Erin M. Connell


San Francisco

Erin M. Connell, a San Francisco employment partner and Co-Chair of Orrick's EEO & OFCCP Compliance Group and Pay Equity Task Force, represents employers in high stakes employment litigation and is an expert in equal employment opportunity law, pay equity, and affirmative action (OFCCP) compliance.

Erin’s practice covers all aspects of employment law, as well as complex business litigation outside the employment context. Erin has 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 obtained numerous defense summary judgment rulings and other favorable resolutions in state and federal court. Erin led the trial team that obtained a complete dismissal for Oracle in OFCCP v. Oracle, a high-stakes systemic compensation discrimination case that garnered national media attention and earned Erin and her team recognition as "Litigators of the Week" by the American Lawyer.

Erin's clients include leading technology and Fortune 500 companies, including: Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Pinterest, SiriusXM, NVIDIA, NetApp, Splunk, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Seagate Technology.

Erin is currently the management chair of the ABA Equal Employment Opportunity Committee, and frequently speaks on California and national employment law issues.  She has published numerous articles on employment law in publications around the country, including the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.  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:


    • Currently representing Oracle in a class action involving allegations of unequal pay under the California Equal Pay Act.
    • As lead trial counsel, obtained a complete dismissal of all claims in a high-stakes case against the OFCCP involving allegations of systemic compensation and job assignment discrimination at Oracle's headquarters location.
    • 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.


    • Resolved a putative class action involving allegations of independent contractor misclassification and other wage-and-hour violations.


    • 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.
    • 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.

    • 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.

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