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Firm Profile

Outten & Golden LLP

San Francisco, CA Employment Attorneys

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About the Firm

Outten & Golden LLP focuses on advising and representing individuals in employment, partnership, and related workplace matters both domestically and internationally. The firm counsels individuals on employment and severance agreements; handles complex compensation and benefits issues (including bonuses, commissions, and stock/ option agreements); and advises professionals (including doctors and lawyers) on contractual issues. It also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblower, and contract claims. The firm handles class actions involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, gender- and race-based discrimination, wage-and-hour violations, violations of the WARN Act, and other systemic workers' rights issues.
More About This Firm »

Practice Areas

  • ADR/Arbitration/Mediation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Class Actions
  • Defamation
  • Discrimination: Age
  • Discrimination: Anti-Discrimination/Harassment Training
  • Discrimination: Criminal History Background
  • Discrimination: Disability
  • Discrimination: EEOC/State Antidiscrimination Agency (FEP) Practice
  • Discrimination: Gender/Sex
  • Discrimination: General/Employment
  • Discrimination: Genetic
  • Discrimination: National Origin or Immigrant Workers
  • Discrimination: Pregnancy
  • Discrimination: Race
  • Discrimination: Religion
  • Discrimination: Sexual Orientation
  • Equal Pay Violations
  • ERISA/Employee Benefits
  • Executive Compensation & Employment Contracts
  • Family & Medical Leave Act/Other Leaves
  • Genetic Discrimination
  • Military/Veteran Employment Rights (USERRA)
  • Noncompete Clauses and Trade Secret Litigation
  • Privacy
  • Sexual & Other Harassment
  • Torts (negligent hire, assault and battery, interference with contractual relations)
  • Wage & Hour/Overtime/Labor Standards/Wage Theft
  • WARN Act/Layoffs/Reductions-in-Force/Plant Closings
  • Whistleblower/Retaliation Cases
  • Wrongful Termination
(415) 638-8800

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Attorneys

Photo of Jahan C. Sagafi

Jahan C. Sagafi

JAHAN C. SAGAFI is the partner-in-charge of the firm’s San Francisco office, where he represents workers in employment class actions challenging discrimination, wage and hour abuses, Fair Credit Reporting Act violations, and other types of exploitation. He has won a jury trial for a nationwide class of approximately 1,000 technical support workers, an en banc appeal in the Ninth Circuit, and many settlements to recover backpay for overtime compensation, meal and rest breaks, vacation benefits, discriminatory pay and promotion gaps, and more.

Mr. Sagafi has represented a wide array of workers throughout the country, including HVAC service technicians, corporate instructors, financial advisers and trainees, security officers temp staffing workers, cashiers, call center customer service representatives, counselors, drivers, and many others.

During his career, he has recovered well over $100 million for workers, asserting claims against transportation companies (e.g., Uber, Lyft, Hertz, GlobalTranz), tech companies (e.g., AT&T, IBM, Computer Sciences Corp.), banks (e.g., Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney), retailers (e.g., Walmart, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess?, Raley’s) healthcare companies (e.g., Permanente, Premera Blue Cross), an accounting firm (PwC), insurance companies (e.g., Travelers, Farmers), restaurants, and more.

In addition to his trial court work, Mr. Sagafi represents plaintiffs in appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, and other courts, addressing issues such as workers’ rights, arbitration agreements, class certification, standing, unfair and deceptive practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law, and FDA preemption. He has also volunteered to write amicus briefs in the Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Sagafi is also active in the community, serving on several boards, including national nonprofit Alliance for Justice's (AFJ) board and the San Francisco American Constitution Society (ACS) Bay Area chapter’s Board of Advisors. In the past, he has served as a Governor of the board of the nonprofit Public Advocates, a member of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) Judicial Evaluations Committee, a BASF attorney fee disputes arbitrator, Vice Chair of the board of the ACLU of Northern California (and Chair of Legal Committee), chair of the Board of the San Francisco ACS chapter, and as an Executive Committee member of the California Bar Litigation Section. Additionally, Mr. Sagafi has served as an organizer of ABA Labor & Employment Law Section conferences.

Mr. Sagafi has been recognized by numerous legal and non-profit organizations. He has received the Community Justice Award from Centro Legal De La Raza, and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the Top 100 lawyers in all fields in Northern California (2015-19), one of the Daily Journal’s “Top 75 Labor and Employment Lawyers” in California (2015-18), and one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers in the United States (2018).

