After 40 years as a leading domestic and international labor and employment litigator and part-time mediator, Alan Berkowitz followed his passion to become a full-time Mediator. As a practicing labor and employment lawyer he tried over 50 cases in State and Federal courts and administrative agencies both on behalf of Defendants and Plaintiffs. As a mediator for the past 25 years, Mr. Berkowitz has successfully resolved hundreds of cases involving all types of employment matters including discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage & hour class-actions (many of which were "seven to eight-figure" settlements), PAGA and whistleblower cases.

Alan is highly regarded by attorneys who have mediated cases with him. A Plaintiff's attorney described Alan as an "intense and empathetic listener." Another attorney states, "Alan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to any employment case, which makes him a more effective mediator than most in these types of matters... . I have been impressed with his closing skills and mediation style, which is direct but not over the top." An attorney who specializes in class action disputes said "Alan's got great business sense... he's done a lot of work on the defense side and can talk the talk... . He's definitely on our list of top mediators."

Practice Areas
  • American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Business Breach of Contract
  • Class-Actions
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Independent Contractor Issues
  • PAGA claims
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wage & Hour
  • Whistle Blower Complaints
  • Wrongful Termination
Hobbies & Interests

International travel, motorcycle riding and touring, fly fishing, backpacking and camping, stained glass art, theatre and ballet

Legal Career
  • Neutral, Judicate West (2010-Present)
  • Mediator, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (since 1998)
  • Early Settlement Panelist, San Francisco Superior Court (since 1995)
  • Partner, Bingham McCutchen (2000-2010), specializing in employment and labor law; Mediator
  • Partner and Managing Partner, Schachter Kristoff Orenstein & Berkowitz, specializing in Labor & Employment (1982-2000)
  • Regional Attorney, National Labor Relations Board, Region 32, Oakland, CA (1976-1982)
  • Supervisory Attorney & Trial Specialist, National Labor Relations Board, San Francisco, CA (1969-1976)
  • Attorney, Office of the General Counsel, Division of Advice, National Labor Relations Board (1967-1969)
Education & Professional Affiliations
  • JD - Washington College of Law (1967)
  • BA - Drake University (1964)
  • Association of Attorney-Mediators, Charter Member, Mediation Training program, N. Cal. Chapter
  • ABA International Labor and Employment Law Committee (since 2005)
  • ABA Committee on the Development of the Law Under the National Labor Relations Act (since 1985)
  • Labor & Employment Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, Chair (2007-2009)
  • Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Section, State Bar of California (1987-1990)
  • Private Sector Labor Relations Committee, Labor and Employment Section, State Bar of California, Chair (1985-1986)
  • Program Committee, Labor and Employment Section, State Bar of California, Chair (1983-1984)
Achievements & Awards
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution, Northern California Super Lawyers (2020)
  • Fellow, College of Labor & Employment Lawyers (2006-Present)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Leading Lawyer in Labor and Employment (2003-2015)
  • Super Lawyers, Labor and Employment (2004-2015)
  • Top Lawyers of Northern California (2011 -2015)
  • • America's Most Honored Professionals (2014 -2015)
  • International Who's Who of Management, Labor & Employment Lawyers (2010)
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer in Labor and Employment (2006-2008)
  • Program Director, Mediation Center, Bangalore, India. Helped establish one of India's 1st court mediation programs (2007)
Below is a sampling of the various matters Alan R. Berkowitz, Esq. handled as a practicing attorney or neutral.


  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim alleging age discrimination.
  • Case involved whether law school must provide remote learning opportunities as an accomodation for student with disabilities. School's teaching method is based on in person attendance.

Consumer Class Action

  • Wage-Hour/Employment. Class action claim alleging non-compliant meal and rest breaks, inaccurate payroll records and penalties.


  • Employment/Defamation. Individual claim for disability discrimination, retaliation for seeking legal counsel; defamation.

Disability Discrimination

  • Employment/disability discrimination. Claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and to engage in interactive process; retaliation for asserting disability claim.


  • Employment Discrimination. Disability claim alleging failure to accommodate PTSD, and failure to engage in interactive process
  • Employment. Claims for race discrimination, racial harassment, and failure to prevent harassment against Government entity. Claims made under both State and Federal law.
  • Employment. Related claims for race discrimination, harassment and failure to prevent discrimination against same entity as above by another employee.
  • Wage-Hour. Representative wage and hour action alleging unlawful forfeiture of accrued vacation time; failure to provide compliant meal and rest periods; and individual disability discrimination claim; PAGA claim
  • Employment/discrimination. Individual claim of race discrimination and harassment and violation of California Family Rights Act.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in interactive process, failure to prevent discrimination; wrongful termination.
  • Employment/Discrimination/Breach of Contract. Suit by four former employees claiming age discrimination, breach of contract and covenant of good faith and fair dealing; retaliation.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim for pregnancy discrimination by children's clothing designer.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Unlawful termination and retaliation for taking protected medical leave of absence.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim alleging discrimination on the basis of race, national origin and color; retaliation for opposing discrimination; fraud; breach of contract.

Hostile Environment

  • Employment. Wrongful termination, discrimination, hostile work environment, failure to accommodate claims against major security company.

Labor Code

  • Wage-Hour/Unfair Competition. Alleged misclassification of employee; failure to pay overtime or to provide compliant meal and rest breaks; failure to provide accurate wage statements; unfair competition.
  • Wage-Hour/Employment/PAGA. Complaint alleged that employee was misclassified and as a result was not paid for all time worked, not provided with compliant meal and rest breaks; wrongful termination; and, claims under PAGA.
  • Employment. Claims for various violations of California Labor Code.


