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Head of Legal Employment and Litigation



Denver, CO, USA · San Francisco, CA, USA · New York, NY, USA
Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023

About Gusto

Gusto is a modern, online people platform that helps small businesses take care of their teams. On top of full-service payroll, Gusto offers health insurance, 401(k)s, expert HR, and team management tools. Today, Gusto offices in Denver, San Francisco, and New York serve more than 300,000 businesses nationwide.

Our mission is to create a world where work empowers a better life, and it starts right here at Gusto. That’s why we’re committed to building a collaborative and inclusive workplace, both physically and virtually. Learn more about our Total Rewards philosophy.

Gusto is looking for a hands-on, business-oriented senior leader to lead our legal employment and litigation functions. This leadership role will empower a team responsible for legal employment matters, litigation and dispute handling. This person will be a member and a senior leader of our legal team and will work closely with internal teams including the People team, finance team, and business teams.

Here’s what you’ll do day-to-day:

  • Lead legal support and provide programmatic, risk adjusted advice on a broad range of employment law matters, including: recruiting, hiring, training, terminations, employee relations, performance management, global equity plans, diversity and inclusion initiatives, compensation matters (including executive compensation), corporate legal matters (including M&A), leave of absence and accommodations, wage and hour, exempt and nonexempt workforce matters, benefits, complex internal investigations and contingent workforce compliance.
  • Oversee and manage all litigation matters and strategy and manage outside counsel handling claims, dispute resolution, employment and non-employment litigation and global projects, including management of budgets, directing litigation strategy, and reviewing relevant documents. Provide strategic advice and counseling on litigation, regulatory action and other dispute risks.
  • Lead and empower a team responsible for legal employment matters, litigation and dispute handling, including subpoena compliance and responses and escalated customer complaints. Provide guidance, training, and mentorship to ensure adherence to best practices and legal standards.
  • Be a key partner to our People team in developing people policies, processes, practices and strategies while also serving as a key subject matter expert to the People team.
  • Lead and empower a team responsible for drafting, reviewing, and negotiating a wide range of employment documents, including employment contracts, policies and handbooks, and managing and updating template documents.
  • Review and respond to claims, demand letters, audits, and other inquiries or litigation matters.
  • Drive, with support from local counsel, employment legal strategy and execution for international workforce expansion and management. Provide opinionated, risk-adjusted advice on non-U.S. labor and employment issues.
  • Empower the employment legal and litigation team, helping them to achieve their personal and professional goals, and enabling them to do the best work of their lives.
  • Drive broader Gusto communication of vision, strategy, expectations, and stakeholder alignment related to employment legal, litigation and related matters at every altitude of leadership, including executives and the board of directors.

Here’s what we're looking for:

  • J.D. from an accredited law school and admitted to practice law.
  • 12+ years of combined law firm and in-house experience at a U.S.-based technology company with 5+ years experience leading legal employment function.
  • High degree of proficiency and expertise in employment law and experience leading and empowering a team responsible for legal employment matters.
  • Experience overseeing and managing litigation matters and managing outside counsel handling claims, dispute resolution, employment and non-employment litigation.
  • Executive compensation experience, including governance, committee management and disclosures.
  • Experience building company policies and procedures in partnership with People team and other cross-functional business partners.
  • Experience developing and empowering high-performing, distributed teams.
  • Demonstrated experience and a strong point of view on scaling litigation and dispute resolution functions.
  • Fluency translating complex legal issues into practical, risk adjusted, business-oriented advice.
  • Aptitude and appetite for identifying, developing and implementing critical process improvements.
  • Experience at working independently and have a proven track record of being able to prioritize and manage multiple matters simultaneously in a fast-paced, dynamic, and highly engaged environment. Ability to effectively escalate issues as needed.
  • Ability to handle sensitive/confidential information requiring a high level of discretion, respect, and integrity. Ability to discern matters that require privacy and confidentiality, and matters that benefit from broader input and collaboration.
  • Exemplary communication skills and proven ability to educate, inspire, and drive commitment cross-functionally.
  • Proven ability to liaise with executives, the Board, regulatory authorities and external stakeholders.

Our cash compensation amount for this role is targeted at $230,000 - $277,000/year in San Francisco, Denver, and New York City.

Gusto has physical office spaces in Denver, San Francisco, and New York City. Employees who are based in those locations will be expected to work from the office on designated days approximately 2-3 days per week (or more depending on role). The same office expectations apply to all Symmetry roles, Gusto's subsidiary, whose physical office is in Scottsdale.

Note: The San Francisco office expectations encompass both the San Francisco and San Jose metro areas.

When approved to work from a location other than a Gusto office, a secure, reliable, and consistent internet connection is required.

Our customers come from all walks of life and so do we. We hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it makes our company stronger. If you share our values and our enthusiasm for small businesses, you will find a home at Gusto.

Gusto is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate in hiring or any employment decision based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or other applicable legally protected characteristic. Gusto considers qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local law. Gusto is also committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures. If you require assistance in filling out a Gusto job application, please reach out to