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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. 


Cal/OSHA Revised Guidance Effective January 14, 2022

January 13, 2022 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Paul Huston, Jennifer Rubin

Cal/OSHA revised its Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) following its mid-December meeting and, more recently, made additional revisions to align with the California Department of Public Health’s recommendations.
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(Updated) A Comprehensive Breakdown of OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Rule

January 12, 2022 | Blog | By Michael Arnold, Jennifer Rubin, David Barmak, Corbin Carter, Evan Piercey, Danielle Bereznay, Danielle Dillon, Nicole Rivers, Paul Huston, Emma Follansbee

Read Mintz’s comprehensive analysis of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard pertaining to workplace COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for employers with 100 or more employees.
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(Updated) Shorter COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Periods Will Impact Workplaces

January 6, 2022 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Michael Arnold, Jennifer Rubin

UPDATE: Following its original announcement, the CDC further updated its guidance to apply the 5 day quarantine rule to those who are asymptomatic but now also to those whose symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours). The guidance now also includes a reminder that applicable local laws continue to apply and that the recommendations do not apply to healthcare workers (for whom the CDC has issued separate guidance). The CDC separately updated its definitions of “isolation” and “quarantine” and outlined additional recommendations regarding testing and masking procedures for individuals who test positive and those who are exposed to COVID-19. This post has been updated to reflect these changes.
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The Shrinking Scope of Confidentiality: California Extends Confidentiality Ban to All FEHA Protected Classes

December 15, 2021 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Jennifer Rubin, Mike Flesuras

California has once again reined in the use of confidentiality provisions in the employment context with its recent enactment of the Silenced No More Act (SB 331), which goes into effect January 1, 2022.

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California Court Deals Blow to Employee Mobility

December 14, 2021 | Blog | By Nicole Rivers, Micha Mitch Danzig, Jennifer Rubin

California employers and executives might view fixed term employment agreements in a new light following a California appellate court’s unpublished decision suggesting employers do not violate California’s long-established policy promoting employee mobility when they enter into these types of agreements.
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Webinar Recording - Delta's Impact on Return to Office Plans

September 14, 2021 | Blog | By David Barmak, Natalie C. Groot, Andrew Matzkin, Nicole Rivers

As new developments occur with the Delta variant, employers must adapt their return to office (RTO) plans to comply with fluctuating CDC guidance, state and local requirements, and employee expectations.
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Conference Recordings: Mintz's Annual Employment Law Summit

March 12, 2021 | Webinar | By Michael Arnold, David Barmak, Micha Mitch Danzig, Geri Haight, Andrew Matzkin, David Lagasse, Jennifer Rubin, Alexander Hecht, Danielle Bereznay, Delaney Busch, Corbin Carter, Emma Follansbee, Natalie C. Groot, Paul Huston, Brendan Lowd, Nicole Rivers, Richard Block

Mintz’s Annual Employment Law Summit brought together thought leaders to discuss the most pressing issues employers are facing in today’s unprecedented work environment. Attendees heard presentations on the continued impact of COVID-19; social justice and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; recent and anticipated changes to employment laws; and best practices for managing sensitive employee situations.
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A Brief Guide to California's Latest Employer COVID-19 Reporting Obligations

December 7, 2020 | Blog | By Jennifer Rubin, Nicole Rivers

California employers are now subject to three new COVID-19 related reporting obligations when there is a COVID-19 positive employee or employees in their workplaces, including: reporting to their (1) workers’ compensation carrier, (2) employees and other workers, and (3) local public health authority. We address each obligation below.
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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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News & Press

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Members Randy Jones, Anthony Nash, and Associate Nicole Rivers co-authored an article published by The Daily Journal analyzing discriminatory racial covenants and their presence in California housing deeds.
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Mintz was handed the Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion Award at the California Legal Awards. The firm's nomination was featured in an article published by The Recorder where Member Randy Jones and Associate Nicole Rivers discussed how the firm is working to end systemic racism and police brutality in America.
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Mintz is pleased to announce that it has won the Innovation In Diversity and Inclusion award at the California Law Awards. The award recognizes firms that are making meaningful impact and seeing concrete results in the legal community.
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Events & Speaking


CRISIS in the C-Suite – A Playbook for In-House Counsel

Mintz, 3580 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 300 San Diego, CA 92130

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Recognition & Awards

  • Recipient, Innovations in Diversity and Inclusion Award (2022), California Law Awards
  • San Diego Business Journal “40 Under 40 Next Top Business Leaders - Winner (2022) 
  • San Diego Super Lawyers: Rising Stars - Business Litigation (2022)
  • Super Lawyers: Included on the list of Illinois Rising Stars (2014 – 2017)
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  • Member, National Employment Law Council
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Nicole M. Rivers



San Diego