Fighting for Women's Equality

Noreen Farrell

Executive Director

Noreen Farrell’s entire legal career has been dedicated to the pursuit of social justice. She has been named one of the 2012 Top Women Leaders in Law by The Recorder, one of the 2013 Top 100 Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal, and one of the Top Legal Innovators of 2014 by The Recorder.

Noreen is a nationally recognized leader on a variety of gender justice issues. She chairs the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, a national campaign led by ERA and 20 other organizational partners closing the gender wage gap in states across the country. She also founded and now chairs A Stronger California Advocates Network, a collaboration of 30 organizations advancing a comprehensive women’s economic security policy agenda. A key victory of the Stronger California Campaign in 2015 was passage of the California Fair Pay Act, a bill co-sponsored by ERA that is the strongest equal pay law in the country. Noreen also leads national impact efforts to address gender discrimination in schools, sexual harassment, workplace leave and accommodation, and the protection of caregivers from discrimination at work.

Noreen has led ERA’s impact litigation efforts representing clients who have faced sex discrimination and other unfair treatment at school and work in class actions and individual cases. Noreen has served as counsel to plaintiffs in numerous individual and class actions such as Dukes v. Wal-Mart (a pay and promotion suit involving women workers), Medina v. Station Casinos (a sexual harassment and wage and hour class action which resulted in a multi-million dollar settlement), Bojorquez v. ABM Industries (a case challenging sexual harassment and retaliation which resulted in a $812,000 jury verdict), Mansourian v. Regents of the University of California (a Title IX case on behalf of women wrestlers which resulted in a trial win and $1,350,000 settlement), and Brust v. Regents of the University of California (a Title IX case on behalf of a class of athletes which resulted in the addition of a women’s field hockey team, a groundbreaking settlement to ensure female students equal athletic opportunities). During her tenure, ERA has also been committed to advocating for women seeking entry into male-dominated trades, which resulted in a $2.46 million dollar jury verdict on behalf of a female fire recruit kicked out of the fire academy based on sex (Maher v. County of Fresno).

Noreen lectures across the country and writes extensively on civil rights matters. She co-authored a three part report series called Moving Women Forward on the 50th Anniversary of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (ERA 2014). Other publications include Ending Harassment Now: Keeping Our Kids Safe at School (ERA 2015), Expecting A Baby, Not A Lay-Off: Why Federal Law Should Require the Reasonable Accommodation of Pregnant Workers (ERA May 2012), Wal-Mart v. Dukes and Class Certification in Its Aftermath, CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION AND ATTORNEY FEES ANNUAL HANDBOOK, (Thomson Reuters 2012), Family Responsibilities Discrimination: The Interplay of Title VII, FMLA, & ADA (2010) and Old Problem, New Tactic: Making the Case for Legislation to Combat Employment Discrimination Based on Family Caregiving Status, 59 Hastings Law Journal 1463 (June 2008). Noreen is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Association of University Women, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the California Employment Lawyers Association.

Noreen is a graduate of Yale University and the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she was Editor-In-Chief of the Hastings Women’s Law Journal.

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