Dawn M. Irizarry

Partner & Co-Chair of CDF’s Healthcare Industry Employment Defense Practice Group
Los Angeles Office
San Francisco Office
dirizarry@cdflaborlaw.com
(213) 612-6300, ext 1604
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Did You Know: Dawn started a chocolate company at age thirteen

Best Advice: Be true to yourself

Learn More about Dawn and Areas of Practice

About Dawn

Dawn M. Irizarry is a seasoned litigator with over 20 years’ experience defending California businesses in the full spectrum of employment law matters, with extensive experience representing clients in both Southern and Northern California. Dawn has litigated hundreds of matters involving claims of sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, defamation, failure to accommodate, and related claims. Dawn also provides strategic advice and counsel to employers regarding California’s stringent employment laws, offering guidance on personnel policies, employee discipline, terminations, and other critical employment issues. Dawn has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts, before the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and state civil rights enforcement agencies, as well as through private mediation and arbitration.

As the chair of CDF’s Healthcare Industry Employment Practice Group, Dawn brings substantial expertise in representing employers in the healthcare industry, including hospitals, medical technology companies, physician groups, and urgent care centers.  

Dawn also defends employers in a myriad of other industries, including aviation, the airline, technology, financial services, retail, hospitality, among others. Dawn prides herself on being responsive and in being a true collaborator with her clients in terms of learning their business and understanding the client needs that are specific to their industry and workplace dynamics.  

Dawn boasts an impressive record of successful case outcomes, reflecting her deep expertise and commitment to her clients. Notably, Dawn has led the defense in numerous cases where summary judgment has been obtained, in its entirety, both in state and federal court and in arbitration.  Dawn’s ability to navigate complex legal challenges and secure favorable results underscores her proficiency in employment law and her dedication to protecting her client’s interests.

Dawn is a sought-after speaker and author on topics ranging from employment law compliance in the healthcare industry to emerging legal trends and workforce management strategies for employers managing workforces in California. Dawn's ability to communicate complex legal issues in an accessible manner has made her a sought-after speaker and author in the field of employment law. Her expertise and engaging presentation style make her a valuable resource for employers navigating California’s complex legal landscape.

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Education

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

Publications

"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

Presentations

"What Healthcare Litigation and Transactional Attorneys Can Learn from One Another," Moderator, Los Angeles County Bar Association's Healthcare Law Section, March 2024

“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

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Listed, Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management, Los Angeles, CA, 2023 - 2024

Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers, 2022 - 2024

Member, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, 2021

Listed, Top Health Care LawyersDaily Journal, 2020

Member, California Hospital Association, 2018 – present

Listed, Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2007

CDF Labor Law LLP

  • Co-Chair, CDF's Healthcare Industry Employment Practice Group, 2023 - Present
    • Chair, CDF's Healthcare Industry Employment Practice Group, 2019 - May 2023
  • Liaison to Executive Committee, CDF Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, 2021 - Present
  • Member, 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…

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Compliance Tips for Healthcare Employers Utilizing AI in the Recruitment Process

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

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

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

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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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