Jan Frankel Schau, Esq.



Jan Frankel Schau, Esq. settles litigated cases arising out of employment and tort disputes with humanity, skill and intelligence. With over twenty years of experience as a litigator – 10 years in Insurance Defense and 10 years representing Plaintiffs– Jan has an unique ability to understand and evaluate both sides of conflict and to get to the heart of the conflict in order to arrive at a satisfactory resolution in every dispute efficiently, effectively and fairly, usually in a single day. She is known for her keen insight as well as her kindness, earning praise from lawyers and their clients in the most intransigent of disputes. Her settlement rates are consistently high, saving her clients countless hours and dollars in litigation.

Ms. Schau has been recognized as one of the leading mediators in Southern California, named by the Daily Journal as a “Top 50 Neutral”, inducted as a Distinguished Fellow of the prestigious International Academy of Mediators and named one of California’s Super Lawyers for the past 9 years.


  • Employment: FEHA, Pre-Litigated/Pre-Trial, Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, Harassment, Wage And Hour
  • Tort: Personal Injury, Professional Negligence, Premises Liability
  • Business: Partnership, Trade Secrets, Contracts


  • ADR Services, Inc., Mediator & Arbitrator, Panel Neutral
  • Civil Service Hearing Officer, County of Los Angeles
  • Civil Service Hearing Officer, City of Los Angeles
  • Civil Service Hearing Officer, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Private Mediator, Arbitrator, Valley Mediation Services
  • United States District Court, Central District, Appointed Panel Member


  • Law Offices of Jan Frankel Schau, General Civil Litigation
  • Litigation Practice at various law firms in Los Angeles, specializing in Condominium and Homeowners Law, Real Property Sales, Construction Defect Litigation, Insurance Defense, Coverage, Personal Injury, Employment, Business Litigation, Hospital Staff Privileges, Professional Negligence and Torts


  • Top 16 Women in Alternative Dispute Resolution per Super Lawyer, California
  • Top 50 Neutral by California Daily Journal
  • Former Elected Chair, Beverly Hills Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
  • California Super Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Board Member, Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Former ADR Section Chair
  • Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediator*
  • Former Appointed Member, California State Bar Committee on ADR
  • Former Elected President, Southern California Mediation Association


  • Cross-Cultural Mediation, Straus Summer Intensive, 2018
  • Advanced Negotiation, Straus Summer Intensive, 2017
  • Summer Intensive: “Mindfulness in Mediation”, Straus Institute 2016
  • Professional Skills Advanced Mediation Training, Straus Institute 2015
  • EEOC Training, 40 hour Course, 2007
  • Arbitration I and II, American Arbitration Association, 2005-2006
  • FINRA Neutral Training, 2005
  • County Personnel Hearing Officer Training, 2005
  • Western Center for Law & Disability, Advanced Training, Disability Mediation, 2001
  • L.A. County Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Program Act ADR Training, 2000


  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 1981
  • Pomona College, B.A. in International Relations, 1978


  • Contributing Author to “Lawyers as Changemakers” by J. Kim Wright, Published by ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2016.
  • “View from the Middle of the Road: A Mediator’s Perspective on Life, Conflict and Human Interaction”, AuthorHouse 2013.
  • “The Bad Boy who almost Got Away”, “Stories Mediators Tell”, editors, Eric Galton and Lela Love, Published by ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2012.

