Melissa Tara Daugherty


Melissa Daugherty is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois, vice-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice, and chair of the ADA Compliance & Defense Practice. Her practice focuses on: 

  • Wrongful Termination and Retaliatory Discharge
  • Employment Discrimination and Harassment (Including Sexual Harassment Prevention Training)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act, The Disabled Persons Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act
  • Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”)
  • State and Federal Wage and Hour Disputes (including class actions)
  • Family Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act (“FMLA” and “CFRA”)

Ms. Daugherty has extensive experience in providing employment counseling to clients, including policy and handbook drafting, employment practices audits and seminar presentations. She routinely provides AB1825 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training to numerous clients throughout the country. She has special expertise in Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and litigation involving the Unruh Civil Rights Act. She has created an extensive database, tracking developments in this area of law and documenting historical settlement value based on a number of factors. Ms. Daugherty also provides seminars on Title II and III of the ADA and related state law.

Ms. Daugherty also has experience in all aspects of employment litigation including: wage and hour class actions, defending employers during audits brought by the Department of Labor and State Labor Commission; defending employers in matters brought before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement, and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board; conducting independent expert investigations of workplace harassment; and defending employers through all stages of litigation.  Her practice is divided almost equally between California State and Federal Court and she also has experience at the appellate level.

Primary Area(s) of Practice

  • Labor & Employment
  • Data Privacy & Cybersecurity
  • ADA Compliance & Defense
  • COVID-19: Labor & Employment

Additional Experience



U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Awards & Honors

  • Listed, Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Influential Women Lawyers, 2019
  • Southern California “Super Lawyer,” 2017


Loyola Law School

Juris Doctor

University of California at Santa Barbara

Bachelor of Arts, cum laude