Prior to joining Outten & Golden, he was a partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, and clerked for the Honorable William W Schwarzer of the Northern District of California. Mr. Sagafi graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, and received his J.D. Harvard Law School, where he was a Senior Editor of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and president of the Board of Student Advisers.

Mr. Sagafi is admitted to practice law only in California. Mr. Sagafi is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Northern District of California, the Eastern District of California, the Central District of California; and the Southern District of New York; the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Ninth Circuit; and the Eleventh Circuit.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.) More About This Attorney »

Photo of Jennifer Schwartz

Jennifer Schwartz

JENNIFER SCHWARTZ is a partner at Outten & Golden LLP and heads the individual practice in the San Francisco office. She represents employees exclusively in a wide range of employment matters, including litigation in state and federal trial courts, before administrative agencies, and in appellate courts. Despite her extensive litigation and arbitration experience, Ms. Schwartz often finds that, with appropriate counseling and negotiation, extensive litigation can be avoided. Ms. Schwartz frequently utilizes mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for her clients.

Ms. Schwartz's employment practice focuses on claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and violation of state and federal wage and hour laws. She represents whistleblowers and individuals who have experienced adverse employment action as a result of opposing illegal or unethical corporate practices.

Ms. Schwartz also handles a variety of professional and executive compensation and benefits matters, including the negotiation of employment, severance, restrictive covenant, and trade secret agreements. Using Outten & Golden's depth and breadth of experience with complicated aspects of executive employment arrangements, she provides advice to founders and other employees and professionals at both "start ups" and existing businesses relating to transactional matters, including changes in control, mergers, team moves, and the formation and sale of businesses.

Before joining Outten & Golden LLP, Ms. Schwartz managed her own firm in the San Francisco area, practicing in the areas of employment law and criminal defense. One of her career highlights was obtaining an acquittal at re-trial after appeal for a client wrongfully convicted of a homicide.

Ms. Schwartz employs a highly client-centric approach, carefully considering all aspects of a client's life and needs in helping develop and implement strategic decisions. She believes that every single client -- without regard to position in life -- deserves a dedicated, compassionate, and tenacious advocate.

Ms. Schwartz is admitted to practice law only in New York and California. Ms. Schwartz is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the Eastern District of California; and the Central District of California; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.) More About This Attorney »

Photo of Rachel Bien

Rachel Bien

RACHEL BIEN, is a Partner at Outten & Golden LLP in Los Angeles, California, and a Co-Chair of its Class & Collective Action Practice Group.

Ms. Bien is an experienced litigator who has recovered millions of dollars in unpaid wages on behalf of her clients. She has represented tens of thousands of workers across many different industries in class and collective lawsuits. She was lead counsel in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., one of the first cases to argue that interns should be paid for their work on behalf of a private employer.

Ms. Bien is committed to protecting workers' rights under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and state and local wage laws. She has litigated and successfully settled many cases involving workers who were "misclassified" by their employers as "exempt" from overtime protections or labeled as "independent contractors" and denied overtime pay and other benefits. She has won motions against large corporations, and consistently advocates for interpretations of the law that advance the rights of all workers, including those who are most vulnerable to abuse.

Ms. Bien is an active member of the employment law bar. She is a member of the State Bar of California's Labor and Employment Law Section, the National Employment Lawyer's Association (NELA) and its California chapter (CELA), and the American Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law Section. She speaks frequently on wage and hour topics.

She graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School in 2005 and joined Outten & Golden LLP in October 2006 after serving as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas G. Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Bien is admitted to practice law only in California and New York.

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.) More About This Attorney »

Photo of Menaka N. Fernando

Menaka N. Fernando

MENAKA N. FERNANDO is a partner at Outten & Golden’s San Francisco office and a member of the firm’s Family Responsibilities & Disabilities Discrimination and Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Practice Groups. Ms. Fernando represents individual employees in negotiation and litigation in a variety of employment matters including sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, family leave, and wage claims, among others. Ms. Fernando also focuses on representing executive and professional employees in negotiating employment, severance, and restrictive covenant agreements. Ms. Fernando employs an extremely client-centered approach to her practice and incorporates each client’s unique circumstances and goals to tailor strategies that work best for each individual.

Throughout her career, Ms. Fernando has also been a policy crusader, lobbying and testifying before the California legislature to change the state’s employment laws. She is the current Co-Chair of the California Employment Lawyers’ Association and has worked on bills to strengthen the state’s anti-discrimination laws and harassment laws.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Fernando worked at several plaintiff-side employment and civil rights law firms in California. Ms. Fernando received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2010.