Representative Cases


  • Plaintiff claimed disability discrimination as she was put on a Performance Improvement Plan within two weeks of returning from a mental health-related leave of absence and was then terminated within 45 days of returning from a second leave of absence for COVID-19.
  • Settled case with a looming federal trial date, including claims of wrongful termination wrongful misclassification as exempt, as well as for unpaid overtime.
  • Settled pre-litigation claims of a human resources manager with a nine year tenure who was terminated immediately after taking a thirty day leave of absence.
  • Claimant sued former employer, claiming a failure to accommodate his disability and wrongful termination based on disability discrimination, as well as misclassification as exempt. Settled at mediation.
  • Settled a case that was on appeal from a decision of the Labor Commissioner which found against an individual managing agent for failure to pay all wages owed to six employees, despite one of the cases having already been tried in the Superior Court and was on appeal.
  • Pre-litigation bad faith denial of coverage claim. Underlying claim involved a high speed automobile vs. semi-truck freeway accident with a minor claimant sustaining a fractured vertebra requiring airlift from scene and surgical intervention. A subsequent time limited policy limits demand expired without acceptance. Claimant alleged policy was open while respondent contended coverage issues and unreasonableness of time limit imposed. Claim ultimately settled following timely mediation.
  • Resolved case involving competing claims of two terminated employees. The plaintiffs claimed to have been owed overtime for commute time prior to their termination, but the employer produced "geofencing" evidence allegedly showing that the employees were lying on their time records, which led to their termination.
  • Case settled where the plaintiff claimed sexual harassment by a supervisor at a site where he was doing temp work through a staffing agency. When he was not offerred the position during the next season, he suspected it was retaliatory for making the complaint of sexual harassment the season before.
  • Wrongful termination based upon positive drug test which a Public Employee believed was a false positive and engendered by a retaliatory animus towards her.
  • Plaintiff claimed religious discrimination after being terminated for absenteeism when she refused to work on Sundays so that she could attend Church services.
  • Plaintiff claims he notified employer he had Covid and they refused to permit him to isolate contrary to new Statute protecting employees
  • Plaintiff claims disability discrimination when terminated for a refusal to vaccinate for Covid based upon an underlying medical condition.
  • Claimant contends he was harassed by a Supervisor causing a major medical and emotional breakdown. Upon his return, he claims he was discriminated against for his disability and age.
  • Plaintiff contended she was terminated early from a contract of employment due to gender and race. Defendant argued that the contract had ended and the other work they had discussed with her never became available.
  • Plaintiff, lesbian woman, claims discrimination for sexual orientation and disability discrimination
  • Plaintiff claims Unequal Pay as result of being Female and Black plus retaliation following a stress leave plus constructive termination; Case was pre-filing of mandatory Arbitration
  • Disability Discrimination
  • Settled matter regarding claims of constructive termination and sexual battery by a co-worker.
  • Plaintiff claimed retaliation for complaint about pigeon feces in the workplace and disability discrimination for termination while on medical leave of absence.
  • Pre-litigation sexual harassment claim against a restaurant.
  • National origin discrimination and wage and hour/misclassification claims.
  • Settled matter regarding disability discrimination claims.
  • Settled matter regarding race discrimination claims.
  • Plaintiff alleged she was terminated after reporting that a co-worker was smoking marijuana while driving youth. The non-profit defendant alleged plaintiff was not terminated, but that she unnecessarily interfered with their business by reporting alleged fraudulent practices to their clients and to the court.
  • Matter regarding failure to re-hire a seasonal employee and Labor Code section 98.6.
  • Sexual harassment claims against the city by a City Manager.
  • Claims of wrongful termination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and failure to engage in the interactive process against a large telecommunications provider.
  • Pre-litigation claims of sexual harassment, racial discrimination, retaliation for complaining of the same, and wrongful termination.
  • Age discrimination claim brought by a 21-year employee terminated at age 73.
  • Long-term president of a company was terminated while on disability, which defendant believed to be a fraudulent claim.
  • Plaintiff claimed a public entity failed to properly investigate sexual harassment by a co-worker. The parties requested a mediator’s proposal.
  • Four plaintiffs in case against a UK retailer with international business, after the retailer closed their L.A. store. The matter included PAGA claims.
  • Breach of employment contract.
  • Claims of discrimination against an American-born employee by a Korean company, as well as claims of assault and battery by a co-worker.
  • Pre-litigation claims of pregnancy discrimination.
  • Age Discrimination: Executive Sues Large Company for Promissory Estoppel as result of moving across country for new position which was terminated within 2 months
  • Multi-Plaintiff Wage and Hour: Several Plaintiffs sue Car Wash for failure to provide meal and rest breaks timely and for retaliation in violation of public policy when complaints were made.
  • Whistleblower against large publicly traded Corporation where major safety issues were reported against an air craft company and Plaintiff was terminated thereafter for cause
  • Disability Discrimination against Payroll Company who cross-complained against employer for failure to re-hire disabled employee following medical leave of absence
  • Misclassification and failure to pay overtime based upon claim that employee was acting as a Supervisor in large retail outlet
  • Sexual Harassment and disability discrimination where executive was asked to work while in hospital and had a consensual affair with a supervisor which she cut off and then was terminated without cause
  • Sexual assault and battery resulting in constructive termination. Pre-filing mediation. Two sessions, but ultimately settled
  • Wrongful termination of executive who had contract of employment and was terminated without cause
  • Failure to Accommodate disability resulting in a settlement for damages in exchange for a voluntary resignation pre-litigation
  • Multiple Plaintiffs in Separate Actions against Nursing Care Facility for retaliatory termination based upon Plaintiff’s reporting of substandard care
  • Race Discrimination and wrongful termination based upon reporting discrimination to FEHA
  • Pregnancy Discrimination against out of state Employer/major retail chain.
  • United States District Court age discrimination against National Manufacturing company. First (early) mediation unsuccessful. 2nd Mediation held after a Motion for Summary Judgment had been denied and within days of trial
  • Failure to hire by a major retail restaurant chain in allegation of age discrimination. Defendants refused to settle and the matter went to trial, where the jury brought a defense verdict
  • Discrimination based upon ethnic origin against a high end retail clothier catering to wealthy clientele of a different ethnicity
  • Private Attorney General Act for breach of meal and rest laws against a telephone home improvement business with outside salespersons
  • Discrimination for religion against a Church affiliated School with the defense that the Church held immunity
  • Meal and rest break and overtime violations against a restaurant by it’s Executive staff
  • Meal and rest break and overtime violations by a domestic caregiver against a trust that manages the elderly employer’s finances
  • Arbitration of sexual abuse by co-worker (against employer)
  • Sexual harassment: allegation of supervisor attempted sexual abuse with defense of consensual affair in restaurant setting
  • Age discrimination: long time manager replaced by younger person in alleged reduction in force at major automotive center
  • Wage and hour: 6 restaurant workers alleging violation of meal and rest breaks
  • Wage and hour: arbitration of overtime and meal and rest break violations against major retail chain
  • Partnership dispute between brothers/owners of insurance business
  • Male victim of sexual violation by male supervisor/executive following a holiday party
  • Overtime claim and retaliation for complaining against a studio executive after being transferred out of state
  • Wrongful termination of long-time disabled teacher whose contract was not renewed after a full year on disability before the next academic year began
  • Race discrimination alleged against an African-American owned security company
  • Wrongful termination in retaliation for whistleblowing against a large, national Charitable organization
  • Wrongful termination based upon age discrimination brought by a Sheriff against a governmental agency
  • Pregnancy and gender discrimination brought against a major engineering firm where the Plaintiff was in an extreme minority as a woman

