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Silicon Valley Bay Area & National Attorney —
Tyler M. Paetkau

Telephone: (650) 260-1066
Facsimile: (650) 568-2823



Tyler M. Paetkau has represented employers in labor and employment law matters for more than 20 years. In the area of civil litigation, Mr. Paetkau represents employers in state and federal court cases involving a myriad of workplace matters. His experience includes defending claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, defamation, unpaid commissions and wage and hour violations, unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. He also provides extensive day-to-day employment counseling on personnel policies and procedures, employee handbooks, workplace investigations, employee discipline and termination matters, corporate restructuring, immigration, employment contracts, protection of trade secrets, employee leasing, the use of temporary employees and employment benefits issues. Mr. Paetkau has particular experience in representing employers with respect to restrictive covenants and trade secrets, employee mobility issues, the defense of collective and class actions, ethics and corporate compliance issues and international labor and employment law.

Mr. Paetkau is a frequent author of articles on labor and employment law topics and is the author of Hiring and Firing (Entrepreneur Press, 2007). He is also a contributing editor to several employment law publications. Please see our Publications, Presentations and Media page for a complete list of his publications.

Bay Area attorney Tyler Paetkau is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® — a distinction signifying the highest quality legal work, professionalism and ethical standards.

He has also been recognized as a Northern California "Super Lawyer" in labor and employment law.

Areas of practice

  • Litigation
  • Labor and employment
  • Wrongful termination
  • Discrimination retaliation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Defamation
  • Unpaid commissions
  • International labor and employment
  • Wage and hour violations
  • Unfair competition
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Employee mobility issues
  • Trade secrets
  • Defense of collective and class actions
  • Ethics and corporate compliance issues

Admitted to practice

  • California, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Awards and honors


Professional memberships

  • Labor and Employment Law Section, American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • Past chair and advisor, Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Section, State Bar of California
  • Former member, Special Advisory Committee on Jury Instructions for Employment Law Cases, State Bar of California

Representative cases

  • James Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., 165 Cal. App. 4th 209, 80 Cal. Rptr. 3d 847 (2008)
  • Frank Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc., 42 Cal. 4th 554 169 P.3d 889, 67 Cal. Rptr. 3d 468, 55 Lab. Cas. 60, 511 (2007)
  • FAIR v. Rumsfeld, 547 U.S. 47, 126 S. Ct. 1297 (2007)
  • Stephen Simmons v. PCR Technology, 2009 F.Supp.2d 1029 (C.D. Cal. 2002)
  • Mirna Olivares v. Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, 2001 WL 477171 (C.D. Cal. April 26, 2001)
  • Wayne Perry v. U.S. Bank, 2001 WL 34920473 (N.D. Cal. 2001)


  • 2014 Bender's Calif. Lab. & Empl. Bull. 117 (April 2014)