Melanie D. Popper

Senior Legal Counsel of Litigation

Area of expertise: Employment Law, Civil Rights Law, Wage & Hour Litigation

You should get to know her because:

  • Melanie brings 17 years of legal experience to the organization, primarily in the area of civil rights at the state and federal level with a focus on sex, sex orientation, gender and race harassment and discrimination, among other protected classes.
  • Her other practice areas include police misconduct under Section 1983, negligent reporting of child abuse under the CANRA, litigation related to COVID-19 and religious discrimination, whistleblowing protections, and wage and hour litigation in conjunction with the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).
  • Melanie has negotiated with unions on behalf of the City of Berkeley, served as a Commissioner with the City of Berkeley’s Personnel Board, represented unaccompanied minors with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and has been a member of the California Employment Lawyers Association.
  • Prior to joining ERA, Melanie created a program which provided civil rights plaintiffs with a feminist critical theory reading manual, classes in playback theater and theater of the oppressed to illustrate their distress with demonstrative evidence, created the holistic course “I Believe You” for survivors of workplace harm and/or personal injury, and supervised artistic public protests in civil rights cases.
  • Melanie has also worked extensively with both female and male survivors of sexual assault and harassment and is sensitive to the unique needs of these protected classes.

Alumna of:

  • Melanie is a graduate of UC Hastings (JD), Dartmouth College (BA) and the Norman Manley Law School at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica (LEC).

Outside of work:

  • In her spare time, Melanie enjoys sailing and is a certified ASA 103 sailor, African drumming, and finding interesting trails for walking her dog, Binky.
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