Erin McDermit

Employment Advice and Counseling

Erin provides strategic employment advice to employers and executives on a wide range of complex California employment laws. Throughout her legal career Erin has advised companies of all sizes, providing tailored advice to help her clients approach issues from a practical standpoint and reduce the risk of litigation. Erin supports front-line owners and supervisors by providing legal guidance and a thoughtful plan of action, with the company’s best interests in mind. When representing executives, Erin is a zealous advocate during the hiring or separation process, helping executives negotiate compensation, equity, and severance.

Erin provides day-to-day advice on:

  • Employment practices and compliance
  • Compensation and equity issues, including equal pay
  • Administering leaves of absence
  • Disability accommodations
  • Wage & hour issues including exempt/non-exempt employee classifications
  • Independent contractors
  • Harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims
  • Terminations, severance, and continuing benefits issues
  • Reductions in force, office closures, and WARN Act compliance
  • Litigation avoidance

Erin has litigated numerous employment disputes, representing companies and executives in court proceedings, arbitration, mediation, and before government enforcement agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) and the California Labor Commissioner at the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”). Erin has also litigated cases involving employee theft of company property and trade secrets, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, breach of fiduciary duty, and contract disputes, adding to her broad knowledge base and ability to provide strategic advice.

Workplace Investigations

In addition to her employment counseling and litigation-prevention practice, Erin is an experienced workplace investigator. She regularly advises business clients regarding their investigation of employee complaints and appropriate remedial action, and conducts neutral investigations into employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and violation of company policies.

Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Training

Erin continues to provide legally-required training to California managers and employee groups on a range of topics, including preventing and addressing harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in the workplace.

Publications and Speaking Engagements

Erin has written numerous articles on California employment laws and frequently speaks to Human Resources organizations, community organizations, and to management teams about new employment laws and other employment-related topics. She has also been a guest lecturer at Santa Clara University Law School.

Prior to becoming an attorney Erin worked for several years in technology publishing. She also co-founded an online interior design website in 2013.

Education

Erin holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University where she was a Cali award-winner in Employment Law and Comments Editor for the Santa Clara Law Review. She also holds a B.A. with honors in Communications from Mills College and attended The Putney School in Vermont.

Professional Affiliations
Santa Clara County Bar Association
Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI)

Civic Activities
Chair, Board of Directors of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce, 2017
Member, Board of Directors of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce 2010-2017
Past Member, Board of Directors of Stevenson House
Past Member, Finance and Personnel Committee of the Shelter Network of San Mateo County
Past Member, Amicus Committee, Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services

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