Daniel J. Coyle


Delfino Madden   Delfino Madden  Delfino Madden

Drew Fredrickson

Practice Areas

Employment Law

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

Described by clients as efficient, detail-oriented and accessible, Dan applies more than 35 years of relevant experience to collaborate with clients in shaping the most practical and effective strategies to meet their employment law needs.

Dan has successfully defended individual and class action employment claims in state and federal court and private arbitration. 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 execute contracts, severance agreements, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, employee handbooks and policies.

  • 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.
  • Defeated motion for class certification of wage and hour claims of 70 employee class of maintenance workers.
  • Worked with regional grocery chain to successfully implement a reduction in force of over 150 positions without any resulting litigation.
  • Lead counsel in 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.
  • 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.

Professional, Community and Pro Bono Involvement

  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member 1985-Present, former Executive Committee Member
  • 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
  • Numerous client training and Continuing Education Seminars

Honors and Rankings

  • AV® Preeminent™” Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, 2000 – present
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005, 2011 – 2022 (Top 100: 2019, 2022)
  • 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

In the News

Classification Complications: How to navigate the maze of California’s new rules on overtime and independent contractors
Comstock’s Magazine

You’ve Been WARNed: Appropriate Care for Company Layoffs
Comstock’s Magazine

Speaking Engagements/Events

Employment Law Update 2021
Delfino Madden

A New Landscape – Employment Law Update for 2020
Delfino Madden

COVID-19: Legal Implications for Employers During and After the Pandemic
Delfino Madden

A Look Ahead – Employment Law Update for 2019
Delfino Madden

New Year, New Laws: Employment Law Update 2018

Employment Law Guidance in Uncertain Times – Compliance for 2017

A Look Forward: Employment Law Compliance for 2016

Employment Law Update: 2014 A Year in Review

Are You Ready for 2014? Many New Laws Will Affect California Employers
2014 Employment Law Seminar

Keeping the Family Farm in the Family – Part 3

Employment Law Update: Changes for 2013

Employment Law Update: What’s Your Next Move?

Counting the Hours: Increasing Accountability in Wage and Hour Practices
Sacramento Area Human Resources Association, Annual Conference

Human Resources and Employment Law Update: Where do we go from here?
Financial Executives International, Sacramento chapter

Employment Law Update: A Review of Changes for 2011

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Disability Discrimination Claims and Improve Interactive Process Compliance
Association of California Water Agencies, Annual Conference

Employment Law Update: Current Issues and Future Trends

Social Networks: A Modern Employer Threat
Wilcox, Miller & Nelson, HR Executives in Transition

An Ounce of Prevention: Human Resources Role in Wage & Hour Claims
Sacramento Area Human Resource Association, Annual Conference

Employment Law in Challenging Times: A Review of 2008 and Looking Forward to 2009


New Developments on the Arbitration Front
Sacramento Area Human Resource Association Newsletter

Employee Assistance Programs: What Your Clients Should Know
California Labor & Employment Law Quarterly