Daniel J. Coyle

Partner—Employment Law

Dan Coyle works on a daily basis to assist national and regional employers in navigating the complex and consistently changing employment laws of California.

Described by clients as efficient, detail-oriented and accessible, Dan uses his nearly thirty-five years of employment law experience to strategize with clients to determine the best approach for cost-effectively responding to their employment law needs.

Dan has successfully defended individual and class action employment claims in state and federal court and private arbitrations. He has significant experience in defending employers against discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and wage and hour claims, including class actions ranging from 50 to 1,500 class members. Dan has defeated class certification motions of national and state classes. He also represents public employers in employee discipline and post-termination due process hearings.

Dan has an excellent record in counseling clients through difficult employment issues and employee problems without claims or litigation. Such matters include:

  • Planning and implementing large-scale reductions in force;
  • Obtaining workplace violence restraining orders in response to employee threats and stalking;
  • Negotiating executive severance agreements;
  • Responding to problem employee behaviors or performance;
  • Assisting clients in investigating employee theft and embezzlement, recovering losses and, where appropriate, involving law enforcement for prosecution.

Dan also works with employers to prepare and implement employee handbooks and policies, draft contracts, and confidentiality and severance agreements.


Assistant: Drew Fredrickson

Representative Experience

  • Successful defense of race discrimination claim against multi-state grocer following three-week jury trial in Superior Court and subsequent related one-week trial in Federal Court
  • Obtained dismissal through motion for summary judgment of whistleblower and wrongful termination claims by former employees against national health care firm in Superior Court
  • Successful prosecution of breach of contract claim by former executive against high-tech company following multi-day arbitration in which arbitrator awarded in excess of $250,000 in fees and costs.
  • Obtained ruling from state Administrative Law Judge following multi-day hearing upholding termination of public water district employee for insubordination and damaging a federal water facility.
  • Defeated motion for class certification of wage and hour claims of 70 employee class of maintenance workers
  • Obtained dismissal following initial discovery of federal court wage and hour class action by group of scientific employees
  • Worked with regional grocery chain to successfully implement a reduction in force of over 150 positions without any resulting litigation
  • Negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between union employees and Public Services Districts
  • Lead counsel in successfully defeating motion for class certification of nationwide wage and hour suit seeking to certify a class of over 1,500 sales employees of retail supplier
  • Obtained dismissal through motion for summary judgment of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate claims by warehouse employee, which was upheld on appeal to the Third District Court of Appeal
  • Obtained California EDD employment tax refund in excess of $600,000 following Superior Court bench trial upholding independent contractor status of 145 owner-operator truck drivers

Professional Affiliations

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Member and Former Executive Committee Member, 1985-Present
  • State Bar of California, Employment Law Section, Member, 1985-Present
  • City Year Sacramento – Advisory Board Member, 2018-Present
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul, “Benefit for the Poor” dinner, Advisory Board, 2012-2016, Member
  • Legal Services of Northern California Valentine Run, Organizing Committee, 2008-2019, Member
  • Sacramento Pioneer Association, Member Board of Directors, 2000-2010
  • American Youth Soccer Organization, Region 218, Former Coach and Former Referee
  • University of Santa Clara Law Review , Editor-in-Chief, 1984 – 1985
  • Numerous client training and Continuing Education Seminars

Honors And Rankings
AV® Preeminent™” Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, 2000 – present
Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005, 2011-2019
Best Lawyers in America

J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, Deans List 1983-1985; Editor-in-Chief, Santa Clara Law Review, 1985
B.A., Political Science, Minor in English, University of California at Davis, Outstanding Senior Award, 1981; Editor-in-Chief, The California Aggie, 1981

Bar Admissions
California, 1985

Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit
United States District Court Central District of California
United States District Court Eastern District of California
United States District Court Northern District of California

News & Publications

In the News
January 2014
“Wage-and-hour legal changes can be minefield for employers”
Sacramento Business Journal

November 18, 2011
“In-House Lawyers on the Way Up”
Sacramento Business Journal

August 29, 2008
“As layoffs mount, so do wrongful termination cases”
Sacramento Business Journal

January 28, 2008
“Lawyers, Runners Race Toward Valentine Run Fun”
The Daily Recorder

Speaking Engagements / Events
January 30, 2014
Are You Ready for 2014? Many New Laws Will Affect California Employers
2014 Employment Law Seminar

Association of Corporate Counsel, 2012 Year in Review

“Employment Law Update: Changes for 2013,”

Amicus Brief in RiverIsland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Production Credit Assn’ (2013) 55 Cal.4th 1169.

“Employment Law 2012: What’s Your Next Move?”

“Employment Law Update: A Review of Changes for 2011”

“Employment Law Update 2010: Current Issues and Future Trends”

“What Will They Think of Next: Changes in Employment Law for 2008”

2007, 2009
“A Human Resources Tool Box for Managers and Supervisors”

“Wage and Hour Pitfalls,” Lorman Education Services

“Preventing and Defending Wage and Hour Claims,” Lorman Education Services

“Annual Year in Review Seminars,” Employment Law Seminar