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John Viola


Los Angeles
310 282 9407 310 282 9407 direct

John serves as a one-stop resource for employment counseling and litigation for companies across the country, particularly as they relate to California operations.

He also draws on his background in the insurance industry to counsel and defend insurance companies on a host of industry-specific legal issues.

In his national employment law practice, John defends companies facing claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge and retaliation. He also has defended whistleblower claims and successfully litigated several wage and hour class actions. John frequently conducts internal employment investigations and leads on-site training for employees.

A former in-house attorney with MetLife, John has represented life and health insurance companies for decades and defends first-party "bad faith" and ERISA actions involving universal and variable life insurance policies, as well as more traditional policies and health insurance policies. John has represented insurers in class actions involving market conduct, premium, investment and cost issues. He also has guided insurers, reinsurers and guarantee associations through insolvencies.

For clients across a host of industries, John has tried cases in state and federal courts, and argued before a variety of state and federal appellate courts. He also has successfully arbitrated and mediated numerous cases before the AAA and other dispute resolution agencies.

John is a problem solver and skilled litigator who, nonetheless, strives to help clients head off problems long before they lead to litigation. He also ensures that a company's policies and response to potential and actual claims align with its brand, its values and its ultimate business goals.

Employment Law

– Employment actions, including, wage and hour class actions and claims of wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment.
– Defense of ERISA actions, including claims for benefits and claims for breach of fiduciary duty.

Insurance Law

– Defense of Unfair Business Practices actions under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.
– Defense of class actions involving alleged deceptive sales practices in the sale of life and health insurance policies and annuities and consumer goods and services.
– Defense of class actions involving alleged improper premium increases in universal life and health insurance policies.
– Defense of "bad faith" actions involving alleged deceptive sales and marketing practices in the sale of life insurance policies and annuities, including "vanishing premium" policies, elder abuse, fraud, securities fraud, unfair business practices and RICO violations.
– Defense of "bad faith" actions involving rescissions, suicides, accidental death and other benefits issues.
– Representation of insurers in insolvency matters, including the Mission, Executive Life and Superior National insolvencies.

Thompson Coburn Publications

Employers: Are you ready for new California HR laws in 2022?

City of Los Angeles enacts new sick pay ordinance

Employers: Are you ready for new California HR laws in 2020?

California says #MeToo: What employers need to know

In California, when is a ‘worker’ considered an ‘employee’?

Four hot mid-year topics in California employment law

March 1 is just around the corner – Have you installed transgender restroom signs?

California expands pay equity, limits pay stub requirements

California ups the ante on minimum wages

Post that policy: California FEHA amended regs take effect April 1, 2016

California employers: Are you ready for 2016?

California auto dealers: Re-check your pay plans and wage statements before January 1, 2016

Trick or Treat for California employers

California "cures" its new paid sick leave law

Are you ready for California’s new paid sick leave law?


New Vaccine Mandates

Returning to Work During COVID-19: Employment and Privacy Law Considerations

FFCRA Update

Getting Back to Work in a Pandemic Environment

Navigating HR Issues during the COVID-19 Emergency

Traffic Ahead: California Employment Law Update

A New Horizon: What You Need to Know About California Employment Law


Recreational cannabis in the workplace: A guide for California employers

Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?


Contributor, "Employers grapple with wage-and-hour claims amid pandemic,"
San Gabriel Valley Tribune, June 1, 2021

Contributor, "Going hybrid? Get a remote work policy, attorney says"
HR Dive May 17, 2021

"California Ups the Ante on Minimum Wages";
Thompson Coburn E-Alert, April 2016

Contributor, "Alternative Dispute Resolution Chapter";
Cumulative Supplement to Employment Discrimination Law, ABA, 2015

"California Employers: Are You Ready for 2016?";
Thompson Coburn E-Alert, December 2015

"Employers and medical marijuana: Are California's anti-drug policies up in smoke?";
Tracking Cannabis Blog, November 2015

"California auto dealers: Re-check your pay plans and wage statements before January 1, 2016";
Automotive Headlines Blog, November 2015

"Trick or Treat for California Employers: The California Legislature hands out a ‘mixed bag’ of employment laws";
Thompson Coburn E-Alert, October 2015

"California "cures" its new paid sick leave law";
Thompson Coburn E-Alert, July 2015

"Infographic: New California Employment Laws for 2015";
May 2015

"Are you ready for California’s new paid sick leave law?";
Thompson Coburn E-Alert, March 2015


"Responsible Return to the Workplace: Testing and Contact Tracing"
Dallas Regional Chamber September 2020