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  • 52-year old Vietnamese CPA “downsized” alleging age & ethnic discrimination.
  • Lesbian woman executive over 40 sued government agency for wrongful termination and discrimination; defenses included wrongdoing at work regarding protecting her lover’s employment.
  • Several cases involving disabled employees suing employers (including governmental entities) for wrongful termination in retaliation for taking time off for disability.
  • Two Hispanic executives claiming ethnic discrimination and wrongful termination at an agricultural manufacturing company.
  • “Failure to accommodate” claim against school district by deaf school teacher.
  • Wrongful termination from pregnancy, and other pregnancy discrimination matters.
  • Wrongful termination/discrimination on the basis of gender orientation.
  • Wrongful termination against a major charitable organization based on a claim of age discrimination.
  • Misclassification and overtime by a marketing agent who had an oral contract to represent a physician but claimed to be an employee who worked independently many hours without compensation as an employee over a period of years.
  • Disability discrimination based upon replacement of a long-time employee suffering from stress after one year’s leave of absence.
  • In-house employment grievance against public carrier for refusal to grant a bonus in the customary amount based upon a finding that the team on which he worked had falsified documentation at the direction of a supervisor.
  • Wage and hour claim brought by a ranch hand who lived on the ranch full time and did not document hours in any way.
  • Gender discrimination by a young woman against an older female supervisor on grounds that the older supervisor did not permit younger (or any) women to show their “feminine side”/emotions at work resulting in multiple complaints and a constructive discharge.
  • Age discrimination against a major tech company for wrongful termination of a 58 year old woman with 17 years experience by her 32 year old supervisor.
  • rongful termination in pregnancy discrimination based upon termination after 4 months leave of absence prior to delivery and then a requested 4 months baby bonding time.
  • Current employee brings claim for retaliation for complaints of failure to engage in the interactive process against County.

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Wrongful Termination

  • Wrongful termination in violation of executive compensation agreement.
  • Wrongful termination based upon foreign ancestry.
  • Wrongful termination based on immigration status.
  • Wrongful termination against a public entity based upon civil rights investigation.
  • Wrongful termination following allegedly inaccurate positive drug test.
  • Major litigation against governmental entity for wrongful termination in violation of public policy as a result of controller reporting money management violations on a major construction project.

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  • Veterinarian who alleged wrongful termination in retaliation for reporting violations regarding animal care practices.
  • Religious discrimination.
  • Pregnancy discrimination.
  • Major litigation against public entity for demotion of high level police officer in retaliation for whistleblowing.
  • Wrongful termination in retaliation for bringing lawsuit against co-franchisee.
  • Retaliation for bringing lawsuits previously against major communications provider.
  • Wrongful failure to hire in retaliation for recurrence of cancer (as litigator).

