated matter involving claims of national origin discrimination, harassment and retaliation asserted against a federal contractor where plaintiff alleged that following a complaint to Human Resources about inappropriate co-worker comments his employment was terminated without notice for poor performance.
- Mediated matter where plaintiff alleged an out-of-state manager who did not supervise her made sexual remarks repeatedly and that her employment was terminated as a result of reporting the remarks.
- Mediated matter involving multiple plaintiffs alleging they were terminated following multiple complaints of mislabeling and false advertising by a food manufacturer.
- Mediated matter where private university terminated high performing employing shortly after the employee raised issues of pay equity resulting in claims for gender discrimination and retaliation.
- Mediated matter involving allegations asserted against a school district for failure to accommodate a seriously disabled student and related parental claims.
- Mediated matter alleging Title IX violations against school district for harassment and retaliation.
PI Sexual Assault
- Mediated matter involving rape of a male vendor by a male client.
- Mediated matter involving claims of civil sexual assault against a substance abuse rehabilitation center and an intern where the intern engaged in a sexual relationship with plaintiff who was receiving treatment on an outpatient basis.