For the fifth consecutive year, the Daily Journal has named Kelly M. Dermody, the chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of the firm’s San Francisco office, to its annual list of the 75 Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in California.
"It’s about the power of one person to change the world," Dermody told the Daily Journal, referring to a recent case in which she and the Transgender Law Center represented Tamara Lusardi, a transgender civilian software specialist employed by the U.S. Army.
In a groundbreaking decision, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in April 2015 reversed a lower agency decision and held that the employer subjected Lusardi to disparate treatment and harassment based on sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when (1) the employer restricted her from using the common female restroom (consistent with her gender identity) and (2) a team leader intentionally and repeatedly referred to her by male pronouns and made hostile remarks about her transition and gender.
"For the transgender community it’s monumental. It sets a standard for how transgender employees shall be treated in the workplace," Dermody stated.
Commenting on the $415 million settlement pending final review and approval by the court in the high-profile litigation against Google, Apple and other tech giants for suppressing the wages of certain salaried employees, Dermody noted, "I think it’s an incredibly valuable result that doesn’t just impact the seven companies in this case, but the tech field in general and other industries outside of Silicon Valley that were also doing this."
Dermody supervises the litigation for Lieff Cabraser. In 2014, the court approved a $20 million settlement resolving claims in the case involving Intuit, Lucasfilm, and Pixar.
Lieff Cabraser assists employees to end discriminatory employment practices; recover lost compensation from unpaid work, denied stock options, or pension plan abuses; stop their employers from defrauding the government; and transform the hiring, promotion, pay or other employment practices of their companies and industries. Learn more about how Lieff Cabraser advances the rights of employees.