Stephen Sonnenberg is a partner in the Employment Law Department of Paul Hastings. He is East Coast vice chair of the firm's 150-lawyer Employment Law Department. Mr. Sonnenberg has defended employers in numerous wage and hour class and collective actions, and hundreds of wrongful discharge, discrimination and harassment actions. Mr. Sonnenberg is admitted to practice law in New York, California, and the District of Columbia and has litigated in federal and state courts, as well as before federal and state agencies, in multiple jurisdictions. He is Chambers ranked and listed in The Best Lawyers in America and has been included in New York's Super Lawyers since 2007, before which he was included in Southern California Super Lawyers.
Mr. Sonnenberg counsels clients based in the United States and Asia on a wide variety of U.S. employment matters, including wage and hour, discrimination, retaliation, and equal employment opportunity issues. Prior to studying law, Mr. Sonnenberg practiced psychotherapy as a licensed clinical social worker in a variety of private and public settings, ranging from private practice to a psychiatric hospital. Because of his background as a psychotherapist, Mr. Sonnenberg has particular expertise in the areas of mental disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act, emotional distress damages, and the use and misuse of psychiatric and psychological experts. Mr. Sonnenberg has frequently lectured on these topics and has also provided training on these topics to corporate counsel and human resources personnel of clients of the firm.
Mr. Sonnenberg has authored a number of articles regarding employment law, including "Wage and Hour Claims: The New Wave," "Settling High-Stakes Wage, Hour Litigation Via CAFA," "Wage and Hour Actions Continue to Surge," "Workplace Restructurings: Managing the Pain," "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder," "Reasonable Accommodation, Undue Hardship: A Delicate Balance," "Accommodating Mental Disabilities in the Workplace," in the New York Law Journal, and Coping with Mental Disabilities in the Workplace: Tips for Employers" in Employee Benefit News and Workforce Management. Mr. Sonnenberg co-authored "Sexual Harassment Litigation, Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Strategies", an ALI-ABA publication, and "The Time Bomb in Mental Disability Coverage" in The Americans With Disabilities Act: A Practical Guide for California Employers.
Mr. Sonnenberg received his B.A. degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton, with honors. He received his M.S.W. degree from the University of Michigan. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Southern California Law Center, where he was a senior editor of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal.