Erin M. Connell

Partner

サンフランシスコ

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 an expert 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 DFEH. 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 DEI, OFCCP compliance, pay equity, and issues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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, 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.

Erin's clients include leading technology and Fortune 500 companies, including: Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft, Netflix, Pinterest, Airbnb, SiriusXM, Dropbox, Amgen, Dolby, Splunk, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Delta Dental.

Erin is currently the management chair of the ABA Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. She is also 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 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:

    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
    • Currently lead counsel for Oracle in one of the first and biggest pay equity class actions under the newly amended California Equal Pay Act. This high-profile and precedent-setting case is currently set for trial in November 2022.
    • 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

    • Represents large employers in wage and hour and pay equity class actions, including Oracle, Facebook, Morgan Stanley, The Home Depot and Pinterest. Erin successfully resolved statewide wage and hour class actions for Facebook, The Home Depot and Morgan Stanley, and is currently representing Pinterest and Oracle in statewide class actions as well.

    Confidential government investigations and audits by EEOC, DFEH and OFCCP

    • Given Erin’s expertise in defending systemic discrimination and large-scale pay equity matters, some of the nation’s most prominent employers turn to Erin to represent them in broad-based investigations by the EEOC, the California DFEH, as well as in audits by the OFCCP. These confidential matters, involving national or state-wide classes of employees or applicants, are high-stakes workplace challenges for business leaders involving complex legal claims and frequent disputes over the appropriate use of statistics to prove them.

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

    • Given Erin’s deep expertise in employment law, several of the nation’s most prominent employers regularly turn to Erin for advice and counsel, including with respect to new and developing areas of employment law such as those related to the COVID 19 pandemic, diversity, equity and inclusion; pay equity; and OFCCP compliance. Erin also has led dozens of internal compensation analyses and other audits and provides ongoing legal advice to minimize risk.

    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

    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