Laura Zabele is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins and member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department and Complex Commercial Litigation Practice.

Ms. Zabele represents employers in all aspects of employment law, including single-plaintiff and class and collective actions involving pay equity, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour issues, background checks, and employee mobility and intellectual property, including trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and unfair competition. 

In addition to litigation, Ms. Zabele regularly counsels clients on employment issues such as pay equity, restrictive covenants, wage-and-hour compliance, classification analyses, accommodation and leave issues, and individual and group terminations, including mass layoffs, reductions-in-force, and executive separations. Ms. Zabele also advises on labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions, including due diligence and drafting and negotiating transaction agreements.

Prior to joining Latham, Ms. Zabele worked at another international law firm.

Ms. Zabele’s experience includes:

Litigation Matters

  • Defeated class certification of pay equity, promotions, and job channeling gender discrimination claims under Title VII and Oregon state law*
  • Achieved summary judgment on religious and disability discrimination, invasion of privacy, and wrongful termination claims stemming from employee’s refusal of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for international entertainment and media company*
  • Defeated class certification of wage-and-hour claims under the California Labor Code, and achieved summary judgment on the same claims as well as PAGA and unfair competition claims for national mining and engineering company*
  • Defeated motions for conditional certification of FLSA collective actions based on off-the-clock work for customer experience and technology services company*
  • Advised a cryptocurrency brokerage and digital asset trading platform on the separation of a C-suite executive*
  • Achieved pre-dispute resolution with favorable settlement of unequal pay, harassment, defamation, and wrongful termination claims against a multinational media and entertainment company*
  • Achieved pre-dispute resolution with favorable settlement of failure to promote and sexual harassment claims against an international professional services firm*
  • Achieved dismissal with prejudice of background check class action alleging claims under FCRA, ICRAA, and CCRAA for a California-based environmental services company*
  • Successfully opposed a motion to dismiss counterclaim alleging that former employee breached his duty of loyalty by soliciting a key supplier; later achieved favorable settlement for the client*
  • Led removal of action under CAFA and briefing on motion to strike class allegations against a delivery services company, leading to replacement of the named plaintiff and dismissal of all claims but PAGA*
  • Obtained summary judgment on employee’s claims for disparate treatment, hostile work environment, failure to prevent discrimination, and retaliation under FEHA for a national construction company*
  • Achieved dismissal with prejudice of a wage-and-hour class action against a Texas-based oil and natural gas company for failure to state a claim under the OCSLA*
  • Achieved dismissal with prejudice of claims against individual employees for whistleblower retaliation and defamation claims against a national engineering company*
  • Successfully defended a corrugated box manufacturer in a grievance arbitration related to an employee’s suspension and discharge for insubordination and violation of the employer’s workplace safety rules*
  • Successfully defended a private ambulance services provider against multiple unfair labor practice charges stemming from employee discipline and termination before the NLRB*

Transactional Matters

  • Advised a global software company on labor and employment issues related to the US$6.3 billion sale of its information management and storage business to a private investment firm*
  • Advised a multinational medical device and healthcare company on labor and employment issues related to the global separation and spin-off of its research-based biopharmaceutical business*
  • Advised a private equity investment firm on labor and employment issues related to its purchase of a global fuel and airport facility services company*
  • Advised a global glass manufacturer on labor and employment issues related to its US$545 million acquisition of a Fortune 500 company’s fiberglass business*
  • Advised a global technology solutions provider on labor and employment issues related to its acquisition of a global industrial product manufacturer’s processing and packaging solutions business*
  • Advised a leading provider of technology, connectivity, and information solutions on labor and employment issues related to its acquisition of a pharmacy benefit management business*
  • Advised a multinational aircraft and aerospace equipment company on labor and employment issues related to the US$710 million sale of its airport security business*

Speaking Engagements

  • Seeing the Future: Can Big Data Analytics Predict Lawsuits? (Panel Moderator) ABA National Symposium on Technology in Labor & Employment Law, April 2022
  • E-Sports: A Thin Line Between Work and Play (Panel Moderator) ABA National Symposium on Technology in Labor & Employment Law, April 2021 

Bar Qualification

  • California
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts

Education

  • JD, Boston University School of Law, 2010
    Boston University International Law Journal, Article Editor
  • iBBA in International and Comparative Business Law, Bucerius Law School, 2009
  • BA in German Studies & Linguistics, Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2007
    with Distinction, Dean’s List, six semesters

Languages Spoken

  • English