Cassandra M. Ferrannini

Cassandra M. Ferrannini

Partner / Recruiting Partner

Cassandra M. Ferrannini

Partner / Recruiting Partner

Cassandra Ferrannini draws on her broad experience to assist clients in finding their best strategic position to prevent, defend, and resolve employment disputes.

In her counseling practice, she guides public and private employers through the complicated and sometimes contradictory maze of federal and state regulations. In doing so, she frequently encounters and resolves issues ranging from employee terminations to designing, implementing or auditing comprehensive, company-wide, employment policies.

Cass defends public entities, staffing companies, restaurant owners and internet start-ups against a variety of employment claims, including class actions, wage and hour, sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, ERISA, and fraud—all with great success.  Clients value Cass as a “creative thinker and problem solver” who finds outside-the-box strategies. As employees and information become increasingly mobile, she safeguards her clients' confidential information by bringing and defending numerous actions involving misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition, achieving effective resolution.

Experience

Employment Litigation

  • Successfully brought a multi-million dollar trade secret claim on behalf of a national privately-owned company resulting in an injunction requiring the return of hundreds of thousands of misappropriated electronic documents.
  • Litigated class action and PAGA claims including overtime, minimum wage and failure to provide meal and rest breaks on behalf of national staffing company, resulting in a successful settlement.
  • Prevented former employees from raiding repossession management company’s workforce, customer list, and financial information by obtaining a preliminary injunction prohibiting further solicitation of employees and use of trade secrets.
  • Effectively prosecuted stalking and harassment claims against a union on behalf of the general manager of a heavy-equipment manufacturer.
  • Defended wildlife biologists against trade secret misappropriation claim.  Obtained favorable monetary settlement after cross-complaining for gender discrimination.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment against employees who brought whistleblower claims against a county and obtained a full award of defense costs and attorneys’ fees.
  • Defended private trucking firms against class action overtime and meal and rest period claims, including trial of the DOT exemption to the California Wage Orders.
  • Successfully arbitrated a wrongful termination claim based on an employment contract for owners of a car-repair shop. Obtained award of defense costs.
  • Obtained a favorable outcome defending a Skelly hearing on behalf of a Water District following termination of a public employee.

Employment Counseling

  • Provided strategic advice to bank regarding broker’s departure to join competitor. Negotiated mutually acceptable resolution without litigation.
  • Prepared California-compliant handbook for national pharmacy service acquiring California workforce, including comprehensive review of wage and hour compliance, harassment prevention, new leave of absence and confidentiality agreements and implementation of procedures to assure conformity with California law.
  • Audited wage and hour practices related to insurance claims adjustors, targeting key areas of potential exposure, suggesting strategies for communicating exempt duties in job descriptions, and devising procedures to ensure proper handling of those adjustors moving to non-exempt status.
  • Analyzed and advised about labor and employment risks and liabilities raised by the acquisition of a California company by a German manufacturer.
  • Devised successful plan to facilitate the peaceful departure of HR Director who facilitated the theft of unearned PTO for his co-employee paramour.
  • Advised healthcare company regarding the potential issues raised by the employment application of a mentally disabled pediatrician and created a legally compliant strategy for handling the employment.
  • Assisted company in reconfiguring the compensation of its auto mechanics in response to changes in California law affecting workers paid by piece rate.

General Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a municipal utility district on constitutional property claims based on alleged property damage to a geothermal plant.
  • Defended homeowner against claims brought against him by a homeowner’s association.  Obtained monetary settlement in favor of homeowner after bringing cross-complaint against association.
  • Defended heavy-equipment merchant in a construction dispute with a general contractor. Succeeded in obtaining dismissal of a bank claiming a security interest in the construction contract and an assignment of the proceeds. Obtained award of defense costs and attorneys’ fees, which was affirmed on appeal.
  • Represented a city in a three-week arbitration for claims including breach of a golf-course lease.  Successfully defended against Cross-claims exceeding $5,000,000, ultimately prevailing on entity’s breach of lease claim.
  • Successfully assisted bank in foreclosing against manufacturing plant after loan default.

Appellate Work

  • Amedee Geothermal Venture I v. Lassen Municipal Utility District (9th Cir. 2015)  2015 WL 9298840
  • Amicus Brief in RiverIsland Cold Storage, Inc. v. Fresno-Madera Production Credit Assn' (2013) 55 Cal.4th 1169.
  • Price v. Operating Engineers Local No. 3 (2011) 195 Cal.App.4th 962
  • Golden West Nuts, Inc. v. Willadsen Orchards, Inc. (C-64123, Third App. Dist. Unpub.)
  • Eicher v. Advanced Business Integrators, Inc. (2007) 151 Cal.App.4th 1363.
  • Dell Merk, Inc. v. Franzia (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 443.
  • City of Burbank v. State Water Resources Control Bd. (2005) 35 Cal.4th 613
  • Buckley v. Butte Community College District (2000) (C-030308, Third App. Dist. Unpub)

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Member, American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, 2004-present
  • Member, California Bar Association, Litigation Section, 2000-present
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, 2000-present
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Diversity Hiring and Retention Committee, 2013-present
  • Board Member, Junior Achievement of Sacramento
  • Member, The Rotary Club of Sacramento Breakfast

Honors And Rankings

  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Employment & Labor, 2015-2016

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