Sabrina represents employers in all aspects of employment-related litigation and traditional labor law, including wage and hour class, collective and representative actions, and state and federal litigation of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA/CFRA, and unfair competition/trade secret violations claims.
She has extensive experience and has obtained favorable results representing clients in employment mediations and arbitrations, Labor Commissioner proceedings, and at trial, and she regularly provides advice and counsel on discipline, discharge, reduction in force, and leave and accommodation issues. Sabrina also conducts management training on the prevention of unlawful employment practices, including harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and drafts and advises employers on employee handbooks, employment policies, and employment agreements.
In unionized settings, Sabrina has obtained favorable results representing management in collective-bargaining negotiations, grievance arbitrations and in unfair labor practice proceedings before the Region and the National Labor Relations Board. She also works with and advises management on union avoidance, union campaigns and collective-bargaining issues.
While earning her law degree, Sabrina served as president of the student bar association at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Sabrina serves on McGuireWoods’ Recruiting and Diversity & Inclusion Committees and chairs the firm’s LGBTQ Lawyers Network. Her community involvement has included volunteering for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under age 25.
Energy Company (U.S.D.C. E.D. Cal.) (October 2019): Removed putative class action to federal court under CAFA and twice obtained favorable rulings on motions to dismiss that resulted in elimination of plaintiff’s meal and rest break and wage statement claims and significant potential liability. We then moved to compel individual arbitration and obtained a stay of the district court’s decision, which was expected to be a denial of the motion pursuant to unfavorable Ninth Circuit authority, pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Epiq. Following Epiq, which reversed the Ninth Circuit case, the district court held that plaintiff’s class action waiver was lawful granted the motion to compel plaintiff’s claims to individual arbitration. We successfully have reached a favorable settlement for our client.
Soratorio v. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, LLC (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal.) (August 2018): Resolved service issues in putative wage and hour class action that would have rendered removal to federal court untimely by stipulation as to method of service that allowed for timely removal, and then successfully defeated remand motion. Through strategic Rule 12 motions to dismiss and the permissive filing of stipulated pleadings, we narrowed the case significantly and eliminated seven-figure liability prior to discovery by: (a) getting plaintiff to dismiss a co-defendant which eliminated six months of and our client’s cost to defend the co-defendant; (b) obtaining the voluntary dismissal of plaintiff’s pay timing claim; (c) obtaining the dismissal by the court, without leave to amend, of plaintiff’s claims for wage statement penalties and for waiting time penalties; and (d) obtaining the partial dismissal of meal and rest break premium payments in plaintiff’s UCL claim, thus reducing the limitations period for such recovery to three years instead of four years. Ultimately, we were able to settle the matter as a single-plaintiff case for a nominal sum without our client having to: (1) provide class discovery or contact information; (2) produce a single witness for deposition; or (3) oppose a motion for class certification.
Manufacturing Employer (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal.) (November 2018): Defense in a putative wage and hour class action. After successfully opposing plaintiff’s efforts to have the case remanded to state court, successfully moved to dismiss multiple times and ultimately narrowed the original nine causes of action pled against our client. To that end, the court dismissed with prejudice plaintiff’s claims for inaccurate wage statement, failure to keep requisite payroll records, statutory penalties, unfair competition (in part) and injunctive relief, which significantly reduced our client’s potential liability exposure in the case. After engaging in discovery, our team positioned the case for mediation, and achieved a settlement on favorable terms for our client.
Healthcare Employer (July 2019): Following a two-year Division of Labor Standards Enforcement investigation into a healthcare client’s meal and rest break practices with respect to patient-handling employees, Company responses to two different DLSE subpoenas and the production of more than 22,000 pages of Company records, the DLSE closed its case without issuing a citation against or finding a single Labor Code violation by our client.
Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, Inc./Teamsters Local No. 952 (June 2019): After union employee who was terminated for an incident of workplace violence was reinstated by an Arbitrator with an award of back pay, the Company challenged the 20-month back pay award and the accompanying make-whole remedy of related vacation, sick leave and pension contributions on the grounds that the grievant did not make adequate efforts to find alternative employment. In supplemental briefing submitted to the Arbitrator on the mitigation issue, the Company presented evidence of comparable jobs, as well as the Union’s and Grievant’s inability to identify meaningful job hunt efforts during his time off work. In ruling in the Company’s favor on the mitigation issue, the Arbitrator found Grievant’s job search efforts to be wholly inadequate and reduced the 20 months of back pay to just 10 weeks, and further limited the accompanying award of pension, vacation and sick leave benefits to that same small time frame, resulting in a six-figure savings to the client.
Manufacturing Employer (May 2019): Employer was the subject of an unfair labor practice before Region 31 of the NLRB claiming that the employer committed 8(a)(1) and (5) violations by harassing, interrogating and threatening the Union President, and refusing to meet and bargain with the Union and provide information in response to a Union information request. The Region dismissed the unfair labor practice charge in its entirety within one week of receiving the Company’s position statement.
Manufacturing Employer (May 2019): Employer was the subject of an unfair labor practice before Region 19 of the NLRB claiming that the employer unilaterally deleted contracting/subcontracting provisions during bargaining for a successor agreement over the course of six months of negotiation. Following submission of the Company’s position statement, and in order to avoid dismissal by Region 19 of the NLRB, the Union withdrew the ULP in its entirety.
A well-renowned plaintiff’s wage and hour law firm filed a AAA class arbitration for wage and hour violations based on meal and rest break claims on behalf of a former male collections specialist for a client title loan company, and concurrently served a PAGA notice letter on behalf of a former female employee for the same Labor Code violations. The class action claimant and the proposed PAGA plaintiff were in a personal relationship during their employment with the firm’s client. Prior to commencing any defensive class or representative litigation in either matter, Sabrina engaged counsel for the two former employees and provided documentation of compliant meal and rest break policies and contemporaneous reminders of timely-scheduled meal breaks and regular email reminders to take those meal breaks and rest breaks. Sabrina also provided counsel with both employees’ instant messages to and from each other and other co-workers reflecting that they took their regularly scheduled breaks (and then some), would delay their breaks or start them early of their own accord to meet up with each other, and would fabricate other reasons to leave the work area while on the clock to actually take additional breaks with each other. Upon presentation of this information, counsel for the two employees elected to abandon pursuit of any class or representative claims in favor of nominal individual settlements (January 2019).
National Transportation Employer (June 2017): Obtained dismissal without leave to amend of initial complaint filed by former employee pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 motion filed on behalf of employer. Subsequent Ninth Circuit appeal by former employee was dismissed as frivolous.
Teamsters Local 896/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (May 2017): Obtained arbitration decision denying seven grievances and finding that employer did not violate the collective-bargaining agreement by utilizing less senior employees to work on the grievant’s preferred work shift.
Teamsters Local 87/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (May 2017): Arbitration decision upholding termination of employee for cursing at supervisor over safety concerns in pre-shift meeting.
Mining Employer/Int’l Chemical Workers Union (February 2017): Successfully negotiated collective-bargaining agreement for client with approximately 85 covered employees.
National Transportation Employer (August 2016): Obtained dismissal of former employee’s lawsuit alleging slander of title, quiet title, fraud and conspiracy and declaratory relief pursuant to Anti-SLAPP statute and obtained award against former employee plaintiff of more than $17,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
American Arbitration Association Proceeding (June 2016): Obtained full defense verdict in favor of beverage manufacturer/distributor and individual manager following six-day arbitration on employee’s claims of sexual harassment and retaliation.
Mining Employer/Teamsters (June 2016): Successfully negotiated collective-bargaining agreement for client with approximately 50 covered employees.
Teamsters Local 683/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (April 2016): Arbitration decision upholding three-day suspension of employee involved in forklift accident.
