Contact Us

Karen
Carrera

Of Counsel

T. 415.272.1244

Karen practiced employment litigation for more than 25 years before becoming a workplace investigator. She shifted her focus because she wants to use her skills and knowledge to help businesses prevent employment discrimination and harassment.

Experience

Karen has practiced law for 27 years. Her investigations, for both public and private employers, include employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and other alleged employee misconduct. A fluent Spanish speaker, she regularly conducts investigations in which she interviews witnesses in Spanish.

Karen also provides expert witness testimony on the adequacy of workplace investigations, training, policies, and other employment-related matters. She performs trainings on harassment and discrimination and develops policies and procedures for employers, in both English and Spanish.

Before becoming an investigator and trainer, Karen worked as a plaintiffs’ side employment law litigator at Villegas Carrera, Inc. This experience helps her to determine risk and see where employers are vulnerable to being sued by employees.

Karen also served as a deputy city attorney and litigator with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where she filed lawsuits against property owners who violated San Francisco’s housing, health, fire, and police codes. She facilitated meetings with city departments, community groups, and service agencies to solve issues of code enforcement, public nuisance, blight, and quality of life crimes.

Karen also worked as the supervising attorney at Legal Aid of Marin and La Raza Centro Legal, where she litigated employment and housing cases and managed a diverse staff, including volunteers. She facilitated community outreach meetings with the Latino community and services agencies, as well as conducting bilingual training and drafting Spanish and English self-help manuals.

Outside the office

In her free time, Karen enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with her family and her new puppy.

“To compare is to despair.” — unknown

Teaching

Hastings College of the Law, University of California, adjunct professor, September 2009-present

  • Representing Spanish Speaking Clients in Employment Law
  • Interviewing and Counseling Clients
  • Negotiation and Mediation Strategies
  • Legal Writing and Research

 Berkeley School of Law, University of California, lecturer in law, August-November 2018

  • Legal Research & Writing
  • L.M. Legal Research and Writing Department.

Presentations

  • Wage & Hour Law and the Immigrant Low Wage Worker, Marin Trial Lawyer’s Association, 2015
  • Work Life Law for Women in Tech, Google, 2015
  • Representing Immigrant Clients in Class Actions, S.F. Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • U-Visas and Immigrant Clients in Employment Law, Marin Trial Lawyers, 2013
  • Employment Law Overview, Legal Aid of Marin, 2010
  • Wage & Hour Law and the Immigrant Low Wage Worker, PLUS Conference, 2009
  • California Women Lawyers, board member, board of directors (January 2020-present)
  • Marin County Women Lawyer’s Association, board member, board of directors (April 2019- present)
  • Association of Workplace Investigators, member (June 2019-present)
  • Marin Trial Lawyers Association, former president, current secretary to the board, board of directors (June 2018-present)
  • Canal Alliance, general counsel (March 2020-present), board member, board of directors (January 2014-February 2019)
  • Association of Latino Marin Attorneys, member (2016-present)
  • Equal Rights Advocates, member, board of directors (2008-2014)
  • Aids Legal Referral Panel, volunteer attorney (2005-present)
  • ACLU of Northern California, board of directors (2006-2008)
  • La Raza Centro Legal, board of directors (2000-2003)
  • Bay Area Legal Aid, board of directors (1999-2000)
  • Reed Schools Foundation, general counsel (June 2004-June 2006)
  • Associated Students of Hastings, student body president (1991-1992)
  • Profiled in Plaintiff Magazine, November 2017
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Karen C. Carrera, The Hon. Jared Huffman, in honor of ongoing commitment to the Latino population in Marin County, 2015
  • State of California Senate, Certificate of Recognition to Karen C. Carrera, The Hon. Mike McGuire, State Senator, for outstanding leadership and professional skills, 2015
  • Hispanic Business Professional of the Year, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2015
  • Legal Services Corporation, Certificate of Appreciation, 2015
  • Community Service Award Recipient and Graduation Keynote Speaker, Hastings College of the Law, La Raza Law Student’s Association, May 2013
  • Outstanding Benefactor Award, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, September 2008
  • California Assembly, Certificate of Recognition for providing volunteer legal services to low income people in Marin, May 2006
  • Wiley E. Manual Award, State Bar of California, 2004
  • Unity Award, San Francisco Minority Bar Coalition, May 2004
  • Certificate of Appreciation, City of San Francisco, Hon. Willie Brown, for prosecuting slumlords on behalf of the city, May 2002

Education

University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D.

Loyola Marymount University, B.A., cum laude

Areas of Expertise

Investigations

Trainings

Expert Testimony

Admission

State Bar of California

Northern District of California

Credentials

AWI-CH