Louis Benowitz

Louis Benowitz

Partner & Co-founder

Louis Benowitz - Feature Louis Signature
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    Email

    louis@smithbenowitz.com

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    Call

    (818) 839-9610

  • Fax Icon

    Fax

    (818) 839-9700

Practice Areas

  • Employment Law — Employee
  • Wage & Hour Law – Employee
  • Class Actions
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Retaliation/Whistleblower/Qui Tam
  • Workplace Safety Issues
  • Invasions of Privacy
  • Defamation
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
  • Military Service Members and Veterans Rights (USERRA/Cal-USERRA/FEHA)
  • Overtime
  • Exempt Employee Misclassification
  • Independent Contractor Misclassification
  • Meal and Rest Periods
  • Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Vacation Pay
  • Unreimbursed Expenses

Biography

Louis Benowitz is an avid employee rights advocate and a Southern California Super Lawyers® Rising Star every year since 2013 in plaintiff-side employment litigation.

Mr. Benowitz has successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of California workers through individual and class action lawsuits. Mr. Benowitz has prosecuted multiple cases through trial, successfully certified heavily contested class action lawsuits against large corporate employers for wage and hour violations, has obtained numerous six and seven figure settlements, and has several appellate decisions on notable employment law issues, including two published decisions from the California Supreme Court. In doing so, Mr. Benowitz has successfully represented workers across a variety of industries including, but not limited to: health and fitness, retail, manufacturing, restaurant, transportation, legal, and banking/financial services.

Mr. Benowitz resides in Los Angeles and is a California native. Mr. Benowitz received his BA in English from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and his JD from Loyola Law School (Los Angeles, CA). When away from the office, Mr. Benowitz enjoys spending time with friends and family (identical twin sons and dog included), following professional sports (especially baseball), and indoor cycling and other forms of exercise.

Louis' Legal Tip of the Week

Video Thumbnail
Legal Tip of The Week | Louis Benowitz | Don’t Tell Your Employer You Smoke Weed
Legal Tip of the Week with Louis Benowitz. Unfortunately, Weed and Work Don't Mix.
Don’t Tell Your Employer You Smoke Weed

0:15 | February 19, 2020

Recent Appellate Successes

  • Douglas Troester v. Starbucks Corp. (2018) 5 Cal.5th 829, California Supreme Court: Obtained reversal of summary judgment order and set precedent holding that California’s “hours worked” definition does not recognize a de minimis exception (contrary to the FLSA)
  • Jennifer Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. (2016) 2 Cal.5th 257, California Supreme Court: As amicus curiae on behalf of the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), submitted brief largely adopted by the Court in its ruling that California law prohibits on-call and on-duty rest periods.
  • Amanda Valencia v. SCIS Air Security Corp. (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 377, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District: Obtained a reversal of a denial of class certification and grant of summary adjudication in favor of employer in wage and hour class action on grounds that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) does not preempt California’s wage and hour laws.
  • Alejandro Chavez v. Southern California Edison Co. (2015) No. B253514, Unpublished, Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District: Obtained reversal defense verdict after jury trial in male-on-male sexual harassment case where court gave erroneous jury instruction over plaintiff’s objection.

Education

  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California

    J.D. (2008)

    Honors & Awards: St. Thomas More Law Honor Society; Scott Moot Court Honors Board; Finalist, Scott Moot Court Competition; Best Regional Brief Award (California), New York City Bar Association National Moot Court Competition; First Honors Award, Law of Sales: Domestic and International; Research Editor, Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review; Dean’s List.

  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

    B.A. (English, 2003)

    Honors & Awards: Pauline and Irving Tanner Dean’s Scholar; Dean’s List; Staff Writer, Cornell Daily Sun.

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • California Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • Southern California Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2013-2020, Employment Litigation: Plaintiff