Erin M. Connell


San Francisco

Erin M. Connell, Co-chair of Orrick's EEO & OFCCP Compliance Group and Pay Equity Task Force, represents employers in high stakes employment litigation and is a leader in equal employment opportunity law, pay equity, and OFCCP compliance.

Erin's practice covers all aspects of employment law. She defends employers in class actions and other complex cases, as well as in systemic investigations and audits by the EEOC, OFCCP, and the California CRD. Erin has led dozens of internal pay equity analyses and is a trusted advisor for several of the nation's most prominent employers on developing areas of employment law, including pay equity and pay transparency, DEI best practices, and the use of AI in employment decision making.

Erin also is an accomplished first chair 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, the largest pay equity case ever brought by OFCCP, which garnered national media attention and earned Erin recognition as a "Litigator of the Week" by the American Lawyer and a 2021 Employment MVP by Law360. As lead counsel, Erin also successfully obtained decertification in a statewide California pay equity class action, Jewett v. Oracle.

Erin's clients include leading technology and Fortune 500 companies, including: Oracle, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Pinterest, Twitter, Workday, PayPal, Sony Interactive Entertainment, NVIDIA, Airbnb, SiriusXM, Dropbox, Amgen, Zendesk, Splunk and Goldman Sachs. 

Erin is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco, a faculty member with the Institute for Workplace Equality (IWE), and frequently speaks on California and national employment law issues, including for IWE, the ABA, the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) and the American Employment Legal Council (AELC). She was formerly the management chair of the ABA Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. She has published numerous articles on employment law in publications around the country, including the ABA Journal of Law & Employment Law. She also provides employment law training and conducts internal investigations on employment-related matters.

  • Notable Engagements Include:

    Regular Outside Employment Counsel to Oracle

    • 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, earning Erin recognition as a "Litigator of the Week" by the American Lawyer and a 2021 Employment MVP by Law360
    • As lead counsel for Oracle in Jewett v. Oracle, Erin successfully obtained decertification of the class in a statewide pay equity class action under the California Equal Pay Act.
    • Currently advising Oracle on EEO and OFCCP compliance issues including with respect to multiple audits.
    • Resolved a complex and politically charged set of cases in both state and federal court against the State of Oregon arising from Oregon's failed health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Following several years of contentious litigation that included resolution of multiple complex constitutional issues, Erin and her team successfully resolved the matter, leading a major publication in Oregon to declare Oracle "the winner in the settlement."

    Class Actions and High-Stakes Single or Multi-Plaintiff Employment Litigation

    • Represents employers in pay equity, discrimination, and wage and hour class actions, as well as other high-stakes employment litigation, including Oracle, Workday, Pinterest, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Meta, SiriusXM, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Synopsys and Netflix.
    • Erin is currently representing Goldman Sachs in a high profile gender class action, Chen-Oster v. Goldman Sachs, which until it recently resolved, was set for trial in New York City in June, 2023.
    • Erin is currently representing Workday in a nationwide employment class action, Mobley v. Workday, involving allegations of systemic discrimination based on the use of AI recruiting tools.

    Confidential Government Investigations and Audits by EEOC, DFEH and OFCCP

    • Erin represents several clients in broad-based investigations by the EEOC and the California CRD (formerly the DFEH), as well as in audits by the OFCCP. Erin has handled dozens of these high-stakes confidential matters, which often include national or state-wide classes of employees or applicants, and involve complex legal claims and frequent disputes over the appropriate use of statistics to prove them.

    Trusted Advisor on Complex Counseling Matters, Pay Equity Analyses, Internal Audits and DEI Best Practices

    • Erin regularly advises clients on new and developing areas of employment law including pay equity and pay transparency; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI); and the use of AI in employment decision making. Erin also has led dozens of internal pay equity analyses and other audits of workplace practices, including promotions and performance assessment systems.  She also provides ongoing legal advice to promote best practices and minimize risk.