Trish Higgins has over 30 years experience as a labor and employment law litigator, investigator, advisor, and trainer.
Trish conducts impartial investigations of workplace issues for employers in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. She has investigated complex complaints, including those involving high-level executives, on a broad range of issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, abusive behavior, and workplace safety. She also investigates Title IX sexual misconduct claims. She is trained and experienced in trauma-informed investigation techniques and holds certificates to serve as a Title IX civil rights investigator and hearing officer. Trish has served as an expert witness on a variety of employment law issues, including the adequacy of workplace investigations.
Trish also counsels employers on all aspects of the employment relationship, including hiring, wage-and-hour issues, reasonable accommodations and leaves of absence, performance management, terminations, and responding to employee complaints. Clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to small start-ups rely on Trish to provide practical advice based on their particular business needs and objectives. An engaging facilitator, Trish has trained hundreds of managers, employees, and elected officials on maintaining a respectful workplace free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
Trish has extensive experience litigating employment matters, from wage-and-hour and discrimination class actions, to individual claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination. She has first-chaired jury trials and arbitrations and handled employment litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country. She also represents employers before administrative agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, DLSE, and DOL. An experienced negotiator, Trish helps clients resolve disputes through various forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration. For many years, she has served as a Settlement Judge Pro Tem for the Sacramento County Superior Court.
Trish is a frequent lecturer, author, and commentator on employment issues. She currently is the Chair of the Wage-and-Hour Subcommittee of the ABA Employment & Labor Relations Law Committee, and a past Chair of the Labor & Employment Section of the Sacramento County Bar Association. Trish is a member of the Association of Workplace Investigators.
Prior to joining the Shaw Law Group, Trish practiced employment law at a global law firm and clerked for a federal district court judge.
J.D., University of California, Berkeley
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
Certifications, Memberships, and Awards:
Rated AV 5.0 (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell
“The Gig Economy: Uber Keeps Rolling Along Despite Challenges,” ABA Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter, Winter 2018
“Notice Required for Termination Under — USERRA,” ABA Employment & Labor Relations Law Newsletter, Fall 2016
“Medical Marijuana Cards: The New Scarlet Letter?” Law 360 Expert Analysis, February 2015
“Schwab and Class Action Waivers of Employment Claims,” Corporate Counsel, June 2014
“The EEOC’s Pre-Suit Obligations in the Systemic Era,” Bender’s California Labor & Employment Bulletin, June 2012
“What’s Next in Class Actions,” American Bar Association, March 2018
“Arbitration: A Litigator’s Perspective,” Sacramento County Bar Association, March 2018
“Recent Supreme Court Decisions Affecting the Financial Services Industry,” National Association of Women Lawyers, July 2015
“Increasing Momentum of the EEOC and Its Pursuit of Systemic Cases,” Women in Employment Law Network, March 2012
“Building Lasting Client Relationships,” San Francisco County Bar Association, November 2010