In addition to having litigated scores of wage/hour and discrimination class actions as well as collective and representative actions, Ms. Forster has particular expertise in helping companies navigate highly sensitive claims for sexual harassment and abuse, gender discrimination and pay equity. Her litigation experience includes whistleblower retaliation claims, executive compensation matters, trade secrets disputes, constitutional issues and claims arising under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, as well as federal and state employment laws. Ms. Forster also handles internal investigations and provides strategic labor law compliance advice to employers and management. She has extensive experience in the entertainment and media, technology, retail, food and beverage distribution, financial services, communications and nonprofit sectors.
Ms. Forster is a past chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles (WLALA) in 2016. She has also been ranked by Chambers USA for many years, and the Daily Journal has named her among its Top Labor & Employment Lawyers and Top 100 Women Lawyers in California. In 2022, the Los Angeles Business Journal recognized Ms. Forster as a Leader of Influence: Labor & Employment Attorney. In addition, Ms. Forster has regularly been selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers® and listed among the Top 50 Women Attorneys in Southern California.
Ms. Forster has prevailed at trial as well as on dispositive motions, defeated class certification, enforced arbitration agreements and obtained extraordinary settlements. Her key representations include:
- Activision Blizzard in defending against claims of systemic sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation by the California Civil Rights Department (formerly Department of Fair Employment and Housing)
- See’s Candies in defeating class certification in an action alleging wage and hour violations.
- 99 Cents Only in obtaining reversal on appeal of a trial court ruling that the company had waived its right to compel individual arbitration of wage and hour claims.
- A publicly traded company defending against claims for whistleblower retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank Acts.
- A major film studio defending against sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims.
- A high-profile nonprofit foundation defending against a legal challenge to an internship program it funds to encourage underrepresented groups to pursue museum careers.
- A large retailer defending against claims it violated state law by failing to provide seats to cashiers.
- Southern California Edison in obtaining the dismissal of a putative class action alleging a pattern and practice of racial discrimination and summary judgment in a related individual action.
- Merrill Lynch in its defense against a nationwide wage and hour class action by its financial advisors.
- NBCUniversal in attaining favorable settlements in two putative class actions alleging age discrimination against television writers by all the major TV networks, studios and talent agencies.
Ms. Forster authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the U.S. and California Chambers of Commerce in a California Supreme Court case of first impression regarding the state’s suitable seating law. She was also one of the principal counsel of record in Reynolds v. Bement, in which the California Supreme Court held that corporate officers and directors could not be held personally liable under the then-existing California Labor Code for wage claims by corporate employees.
In addition to her regular practice, Ms. Forster does extensive pro bono work in the areas of non-profit advice and counseling and impact litigation to promote LGBT rights. Among other things, she and co-counsel at ACLU and DRW recently obtained a preliminary injunction barring the Washington Department of Corrections from “outing” transgender, non-binary and intersex prisoners and from disclosing their medical information, sexual history, and history of sexual victimization in response to Public Records Act Requests. She also led a Munger Tolles team that, along with Lambda Legal, brought a lawsuit asserting sex discrimination claims on behalf of a transgender veteran who was denied service at a local barbershop. She is also part of a team that has successfully defended California’s law prohibiting licensed clinical professionals from practicing sexual orientation change efforts on minors.