Gregory C. Cheng
Greg has been with Ogletree Deakins since 2006. He has exclusively practiced management-side labor and employment law in California for his entire career. Greg has handled hundreds of matters for employers in state and federal courts, arbitration, and before administrative agencies.
Greg regularly provides advice and counsel to employers on day-to-day California employment issues. His central focus is to place an employer in the best position possible to deter costly and unnecessary litigation. Greg approaches each issue pragmatically and customizes his advice to fit the unique legal and business challenges facing each employer. He is firmly aware of the need to approach day-to-day employment issues in proportion with its impact on business operations and other economic/non-economic factors.
Greg has substantial experience advising employers in the areas of interactive process, reasonable accommodation issues, wage and hour compliance, employee discipline, terminations, employee handbooks, reductions in force, plant closings, drug testing, non-compete agreements, severance negotiations, internal investigations, and workplace violence.
Greg currently serves on the San Francisco Office's Hiring Committee.
Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Greg served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable William F. Highberger and the Honorable David L. Minning of the Los Angeles Superior Court. He is also fluent in Chinese-Mandarin.
Greg has managed hundreds of litigation matters from inception to resolution before California state and federal courts. He has obtained hundreds of favorable resolutions for California employers and employers with California-based operations during all stages of litigation and pre-litigation.
Greg has substantial experience defending employers against lawsuits claiming for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and Labor Code violations. He also has defended complex wage and hour class actions alleging claims for misclassification, unpaid overtime, meal and rest period violations, travel time, PAGA penalties, off-the-clock work, and Business and Professions Code sections 17200 et seq. In addition, Greg has prosecuted/defended clients in trade secret, non-compete, and injunctive relief actions. In terms of successes, Greg, working in conjunction with his Ogletree colleagues, has:
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national operator of cable television against a former employee claiming disability discrimination.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a hospital against a former employee claiming race discrimination.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a railroad company against an individual claiming ADA Title III violations and against threatened cross-claims from cross-defendant public entity.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an international computer consulting company against an individual for a variety of contract and tort claims.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a federal defense contractor against a former employee alleging age discrimination and harassment to have occurred in an extraterritorial jurisdiction.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of international printing company against a former employee asserting claims for gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a national restaurant chain against a former employee asserting claims for disability discrimination and harassment.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a mobile software gaming company against a former employee claiming retaliation and wrongful termination.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of public transit district against a former employee asserting disability discrimination and accommodation claims.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a bakery manufacturer and retailer against a former employee asserting harassment and discrimination based upon national origin
- Obtained a defense judgment against claims for unpaid wages and penalties on behalf of a nursing home against former employee at a DLSE hearing.
- Obtained a complete involuntary dismissal of a claim for unpaid bonus and other unpaid wages totaling more than $100,000 at the DLSE conference stage.
- Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of several lawsuits without having to pay any money, including but not limited to:
- a negotiated "walk-away" on the eve of trial (after 4 years of litigation) on behalf of an international media company against breach of contract claims in excess of one million dollars;
- a negotiated "walk-away" on behalf of a semiconductor company against a former employee alleging race discrimination, retaliation, and fraud; and
- a dismissal with prejudice by the Court on behalf of an international manufacturer and distributor of HVAC systems after prevailing in a series of discovery and sanctions motions. Plaintiff's attorney withdrew from the case after Greg filed a trade secret misappropriation cross-complaint against the plaintiff.
Education and Honors
J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 2003
B.S., Purdue University, 2000
- Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star (2013 & 2014)
- San Francisco County Bar Association
- State Bar of California (Labor & Employment Section)
- BLR Webinar, January 14, 2014 - "Religious Accommodations in California Workplaces: Your Obligations and Rights Explained" - January 14, 2014
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Managing a Workforce in 2013 - Bullying and Workplace Violence - Getting in Front of the Curve" - San Francisco - October 2012
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "You're Not the Boss Of Me - Regulating Employee Conduct On And Off The Job" - San Francisco - October 2011
- Employer Research Institute - "Travel Pay In California: Proven Strategies For Avoiding Devastating Wage/Hour Lawsuits" - August 11, 2011
In The News
- March 28, 2014 - - "Former University Employee Ordered to Pay $100,000 in Attorneys’ Fees for Bringing Frivolous FEHA Action"
- July 9, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee from Unemployment Benefits"
- July 3, 2014 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee From Unemployment Benefits, California High Court Rules"
- October 25, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "California Employer Held Liable for Employee’s Accident During Commute"
- September 25, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "BREAKING NEWS: California’s Minimum Wage Goes Up—But There Are Some Pitfalls Employers Need to Avoid"
- August 2, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "California Agencies Don’t Get Two Bites at the Apple When It Comes to Misclassification"