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Erin L. McDermit

Erin provides strategic employment counseling advice and represents employers in litigation. She represents companies and executives in employment related-litigation, be it a court proceeding, arbitration, mediation, or an appearance before enforcement agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH") or the Labor Commissioner at the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement ("DLSE"). She has also litigated cases involving employee theft of company property and trade secrets, restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duty, and contract disputes.

She regularly advises clients on a wide range of employment issues including:

  • Employment practices and compliance in daily operations
  • Leaves of absence
  • Disability accommodations
  • Wage & hour and compensation disputes
  • Harassment and discrimination claims
  • Severance pay issues
  • Terminations
  • Reductions in force and office closures
  • Litigation avoidance

In every case, Erin provides advice specifically tailored to help her clients approach the issue from a practical management standpoint. As an advocate for the company, Erin counsels to support the front-line owner, supervisor, or manager with understandable legal guidance and a thoughtful plan of action. In complex employment litigation, Erin works closely with clients to resolve the dispute in a practical manner and has successfully defended employers in each stage of the litigation process including summary judgment prior to trial and investigations conducted by government agencies.

Prior to becoming an attorney Erin worked for several years in technology publishing as an advertising manager and editor. 

Representative Matters
When a former employee accused a business owner of discrimination and harassment based on her gender, Erin was able to present evidence to the EEOC investigator entirely rebutting the employee's claims. The matter was not pursued by the EEOC and the former employee did not pursue a civil claim in Superior Court.

Erin has defended many employers against wage claims before the DLSE, and in several cases was able to obtain a total victory when no liability was found by the Labor Commissioner.

At any given time Erin is typically helping more than a few clients deal with troublesome employee problems such as administering leaves of absence, evaluating and providing disability accommodations, and handling chronic absences and performance issues.

Erin has obtained temporary restraining orders on behalf of employers to protect other employees and the workplace from employee threats of violence.

Senior Executives regularly request that Erin help them negotiate employment offers or severance packages. Erin has coached the employees on negotiation strategies and deal points, sometimes negotiating directly with the company on the employee's behalf. Erin works with the executive to determine if they are getting the best possible offer or if there are any residual concerns stemming from the company's position.

Erin worked with senior counsel to obtain summary adjudication of a former employee's claims that he was defrauded in a repurchase of company stock after his employment ended. The case was resolved quickly after the adjudication was granted.

Publications and Speaking Engagements
Erin has written numerous articles on California employment laws and gives annual presentations on Employment Law Updates and Sexual Harassment Training.  She is also an occasional guest lecturer in Santa Clara University Law School employment courses. Attendees at her most recent Employment Law Update said Erin was "Excellent!" and able to explain complicated material in a fun and easy-to-understand way.

Bar Admission

  • California, 2005

Education

  • J.D., Santa Clara University, 2005; Cali award-winner in Employment Law; Santa Clara Law Review Comments Editor; Research Assistant to Dean of Law School
  • B.A. with honors, Mills College, 1992; Communications Major; Mills College Weekly Features Editor
  • The Putney School, Putney, Vermont

Volunteer Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors of Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
  • 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

Personal
Outside the office Erin spends her time with her family, watching movies, Sherlock or Mad Men, or being outdoors. She also likes reading books just for fun.

 

Press

  • Read about the launch of our Firm in the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal – HTML