We are proud to announce that the Daily Journal (subscription) has named Lieff Cabraser partners Kelly M. Dermody and Anne B. Shaver as Top Labor & Employment Lawyers for 2019. This is Anne’s second time receiving the award, while Kelly joins the list for the seventh time since 2011.
The Journal highlighted Kelly’s case against Alphabet Inc.-owned Google in which she is currently leading a certified class action alleging the company has paid women less than men who performed substantially equal or similar work across the technology giant’s facilities in California. The suit could affect as many 8,300 current and former Google employees.
“It’s one of the first cases that’s litigating the amended Equal Pay Act, and we’re really hopeful we can secure some justice for women at Google,” said Dermody.
The publication makes note of how the case against Google raises other topics resonating through the tech industry. Dermody explains that in addition to being underpaid, “women are often ‘under-leveled,’ meaning they may be assigned to lower compensation levels than male employees with similar skills and experience…And because people of color and women are historically underpaid, companies use these workers’ salary history as a rationale to continue underpaying them.”
The Journal’s profile of Anne Shaver focuses on her involvement in gender class actions that challenge the business practices and work cultures at some of the most powerful companies in the world, including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and Duke University.
The publication acknowledges Anne’s work on the longstanding discrimination suit against Goldman Sachs. First filed in 2010, the complaint alleges Goldman Sachs paid its female professionals less than men for the same or similar work, disproportionately promoted men over equally or more qualified women, and offered better opportunities to its male professionals.
Goldman Sachs is currently attempting to remove many women from the class by citing arbitration agreements the women signed. In April 2019, it asked a federal judge to require more than 1,000 women, nearly 40 percent of class members, to arbitrate their claims. The plaintiffs are asking the judge to invalidate the agreements.
“Goldman Sachs is definitely a company with a lot of resources. It is illustrative to me of why very few law firms in the country are bringing these types of big cases anymore, because they take a long time to litigate, they’re expensive to litigate and very few plaintiffs’ firms out there have the resources to do it,” Shaver said. “I feel incredibly privileged to work for a firm that can say, ‘This is a righteous cause and we’re going to see it through.'”
Congratulations to both Kelly and Anne!
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 Dermody
The Chair of Lieff Cabraser’s employment practice group and Managing Partner of Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office, Kelly M. Dermody specializes in class and collective actions on behalf of plaintiffs in employment and consumer cases, including gender discrimination cases against Google and Goldman Sachs. Her additional case work includes 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.
About Anne Shaver
Anne Shaver is a partner in Lieff Cabraser’s San Francisco office with a practice focusing on employment law cases. Anne has taken a leading role in gender class action lawsuits that challenge business practices and work cultures at some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, including Google and Goldman Sachs. Ms. Shaver’s passion for upholding worker rights has most recently been focused on gender discrimination “impact litigation,” where she represents clients seeking to alter core business practices in ways that transform not just individual companies, but entire industries.