Dawn M. Irizarry

Partner & Chair of CDF's Healthcare Practice Group
Los Angeles Office
(213) 612-6300, ext 1604
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Did You Know: Dawn started a chocolate company at age thirteen

Most Proud Of: My daughter

Best Advice: Be true to yourself

Learn More about Dawn and Areas of Practice

About Dawn

As the chair of CDF’s Healthcare Practice Group, Dawn M. Irizarry has substantial experience representing employers throughout the healthcare industry, including hospitals, medical technology companies, physician groups, and urgent care centers.  Her experience includes providing daily advice to hospitals and medical groups on how to stay in compliance with California’s complex employment laws, as well as defending employment litigation in court as well as in arbitration and before administrative agencies.  With the fluctuating state of healthcare in America today, Dawn remains current on applicable laws, court decisions and emerging legal trends affecting her clients.

She also has experience representing clients in the retail and gig economy as they face uncertainty in wage and hour and classification lawsuits in the state.  Her employment law experience extends to assisting management in all phases of civil litigation involving claims of sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, defamation, failure to accommodate and other employment-related disputes before federal and state courts, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state civil rights enforcement agencies, as well as through private mediation and binding arbitration. Irizarry has also represented a number of financial institutions before the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. In addition, she regularly counsels employers regarding personnel policies, employee discipline and terminations, employment contracts, pregnancy and other medial leaves of absence, separation agreements, employee benefits issues and internal employee complaints.

Irizarry has served as a guest speaker for large and small groups of employers and lectured on updates in employment law, the importance of drafting and maintaining employee handbooks, and how to stop sexual harassment before it begins. 

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Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2002

  • Extern, Honorable Arthur Alarcon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001
  • Southwestern Law Review, Associate Editor, 2000-2002
  • Southwestern Moot Court Honors Program, 2000

Florida International University, B.A., Human Resources Management, 1997


"Combatting the Rise in Wage and Hour and PAGA Litigation in the Health Care Industry," Co-Author, Daily Journal, November 2021

How Healthcare Employers Can Avoid the Legal Perils of a Remote Workforce," Co-Author, Health Care Compliance Association, Compliance Today, September 2021

Compliance Tips for Healthcare Employers Utilizing AI in the Recruitment Process,” Co-Author, Healthcare Business Today, May 2021

"The Legal Interplay Between Peer Review and Discipline of Physician-Employee," Co-Author, Healthcare Business Today, October 2021

"What Healthcare Organizations Can Do to Stay Compliant in the Era of Marijuana Legalization," Co-Author, Health Care Compliance Association, Compliance Today, October Issue

"Healthcare's Hurdles in 2020 Employment Law," Co-Author, HR Legal and Compliance Excellence, March 2020

"Transgender Employee Sues Barnes & Noble for Discrimination," California Employment Law Letter, June 2015


“Employment Issues Impacting the Healthcare Industry,” American Society of Health Care Human Resources Administration’s (ASHHRA) Annual Conference, April 2022

"COVID-19 Related Employment Issues Impacting the Healthcare Industry," Moderator & Panelist, CDF Healthcare Education Webinar Series, October 2021

"Combatting the Rise in Wage & Hour and PAGA Litigation in the Healthcare Industry," Moderator, CDF Healthcare Education Webinar Series, October 2021

"What Healthcare Employers Can Expect from the NLRB Under the Biden Administration," Moderator, CDF Healthcare Education Webinar Series, October 2021

"Retaining & Protecting Healthcare Personnel in Today's Challenging Environment," Moderator, CDF Healthcare Education Webinar Series, October 2021

"Internal Investigations & The Power Dynamics in the Healthcare Setting," Moderator, CDF Healthcare Education Webinar Series, October 2021

"Top Two Employment Law Issues Healthcare Employers Should Know NOW," Southern California Hospital Association's Annual Meeting, April 2021

“#MeToo - How to Make Sure It’s Not #YouToo,” Panelist, Cedars-Sinai’s 17th Annual Emergency Medicine Symposium, December 2019

"Marijuana in the Workplace - What California Employers Need to Know," The Valley Industry Association (VIA), September 2019

"New California Labor and Employment Laws Healthcare HR Professionals Need to Know," American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), March 2019

"Interplay Between the Various Leave Laws," PIHRA, Santa Clarita, August 2016

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Listed, Top Health Care LawyersDaily Journal, 2020

Member, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, 2021

Member, California Hospital Association, 2018 – present

Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2022

Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2007

CDF Labor Law LLP

  • Chair, CDF's Healthcare Industry Employment Practice Group, 2019 - Present
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Liason to Executive Committee, 2021 - Present

National Institute for Trial Advocacy's Building Trial Skills Program, Participant

Pro Bono

Dawn has represented Salvadorian nationals seeking political asylum before the Los Angeles Immigration Court.

Related Case Studies

CDF Granted Summary Judgement in Arbitration, In Its Entirety, on behalf of Preeminent Regional Hospital

Court of Appeal Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Los Angeles Hospital in Disability Discrimination Case

Retaliation and Discrimination Case Dismissed on Summary Judgment, Upheld on Appeal for Prominent Los…

Hospital Prevails on Summary Judgment in Disability Discrimination Claim

CDF Obtains Complete Summary Judgment for Client in Claims of Disability, Discrimination and Failure to…

Related News

17 CDF Labor Law LLP Attorneys Named to 2023 Best Lawyers® Lists

August 18, 2022

Ten CDF Attorneys Listed as 2022 Southern California Super Lawyers

January 26, 2022

How Healthcare Employers Can Avoid the Legal Perils of a Remote Workforce

August 30, 2021

Compliance Tips for Healthcare Employers Utilizing AI in the Recruitment Process

May 17, 2021

CDF Sponsors Hospital Association of Southern California's (HASC) 2021 Annual Meeting

April 28, 2021

The Legal Interplay Between Peer Review and Discipline of A Physician-Employee

October 11, 2020

What Healthcare Organizations Can Do To Stay Compliant In The Era Of Marijuana Legalization

October 2, 2020

CDF Los Angeles Partner Named Among “Top Health Care Lawyers”

April 23, 2020

Healthcare's Hurdles in 2020 Employment Law

March 6, 2020

CDF Grows Firm Leadership, Promotes Outstanding Attorneys

March 17, 2016

Dawn Irizarry Authors Article "Transgender Employee Sues Barnes & Noble For Discrimination"

June 26, 2015


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