Jacqueline J. Harding Partner




Jacqueline Harding is well regarded for her service as chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and her involvement in professional activities devoted to the advancement of women and minority attorneys. Jackie’s law practice focuses on labor and employment law in addition to product liability, business and health care litigation. In her practice, Jackie represents clients in state and federal courts, arbitrations, mediations, civil service commission hearings, EEOC/DFEH administrative hearings, and labor commission and OSHA hearings. She has litigated several class action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Prior to joining Wilson Elser, Jackie worked in the Labor Relations Department at The Walt Disney Company, an American multinational diversified mass media company. Before becoming a lawyer, she was a television producer for 13 years, including producing an Emmy award–winning weekly magazine series in Chicago for a major network. In Los Angeles, she and her husband owned several businesses, including two restaurants in a national chain. 

While experienced in litigation and workplace consultation, her skills in communicating effectively to various constituencies and resolving problems have also garnered favorable results for clients. They particularly appreciate her ability to understand the facts and nuances of cases, which helps to avoid unnecessary litigation, and prevent future workplace problems.

Areas of Focus

Employment & Labor
Jackie represents private and public employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law. She handles a multitude of issues, including litigation and preventative counseling, wage and hour matters, class actions suits, wrongful termination, employee discipline, executive employment contract disputes, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, the FMLA, employee raiding and trade secret protection. Jackie has litigated in state and federal court, at both the trial and appellate levels. She has written numerous employment law articles that appeared in legal and trade journals. She also publishes the firm’s California Employment E-Newsletter.

Jackie has litigated several wage-and-hour class action lawsuits brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. She also defends private employers. Her clients represent a wide range of industries, including not-for-profit social service organizations, motion picture/television production, banking, telecommunications and health care. She is familiar with labor/employment laws and regulations affecting those industries. Jackie also provides employment law training on discrimination and harassment in the workplace and other related employment issues.

Workers’ compensation insurance provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue his or her employer regarding the incident. Jackie helps her clients navigate the gap between assured, limited coverage and lack of recourse outside the workers’ compensation system. While general damages for pain and suffering and punitive damages for employer negligence are generally not available in workers' compensation plans, employers may be required to put injured staff on "light-duties." And when new forms of workplace injury are discovered (stress, repetitive strain injury, silicosis) the law often lags behind actual injury and offers no suitable compensation, forcing the employer and employee back to the courts.
Media Law
After years of media production experience, Jackie applied her experience to assist media clients in their legal matters. She has handled matters involving defamation and privacy issues, broadcast news gathering and First Amendment rights, the use of releases in broadcast news and entertainment productions, internships and independent contract worker laws, issues arising out of GPS surveillance in the workplace, and media and entertainment labor union contracts and disputes.

Jackie’s litigation experience includes copyright and trademark infringement cases for the entertainment and food industries. She has assisted clients in maintaining and enforcing trademark rights, and has consulted on trademark registration issues. She has also defended clients in trademark disputes. While at a major multimedia company, Jackie worked on a copyright and merchandising arbitration involving an animated film. During her career, Jackie has represented clients in a wide range of industries, including non-profit social service organizations, banking, motion picture and television production, telecommunications and health care. She is familiar with labor/employment laws and regulations affecting those industries.

General Liability
Leveraging Wilson Elser’s 35-year record of success helping clients identify and prevent exposures and, if they occur, capably manage reaction and recovery, Jackie helps public- and private-sector clients in mitigating risk and advancing business objectives. General liability coverage is far-reaching, providing protection for employees acting on behalf of the business, anyone legally connected to a business, legal defense expenses during lawsuits, and medical care for the injured or ill claimant.

Jackie has represented public entities and written advisory opinion letters on issues for various municipalities. She has represented the County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, County of San Bernardino, County of Riverside, City of Burbank, Los Angeles Community College District, Santa Ynez High School District, Conejo Valley School District and the Metropolitan Transit Authority. She has written advisory opinion letters on issues for the Southwestern Community College District, the City of Culver City and the City of Visalia.

Representative Matters

Obtained summary judgment dismissing an age and gender discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit filed in San Diego Superior Court.

Obtained a dismissal of an automobile manufacturer in multi-defendant sexual harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination case.

Defended a national restaurant chain in a male employee’s family leave discrimination case.

Defended a class action wage and hour lawsuit filed by member of a sheriff’s department.

Settled a sexual orientation and discrimination case for a waiver of costs.

Won a case against a convalescent hospital for wage issues filed with the California Labor Commissioner.

Won summary judgment for reverse race discrimination and harassment against a non-profit organization.

Obtained a dismissal for waiver of costs for a nutritional supplement manufacturer sued by a plaintiff alleging kidney damage as a result of taking a supplement.