Eileen P. Kennedy

Eileen P. Kennedy

Partner

San Jose Office 408.286.5800 Vcard Email

Areas of Focus:

Ms. Kennedy defends companies, managers and executives in employment class actions and Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) cases concerning disputes over the classification of workers, overtime pay, payment of wages, and meal and rest breaks, as well as single and multiple plaintiff unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation cases. 

Mindful of business goals and purposes, Ms. Kennedy regularly helps companies to comply with employment laws and to develop compliant policies and practices for the recruitment and hiring of employees, exemptions from overtime pay, compensation, leaves of absence, workplace accommodations, workplace privacy, discipline, and separation of employees.  She frequently drafts or reviews employment agreements and policies as well as compensation plans.

Utilizing her previous in-house experience at publicly traded, technology companies, Ms. Kennedy regularly provides counsel to companies on employment issues in mergers and acquisitions and to executives on employment transitions.

Ms. Kennedy represents businesses in audits and actions brought by the U.S. Department of Labor, the California Labor Commissioner, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Ms. Kennedy successfully defends companies and negotiates settlements in Americans with Disabilities Act and California disability access cases, specifically with respect to allegedly physical access barriers and non-compliant websites.  Ms. Kennedy defends businesses sued for allegedly violating federal and California fair housing laws.

Ms. Kennedy’s clients include a wide variety of companies ranging from closely held to large, publicly traded companies hailing from a broad spectrum of industries, including semiconductor, senior home care, automotive, real estate, hospitality, medical and professional services.

Representative Cases

  • Litigated large, multiple plaintiff case involving accusations of racial, sexual, and religious harassment and discrimination in employment, resulting in settlement favorable to client
  • Successfully convinced PAGA plaintiff, who threatened millions in PAGA penalties for the alleged denial of meal and rest breaks, to settle the matter for less than $75,000 
  • Successfully convinced plaintiff to dismiss premises liability case with prejudice – with no settlement payment
  • Recovered nearly $80,000 in attorneys’ fees against a plaintiff who brought a meritless trade secret claim
  • Successfully persuaded appellate court to affirm trial court’s dismissal of employee’s claim for unpaid overtime wage
  • Negotiated several favorable settlements for clients in lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, family medical leave violations, and wage and hour disputes
  • Defended restaurant in a representative action brought by the EEOC on behalf of female restaurant employees, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, which resulted in a settlement favorable to the client

Personal

  • Loves spending time with her husband and two children; enjoys cycling and hiking

Professional Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 2000 – present
  • State Bar of New York, 1995 – present
  • All California and New York state courts
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California, Northern and Western Districts of New York

Activities / Memberships

  • Assistant General Counsel to Berliner Cohen LLP
  • Frequent presenter on federal and California employment law topics, including Berliner Cohen LLP and EPIC’s annual employment updates, Women’s General Counsel (informal networking group of General Counsel), California Restaurant Association, local networking groups 
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association
  • San Jose Chamber of Commerce, BRN group
  • Provisors, San Jose 4, Executive Board, Program

Education

  • State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., cum laude, 1994
    • Buffalo Law Review, Publication Editor
    • Jessup International Moot Court Board, Member
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., cum laude, Political Science, 1991