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Patricia Ann Matias

Orange County
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Patricia Matias is a principal in the Orange County, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and is a co-leader of Jackson Lewis' Hispanic resource group.

Patty’s broad base of experience gained through practicing employment law for over 15 years makes her a powerful advocate for her clients. She successfully defends employers in high-stakes, single-plaintiff litigation, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination matters, as well as in complex Private Attorneys General Act and class action matters.

In addition to litigation, Patty provides practical advice regarding personnel policies and decisions, performs workplace investigations, conducts audits, and provides management training. She regularly advises her clients on employment laws, such as those involving wage and hour compliance, leaves of absence, reasonable accommodations, and workplace investigations. Patty helps her clients navigate everchanging legal requirements in a manner that is business-oriented and focused on avoiding litigation and reducing risk while keeping her client’s goals in mind. When advising her clients, she helps develop solutions and best practices that are tailored to business needs and reduce potential exposure.

In the pre-litigation and litigation stages, Patty thoroughly investigates and evaluates claims to best advise her clients on defense strategies. Through this approach, she has obtained early dismissals for her clients (including at the pre-litigation stage through walk-away agreements) and victories through motions (including motions for summary judgment) or at arbitration. Patty dedicates herself to delivering exceptional client service in an efficient manner and is strategic with investigations and discovery. She leverages legal technology and data to provide top-quality work that is cost-effective and efficient.

While Patty is an effective litigator, she also uses her honed advocacy skills to negotiate favorable settlements for her clients to avoid time-consuming and expensive litigation. She successfully negotiates settlements at all stages (pre-litigation or after discovery) through direct negotiations or mediations/settlement conferences. Patty most enjoys developing long-term partnerships with her clients to help them effectively manage their legal risk.

Experience/Representative Matters:

  • First-chaired week-long arbitration involving allegations of age discrimination and obtained complete defense award
  • Defeated plaintiff’s claim for over $400k in attorneys’ fees (plaintiff obtained award of $0 fees) in case involving wage and FEHA claims
  • Prevailed on motion for judgment on the pleadings in PAGA case resulting in dismissal of PAGA claims
  • Obtained summary judgment in class action involving misclassification claims by drivers
  • Prevailed on early motion to dismiss breach of contract claim resulting in immediate dismissal without leave to amend
  • Prevailed on motion for summary judgment in disability and failure to accommodate case where plaintiff demanded over $1mm
  • Prevailed on dispositive motion in arbitration obtaining dismissal of claimant’s claims for sex/pregnancy discrimination, national origin discrimination, retaliation under the California Family Rights Act, failure to prevent and investigate discrimination, and whistleblower retaliation under Labor Code section 1102.5
  • Successfully enforced arbitration agreements barring class and representative claims in arbitration
  • Successfully negotiated settlements in numerous class and PAGA actions involving between 20 – 10k+ putative class members/aggrieved employees in various industries (manufacturing, transportation, higher education, staffing, retail, healthcare) on favorable terms, avoiding extensive litigation and continued exposure
  • Conducted large scale wage/hour audits involving thousands of employees in various positions
  • Provided training to management level employees on issues such as wage and hour compliance, leaves of absence and accommodation, performance management, and preventing discrimination and harassment
  • Conducted workplace investigations in sensitive circumstances involving complaints by senior managers and executives
  • Negotiated severance agreements in pre-litigation managers involving high-ranking executives

Speaking Engagements

  • “Keeping Up with California: The Ever-Changing Employment Law Landscape in the Golden State,” Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting (San Antonio, 2023) (presenter)
  • “Update on California Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Litigation and Trends,” Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Napa, 2023) (presenter)
  • “Performance Management Documentation – The Key To Litigation Avoidance,” Workplace Strategies Seminar (Phoenix, 2022) (presenter)
  • “COVID-19: Vaccinations: The Top Issues Facing California Staffing Agencies,” California Staffing Professionals (Podcast, 2021) (presenter)
  • “Administrative Burdens: How to Manage Labor Commissioner Hearings and EDD Audits,” Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Webinar, 2021) (presenter)
  • “What is ‘Work’ and Who Are Your Employees Now?,” California Employment Law & Cabernet (Napa, 2020) (presenter)
  • “Recruiting and Retention During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Top Issues Facing California Staffing Agencies,” California Staffing Professionals (Podcast, 2020) (presenter)
  • “Maintaining a Drug Free Workforce,” CalChamber HR Symposium (Huntington Beach, 2019) (presenter)
  • “California Wage and Hour Developments: The Latest (and Not So Greatest) Changes Impacting Employers,” Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Napa, 2019) (presenter)
  • “Documentation Deep Dive: Improve Your Performance Management Practices and Documents,” Workplace Strategies Seminar (Las Vegas, 2019) (presenter)
  • “Legislative Update,” California Staffing Professionals (Tustin, 2019) (presenter)
  • “Protect Your Business From Lawsuits in 2019,” California Staffing Professionals (Webinar, 2019) (presenter)
  • “Did you ‘Really’ Just Say That? An Interactive Look at Handling Sexual Harassment Complaints,” ACC SoCal In-House Counsel Conference (Anaheim, 2018) (presenter)
  • “Managing Toxic Employees and Cannabis in the Workplace,” Women’s In-House Counsel Leadership Institute (Costa Mesa, 2018) (presenter)
  • “Navigating Our Ever-Changing Legal Landscape,” California Staffing Professionals Annual Staffing and Recruiting Conference (Rancho Mirage, 2018) (presenter)
  • “Legal Land Mine: What is California’s PAGA, and How Can It Kill My Company?,” Navigating California Employment Law Seminar (Napa, 2018) (presenter)
  • “California 2018 Labor and Employment Law Update,” Managing a Workforce Seminar (Costa Mesa, 2018) (presenter)
  • “You Be The Judge: Interactive Presentation of Most Important Staffing Cases,” California Staffing Professionals Owner’s Only Retreat (San Diego, 2018) (presenter)
  • “What’s New in California Employment Law? As Always, Plenty!,” Managing a Workforce Seminar (Costa Mesa, 2018) (presenter)
  • “New Laws, New Regulations, and Key Issues for 2017,” Managing a Workforce Seminar (Costa Mesa, 2017) (presenter)
  • “Best Practices for Employee Handbooks,” Professional in Human Resources Association (Pomona, 2015) (presenter)
  • “Auditing Employee Handbooks and Workplace Policies,” Professional in Human Resources Association (Anaheim, 2015) (presenter)
  • “Trends in Class Action Wage and Hour Employment Litigation,” Association of Corporate Counsel (Sacramento, 2012) (presenter)


University of San Diego School of Law

magna cum laude

University of California, Irvine

magna cum laude

Admitted to Practice
California - C.D. Cal.
California - E.D. Cal.
California - S.D. Cal.

University of San Diego School of Law

magna cum laude

University of California, Irvine

magna cum laude

California - C.D. Cal.
California - E.D. Cal.
California - S.D. Cal.