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Wage & Hour

  • Wage and hour, PAGA, and wrongful termination/constructive discharge claims made by a registered nurse in an agency that provided home health care.
  • Hispanic dishwashers who alleged wage & hour violations against restaurant. Defenses included claim that one woman was the victim of domestic violence and therefore took refuge at the restaurant, even while not working.
  • Mulit-party wage and hour against a national retail chain.
  • Construction laborers alleged they were retaliated against based upon complaints of failure to comply with wage & hour requirements on a construction project.
  • Wage & hour case against employer of “domestic”, including “slavery” allegations.

    Torts & Personal Injury

    • Plaintiff, a 59-year-old plaintiff attorney, was struck crossing the street. He claimed a TBI. He had a very serious accident on a motorcycle 35 years ago which left him in a coma for 8 days, after which he had to learn to walk again and to regain his speech. He went on to law school after that and eventually opened his own practice. He claimed that as a result of this pedestrian accident, he was no longer able to practice law. Defense contends that this was a slow-speed minor incident in which the plaintiff did not lose consciousness, and had a Glasgow score of 15. The defense disputed the TBI claim and further asserted comparative fault.
    • Slip and fall matter against a public entity involving claims of dangerous condition.
    • Legal Malpractice arising out of alleged bad advice in drafting will, resulting in substantial and avoidable tax consequences to heirs.
    • Legal malpractice arising out of failure to ensure confidentiality in the settlement of an employment dispute—resulting in the employee/Plaintiff’s having a negative employment record.
    • Auto v Auto where personal injury belatedly discovered and minimal insurance policy only available.
    • Auto v Auto where defense disputed causation of the injury alleged by a young woman who was an attorney for the insurance company who insured the adverse driver.
    • Defamation where a woman claimed her reputation had been harmed by a false posting on social media regarding her personal extra-marital affairs.
    • Legal malpractice and Fee dispute arising out of a divorce with allegations of over-charging without achieving desired result.
    • Dog bite.
    • Motor vehicle.
    • Defamation.
    • Business torts, including trade secret and unfair competition.
    • Wrongful death of young woman who took her own life after allegedly being discharged prematurely from a residential treatment facility, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement.
    • School yard battery arising out of alleged lack of proper security.
    • Traumatic injury to adult arising out of bicycle accident on public property.
    • Sexual assault and battery as well as emotional distress against a theme park for the alleged touching of a member of the public by an employee in a seasonal “fun house”.

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    • Ex-husband sued for breach of contract to share 50% of profits of the business. The ex-wife and CEO of the business cross-complained for conversion and defamation.
    • Commission on sale of fine art works by Gallery who agreed to represent artist in a major National Art Show.
    • Air conditioning manufacturer v. auto sales establishment who claimed they loaned equipment which was neither returned nor paid for during the repair on the auto company’s equipment, resulting in substantial interest and penalties.
    • Franchisor v. Franchisee dispute regarding marketing assistance and franchise fees.
    • Breach of contract for alleged unlawful copying of jewelry design for retail sales.
    • Sales of Business and Lease which was allegedly based upon fraudulent accounting.

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    Real Estate

    • Neighbor/neighbor dispute where elderly neighbor claims abutting neighbor has destroyed her right to light, air and security by allowing their hedges to grow beyond the city ordinance (pre-litigation).
    • Commercial landlord and tenant dispute arising out of permissible use of parking area adjacent to leased property.
    • Alleged misrepresentation of square footage on residential real estate against owner and broker.
    • Construction defects and financial overruns on public works project.
    • Residential real estate sales transaction arising ut of allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation as to lot line.

      Product Liability

      • Home Products including Subrogation.
      • Brain injury due to hypoxia allegedly resulting from cosmetic surgery.
      • Accounting Malpractice resulting in legal defense costs in business action.

      Civil Rights

      • Use of excessive force by police resulting in gun shot to leg of convicted felon.
      • Use of excessive force by police and alleging false imprisonment for gang-related congregating.
      • Wrongful arrest of youth for possession of marijuana with medical prescription.

      Fee Dispute

      • Attorneys’ fees dispute matter


      • Jan Schau also serves as an Arbitrator through ADR Services, American Arbitration Association and Kaiser Permanente. A sampling of arbitrated matters includes:

        • Wrongful Termination in retaliation for Whistleblowing
        • Wrongful Termination in Retaliation for reporting Sexual Harassment
        • Breach of Revolving Credit Card Debt
        • Wrongful Death of an Infant in Hospital (Medical Malpractice)
        • Pre-litigation real estate sales transaction
        • Auto v Auto (and Subrogation)


      “Ms. Schau went far beyond the call of duty to settle this matter.”

      “I was favorably impressed with Mediator Schau, and our firm would not hesitate to use her services again.”


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