Ms. Fernando is admitted to practice law only in California. Ms. Fernando is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Northern District of California, Central District of California; and Eastern District of California. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Zoë DeGeer

Zoë DeGeer

ZOË DEGREER is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP, and a member of the firm’s Individual Practice Area. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Ms. DeGeer worked as an associate at Dickson Geesman LLP exclusively representing employees in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, medical leave and breach of contract actions, as well as severance negotiations.

Ms. DeGeer graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2014 with honors and certifications in litigation and public interest law. In law school, Ms. DeGeer was heavily involved in the litigation department and mock trial program. Her mock trial team won the regional American Bar Association Labor and Employment Mock Trial Competition and was a semi-finalist in the national competition. She worked in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office as a Law Clerk for two years in the sexual assault, child assault, domestic violence, misdemeanor, and law and motion units. Ms. DeGeer also worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Cynthia Ming-mei Lee and the Appellate Department of the San Francisco Superior Court.

Ms. DeGeer is Chair of the California Employment Lawyers Association’s Barristers Committee, Employee Co-Chair of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section’s Technology Committee, and member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. She is a graduate of the American Bar Association’s Leadership Development Program.

Ms. DeGeer is admitted to practice law only in California. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Rachel  Williams Dempsey

Rachel Williams Dempsey

RACHEL WILLIAMS DEMPSEY is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP in San Francisco, and a member of the firm's Class Action Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Ms. Dempsey clerked for the Honorable John A. Kronstadt, United States District Court for the Central District of California, and for the Honorable Richard R. Clifton, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Dempsey received her J.D. in 2015 from Yale Law School, where she was an Articles Editor for the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. While at law school, Ms. Dempsey served on the Clinical Student Board, and as a student director of the Education Adequacy Project, representing a group of plaintiffs seeking to improve standards in Connecticut schools. She was also a member of the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project, where she assisted the San Francisco City Attorney's Office in developing and litigating complex cases on behalf of the City of San Francisco in state and federal court. In addition, Ms. Dempsey was a law clerk in the civil division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, where she assisted in affirmative litigation including discrimination and False Claims Act cases, and at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, where she worked on class action litigation, including employment matters.

Ms. Dempsey is the author, with Joan C. Williams, of What Works for Women at Work. She received her B.A., cum laude and with distinction in the major, from Yale University in 2009.

Ms. Dempsey is admitted to practice law only in California. Ms. Dempsey is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the District of Colorado, the Northern District of California; and the Central District of California; and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Molly Frandsen

Molly Frandsen

MOLLY FRANDSEN is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Ms. Frandsen clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald of the Hawaii State Supreme Court.

Ms. Frandsen received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2011, and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2017, where she served as Co-Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. During law school, Ms. Frandsen served as a director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic, served as a law clerk at Outten & Golden, and provided direct service to workers as a law clerk at Legal Aid at Work. Ms. Frandsen also interned for the Complex and Affirmative Litigation team at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, and conducted research on Civil Procedure issues for Professor Andrew Bradt. Before law school, Ms. Frandsen worked on employment class action and labor cases as a paralegal at Altshuler Berzon, LLP.

Ms. Frandsen is admitted to practice law only in California. More About This Attorney »

Moira Heiges-Goepfert

MOIRA HEIGES-GOEPFERT is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group, representing employees in discrimination and wage and hour litigation. Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Moira clerked for the Honorable Jon O. Newman, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Valerie Caproni, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She also worked as a litigation associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York, and taught English literature and writing at a public university in Beijing, China. Moira earned her B.A. with honors from Yale University in 2004, and her J.D., magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2010, where she served as Managing Editor for the Minnesota Law Review.

Ms. Heiges-Goepfert is admitted to practice law only in California and New York. Ms. Heiges-Goepfert is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Adam L. Koshkin

Adam L. Koshkin

ADAM L. KOSHKIN is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP, and a member of the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2018, Mr. Koshkin clerked for the Honorable Judith E. Levy of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Mr. Koshkin received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2011, and his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2017, where he was the Senior Articles Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law. During law school Mr. Koshkin was the director of the Wage Justice Clinic and a law clerk for Legal Aid at Work, where he provided direct legal services to workers with claims in administrative forums. Before law school, Mr. Koshkin served as a research assistant to Ranking Member Elijah Cummings of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Mr. Koshkin is admitted to practice law only in California. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Gail Lin

Gail Lin

GAIL LIN is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP in California and a member of the WARN Practice Group and the Class Action Practice Group. She has extensive experience representing tens of thousands of employees in every federal circuit in the United States, including appellate and bankruptcy courts. Ms. Lin was also a part of the team that successfully represented a group of workers in the United States Supreme Court, which resulted in a ruling that is considered one of the top ten most important bankruptcy law decisions.

