Gabrielle Wirth

Gabrielle Wirth



Employers turn to Gabrielle for guidance as to how they can comply with the technical employment laws in California, Montana and nationwide while meeting their business needs. 

Gabrielle’s successful trial experience in a broad range of employment disputes including wage and hour, whistleblower, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and trade secret/noncompetition cases and her work with the corporate team on acquisitions and startups equip her to nimbly assess and provide legally compliant options, whether in the counseling or litigation defense role. She also represents employers before a wide variety of state and federal agencies including the EEOC, OFCCP, state human rights agencies, the Labor Commission, the Employment Development Department and OSHA.

Gabrielle is often requested to speak on a broad range of employment issues for a wide variety of corporate counsel and human resource organizations. She is a longstanding member of the Orange County Women’s Philanthropy Fund and an avid supporter of a variety of philanthropic causes in California and Montana. She is currently the head of the Southern California and Montana Labor & Employment departments at Dorsey.

Education & Admissions

University of California, Davis School of Law (J.D., 1982)

University of California, Berkeley (A.B., 1978)


  • California
  • Montana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of California


Representative Work

Recent Employment Trials
  • Defended employer against claims for wrongful termination, fraud, whistleblower claims, race discrimination, retaliation and breach of implied contract.  Prevailed in a two-week jury trial on all claims except fraud which was ruled a mistrial due to plaintiff’s erroneous jury instruction.
  • Defended employer in a pregnancy and sex discrimination claim and claim for breach of contract.  Prevailed in a three-week jury trial on pregnancy and sex discrimination claim, plaintiff recovered six months' pay on contract claim.
Class Actions
  • Court granted motion to strike class action allegations in this class action alleging violation of California’s meal and break regulations.
  • Court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification in a manager/assistant manager misclassification class action.  The individual claims settled on a favorable basis thereafter.
  • Court granted motion to strike class action allegations alleging violations of California’s meal and rest break regulations.
Administrative Trials
  • Obtained reversal of substantial assessments for employment taxes finding individuals to be employees instead of independent contractors.
Representative Summary Judgments
  • Obtained summary judgment on claims for wrongful termination in violation of public policy; invasion of privacy; sex and race discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment against claims for wrongful termination in violation of public policy (whistleblowing), breach of implied contract and other claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment in multi-plaintiff wage and hour, sex discrimination and whistleblower claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment on claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation and breach of contract.
  • Obtained summary judgments on claims of wrongful termination, retaliation, race discrimination and breach of contract.

News & Resources


California Governor Signs Spate of #MeToo Era Bills Into Law
Which Provisions of California’s So-Called ‘Sanctuary State’ Legislation Affecting Employers are Currently in Effect?
California High Court Confirms Written Authorization Required For Most Employer Background Checks
California High Court Rejects De Minimis Standard, Requiring Employers to Account for and Compensate Even Small Increments of Time After Clocking Out
When a Disclosure Form Must “Stand Alone”: Recent Cases Hold Companies Liable for Including Too Much on FCRA Disclosures
EEOC Updates Its National Origin Discrimination Guidance
Spokeo Set to Resolve Lingering Questions Over Constitutional Standing
Wine and Beer Law, Chapter: Top Ten Pit-Falls in Brewery and Winery Acquisitions
It Is Now Easier To Draft Class Action Waivers and Arbitration Agreements
Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced
Healthcare Companies Should Check Their Confidentiality Agreements Before the Whistle Blows, Orange County Business Journal
Just Say No to BYOD Policies, Orange County Business Journal
The United States Supreme Court’s Decision on Non-exempt Employee’s Work Day
Wellness Watch
Montana Supreme Court Upholds Employers Right to Change Sick Leave Payout Policies
Practical Implications of Recent DOMA Decisions, Orange County Business Journal
Class Arbitrations: “Good, Bad or Ugly”
Practically Accommodating Medical Marijuana — Not an Impossibility
California Enacts New Penalties for Misclassifying Independent Contractors
Oracle: The California Supreme Court Decides Non-Residents Performing Work in California for California Based Employers Are Subject to California’s Overtime Provisions
Emotional Intelligence: Best practice advice to avoid legal challenges from emotional intelligence interviews and tests
California Appellate Court Approves Explicit Mutual Wage Agreements for Non-Exempt Employees
California Legislation Provides the Option For Shorter, Less Expensive Jury Trials
California Fires: Simple Solutions for Employers Dealing with the Natural Disasters
California Courts Warn Employers: Train Your Managers!

News & Press Mentions

Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Partner Gabrielle Wirth
Dorsey’s Southern California Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019
Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Partner Gabrielle Wirth
Dorsey Partner Gabrielle Wirth Comments on Gig Worker vs Employees
Dorsey’s Southern California Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2018
Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Partner Gabrielle Wirth
Dorsey’s Southern California Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017
Super Lawyers Recognizes Dorsey Attorneys Gabrielle Wirth and Jason Wisniewski
Dorsey’s Costa Mesa Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016
Dorsey Partner Gabrielle Wirth Discusses Distinction Between Employee and Contractor
Super Lawyers Recognizes 4 Dorsey Lawyers in Costa Mesa

Select Presentations

  • Speaker, Salary History and Pay Equity, Professionals in Human Resources Association, La Jolla, CA, January 30, 2019
  • Speaker, Salary History and Pay Equity, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Burbank, CA, January 22, 2019
  • Speaker, Salary History and Pay Equity, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Riverside, CA, January 16, 2019
  • Speaker, Salary History and Pay Equity, Professionals in Human Resources Association, Anaheim, CA, January 10, 2019
  • 2014 Midwest Intellectual Property Institute: Employee Postings on Social Media: An Employment Lawyer’s Cautionary Tales for the IP Attorney. September 19, 2014
  • Association for Corporate Growth: Employment Details Often Forgotten in Spin-Off Opportunities. August 7, 2014 
  • Minnesota Continuing Legal Education: Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute: New California Wage and Hour Challenges. May 20, 2014

Industries & Practices

  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Cooperative Law
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Healthcare
  • Indian & Alaska Native
  • Insurance Law
  • Labor & Employment
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Oil & Gas
  • Sustainability

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Member, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys
  • Member, John Muir Heritage Society, Yosemite Conservancy
  • Member and Breakfast Committee, Orange County United Way Women’s Philanthropy Fund
  • Alexis de Tocqueville Society, Orange County United Way


  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, 2007-2019
  • Listed as a Southern California Super Lawyer, 2010-2013 and 2017-2018
  • Orange County Women in Business, Nominee, 2009-2013
Gabrielle Wirth