KAT PATERNO is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in Epstein Becker Green’s Los Angeles office. She provides representation to employers exclusively.
While Ms. Paterno’s practice primarily focuses on all aspects of traditional labor law, representing both unionized and non-unionized employers, she also represents and provides counseling to employers on a broad range of general employment and labor law issues.
- Represents employers in all types of traditional labor matters, including, but not limited to, union avoidance programs, union organizing campaigns, union elections, decertifications, unfair labor practice charges, labor arbitrations, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearings, labor protest activity, and collective bargaining agreement negotiations
- Provides offensive and defensive assistance to employers across a wide array of industries to obtain victories over such unions as the Teamsters, CNA, UNITE HERE, IBEW, USW, UE, NUHW, and SEIU, among others
- Counsels employers navigating aggressive union campaign tactics, such as “Labor Peace” agreement mandates and similar legislation
- Provides employer-tailored “Remain Union Free” programs, which include positive approaches, creative strategies, enhanced protective business practices, strengthened leadership structures, in-depth supervisory trainings, vulnerability audits, labor-policy reviews, and practical implementation support
- Drafts, reviews, and revises employee handbooks, labor-related rules and policies, separation agreements, settlement agreements, staffing agreements, as well as other employment-related documents and/or agreements, including mandatory arbitration agreements with class action waivers
- Counsels employers on a plethora of general labor and employment law matters, including, but not limited to, discipline/discharge issues, wage and hour issues, employee versus independent contractor status issues, leave laws, etc., and defends employers in cases brought before federal and California government agencies, such as the NLRB, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement
Recent Representative Matters
- Negotiated collective bargaining agreements with outstanding, industry-leading results, including supplying a retail employer with creative solutions to excessive minimum wage increases while simultaneously providing a skills-based progression system, as well as providing a hospital with critical strategies that resulted in negotiating the inclusion of the only known provision in a collective bargaining agreement with CNA that contains a class action waiver and requires mandatory arbitration of all employment disputes
- Assisted in securing landslide victories in representation elections for a hospital with a 500-employee unit and an education provider with a 21-employee micro-unit, successfully defeating the organizing campaigns of the NUHW and the Teamsters, respectively
- Obtained a rare injunction against a union’s unlawful secondary boycott activity
- Successfully defended employers in myriad unfair labor practice charges, NLRB hearings, labor arbitrations, and strike preparations/avoidance
- Obtained an extraordinary result in what the employer viewed as a “long shot” labor arbitration by uncovering facts that proved the grievant had engaged in a complex scheme of fraud and misappropriation, unbeknownst to the employer, thus providing sufficient leverage to force the grievant to quickly agree to drop the grievance and waive any and all claims
In 2019, Ms. Paterno was recommended by The Legal 500 United States in the area of Labor-Management Relations.
Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Ms. Paterno was an attorney in an international law firm’s labor and employment department, where she represented employers in myriad labor and employment matters, including single-plaintiff cases, wage and hour class actions, traditional labor matters, and advice and counseling issues. In addition, Ms. Paterno has experience working as in-house employment counsel for an international nonprofit corporation, as well as serving as a managing editor in a magazine and books publications department.
- UCLA School of Law (J.D., 2003)
- Temple University (B.A., 1993)
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California