Vedder Price

Michael A. Wahlander


Michael A. Wahlander is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment group in the San Francisco office.

Mr. Wahlander’s clients trust him with their most difficult labor and employment problems.  From high-stakes litigation, to managing difficult personnel issues, to developing complex compliance plans, Mr. Wahlander provides his clients with vigorous representation and efficient solutions that are mindful of their business needs.  Mr. Wahlander is a seasoned litigator with a track record for obtaining successful results.  When not in court, Mr. Wahlander leverages his litigation experience into creating effective counseling strategies for his clients.

Litigation Practice

Mr. Wahlander’s litigation practice covers all areas of labor and employment litigation, including wage and hour, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination cases, employment torts (including defamation), whistleblower, and background check cases under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  He specializes in defending employers in class actions, collective actions, PAGA representative actions, and single-plaintiff cases.  Mr. Wahlander has significant experience litigating cases in federal court, state court, state administrative agencies, and arbitration.  His experience covers all phases of litigation, including trial and appeal. 

Not only does Mr. Wahlander have broad litigation experience, but he has been successful in obtaining positive outcomes for his clients.  Mr. Wahlander has prevailed at trial, and obtained summary judgment and court-ordered dismissals, which he has successfully defended on appeal.  When it makes sense for his clients to resolve cases without litigation, Mr. Wahlander has extensive experience in mediations and negotiating favorable resolutions for his clients.

Advice and Counseling

Mr. Wahlander’s counseling practice tackles his clients’ most challenging employment problems in order to help them avoid litigation or place them in the best position to defend themselves should litigation come.  For example, Mr. Wahlander routinely counsels clients on compliance with the California Labor Code, including meal and rest break compliance, overtime compliance, regular rate of pay, employee classification, timekeeping, expense reimbursement, payment timing, and documentation issues.  In addition, Mr. Wahlander regularly assists his clients with challenging personnel issues, including high-risk terminations, crisis management with executives, discipline, leave issues, disability accommodation issues, and other day-to-day inquiries related to human resources matters.  Mr. Wahlander also helps his clients develop handbooks, policies, and employment agreements that are compliant with the law.

Internal Investigations

Mr. Wahlander’s clients also turn to him to conduct internal investigations concerning sensitive personnel issues.  Mr. Wahlander investigates complaints of workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other workplace conduct.  In addition to investigating these matters, Mr. Wahlander counsels his clients on appropriate measures to take in response to the investigation results, all with an eye towards compliance and potential litigation that may arise out of the matter.


Mr. Wahlander’s success has been recognized by both his peers and clients.  For five straight years, Mr. Wahlander was named as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers.  More recently, Benchmark Litigation recognized Mr. Wahlander as a Labor and Employment Star for two consecutive years. 

Pro Bono Work and Community Involvement

Mr. Wahlander has also dedicated a significant part of his practice to pro bono work.  He currently serves on the firm's Pro Bono Committee and as the pro bono office lead for Vedder Price’s San Francisco Office.  His pro bono work has ranged from representing prisoners in civil rights cases to human trafficking matters to advising non-profit organizations that assist underserved communities. 


Michael A. Wahlander



  • Santa Clara University, J.D., 2008
  • University of California, Los Angeles, 2001

Michael A. Wahlander


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

Michael A. Wahlander