Overview of Labor and Employment Services
David Frederick Gomez founded and was president of David F. Gomez, P.C. and later, Gomez & Petitti, P.C., a firm exclusively practicing labor and employment law, where he served as head lawyer from 1985 to 2015. He then founded the Law Offices of David Frederick Gomez with offices in Southern California and Arizona where he exclusively practices labor and employment law and offers his services as a neutral in arbitrations and mediations.
David has represented a broad range of private and public sector employees in a wide variety of workplace matters. He also provides representation to small to mid-size companies and various employee organizations. David has a particular interest in employment issues which arise among executives and mid-level managers. Most often these executives stand in the shoes of the employer in relationship to other employees who are their subordinates and thus can find themselves in a paradoxical position with their employer. Resolving these issues can be difficult for both employee and employer and requires knowledge and understanding of divergent points of view. He has extensive knowledge and experience in handling these complex and sensitive matters.
At the Law Offices of David Frederick Gomez, you will find an experienced attorney who is truly interested in helping his clients while remaining committed to the goals of achievement, integrity, and excellence.
David has provided sustained, exceptionally high quality professional services to clients. He has achieved the highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards, as submitted by his peers and rated by Martindale-Hubbell. David is listed in Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He enjoys a strong reputation among his colleagues, including judges before whom he has appeared and attorneys on both sides of the aisle.
David Frederick Gomez has practiced law in California since 1975 and Arizona since 1981. His legal work in Arizona, beginning in the 1980’s, also marked the start of major developments in Arizona labor and employment law, some of which involved employment law cases Mr. Gomez tried to juries with plaintiff verdicts affirmed on appeal. Mr. Gomez has remained focused on labor and employment law ever since and has remained in the middle of events as they unfold, continuing to help shape the legal landscape of labor and employment law
In 2010, David Frederick Gomez was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. He is regularly listed in Best Lawyers in America and Southwest Super Lawyers.
Ford v. Revlon
The "case that started it all" for David Frederick Gomez was Ford v. Revlon, Inc., a landmark Arizona Supreme Court decision in the then-new and still-evolving area of sexual harassment law. In this case, a manager made sexual advances to an employee, who rejected these advances. The employee was told "you will regret this" and was repeatedly subjected to touching, offensive comments, and other sexually harassing behavior in the workplace, including a sexually-charged physical assault at a company picnic. Although the employee complained time and again to different levels of management within the company over a period of many months, no action was ever taken to stop the harassment.
The employee later sued the manager and the company for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). The jury found the manager guilty of assault and battery, and the company guilty of intentional infliction of emotional distress. This finding of liability on the company was later reversed by an appeals court, which held on principles of agency law that the company could not be held liable for IIED since the manager had not been held liable.
David appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of Arizona, which held that in fact the company was liable for IIED. The conduct of the company in failing to take any action after notice of the manager's conduct was "extreme and outrageous" and also "reckless." This conduct did indeed cause severe emotional distress for the employee, who at one point was so distraught she had attempted suicide.
This case established the principle that an employer's failure to take appropriate action in response to an employee's complaints of sexual harassment by a supervisor may constitute intentional infliction of emotional distress.
From Disability Discrimination to Union Trust Funds
David has also been involved in other important cases in the area of labor and employment law. Jurgella v. Danielson dealt with the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibited discrimination in federally funded programs against otherwise qualified handicapped individuals on the basis of their handicap or disability. The trial court had dismissed the employee's discrimination claim, but David obtained a reversal on appeal, convincing the court that the employee had indeed established a claim for unlawful handicap discrimination. The language of the statute at hand, regarding the definition of a qualified handicapped individual, was later incorporated into the ADA's definition of a qualified individual with a disability.
In Paul R. Peterson Construction, Inc. vs. Arizona State Carpenters Health and Welfare Trust Fund, Mr. Gomez successfully tried a complicated case to an advisory jury, and handled the post-verdict appeal and cross-appeal, against a union fund health and welfare plan subject to the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA). David and his firm successfully defended the trial court’s decision based on the advisory jury’s verdict in the client’s favor on appeal. The successful plaintiff was ultimately awarded not only a money judgment and attorneys’ fees but prejudgment interest as well.
Labor and Employment Law Arbitrations and Mediations
David Frederick Gomez has served as a court-appointed arbitrator in Superior Court cases and as a privately-appointed arbitrator. David provides services as a neutral in employment law arbitrations and mediations. He serves as an Employment Panel Member of the American Arbitration Association.
Continuing a Strong Tradition in Labor and Employment Law
David Frederick Gomez has been proud to be involved in the development of labor and employment law over the past 40 years and looks forward to continuing his involvement. Equally important to Mr. Gomez is the impact his work has had on the individual clients he represents, who come to his offices seeking help and receive a strong commitment to achieving excellent results on their behalf.
David Frederick Gomez is listed in Southwest Super Lawyers, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in American Law. For 2017, Best Lawyers in America recognized David for his work in the practice areas of Employment Law-Individuals, Employment Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor and Employment.