Debra Hinshaw Vierra
- State Bar of California
- Labor and Employment Section
- Sacramento County Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Section
- American Bar Association
Deb knows that communication is key to resolving disputes or avoiding them all together. She excels at establishing rapport with others – whether they are clients, witnesses, or opposing counsel – and in bringing people together to achieve practical solutions to workplace problems.
Practicing employment law for more than 20 years – several as a shareholder at the nation’s largest labor and employment firm – Deb represents employers in collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations; unfair labor practice proceedings; and all types of employment discrimination and harassment proceedings, from mediation and administrative proceedings through litigation. She advises on disability accommodation, family and medical leave issues, and personnel policies and employment agreements. She has become a trusted source of advice for HR professionals all over California.
Deb is one of the founding partners of Employment Law Counsel, LLP where she has concentrated primarily on helping clients prevent and resolve workplace disputes by conducting workplace investigations and by conducting trainings for groups and individuals. She has conducted over 250 workplace investigations, an area where she excels based not only on her knowledge of the law, but on her critical thinking, research, and communications skills.
She has been retained by both private and public entities to advise on in-house investigations, as well as to conduct neutral third-party investigations. She has investigated claims of harassment, discrimination and retaliation; failure to investigate; failure to reasonably accommodate; theft and/or destruction of Company trade secrets and other company property; ethical violations; actual and threatened workplace violence; and, other violations of employer policies and practices. Her background and training ensures thorough investigations and sound conclusions supported by the evidence.
Authoring, teaching, and lecturing on the topic of employment law as a noted expert in her field, she is frequently called upon to provide expert testimony on the adequacy of workplace investigations. She also provides customized workplace training for both managerial and non-managerial staff on subjects such as sexual harassment, discrimination, and management practices. She is known as an entertaining and informative trainer, whose harassment training sessions are “painless.”
Deb is admitted to practice before all California state courts and all U.S. District Courts in the State of California.
- Provided advice and counsel, training on management practices, and harassment, discrimination and diversity awareness for private and public associations, public agencies, local governments, and companies in a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, restaurant, service, and banking.
- Negotiated collective bargaining agreements for healthcare, food processing, manufacturing, and mining industry clients.
- Successfully guided companies in the food processing, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, and wine industries through union organizing attempts.
- Investigated student and employee complaints of discrimination and harassment in several school districts.
- Investigated a claim of sexual harassment against an elected official in California.
- Conducted a department-wide sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and bullying investigation for a California county.
- Conducted an agency-wide harassment and retaliation investigation for a California special district.
- Conducted a department-wide investigation involving pregnancy, age, gender, and sexual discrimination and harassment claims, as well as employee theft claims, for a California special district.
- Effective Workplace Investigations
- Weingarten and Other Sorrows: What to do When Your Witness Requests Representation
- Maintaining a Union Free Environment
- The Ten Commandments of Investigations
- Can’t We All Just Be Nice to Each Other? A Look at Bias in the Legal Profession
- Prohibited Harassment
- Association of Workplace Investigators
- St. Francis High School Parent Guild, Board Member
- Christian Brothers Auction, Assistant Chair
- Sacramento Local Circle