Mark H. Van Brussel

Partner, Sacramento
(916) 361-0991
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Favorite Team: He bleeds Dodger blue

Favorite Advice: Some day is not a day of the week

Clients Should Know: He loves to collaborate with clients on creative solutions to complex problems

Born and raised in Pasadena, CA

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About Mark

In his 30 years of litigation counsel and representation of California employers, Mark H. Van Brussel has prevailed numerous times in jury and bench trials, administrative proceedings, mediations and arbitrations. His case management style, which includes aggressive discovery and investigation early in the litigation, as well as his persuasive presence before judges and juries, frequently leads to favorable pre-trial resolution or, in the event of trial, a favorable verdict for his clients. 

His broad litigation experience spans many of the major industries in California, from healthcare, financial services, mortgage banking and broadcasting to property management, grocery, restaurant, hotel and hospitality employers.

Van Brussel has successfully defended national and regional employers in complex class actions and single-plaintiff actions, including wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, business torts, defamation, unfair labor practices, ERISA, RICO and Title III public access claims.

In addition to his trial and appellate court practice, Van Brussel represents employer-clients before a full range of administrative and governmental agencies.  These include the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Drawing on his courtroom background, Van Brussel also provides advice and counsel to boards of directors, executives, managers, supervisors, industrial relations directors, human resources professionals, benefits and payroll personnel in all aspects of their daily employment policies and practices.

Van Brussel has helped both California employers and national companies with California workforces manage the full range of workplace issues, from background checks, wage-and-hour compliance, and proper classification of employees to disparate impact analyses, workplace harassment investigations, paid and unpaid leave, progressive discipline and disability accommodations. 

His experience also includes advice and counsel on workplace violence, Internet and email usage, workplace privacy, disability accommodation, executive compensation, reductions in force, unemployment insurance benefits, workplace safety compliance, drug and alcohol testing, union campaigns, and collective bargaining. 

Van Brussel has advised and conducted internal investigations for public sector employers such as the California Finance and Housing Agency, a large Northern California public school district, and for numerous private employers including several prominent law firms.  He has reviewed and negotiated contracts and compensation packages for high-level executives in the banking, healthcare and broadcasting industries.

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University of Southern California Law Center, J.D., 1977

  • Hale Moot Court Honors Program
  • Law Clerk to Hon. Ralph J. Geffen, United States Magistrate, Central District of California, 1976

University of Chicago, M.A., English, 1974

Stanford University, A.B., English, with distinction, 1973


"Looking Back at the 2010-2011 Supreme Court Term," Westlaw Journal - Employment, December 13, 2011

"Age As the Basis of Discrimination," Lindemann, B., et al., Age Discrimination In Employment Law, Co-Author: Chapter 5, BNA 2003

“Legal Principles Beat Poetic Justice,” The Daily Recorder, May 10, 2000

"What?  Sued By My Employee?  The Doctor-Employer's Dilemma," Sacramento Medicine, June 1998

"Four New California Rulings Every Medical Employer Should Know About," Northern California Medicine, September 1993

"Labor and Employment Update – Employers' New Compliance and Reporting Obligations,"  Commentary, Spring 1993

"Employment 'At Will' Is Alive and Well in California," CNPA California Publisher, January 1992

"The IIPP: Don't Leave Work Without It," Sacramento Medicine, September 1991; Butte-Glenn Medical Society News, November 1991

Written Opinions

Anthoine v. North Central Counties Consortium, et al. (9th Cir. 2010) 605 F.3d 740

Gelow v. Central Pacific Mortgage, et al. (E.D. Cal 2009) 656 F.Supp.2d 1217

Salter v. Washington Township Healthcare District (N.D. Cal. 2003) 260 F.Supp.2d 919

Richards v. CH2M Hill, Inc. (2000) 79 Cal.App.4th 570

Kirk v. Source One Mortgage Services Corp. (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 483

Sierra Publishing Company v. N.L.R.B. (9th Cir. 1989) 889 F.2d 210

Northern California Newspaper Guild v. The Sacramento Union (9th Cir. 1988) 856 F.2d 1381

Boler v. Superior Court (1987) 201 Cal.App.3d 467

Cleary v. American Airlines, Inc. (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 443

Sanders v. Ford Motor Co. (1979) 96 Cal.App.3d Supp. 43


"New Laws for 2016," Sacramento Hotel Association, January 2016

"CDF's Top 14 Tips for Employers for 2013 & Beyond," Association of Corporate Counsel, Sacramento Chapter, March 2013

“New Laws & Regulations in the Golden State for 2013," Sacramento Hotel Association Human Resources Professionals Roundtable, January 2013

"Can California Give It a Rest? The Latest Wage and Hour Developments for 2012," CDF Webinar Series, January 2012

“Direct Examination and Cross-Examination of Experts at Trial,” Continuing Education of the Bar, April 2006

“Navigating the New Overtime Regulations,” Continuing Education of the Bar, July 2004

“Hot Topics in Employee Handbooks,” Managing the 21st Century Workforce, West Coast Labor and Employment Law Symposium, Beverly Hills Hotel, October 2000

“Employee Leave Rights,” Lorman Education Services, September 2000

“Basic Wage and Hour Law in California,” National Business Institute, June 2000

“Preventing the New Wave of Backlash Lawsuits: Avoiding Liability When the Wrongdoer Sues You,” Council on Education In Management, October 1999

“California Personnel Law Update,” Continuing Education Management, April 1999

“Discipline and Termination Law,” Continuing Education Management, February 1999

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated

Sacramento Magazine’s 2015 Top Lawyer award for Labor & Employment

Listed, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2017

Arbitrator, National Arbitration and Mediation (NAM), 2014 - present

California Hospital Association, Member, 2009 - 2010

Judge Pro Tem, Sacramento County Superior Court, 1986 - 1991

State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section

Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section

Civic Activities

American Cancer Society, Partnership Council for the Greater Valley area

  • Seven-year member and past co-chair

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