Usama Kahf is a partner in Fisher Phillips' Irvine office. He represents employers of all sizes in matters of workplace privacy, data security, unfair competition, and trade secret theft and corporate espionage, both on the plaintiff and defense side. He regularly conducts trainings and publishes articles relating to data privacy and data breach matters, including data breach counseling, reporting, and litigation trends. Usama has been actively advising clients on planning for compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and has presented on the topic numerous times.
Usama’s privacy law experience includes:
- Currently working with clients on CCPA compliance, both as to consumer and employee records.
- Data breach triage and response in data breach incidents affecting from 1 person to over 7,000, including advice on compliance with data breach notification laws, drafting data breach notices, and managing company’s reporting to law enforcement and government agencies such as attorneys general offices.
- Providing privacy & data security training to managers.
- Defending against employee breach of privacy claims.
- Prosecuting litigation against individuals suspected of stealing private information of employees, clients or consumers, including seeking TRO.
- Advising clients on preventive measures, including, for example, dual factor authentication best practices, encryption, and vendor contract negotiation/management.
In the trade secrets arena, Usama has helped employers recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages they suffered from unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets. When employees cross the line and breach their legal and contractual obligations to their employer, clients count on Usama to help make them whole.
Usama represents employers in other areas of employment law as well, including wage and hour, harassment, and discrimination actions in state and federal court, arbitration, and before government agencies. While he is not focused on class action litigation, he is experienced in this area and is typically handling one or two wage and hour class actions at any given time; in fact, his first case out of law school that got him “hooked” on employment law was a wage and hour class action.
Usama also regularly conducts training for clients on effective performance management strategies, prevention of harassment, and compliance with state and federal employment laws. He also represents clients in audits and investigations by state and federal agencies, including the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and Labor Commissioner audits of independent contractor classifications and retaliation investigations.
Usama is a member of the firm’s Electronic Discovery Committee, where he contributes regularly in advising his colleagues and their clients on defensible, effective, and efficient preservation, collection, review, and production of electronically stored information. He regularly presents seminars and trainings on e-discovery issues and has co-authored a book on electronic discovery practice under the federal rules.
He has also been selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers - "Rising Stars" every year since 2013.
Since January 2015, Usama has served on the Board of Directors of The Nonprofit Partnership (TNP), a management support organization that serves the nonprofit sector in the greater Long Beach area by providing nonprofits with capacity building resources, training for board directors and officers, and consulting services.
Before joining Fisher Phillips, Usama practiced employment law at the Los Angeles office of a major international law firm, where his clients included private schools and colleges, public school districts, a major airline, a large staffing company, a specialty grocery store chain, and a large privately held cosmetics company.
While in law school, Usama served as an extern for the Honorable Judge John Shepard Wiley, Jr., Los Angeles Superior Court, and as a litigation extern for the Housing Rights Center.
He also served as a note and comment editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review and as managing editor of the Los Angeles Public Interest Law Journal.
Prior to law school, Usama was a full-time lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught public speaking and other communication classes and was the Assistant Director of the speech and debate team.
On most weekends, you might spot Usama on a longboard surfing at a north Orange County beach.
Honors & Leadership
Honors & Awards
Listed in Southern California Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2013-2017)
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
- Member, Arab American Lawyers Association of Southern California
- President, Board of Directors, The Nonprofit Partnership (Long Beach, CA)
- Labor and Employment attorneys represent 11 offices1.2.18
- Five Fisher Phillips Attorneys Listed in 2014 Southern California "Rising Stars" Honors Come as Los Angeles Office Expands6.10.14
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Irvine Breakfast Briefing1.31.18
- Fisher Phillips & ADP Breakfast Briefing2.15.17
- Preventing & Preparing for Class Actions in 3 Areas: Wage & Hour, Background Checks, and Data SecurityIrvine Breakfast Briefing11.10.16
- Irvine Breakfast Briefing9.8.16
- It’s Never Too Late To Comply7.26.16 - 8.16.16
- Preventing Appearance-Based Discrimination: Legal Guidelines for Protecting Religious and Cultural Groups Against Workplace HarassmentWebinar7.15.16
- Fisher Phillips Breakfast Briefing - Irvine7.7.16
- Fisher Phillips Breakfast Briefing – Irvine5.5.16
- Fisher Phillips and Titan Technologies Lunch Briefing11.19.15
- Barbarians at the Gate: What Every California Business Owner and Executive Should Know About Joint Employer Liability and Asset Protection10.1.15
- Breakfast Briefing2.6.15
- Breakfast Briefing12.4.14
- What's the Real Risk? Practical Advice for Meal and Rest Break and Employee Pay Structure Issues and Real Case Examples of the Potential LiabilityIrvine Breakfast Briefing10.2.14
- Irvine Breakfast Briefing8.7.14
- Workplace Data Protection: Minimizing Security Breach Risks and Responding to Sensitive Information Leaks4.22.14
- It’s not always someone’s fault when private information goes rogue11.29.17
- “Legal Update: New California Laws in 2014.” Co-authored with Grace Horoupian. Entertainment Human Resources Network Newsletter. Feb. 2014.
- "Electronic Discovery Practice Under the Federal Rules.” Co-authored with Amy Longo (trial counsel for the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission) and Allan Johnson (Senior Counsel at Southern California Edison). BNA Books (4th ed., 2013).
- “Hard Times for Hard Drives: The Spoliation of Unallocated Space, Digital Discovery & e-Evidence.” Co-authored with Amy Longo. Bloomberg BNA Digital Discovery & E-Evidence Report
- “Recovering Costs of ESI Discovery: Treading Lightly After Race Tires.” Co-authored with Amy Longo. Bloomberg BNA Digital Discovery & E-Evidence Report
- “Predictive Coding: A Primer.” Co-authored with Amy Longo. Mealey’s Litigation Report: Discovery
- “Circuit Splits Create Confusion Over Data Preservation Obligations.” Co-authored with Amy Longo. The Daily Journal,
- “Development in the Debate Over Diplomatic Immunity for Diplomats Who Enslave Domestic Workers.” Presented at the First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, U. of Nebraska-Lincoln,
- Employment Privacy Blog10.1.20
- Franchisees, Subsidiaries, and Affiliates Beware: California’s New Privacy Law May Apply To You, TooEmployment Privacy Blog1.12.20
- Employment Privacy Blog10.12.19
- Employment Privacy Blog7.16.19
- Contractual Employee Non-solicitation Provisions Under Attack: Employer Loses Battle in Case Involving Unique FactsNon-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog1.21.19
- Employment Privacy Blog6.1.18
- Employment Privacy Blog5.14.18
- Employment Privacy Blog11.14.17
- Employment Privacy Blog1.23.17
- Follow The 5-Step Plan To Ensure Compliance1.23.17
- January 1, 2017 Will See Broader Requirements10.5.16
- Compliance Audits and Counseling
- Data Security and Workplace Privacy
- Employment Discrimination and Harassment
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Retaliation and Wrongful Termination
- Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Litigation
- Wage and Hour Law
- California Employment Law
- Employee Defection and Trade Secrets
- Litigation of Employment Disputes
- Loyola Law SchoolJ.D. 2009
- California State University, Long BeachM.A. 2005
- California State University, Long BeachB.S. 2003
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California