Erin M. Connell, a San Francisco employment partner, represents employers in high stakes employment litigation and is an expert in equal employment opportunity law, affirmative action (OFCCP) compliance, and systemic discrimination investigations.

Erin’s practice covers all aspects of employment law, as well as complex business litigation outside the employment context. Erin has successfully defended numerous class actions, EEOC systemic discrimination investigations, and complex individual cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and wage-and-hour claims. Erin has particular expertise in the area of pay equity, compensation analyses, and diversity initiatives; and regularly advises clients with respect to OFCCP and other EEO audits.

Erin also is an accomplished trial lawyer. She has tried several cases before juries and in arbitration, and has successfully has obtained numerous defense summary judgment rulings and other favorable resolutions in state and federal court.

Erin's clients include leading technology and Fortune 500 companies, including: Facebook, Oracle, NetApp, Netflix, NVIDIA, Splunk, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citigroup, The Home Depot, CVS Caremark, Varian Medical Systems, CoorsTek and Seagate Technology.

Erin frequently speaks on California and national employment law issues, and has published numerous articles on employment law in publications around the country.  She also provides training on managing within the law and preventing sexual harassment, and conducts internal investigations on employment-related matters.

  • EEOC/OFCCP representative matters include:

    • Numerous compensation analyses and audits, as well as ongoing advice to minimize risk under both state and federal law.
    • EEOC Commissioner’s charge alleging nationwide race and national origin discrimination in hiring.
    • Nationwide EEOC investigation alleging race and national origin discrimination in the use of criminal background checks.
    • Nationwide EEOC investigation alleging systemic failure to accommodate individuals with disabilities.
    • Multiple OFCCP audits, as well as threatened and actual DOL litigation, assessing affirmative action compliance and alleged systemic discrimination in hiring, promotions and compensation.
    • Ongoing OFCCP/EEO compliance counseling for numerous clients, with a particular emphasis on compensation, recruiting, hiring and promotions.

    Notable litigation engagements include:

    Facebook

    • Currently representing Facebook in a putative class action involving allegations of independent contractor misclassification and other wage-and-hour violations.

    Oracle

    • Currently representing Oracle in a putative class action involving allegations of unequal pay under the California Equal Pay Act.
    • Currently representing Oracle in litigation against the OFCCP involving allegations of discrimination in recruiting, hiring and compensation at Oracle's headquarters location.
    • Successfully resolved a complex set of disputes in both state and federal court against the State of Oregon arising from Oregon's failure to launch its health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Litigation involved constitutional questions concerning the Copyright Remedies Clarification Act and 11th Amendment immunity, as well as complex state-federal preemption issues.

    Netflix

    • Currently representing Netflix in litigation against Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Fox 21, Inc., involving allegations of unlawful solicitation of employees and use of unlawful non-compete agreements.

    Morgan Stanley

    • Obtained summary judgment and defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class action alleging compelled patronage in violation of California law and various Labor Code claims.
    • Defeated class certification in wage-and-hour class action challenging the exempt status of financial advisors and alleging unpaid business expenses.
    • Successfully resolved three related complex individual charges alleging breach of contract, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, retaliation and compensation-related claims.
    • Defended numerous complex individual cases involving all types of employment-related claims, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract and wage-and-hour violations.

    The Home Depot.

    • Successfully resolved wage-and-hour class action involving claims of unpaid overtime, meal and rest break penalties and other wage-and-hour violations based on alleged misclassification of independent contractors.

    Bank of America

    • Defended numerous complex individual cases involving all types of employment-related claims, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, breach of contract and wage-and-hour violations.

    Wyndham Vacation Ownership, Inc.

    • Successfully tried and/or resolved claims of ten plaintiffs alleging discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination and related claims.

Insights

News