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Miles Locker

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Tel: 415.962.1626 Ext: 1000
Fax: 415.962.1628

71 Stevenson Street, Suite 422
San Francisco, California 94104

For Miles Locker's complete CV click here.

Miles is considered one of the foremost experts of wage and hour law in California.  As the head of the legal department of the State Labor Commissioner’s office and as a senior attorney there, Miles has been involved in interpreting and enforcing California’s wage and hour laws for over twenty years.

Miles is a frequent speaker on wage and hour matters for public and private organizations including local and state Bar Associations and the Employment Law Center-Legal aid Society of San Francisco.  Miles has also guest lectured at University of California, Berkeley School of Law; and University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Miles provides advice and consulting services to attorneys, employers, and labor organizations in state and federal wage and hour law and retaliation law.  He serves as an expert witness in state and federal wage and hour cases.  Miles also represents individuals and classes of employees in wage and hour matters.

Miles has taken on extensive Pro-Bono appellate advocacy on cases of wage and hour or procedural significance, as a direct advocate and as “amicus” (friend of the court).


J.D., University of California Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981

B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1976
Major: History

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

Northern, Central, Southern & Eastern Districts of California
Ninth Circuit
California Supreme Court
US Supreme Court

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

California Employment Lawyers Association

National Lawyers Guild

Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar

Featured Cases and Matters

DLSE v. Brinker Restaurants – resulted in a $10,000,000 settlement in 2002, the largest settlement in DLSE history, with proceeds paid to over 30,000 current and former employees for meal period violations.

DLSE v. Abercrombie & Fitch - resulted in a $2,200,000 settlement in 2003, for reimbursement of employees for compelled purchases of employer’s merchandise.

DLSE v. Denny’s Restaurants - action filed in Alameda County Superior Court resulted in a $7,000,000 settlement in 2005, for payment to employees of unlawfully forfeited accrued and unused vacation time. In an attempt to avert this state court lawsuit, Denny’s filed an action against DLSE in federal court in South Carolina, seeking to enjoin DLSE from proceeding in state court on ground that ERISA preempted state regulation of its vacation plan. Represented DLSE in oral argument before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, resulting in decision affirming district court’s dismissal of Denny’s action. Drafted successful opposition to Denny’s petition for certiorari.

Lujan v. Sears Corporation – lawsuit for backpay, reinstatement and other injunctive relief in response to sales clerk’s discharge for violating retailer’s “moonlighting” policy resulted in settlement under which employee was reinstated with backpay and employer adopted new statewide policy allowing its non-exempt employees to work for other employers, including competitors; successfully opposed demurrer challenging whether Labor Code §98.6/96(k) protected employee’s right to “moonlight.”

Lujan v. Minagar – argued this case in the court of appeal, resulting in a published decision holding that Labor Code §6310 prohibits “preemptive discharge” of employee believed by employer to be likely to file OSHA complaint, thereby extending plain language of statute which only protects employees who have filed complaints.

Lujan v. G&G Fire Sprinklers – drafted successful petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, with the DLSE ultimately defeating a constitutional challenge to state law allowing DLSE to order withholding of unpaid prevailing wages and penalties from amounts owed to contractors on public works jobs.

Morillion v. Royal Packing – co-authored DLSE amicus brief filed with the California Supreme Court, successfully arguing that under California law, “hours worked” includes all time the employee is subject to the employer’s control, with the result that farm workers must be paid for time during which they are required to wait for and ride in company buses taking them to and from fields.

Viking Ready Mix v. Tramble – opposed petition to compel arbitration seeking to prevent DLSE from holding wage adjudication hearings on meal period claims filed by employees covered by collective bargaining agreement that provided for arbitration of all claims arising under Labor Code or IWC orders, resulting in court of appeal decision holding no preemption under the LMRA, so that DLSE could adjudicate claims.

Millan v. Restaurant Enterprises Group - filed petition to enforce administrative subpoena, resulting in published court of appeal decision holding that ERISA does not preempt DLSE’s right to subpoena records to enable it to make its own determination as to whether employer has vacation plan that preempts state law prohibiting forfeiture of accrued vacation.

Californians for Safe and Effective Dump Truck Transportation v. Mendonca – resulted in Ninth Circuit decision holding that federal law prohibiting state regulation of motor carrier’s prices, routes or services (the “FAAA Act”) does not preempt enforcement of state prevailing wage law.

Dunbar Armored v. Department of Industrial Relations - resulted in district court decision that federal Motor Carrier Act and the FAAA Act do not preempt enforcement of state meal and rest period requirements for drivers of motor carriers.

Williams v. FreedomCard, Inc. – argued this case in the court of appeal, resulting in a published decision holding that a defendant against whom the Labor Commissioner issued an order, decision or award for unpaid wages cannot challenge the finding of employer status without posting the bond or undertaking required to maintain de novo appeal under Labor Code §98.2, and that relief from bond or undertaking can only be granted if defendant proves indigence.

Pro Bono Activities

Workers' Rights Clinic-Volunteer Supervising Attorney
  • Advise law students on substantive law and counseling clients in employment matters
Extensive pro-bono appellate advocacy on cases of wage and hour or procedural significance, as a direct advocate and as amicus.