  • PAGA case alleging violation of Labor Code Sect. 432.5 making it unlawful to require employees to agree in writing to any term or condition which is known by the employer to be prohibited by law. The case also involved a novel PAGA group action waiver and arbitration issues.

Wage and Hour

  • Employment/Wage-Hour. High value claims for denial of commissions earned, unlawful commission agreements, disability discrimination and violation of SF Police Code 33A re off duty activities.
  • Employment/Wage-Hour Class action wage and hour matter involving 710 former current and former employees of janitorial company alleging missed or untimely meal and rest breaks.
  • Wage-Hour, Employment. Individual claims for unpaid commissions and penalties under California Labor Code.
  • Employment/Wage Hour. Individual claim for wages owed and wage hour violations of Labor Code.
  • Wage-Hour/Employment. Class action for failure to provide meal and rest breaks; failure to pay for all time worked; failure to pay overtime; failure to provide accurate wage statements; penalties under Labor Code.

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Wage-Hour, Unfair Competition. Class action case involving merchandizing specialists claiming failure to pay for all time worked, failure to reimburse for business expenses; unfair competition
  • Wage-Hour/Unfair Business Practices. California wide class action suit alleging misclassification of store managers of major retail chain. Claims for unpaid overtime, meal and rest breaks and Labor Code penalties; Unfair business practices.
  • Wage Hour/Unfair Business Practices. State wide class action case involving sales employees for off-the-clock work and non-compliant meal and rest breaks.
  • Wage-Hour/Employment. Class action claim for wages and penalties under California Labor Code.

Whistleblower Wrongful Term

  • Employment/Whistleblower. Two cases involving separate but related claims against same defendant. Claim by employee that he was terminated for whistleblowing about financial abuses by CEO and claims by CEO for wrongful termination and breach of contract.

Wrongful Term & Discrimination

  • Breach of Contract/Fraud. Complaint alleged fraudulent inducement to accept employment and breach of contract. Termination of employment in violation of public policy; violation of California False Claims Act.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim alleging age discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Employment/Labor/Discrimination. Individual claim of discriminatory failure to recall employee from layoff involving rights under collective bargaining agreement.
  • Employment/Discrimination/Defamation. Individual claims of age discrimination, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, wrongful termination, defamation, invasion of privacy; National Bank Act Issues.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim for employment discrimination.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim against university for age and marital status discrimination, retaliation for asserting discrimination; misrepresentation to induce employment.

Wrongful Termination

  • Whistleblower/Fraud. Claims of fraud, misrepresentation, whistleblowing and unlawful product labeling leading up to and following sale of business.
  • Breach of Contract/Fraud. Fraud, misrepresentation and breach of contract claims arising from sale of business and termination of original founder and seller of business.
  • Employment Discrimination. Individual claims of sex discrimination, failure to promote against public entity.
  • Employment. Failure to pay for work outside job classification. Failure to pay for off-the-clock work.
  • Employment/retaliation/breach of contract. Claim for violation of California Family Rights Act; Violation of Labor Code 6310 for complaining of unsafe working conditions; Breach of contract.
  • Employment/discrimination. Individual claim for race discrimination.
  • Breach of Contract/Negligence/Employment. Claims of termination of CEO because of age, perceived physical disability and retaliation for reporting sexual harassment, Breach of contract and negligence causing loss of valuable benefits.
  • Employment/Labor Code Violations. Individual claim for violation of Labor Code Sections 6310 and 6311 for complaining about potentially violent employee and unsafe working conditions.
  • Employment. Claims of discrimination and wrongful termination by 11 former employees of bank.
  • Employment. Individual claim for age discrimination and retaliation for being class representative in prior wage and hour lawsuit against defendant.
  • Employment/Discrimination/Whistleblower. Sexual harassment causing severe emotional distress and eventual disability; disability discrimination; whistleblower retaliation; wrongful termination.
  • Employment. Individual claim for employment discrimination and wrongful termination.
  • Employment/Whistleblower. Two cases involving separate but related claims against same defendant. Claim by employee that he was terminated for whistleblowing about financial abuses by CEO and claims by CEO for wrongful termination and breach of contract.
  • Employment/Discrimination. Individual claim for wrongful termination and discrimination.
  • Mediated a whistle blower retaliation case
  • The case involved a dispute over commissions owed and wrongful termination for whistleblowing activity. Case settled.
Alan Berkowitz was a pleasure to work with in this emotionally- charged matter. I have already recommended him to my other colleagues.
- Attorney on an Employment Discrimination-Retaliation Case
Alan was a wonderful mediator! The parties were far apart and rather entrenched in positions that made bridging the gap in mediation quite difficult. Alan was diplomatic, patient, effective-and forceful when necessary-to ensure this that a settlement was reached. I definitely would work with him again.
- Attorney, San Mateo County, California
I just wanted to say how delighted my clients and I are with Alan's mediation. To have resolved a unique case so quickly and fairly was truly a masterful achievement, and would have been completely impossible without his help. We deeply appreciate the A game he brought to the proceeding and all his hard work.
- Attorney, San Francisco, California
My client and I found Alan to be a good listener. He conveyed the strengths and weaknesses in a nice non-aggressive tone. He conditioned us and provided guidance on all future steps in the proceeding. Overall, he kept this case moving.
- Attorney, Northern California
Alan R. Berkowitz, Esq.
Based in Northern California | Available in All of California
Case Manager: Maureen Tapalla