Area of expertise: Sexual harassment and gender discrimination at work and school; Pay equity and paid leave; Economic security for women and families; School sexual violence; Equity in academics/sports; Worker organizing
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free” and “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Fannie Lou Hamer and June Jordan
You want to get to know her because:
- Noreen has devoted her legal career to the pursuit of social justice. She has been named a Top Women Leader in Law and a Top Legal Innovator by the The Recorder. She was also named one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal.
- She is a nationally recognized leader on gender justice and the architect of several high impact collaborative campaigns improving the lives of millions of women and families. She chairs the Equal Pay Today! Campaign, a national campaign led by ERA and 25 other organizational partners closing the gender and race wage gap in states across the country. She serves as a Founding Partner of the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative. Noreen also founded and chairs the Stronger California Women’s Agenda Campaign, a collaboration of over 50 organizations and coalitions driving 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 one of the strongest equal pay law in the country.
- Noreen also leads national impact litigation efforts to address gender discrimination in schools, sexual harassment, workplace leave and accommodation, and the protection of caregivers from discrimination at work. Previously ERA’s Legal Director, she has represented thousands of women and girls combatting sex discrimination and other unfair treatment at work and school, including before the U.S Supreme Court.
- Noreen is widely recognized for her expertise in gender justice issues. She testifies before legislative bodies and is a frequent speaker at conferences and in other forums. Noreen is a regularly featured thought leader in media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Fortune, The Information, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, National Public Radio, PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, and other television programs.
- Noreen publishes widely on civil rights and economic justice matters. Her feisty Twitter feed (@farrellERA) compliments her many published works, including Moving Women Forward on the 50thAnniversary 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).
- 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.)
Outside of work:
- Noreen is obsessed with her kids, Halloween, and reading The Onion.