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Nicole M. Rivers


[email protected]



Nikki defends employers of all sizes in high-stakes employment litigation and labor matters and counsels clients on employment best practices. She has provided representation in complex cases involving claims of wage and hour violations, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, breach of employment agreements, Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations, and violations of California employment and labor laws, including the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).   

Prior to joining Mintz, Nikki was an associate with a full-service law firm in San Diego, where she represented clients in individual and class action lawsuits at the federal, state, and administrative levels. Nikki also counseled clients on day-to-day human resources matters and   drafted employment-related documents, including employee handbooks, transportation liability waivers, executive severance agreements involving exercise of stock options, and arbitration agreements.

Earlier Nikki was an associate in the St. Louis office of a global employment and labor law practice, and practiced in the Chicago and Los Angeles offices of another large law firm, where she handled both commercial and employment litigation matters and maintained an active pro bono practice. After earning her JD, Nikki was an Environmental Attorney Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago.

In law school, Nikki was staff editor of the Washington University Law Review. She also spent a semester as an exchange student at Hong Kong University, and served as a judicial internal to the Honorable Mary Ann Medler, then a federal magistrate judge on the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

She has authored several articles on employment and labor law topics for national publications, including Bender’s Labor and Employment Bulletin. 


  • Washington University (JD)
  • Eckerd College (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Super Lawyers: Included on the list of Illinois Rising Stars (2014 – 2017)


  • Member, National Employment Law Council


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A Refresher on California Reimbursement Requirements in a COVID-19 World

May 8, 2020 | Blog | By Micha Mitch Danzig, Nicole Rivers

Imagine that after weeks of working remotely due to COVID-19, you return to your office only to discover a stack of papers on your desk in a folder titled “requests for reimbursement.”  You peer through the contents and find cell phone bills, a receipt for a $750 printer, a bank statement with the account fees highlighted, a clothing store shipping invoice with $49.95 of expedited shipping, a receipt for a 50” television, and a screenshot of mobile payment service request with an electric plug emoji from a username you have never seen before.  Why are these documents on your desk and what do you have to do as an employer?

California Labor Code § 2802 (“Section 2802”) requires employers to reimburse California employees for “all necessary business expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties.”   Its purpose is to prevent employers from passing their operating expenses to their employees.  However, Section 2802 only requires reimbursement for “necessary” and “reasonable” costs incurred by the employee as a condition of continued employment.  Previously, many employers allowed remote working as a convenience for their employees.  Because working remotely was not required, many employers could decline “work from home” reimbursements because the employee’s expenses were voluntary (i.e. the employee chose to work remotely).  However, COVID-19 and the resulting shelter-in-place orders have redefined the working landscape, requiring many employees to work remotely to keep businesses afloat. 
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Part Five of the COVID-19 Roadmap Series: Ensuring a Safe Workplace - COVID-19 Screening and Testing

May 6, 2020 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Michael Arnold, Karen Lovitch, Hope Foster, Cynthia Larose

In Part 5 of our Roadmap Series, we take a closer look at COVID-19 screening and testing, including best practices and legal implications, as potential tools to maintain a safe workplace.
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Updated: Summary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s FFCRA Regulations

April 22, 2020 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Michael Arnold

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released its 124-page temporary regulations of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”).
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