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Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC Builds Out Utah Employment Law Community

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Firm News

Utah employment law is on par with federal employment law. Therefore, most employee grievances are filed in federal court.

Utah Employment Lawyers Association Recently Elected Founding Partner Galen Shimoda As President

Shortly after expanding Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC into the state of Utah, partner Galen Shimoda found himself elected president of the Utah Employment Lawyers Association (UELA).

The not-for-profit organization, founded in 1992, consists of employment law attorneys, law students from the nearby University of Utah, and nonprofits dedicated to helping employees. In total, there are about 40 active members who attend seminars, conduct mock trials, and listen to guest speakers like Magistrate Judge Daphne A. Oberg.

“The reason why I think it’s important to be a member (of the UELA) here is because of the small population of employment lawyers representing employees, and they need to stick together,” Galen said.

Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC has employment law attorneys who are passionate about helping employees wronged by their employers. If your rights have been violated in California or Utah, call us today.

When Is Arbitration The Best Approach?

While there are thousands of employment lawyers in California to help employees navigate wage and hour claims, wrongful termination, and discrimination, there are a little over 100 firms in Utah, Galen said.

Utah employment law is on par with federal law, which is used as the baseline and enhanced by the state legislature, like California. Therefore, aside from a few unique situations, most employee grievances are filed in federal court.

Galen said that because employment law in the state remains status quo unless the federal government enacts a change, employers have become somewhat complacent with the lack of exposure to changing regulations.

“The egregiousness of the claims that I’m seeing here is at a higher level in Utah than in California,” Galen said.

The most common claims are made by employees who’ve had their Family Medical Leave Act or Americans with Disabilities Act rights violated, either because of clerical error or wrongful termination.

Building Out The Employment Law Community

Galen said the small size of the UELA membership allows everyone to discuss trends at length and to share information and best practices knowledge – in a way, acting like a large employment law firm.

He said he has borrowed from his membership in the California Employment Lawyers Association to guide the seminar programming at UELA during his first year in the three-year-long role.

As far as long-term goals for me, I’m hoping to have more presence, meaning share my experience, share my attitude and ambition for employment laws and the protection of employees. Even though the laws are weak here, there’s a hope that with more exposure that employers will do the right thing.

–Galen Shimoda

He said he knew when he expanded Shimoda & Rodriguez Law, PC to Utah that the caseload would not be as heavy as in California, but he was motivated by his desire to better society and help the workers of Utah.

He said he’s proud of the work he and his fellow members are putting into UELA by sponsoring University of Utah law student events and pro bono initiatives while building the employee-representation organization.

“I can go on record and say that after practicing in California and then coming here to practice, it’s apples and oranges – completely different,” Galen said.