Mining Employer/Teamsters, Labor Arbitration (October 2015): Arbitration decision upholding termination of employee for using cell phone while operating heavy equipment.
Manufacturing Employer/GMP Union, Labor Arbitration (July 2015): Arbitration decision upholding termination of employee with clean work record for single instance of cursing at supervisor.
Teamsters Local 683/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (June 2015): Arbitration decision upholding termination of commercial driver with clean work record and 23 years of employment with company for driving Company vehicle with expired license.
Savant v. APM Terminals, 776 F.3d 285 (5th Cir. Dec. 5, 2014): Represented maritime port terminal operator in appellate proceedings in which Court affirmed summary judgment on ADEA claim filed by former powered industrial truck driver on grounds that employee lacked standing due to failure to exhaust grievance and arbitration procedures under collective bargaining agreement.
BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles, 361 NLRB No. 75 (2014): National Labor Relations Board denied General Counsel’s exceptions and adopted Administrative Law Judge’s deferral to a settlement agreement between the employer and the union of an unfair labor practice charge that was previously deferred to arbitration; Board also dismissed related Section 8(a)(1) allegations as inextricably bound and resolved through the parties’ settlement.
Patricia Ramirez v. Manpower, Inc. et. al, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94362 (N.D. Cal. July 10, 2014): Defense motion for summary judgment granted in putative wage and hour class action on grounds that proposed class representative was judicially estopped from pursuing claims against defendants; concurrent motion by plaintiff to intervene new proposed class representatives denied by court.
Teamsters Local 896/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (January 2014): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance and upholding termination of employee for theft of time.
Rodriguez, et al. vs. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., 2013 WL 6184432 (C.D. Cal. Nov. 27, 2013): Represented national motor carrier in proceedings granting motion to dismiss with prejudice putative wage and hour class action claims asserting violations of California meal break laws on ground that such claims were preempted by Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.
Savant v. APM Terminals, (S.D. Texas, August 2013): Obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims against port terminal employer under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Representation of defendant educational trip company in California district court proceedings granting motion to dismiss with prejudice the discrimination claims under the California Unruh Act and a negligence claim brought by a minor plaintiff and his parents against defendant (January 2013).
Teamsters Local 952/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (November 2012): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance and upholding termination of employee with no prior discipline for sleeping on the job.
William Peck vs. Kenneth O. Lester Company, Inc, Kern County Superior Court (March 2012): Defense motion for judgment on the pleadings granted in putative wage and hour class action brought by truck drivers alleging violation of California meal and rest break laws on ground that all claims preempted by Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.
Henry Esquivel, et al. vs. Vistar Corp., et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26686 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 8, 2012): Defense motion to dismiss granted with prejudice in putative wage and hour class action brought by truck drivers alleging violation of California meal break laws on ground that all claims preempted by Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.
Anderson Rubbish Disposal, Region 31 of National Labor Relations Board (December 2011): Obtained dismissal by the Regional Director of two unfair labor practice charges alleging retaliatory layoff of employees less than one week prior to union filing its representation petition at employer's facility.
Teamsters Local 896/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (October 2011): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance and upholding termination of employee who was terminated for striking employee in the workplace following employee's acquittal on criminal assault and battery charges.
Teamsters Local 683/Coca-Cola Refreshments, Labor Arbitration (July 2011): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance and upholding termination of delivery driver who was terminated for excessive on the job accidents.
Michael Cardenas, et al. vs. McLane Foodservice, Inc., et al., 796 F.Supp.2d 1246 (C.D. Cal. 2011): Defeated plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment seeking ruling that preemption defense based on Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) had no merit in putative representative action brought by 40 truck drivers under California's Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) premised on alleged violations of California's meal and rest break laws, and obtained favorable ruling that FAAAA's motor vehicle safety exception to preemption does not apply to those break laws.
Coca-Cola Refreshments, Region 19 of National Labor Relations Board (2010-2011): Obtained full dismissal and/or withdrawal of eight unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union during multi-facility contract negotiations with the employer.
Jason Ott, et al. v. Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court, W.D. Washington (2010-2011): Defended ERISA putative class action brought on behalf of striking employees whose health insurance coverage was terminated when they stopped working.
Wheeler v. T&N Medical Transport, Inc., Los Angeles Superior Court (January 2011): Obtained full summary judgment on discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination claims.
Jane Doe v. Entertainment Company, Los Angeles Superior Court (November 2010): Defense verdict in five-day jury trial on sexual harassment claim.
Bryan Thompson vs. APM Terminals Pacific Ltd, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142537 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2010): Obtained significant defense procedural ruling that non-class representative action proceeding allowed in state court for claims brought on behalf of "aggrieved employees" under California Labor Code Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) is preempted by FRCP Rule 23 when brought in federal court, and such representative claims can only be pursued if the plaintiff obtains class certification under FRCP Rule 23; the court previously made significant defense procedural ruling that the heightened pleading standards announced by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Twombly and Iqbal decisions apply only to the allegations of a plaintiff's Complaint, and not to the allegation of affirmative defenses in a defendant's Answer.
Jane Doe v. Entertainment Company, Los Angeles Superior Court (June 2010): Obtained full summary judgment on behalf of three individual defendant/managers, and summary adjudication on nine of the plaintiff’s 10 causes of action and punitive damages in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment and disability discrimination action.
Teamsters Local 952 vs. Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern California (May 2010): Arbitration decision and award following three-day hearing that denied grievance on behalf of employee who was terminated for threatening a co-worker in the workplace.
Armando Perez vs. AoiTechno, Inc., Orange County Superior Court (April 2009): Motion to compel arbitration granted in wrongful termination and unlawful discrimination lawsuit in favor of defendant which was not a party to the plaintiff's arbitration agreement but alleged to be the plaintiff's joint employer.
IBEW Local 1710 vs. Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., Labor Arbitration (October 2008): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance on behalf of employee terminated for violations of tardiness and attendance policy after employer's unilateral change in interpretation and enforcement of policy.
Teamsters Local 848 vs. Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern California, Labor Arbitration (September 2008): Arbitration decision and award denying grievance on behalf of employee terminated for theft of company funds.
Nilsen v. Network Management Group, JAMS Employment Arbitration (March 2008): Obtained defense judgment following three-day arbitration of former employee's Title VII claims for discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Starwood Resorts & Hotels Worldwide, Inc., d/b/a W San Diego, 348 NLRB 372 (2006): Affirming finding that employer did not violate the National Labor Relations Act by prohibiting employees in public areas from wearing union pins and obtaining reversal of finding that prohibition on wearing of union pins by kitchen staff violated the Act; employer's public image and food safety were deemed special circumstances warranting the prohibition against union insignia.
Jane Doe v. Hospital, Los Angeles Superior Court (July 2005): Obtained bench decision following seven-day trial on pregnancy/gender discrimination, wrongful termination, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and CFRA claims.
Member, Labor & Employment Section, California State Bar
Member, Labor & Employment Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
Membership Chair, Young Professionals Council, The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
Member, Development Committee, The Trevor Project
Named to "Women of Influence" list, L.A. Biz, 2019
Named to "Most Influential Minority Lawyers," Los Angeles Business Journal, 2019
Recognized as top “Up and Comer”, Lawdragon’s “100 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys”, Human Resources Executive, 2018, 2019
Named to "Southern California Rising Stars," Employment Litigation: Defense, Employment & Labor, 2007, 2010-2018, "Top 50 Women," 2015, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters
Named to "Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40," National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association, 2010
McGuireWoods’ Sabrina Beldner Honored Among Los Angeles ‘Women of Influence’
October 21, 2019
Two McGuireWoods Lawyers Named ‘Most Influential Minority Attorneys’ in Los Angeles
February 8, 2019
McGuireWoods’ Matthew Kane, Sabrina Beldner Among ‘Most Powerful Employment Attorneys’
June 18, 2018