February 2, 2023

Attorney sues O'Melveny after being fired for "too many pro bono hours"

       This attorney did pro bono work to help satisfy his 1900 billable hours target. According to O'Melveny's website, that should have been fine. It states that "pro bono hours may be used to fulfill all firm billing expectations, including bonus consideration." But apparently that's not really true.

       Excerpt from the complaint below.

15. At all times, Plaintiff was in good standing and competently performed his job duties, such that he was promoted as “Counsel” in March 01, 2022, until he was wrongfully terminated on or about December 01, 2022.

16. As required in his employment contract, Plaintiff continuously completed and serviced over 1900 hours of billable and pro bono work for OMM every year. 

17. From the start of 2022, Plaintiff noticed he was gradually given less work such that he incessantly advised OMM and/or DOES 1 through 25 of his inability to meet his billable requirements due to the lack of billable assignments presented to Plaintiff.

18. Despite Plaintiff’s countless requests and advisory notices, he was prejudicially prevented from working on crucial billable projects and transactions on the basis of his race, gender, and sexual orientation.

19. The work environment created by OMM and/or DOEs 1 through 25 was hostile, but OMM and/or DOEs 1 through 25 did nothing to investigate or redress the prejudice and discrimination.

20. Yet, Plaintiff impressively managed to exceed his billable requirement before the end of the 2022 term because Plaintiff unilaterally sourced more work by engaging in significant pro bono projects, as authorized per OMM’s policies, which specifically “encourages and gives lawyers full billable credit for every hour recorded on pro bono matters,” ultimately qualifying Plaintiff for bonus compensation in addition to his 2022 salary.

21. On December 01, 2022, Plaintiff was wrongfully deceived into organizing, coordinating, and attending a meeting with OMM and/or DOEs 1 through 25 to discuss “staffing,” where he was unexplainably and wrongfully terminated on the basis that he billed too many pro bono hours.

       The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his case with prejudice a few weeks after filing, which suggests that O'Melveny settled the case.

O'Melveny layoffs, stealth layoffs, OMM, discrimination, wrongful termination, pro bono, 1999 Avenue of the Stars 8th Floor,   Los Angeles, CA 90067