P. Anthony (Tony) Burnham, Esq. brings to GrowthPort Partners and its valued clients over four decades of solid preventive and traditional labor and employment law, litigation, senior corporate human resources management, training, organizational development, and transition management experience.
Tony’s primary focus at GrowthPort Partners continues to be helping clients effectively manage organizational change and avoid employment-related problems inherent in the changing and competitive workplace. He has developed a client-specific, user-friendly and results-focused set of management “tools”, including: employment practices assessments; change-management procedures; selection, performance management and termination processes; H. R. policies and employee handbooks; and, specialized supervisory training that increases employee engagement and productivity, while helping to “litigation-proof” clients’ operations.
Before co-founding GrowthPort Partners, Tony served for 17 years as Employment Counsel for the Los Angeles based, Fortune 100, and Carnation Company. As a member of Carnation’s Corporate Legal Department, Tony successfully led the company through the 70’s and early 80’s when labor relations, employment discrimination and “wrongful” discharge challenges exposed the firm to major federal and state liability. He recruited an outstanding national and international network of outside lawyers, whom he successfully managed on Carnation’s behalf through literally hundreds of labor arbitrations, administrative hearings, jury and non-jury trials.
While serving as the Company’s employment law counsel, Tony, for years, both developed and taught formal and informal “preventive and practical” employment practices courses to corporate, division and plant managers in all 17 of Carnation’s multi-million dollar operating units. The scope of his legal responsibilities included all aspects of labor and employment law in both the United States and Europe, where he favorably resolved several extremely difficult consolidations, plant closures and senior executive terminations in Germany and Italy.
When Nestle acquired Carnation in 1985, Tony was invited by the company’s new owner to become corporate Vice President of Human Resources Management. That position required him to consolidate and manage for the first time in Carnation’s history the compensation, benefits, payroll, recruiting, training, performance management, equal employment and employee/labor relations functions. Additionally, he successfully restructured Nestle/Carnation’s workforce from approximately 22,000 employees worldwide to 8,500 domestic, which increased the company’s focus, profitability and operating efficiency. That major restructuring was accomplished without a single individual or class litigation challenge to it.
After leaving Nestle/Carnation in the early 1990’s, Tony joined the Newport Beach office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, a prominent national, management-side employment law firm where he developed a “best employment practices” approach to helping clients prevent employee challenges by becoming more results focused.
Subsequently, Tony co-founded GrowthPort Partners (GPP) which provides preventive employment law counsel, senior human resources and employee benefits consulting services to mid-sized California employers. At present, GPP continues to provide the same “Fortune-50” quality workplace solutions to a large variety of prominent businesses such as Shelly Automotive Group, Mr. Crane, LA Hydro-Jet, Brothers Desserts, California Faucets, Gothic Landscape, Kingson Moulding, Syspro, International City Bank and many others.
Tony is also the author of Employed for Life, An Insider’s Secrets for Guaranteed Employment in our Permanently Changed Workplace, which has been widely acclaimed as a must read for both employees and employers struggling to prosper in today’s global, highly competitive and constantly transitioning workplace. His book remains a primer for America’s return to the basics of enlightened capitalism and entrepreneurship that led to its prominence as a world economic power.
Tony received his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his legal education at the University of Utah’s College of Law. While studying law, Tony served for two years as law clerk to the then Chief Justice of the Utah State Supreme Court, the Honorable Henri F. Henriod. He has been an active member of the California State Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section for well over 40 years. He has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and U. S. District Courts for the Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California and the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.