Before joining Outten & Golden, Ms. Lin represented plaintiffs and defendants in various labor and employment matters, including whistleblower claims, harassment, plant shutdowns, discrimination, retaliation, breach of employment contracts, tort claims, and restrictive covenants. She has also represented pension funds and health and welfare funds in ERISA actions before U.S. bankruptcy, trial, and appellate courts in which tens of millions of dollars of fund assets have been recovered. From 1998-1999, Ms. Lin interned for the Honorable Judith Chirlin, Superior Court of California (Los Angeles). While in law school, Ms. Lin worked for Legal Aid of Los Angeles, where she assisted low-income and senior homeowners who were victims of contractor and mortgage fraud. For this work, Loyola Law School awarded her a Public Interest Law Fellowship. She has also worked on various efforts to reform the criminal justice system, including bail reform in California, the Innocence Project, was part of a team of lawyers and civil rights leaders that investigated allegations of police corruption in the Los Angeles Police Department (leading to systematic changes) and helped to bring wrongful death actions against law enforcement officials.

Ms. Lin is admitted to practice law only in California, New York and New Jersey. Ms. Lin is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Central District of California, the Northern District of California, the District of New Jersey; and the District of Colorado; and the Supreme Court of the United States. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Laura Iris Mattes

Laura Iris Mattes

LAURA IRIS MATTES is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP and a member of the firm's Class Action Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm in 2016, Ms. Mattes clerked for the Honorable William Orrick III in the Northern District of California. Ms. Mattes received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. During law school, she conducted human rights research at Human Rights Watch, assisted with civil rights litigation at Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff, and Abady LLP, and advocated for communities affected by internationally-finance development projects at Accountability Counsel. Prior to law school, Ms. Mattes worked on human rights issues in Colombia and conducted Fulbright research in Romania.

Ms. Mattes is admitted to practice law only in California. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Julia C. Stephanides

Julia C. Stephanides

JULIA C. STEPHANIDES is a member of Outten & Golden’s Individual Practice Group. She represents employees exclusively in a wide range of matters, including litigation and transactional matters. Her litigation practice focuses on claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and violation of state and federal wage and hour laws. She also represents whistleblowers and individuals who have experienced adverse employment action as a result of opposing illegal or unethical corporate practices. Ms. Stephanides also handles a variety of transactional matters, including the negotiation of employment contracts, executive compensation packages, and severance agreements for high-level executives and other employees. She advises employees on matters such as equity compensation, intellectual property, restrictive covenants, and termination provisions.

Prior to joining the firm in 2017, Ms. Stephanides litigated ERISA and civil rights matters at Feinberg, Jackson, Worthman & Wasow, LLP. Previously, Ms. Stephanides represented high-growth companies in corporate matters including formation, financing, and acquisition at Gunderson Dettmer, LLP. Ms. Stephanides received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009, and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2014.

Ms. Stephanides is admitted to practice law only in California. Ms. Stephanides is admitted to the following federal court: The United States District Court for the Northern District of California. More About This Attorney »

Photo of Relic Sun

Relic Sun

RELIC SUN is an associate at Outten & Golden LLP in San Francisco, where she represents employees and individuals in class actions asserting race, gender, and alienage-based discrimination, wage and hour, and other claims. Prior to joining the firm in 2015, she clerked for the Honorable Lisa Margaret Smith, United States Magistrate Judge of the Southern District of New York. Ms. Sun received her B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and her J.D., cum laude, from the New York University (NYU) School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar.

During law school Ms. Sun worked on human rights and environmental justice advocacy and litigation through internships at Human Rights in China, Earthjustice, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. She also served as Senior Executive Editor of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics and participated in the Government Civil Litigation Clinic (SDNY) and the Environmental Law Clinic.

Ms. Sun is admitted to practice law only in New York and California. Ms. Sun is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of California; and the Central District of California. More About This Attorney »



 
 

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The Workplace Fairness Attorney Directory features lawyers from across the United States who primarily represent workers in employment cases. Please note that Workplace Fairness does not operate a lawyer referral service and does not provide legal advice, and that Workplace Fairness is not responsible for any advice that you receive from anyone, attorney or non-attorney, you may contact from this site.