Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
High tech employment discrimination, harassment

Tech General Counsel Need to Guide HR Departments to Avoid Major Crises

The Recorder (subscription) examines recent tech employment scandals and advises companies to have their general counsel “work more closely with human resource departments if they want to avoid…explosive discrimination allegations” seen so prominently in recent months. Calling out Uber and Tesla, the article makes it clear that if companies don’t work hard to improve their diversity numbers, complaints of discrimination problems are not going to go away.

The Recorder consulted Lieff Cabraser employment practice group chair Kelly Dermody on the subject. “In any industry where there is such underrepresentation of women, African Americans, and Latinos, especially among management, it is unfortunately predictable that managers might lack cultural competency to manage diverse teams fairly,” Dermody noted.

Multiple recent high-profile high-tech employment lawsuits and related stories reflect a seeming pattern of high-tech HR departments paying insufficient attention to internal allegations of discrimination, harassment, and other improper behaviors. Attempts to suppress and dismiss legitimate complaints can lead to horrendously bad publicity — and costly lawsuits.

Upholding Employee Rights

Lieff Cabraser has a strong tradition of fighting for employee rights across America. Our employment law class action cases challenge discrimination based on employees’ race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability; wage violations, including failure to pay overtime, break time, or vacation time; and misuse of employees’ retirement benefits. We also represent employees who “blow the whistle” on wrongdoing by their employers as well as in other cases alleging violations of the law.

About Kelly M. Dermody

The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Ms. Dermody supervises many of the most significant and challenging employment lawsuits in our nation today, including cases challenging gender and race discrimination by top Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and Fortune 100 firms; wage suppression claims against technology, healthcare, and academic institutions; overtime and lost pay lawsuits for low-wage workers, I/T professionals, and foreign nationals working for American corporations; and ERISA claims that she has tried on behalf of employees and retirees for pension plan abuses.