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Press Release

Michael D. Thomas and Peter J. Woo Named Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Visionaries by Los Angeles Times

IRVINE, CA (November 27, 2023) Nationwide employment law firm Jackson Lewis P.C. is pleased to announce Michael D. Thomas and Peter J. Woo have been featured in the Los Angeles Times’ 2023 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility magazine as DEIA Visionaries. The magazine highlights prominent thought leaders in the California business community who prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies within their respective sectors.


“Michael and Peter’s accolade is a testament to their collective commitment of advancing DEI efforts within the legal industry,” said Orange County Office Managing Principal, Alison L. Lynch. “Both are agents of change and dedicated to the firm’s culture of respect, belonging and inclusivity. We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”


Michael is a principal in the firm’s Orange County, California, office and a co-leader of the firm's Corporate Diversity Counseling group. Understanding that clients are facing increasing calls from internal and external stakeholders to proactively address DEI and environmental, social and governance across their business, Michael works with clients to balance today’s complex web of decisions, laws and interests with varying legal, reputational and litigation risk with the often-competing demands for greater transparency. He assists clients in developing and implementing goal-driven, legally compliant DEI initiatives using current best practices, neuroscience, adult learning, experiential learning, dialogue, body awareness and mindfulness. Michael provides DEI workplace trainings on topics including unconscious bias and microaggression, as well as psychological safety and inclusive leadership.  


Michael regularly conducts customized in-house seminars and training for managers, supervisors, and employees concerning employment compliance, including but not limited to trainings regarding workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation, wage and hour issues, workplace violence and effective communication in the workplace. His dedication to exceptional client service extends to defending employers in state and federal wage and hour class actions, litigation brought under the Private Attorney General’s Act, and single plaintiff cases.


Michael earned a Diversity and Inclusion Certification from Cornell University; his MBA from University of California, Berkeley; his J.D. from Boston College Law School; and his B.A. from Bucknell University.


Peter is the litigation manager in the firm’s Riverside, California, office and a principal in the firm’s Orange County, California office. He defends management and companies facing claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, contractual disputes and fraud, as well as claims made under the Americans with Disabilities Act and equivalent state-based claims involving public accommodations. Peter also defends clients against wage and hour claims on an individual, class, and/or representative basis.


Peter is very active in the Asian American legal and business communities nationally and in California. He currently serves as co-chair of the Litigation Committee for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association to promote trial and other advocacy skills. Peter is also founder, chairperson and president of the Asian American Insurance Network, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of Asian-Pacific Islander professionals in the insurance, legal, and risk management industries. Finally, he is an active Board Member of the Orange County Korean Bar Association working to promote deeper connections between the legal system and the Korean American community.


Peter earned his J.D. from Southwestern Law School and his B.A. from the University of Washington.


“It is truly an honor to be recognized for the second time among so many other accomplished DEI legal visionaries,” said Michael. “I am proud to work for a law firm that is committed to fostering continuous training, learning and development, which leads to better outcomes for our attorneys and clients. I look forward to continuing to serve as an advocate for my clients and helping them implement fair, diverse and inclusive workforces.”


“I am both thrilled and humbled to receive this recognition,” said Peter. “Navigating DEI frameworks in the legal industry can be challenging, and I am eager to continue working with organizations to help them develop proactive strategies and business solutions that reduce workplace law risk.”


The Orange County office can be reached at (949) 885-1360.


About Jackson Lewis    
Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.’s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee.    

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