Jackie Aguilera, who cut her teeth on commercial litigation, is a go-to employment problem-solver who provides pragmatic employment advice, counsel, and strategy to clients regarding virtually every type of employment issue, including employee discipline, leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, crisis management, workplace restructuring, compensation arrangements, strategic hiring and termination, and restrictive covenants. Recently she has assisted a multitude of clients with navigating the #metoo era, diversity and inclusion, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jackie drafts, revises, and assists clients with employment policies, on- and off-boarding documentation, severance and separation packages, warning and discipline documentation, workforce communications, and executive agreements. She also assists employers with HR audits, strategic policy implementation, surveys, and internal investigations. Jackie helps clients through every phase of the employment relationship – from recruitment through separation – and beyond should there be an employment dispute.
Jackie defends employers in connection with charges, audits, and investigations before administrative agencies including the California Labor Commissioner, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor. She resolves claims in a speedy and efficient manner and has had great success convincing government agencies to “close” their case.
Jackie regularly conducts seminars and trainings for employers on Human Resources and employment-related topics, including best management practices, disability and reasonable accommodation, workplace violence, effective hiring, wage and hour compliance, sexual harassment, and internal investigations, and she regularly provides clients with California employment law updates.
Jackie is committed to the Firm’s pro bono program, diversity and inclusion efforts, and mentoring young lawyers. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Jackie was a partner at another international law firm where she was active in the firm’s commitment to pro bono activities and mentoring program.
Obtained summary judgment in federal court in lawsuit alleging violation of California Business and Professions Code § 17200 (unfair competition class action) and civil racketeering against reputable casino
Planned, documented and implemented major reductions in force for several local and national corporations, resulting in zero legal claims
Obtained summary judgment in federal court in lawsuit alleging retaliation, whistle-blowing, invasion of privacy (relating to unlawful workplace searches) and wrongful termination against well-known gaming establishment
Obtained summary judgment in federal court on employer’s counterclaims for invasion of privacy, violation of the California Penal Code provisions (illegal tape recording) and conversion against former employee
Won successive demurrers to complaints (with no leave to amend) in lawsuit alleging intentional and negligent interference, civil racketeering, violations of the Political Reform Act and conspiracy; in addition, won Anti-SLAPP motion and obtained judgment for attorneys’ fees
Obtained summary judgment in lawsuit alleging disability discrimination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of public policy and negligent retention against international corporation
Successfully defended dozens of actions seeking preliminary and permanent restraining orders against former employees (and subsequent employers) accused of stealing trade secrets and violating nonsolicitation agreements
Successfully defeated administrative lawsuit before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate against a nonprofit landlord-employer
Advised on all aspects of labor and employment issues (due diligence, planned workforce reductions, severance packages, post-acquisition employee assimilation, etc.) in connection with dozens of national multimillion-dollar merger and acquisitions
Successfully defeated administrative lawsuit before the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity) alleging disability discrimination against a landlord
Successfully defeated administrative lawsuit before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging sexual orientation harassment against nonprofit employer
Conducted dozens of workplace investigations on behalf of employers in response to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination and workplace violence
Obtained several restraining orders on behalf of international and local employers (and their employees) to prevent workplace violence at the hands of disgruntled individuals
Successfully resolved numerous employment claims and filed lawsuits through early mediation and alternative dispute mechanisms
University of California, Santa Barbara, 1988, B.A., Summa Cum Laude
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, 1993, J.D.
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Labor and employment: Workplace and employment counseling, The Legal 500 US (2016–2021)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Member, American Bar Association
Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation and Labor Law Sections