Carmen Cole is a partner in the Labor & Employment Practice Group. Carmen works with employers to navigate complex employment law issues. Her prior experience as a human resources professional places her in a unique position to understand clients’ issues from a legal and business perspective. Carmen provides advice and counseling to employers on workplace issues, such as compliance with wage and hour laws, reductions in force, recruitment and hiring, employee classification, leave laws and terminations.
Carmen’s practice also consists of litigation defense and counseling. She aims to reach the most strategic and cost-effective result possible for her clients. Carmen defends employers in cases involving individual violations of state and federal law, as well as defending class actions in areas such as wage and hour violations, California Labor Code violations, worker misclassification, wrongful termination, breach of contract and other employment-related torts.
Carmen has successfully partnered with employers and management in industries such as entertainment, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality.
Carmen also works with clients nationally to both enforce restrictive covenants, where appropriate, and strike them down where such agreements violate local law or policy. Carmen has litigated these cases at the injunction phase (in court) and through arbitration in various states, including Massachusetts, Ohio, Connecticut and Georgia. Carmen’s employee mobility practice includes defending and pursuing litigation related to non-solicitation, confidentiality and other executive employment agreements involving post-employment obligations. In addition to litigating employee mobility claims, Carmen regularly advises employers on drafting and implementing policies to increase executive retention, best practices for executive recruitment to avoid violating restrictive covenants and other employment-related agreements and negotiating “work-arounds” between employees and employers to facilitate executive mobility.
Carmen has received several distinctions over the course of her career. Most recently, she was selected by the Los Angeles Times’ Business of Law Magazine as a Legal Visionary (2023). She has also been named as a Woman of Influence in the legal community by the Los Angeles Business Journal (2022), and one of California’s Top Women Lawyers by California’s Daily Journal Magazine (2021). She has been selected as a Most Influential Minority Attorney in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal (2019) and received the Labor and Employment Star recognition by Benchmark Litigation (2019). She has also been named as a Los Angeles County Bar Association Minority Leader in the Law (2018) and featured as an Attorney Spotlight in the California Minority Counsel Program’s Diversity Matters Magazine.