Stephen R. Holden

Mr. Holden is the founder of the Holden Law Group and manages both the Legal Services and Human Resource Consulting departments of the firm.

Legal & Management Experience

Mr. Holden is a seasoned litigator of all types of employment claims.  Whether the dispute is in state court, federal court or an administrative agency, it is likely one previously encountered and successfully defended by Mr. Holden.  His litigation expertise includes the skillful use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, including arbitration and mediation.  Mr. Holden handles matters before all courts and administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Department of Labor, Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, Cal-OSHA Appeals Board and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

When he is not managing the aggressive defense of claims, Mr. Holden helps employers prevent claims with cutting edge legal and practical preventive advice.  His legal advice is combined with keen business sense and practical human resource experience.  Prior to attending law school, Mr. Holden was the Vice President and General Manager of a company with retail, wholesale and manufacturing operations.  He uses his business and management experience to connect clients with real-world solutions that meet client expectations.

Mr. Holden has successfully represented clients ranging from small business with just a few employees to multi-national companies with thousands of employees.  He has experience representing clients in a broad range of industries, including agriculture, construction, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, social services, professional services, retailing, transportation and utilities.

Professional Activities and Interests

Mr. Holden is a member of the California Bar Association and the labor and employment law section of the bar.  He was selected by peer review to the 2013 Best of the Bar designation. He was a member of the Milton L. Schwartz American Inn of Court.

Mr. Holden’s experience includes serving as an editor for the California Employment Law Monitor and contributing author for the Sacramento Business Journal.  It also includes serving as a director and volunteer for a number of non-profit community service organizations.

Mr. Holden has a passion for endurance sports.  He has completed numerous long-distance events including the Ironman Triathlon and the Western States 100 Mile Run.


J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

  • Editor-in-Chief, Pacific Law Journal
  • Recipient of several American Jurisprudence Awards.

B.S., Business Administration University of Redlands

Also studied at the University of Colorado and abroad in Salzburg, Austria.

Employment History

Holden Law Group
2006 – Present

Palmer Kazanjian Holden
2000 – 2006

Littler Mendelson
1994 – 2000

Porter Scott
1992 – 1994

Redlands Paint, Inc.

Representative Articles

An Attorney’s Demand for Employment Records; What Employers Should Know, Sacramento Business Journal (February 16, 2012)

Arbitration Can Be Tricky, Sacramento Business Journal (October 17, 2014)

Avoiding ADA Liability for Employees Injured on the Job, Sacramento Business Journal (August 6, 2011)

Avoiding Age Discrimination Lawsuits, Insurance Thought Leadership (March 13, 2011)

Common Myths about Medical Marijuana and the Workplace, Insurance Thought Leadership (January 2012)

Do an Annual Human Resource Audit, Sacramento Business Journal (October 30, 2016)

Don’t Tell Employees They Can Take a Hike if They Don’t Like Your Policies.  The Federal Government is Watching!  Sacramento Business Journal (January 19, 2012)

Employers’ Use of Megan’s List, Sacramento Business Journal (December 15, 2011)

Ensure Proper Employee Classification, Avoid Costly Litigation Later, Sacramento Business Journal (October 19, 2012)

E-Verify System. Good? Bad? Mandatory?  Sacramento Business Journal (May 8, 2012)

Hiring Safe Workers Pays Off, Sacramento Business Journal (January 23, 2015)

Mishandling of Breaks, Sacramento Business Journal (October 30, 2015).

Sick-Leave Law Raises Many Questions, Sacramento Business Journal (November 14, 2014)

To Drug Test or Not to Drug Test, Sacramento Business Journal (February 12, 2016)

Unpaid Internships are Risky Business, Sacramento Business Journal (November 15, 2013)

What to Do When an Employee Refuses to Sign a Document, Sacramento Business Journal (July 11, 2012)

Representative Presentations & Trainings

AB2222 Roundtable – A Discussion on Dealing with Expanded Disability Discrimination Law, July 18, 2001

AB60: The 8-Hour Restoration & Workplace Flexibility Act, September 27, 1999

ADA Analysis: Another Layer of Analysis in Medical Cases, August 12, 2009 & July 24, 2012 & August 1-2, 2012.

Analyzing Leave of Absence Requirements in 3 Easy Steps, October 16, 2008

Arbitration of Employment Disputes: Benefits and Limitations, March 11, 2002

Avoiding Claims of Harassment—Interactive Manager Training, numerous sessions for specific clients, 2004-2011

Avoiding Claims of Harassment—Interactive Employee Training, numerous sessions for specific clients, 2004-2011

Avoiding Liability for Unlawful Employment Practices (Harassment, Wrongful Termination, Wage & Hour Issues), May 14, 1997

Avoiding Misclassification Liability Under the Revised FLSA Regulations & California Law, April 24, 2006

California Labor Law and Employee Training, January 15, 2009

California Employment Law Basics for Insurance Producers, March 11, 2002.

Developments in Employment Law and Human Resources: A Review of 2008 and a Look into the Future, January 13, 2009

Disability Discrimination: What Employers Need to Know to Avoid Employee Claims, November 6, 2002

Drug Testing in the Workplace, July 8, 2009

EEOC Compliance in California, May 8, 2014

Employee Handbooks: Getting it Right, October 16, 2007

Employment Discrimination & Sexual Harassment—Beyond the Basics, February 27, 1997

Employment Law Update: Equal Employment Opportunity Law Developments, July 23, 2002

Employment Related Records in California, October 18, 2000 & October 4, 2001 & October 1, 2002

EPLI Coverage and Employment Torts, December 6, 2002

Everything Employers Need to Know About Employment Law in California, June 12, 2002

Handling Medical Issues in the Workplace: Manager Training, numerous sessions for specific clients, 2004-2011

“Hot Button” Employment Issues for Country Clubs, January 22, 2016

Independent Contractor or Employee? September 15, 2000

Integration of Benefits/Integration of Rights; the Injured/Disabled Employee, July 15, 1999

Internal Investigations of Employee Issues, October 7, 2008

Labor Laws & Hiring Practices to Hire Safe People, April 14, 2015

Labor Law Update and “Hot Button” Issues, January 19, 2016

Leaves of Absence and Time Off in California, June 19, 2002 and June 17, 2005

Leaves of Absence and Wage & Hour Laws for the California Employer, November 10, 2009

Leaves Management & Labor Law Updates, February 11, 2015 & February 12, 2015

Legal Update for California Supervisors, April 16, 2009

Managing Employee Leaves & AB 1522 Paid Sick Leave, February 27, 2015

Medical Issues in the Workplace and the Overlap of Inconsistent Laws, June 16, 2004

Overview of FMLA/CFRA and ADA/FEHA, December 10, 2007

Recruiting and Hiring Practices for Small Businesses, July 10, 2007

Social Media Policies: Staying Ahead of the Social Media Curve, February 2, 2014 & February 11, 2014 & February 12, 2014

Special Employment Law Update for HR Professionals, October 20, 1999 & November 21, 2000

Time Off in California, State and Federal Laws on Employee Leave, Vacations and Holidays, June 19, 2002 & June 18, 2003

The Employment Law Audit: Creating a Shield Against Employment-Related Claims, December 12, 1996

The Nature of a Retaliation Action, April 8, 1998

Violence in the Workplace: Why Management Needs to Have a Plan in Place, March 13, 1997 & March 26, 1998

Wrongful Termination Law for Managers, April 14, 1995


Employment Arbitration, Is it Right for Your Organization? July 21, 2015

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave. Are You Ready? April 28, 2015