Carolina Garcia

Managing Associate

Silicon Valley


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Carolina draws from her substantial case management experience to identify a practical and efficient path forward for her clients. 

Carolina has experience litigating cases on behalf of innovative technology, biotechnology, and retail companies. She has defended employers in single-plaintiff, class, and PAGA actions involving claims alleging discrimination, harassment, retaliation, pay equity, wrongful termination, FMLA, and wage and hour violations. In addition, she advises clients on a broad range of employment issues, including hiring practices, terminations, and other pre-litigation matters. Carolina has trial experience and practices before state and federal courts, and in arbitration.

Carolina has been recognized for her extraordinary ability to familiarize herself quickly and deeply with her client's business and apply her learnings to the matter at hand. Notably, she was a vital member of an Orrick employment team that recently obtained a complete victory on behalf of an American multinational computer technology corporation in an arbitration matter that alleged various harassment and discrimination claims. Upon being notified of the victory, the client responded with specific appreciation for Carolina for learning the ins and outs of the client's business model and financial performance. Carolina has also been a key member of Orrick employment teams that have obtained multiple summary judgments on behalf of employers in lawsuits alleging pay equity and harassment claims.

When her practice focuses primarily on the representation of large corporate clients, Carolina also devotes a portion of her practice to representing low-income individuals and to providing pro bono employment counseling and training services to nonprofit organization. She is part of Orrick's Silicon Valley Diversity Committee and is one of the firm-wide facilitators for Orrick's Latinx Affinity Group.

Before joining Orrick, Carolina served as a law clerk to the Honorable Nathanael M. Cousins in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Posts by: Carolina Garcia

Are Your Retail Workers Ready to Return to Work? OSHA Releases New Guidance

Although COVID-19 continues to disrupt the daily lives of American workers, employers are beginning to plan for a possible return to work. This includes retailers, which have been particularly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic with a widespread shutdown of stores.  Now, OSHA has released specific guidelines for keeping retail workers safe. READ MORE

CARES Act: What Do Employers Need to Know?

On Friday afternoon, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The Act addresses the coronavirus pandemic by directing funds to address the strains on the health care system as well as alleviate the intense economic stress facing the country’s employers and workers. The President has stated that he will sign the bill immediately. This post focuses on those provisions that may impact employers. Below are answers to some questions that we expect employers will have about the CARES Act.

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A Preliminary Employer Victory: California Federal Court Issues Preliminary Injunction Enjoining Enforcement of AB 51

On February 7, 2020, Chief U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California issued a detailed order explaining the court’s January 31, 2020 grant of a preliminary injunction enjoining the State of California from enforcing AB 51.

As we explained in previous coverage, AB 51 was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020, and would have prohibited mandatory workplace arbitration agreements. Under AB 51, employers may not, “as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit, require an applicant or employee to waive any right, forum, or procedure” for Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and Labor Code claims. Violations of the new statute carry hefty consequences, including criminal penalties. READ MORE

Say What? NLRB Seeks Guidance on Workplace Protections for Profane or Offensive Speech.

As states continue to pass legislation focused on the workplace, employers should be mindful that federal agencies are also continuing to regulate the workplace even in the absence of new federal legislation, especially with respect to when disputes arise regarding compensation and working conditions. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) arguably protects an employees’, including non-union employees’, rights to engage in concerted activities, including circumstances where an employee’s profane language or sexually- or racially- offensive speech is legally protected. Following criticism from the judiciary, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) announced this month it is now seeking input on the scope and applicability of this protection. READ MORE

Ninth Circuit “Cleans House” in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Decision by Holding ABC Test Applies Retroactively and Opining on Its Effect on Franchisors

On May 2, 2019, the Ninth Circuit in Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l, Inc. held that the California Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court applied retroactively. Dynamex adopted the “ABC” test for independent contractor classification for claims arising under California’s Wage Orders. For those claims, an employer must show that all three prongs of the ABC test are met to justify independent contractor status. For information on Dynamex’s adoption of the ABC test, read our prior coverage here. READ MORE

What We May See from the California Supreme Court in 2019

2018 saw some major developments in employment law, particularly in California. The California Supreme Court embraced the ABC test for independent contractors in Dynamex, and rejected the de minimis doctrine for Labor Code claims in Troester. While 2019 has already brought legislative changes through the #metoo laws effective January 1, attention should also be on cases before the California Supreme Court. These cases may present new challenges for all employers, but particularly for media companies and employers doing business across state lines. The Court’s decisions in these cases have the potential to increase employers’ exposure to liability. We highlight some such cases here. READ MORE