N. William Metke
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N. William Metke
Senior Counsel

Bill Metke is a trusted counselor to small and mid-sized employers, supporting and advising clients across a wide range of industries, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. A seasoned employment law practitioner, Bill leverages more than twenty years of experience, having represented both employers and employees in scores of litigated disputes. His approach emphasizes anticipating and avoiding potential future risks while strategizing to foster workplace culture.

Bill provides daily consultation on a wide array of employment matters, including wage and hour; leaves of absence; benefits and compensation; claims related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and other inappropriate workplace behavior; and myriad other employment-legal challenges. His “real life” background in fields that include finance, education, hospitality, retail, and the arts helps to inform his practical and business-minded advice. Bill guides our clients through employment best practices and offers tools to manage human capital and best achieve overall business goals.

A Trusted Advisor

Our clients reach out to Bill every day for his advice, support, and thoughtful insights. Savvy, confident, and communicative, Bill strives to distill a legal landscape that can often seem overly complex into clear and actionable business decisions, as he helps clients maintain compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Skilled at conflict resolution within the employment context, he often helps clients strategize to proactively avert conflict. It’s this holistic approach, balancing legal obligations with practical business concerns, that earns Bill a role as his clients’ trusted advisor.

Admissions

  • The State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
    • Dean’s Scholarship Recipient
    • McAuliffe Honor Society
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Romance Languages and Literature
  • Universite d’Haute Bretagne, French Language and Cultural Studies
  • Nazareth College of Rochester, Bachelor of Arts, French Language and Literature

Certificates

  • Public Interest Law

Awards

  • Rising Star, California Super Lawyers
    • 2009
    • 2010

Language 

  • French – fluent
  • Labor and Employment Law

Advice and Counseling

  • Assisted numerous clients across multiple workplace settings ranging from essential workers and hospitality to remote and hybrid environments in crafting COVID vaccine and masking policies, as well as tailoring responses to employee exemption requests on health and religious grounds.
  • Advise clients on assessing and responding to employees’ requests for disability accommodation.
  • Manage employee leaves of absence and return to work protocols.
  • Provide hands-on support in managing reductions in force.
  • Counsel on strategic management of problematic employees, performance improvement plans, and complex separation scenarios.

Negotiation

  • Negotiated pre-litigation settlement of nonprofit executive’s wrongful termination claim for a fraction of original settlement demand.
  • Negotiated dismissal of restaurant employee’s pending wage lawsuit without payment to the former-employee plaintiff, persuading the plaintiff’s counsel there was no merit to the claim.
  • Negotiated the resignation and graceful exit for a senior college administrator accused of sexual harassment.

Dispute Resolution and Litigation

  • Obtained dismissal of meritless wage claim while strategizing with real estate company client to obtain employee’s exit from business location where the employee had been illegally residing.
  • In San Francisco Superior Court, obtained summary judgment and dismissal of lawsuit alleging discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination for an architecture and design firm.
  • Obtained dozens of adjudicated dismissals or significant reductions of wage claims before California Labor Commissioners in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Alameda counties for clients ranging from restaurants to technology startups.
  • In Alameda County Superior Court, obtained six-figure attorneys’ fee award in favor of prevailing party in lawsuit alleging disability discrimination of hospital employee.
  • In Santa Clara County Superior Court, obtained a rare reversal of the court’s tentative order on motion to compel arbitration for technology company.
  • Obtained a seldom-granted order for terminating sanctions through discovery motion in Marin County Superior Court, resulting in the outright dismissal of the case for a car dealership client.
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • Labor and Employment Law Section, Executive Committee Member
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