Solidarity Against Racism and Police Violence – A Message from O&G

Menaka N. Fernando — Employment attorney, San Francisco, CA

Courage: It takes courage for employees to stand up for their rights.  We honor their courage by fighting hard to achieve justice for them.

Menaka N. Fernando


MENAKA N. FERNANDO is a partner at Outten & Golden’s San Francisco office and a member of the firm’s Family Responsibilities & Disabilities Discrimination and Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Practice Groups. Ms. Fernando represents individual employees in negotiation and litigation in a variety of employment matters including sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, family leave, and wage claims, among others. Ms. Fernando also focuses on representing executive and professional employees in negotiating employment, severance, and restrictive covenant agreements. Ms. Fernando employs an extremely client-centered approach to her practice and incorporates each client’s unique circumstances and goals to tailor strategies that work best for each individual. 

Throughout her career, Ms. Fernando has also been a policy crusader, lobbying and testifying before the California legislature to change the state’s employment laws. She is the current Co-Chair of the California Employment Lawyers’ Association and has worked on bills to strengthen the state’s anti-discrimination laws and harassment laws. 

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Fernando worked at several plaintiff-side employment and civil rights law firms in California. Ms. Fernando received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law in 2010.

Back to top

Bar Admissions & Professional Activities

  • Ms. Fernando is admitted to practice law only in California.

  • Ms. Fernando is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Courts for the Northern District of California, Central District of California; and Eastern District of California.

  • Member, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA)

  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC)

  • Member, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (SFTLA)

  • Member, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California

Back to top

Speaking Engagements


  • Speaker: "HIV/AIDS Discrimination in Employment, Beyond Prevention: The Obstacles in Defeating HIV," UC Hastings, Women's Law Journal Annual Symposium, San Francisco, CA


  • Moderator: "Religious Discrimination Panel," CELA, Conference, Oakland, CA
  • Speaker: "Pregnancy Discrimination Know Your Rights," Seminar, San Francisco, CA
Back to top

Publications & Articles

Workplace Rights and Protections for California Healthcare Workers

Co-author Menaka Fernando and Catherine Vega, O&G Employment Law Blog, April 30, 2020

Closing the Gender Pay Gap: Salary Histories Are Off Limits

Jennifer Schwartz and Menaka N. Fernando, O&G Employment Law Blog, July 19, 2018

California Enacts Important New Parental Leave Law

Jennifer Schwartz and Menaka N. Fernando, O&G Employment Law blog, October 20, 2017

Why Men Should be Taking Family Leave in California – and Elsewhere

Jennifer Schwartz and Menaka Fernando, O&G Employment Law Blog, August 18, 2017

A Reflection on Workforce Development Week

Menaka N. Fernando, O&G Employment Law Blog, June 20, 2017

Domestic Labor and Human Trafficking: Rights and Resources

Menaka N. Fernando, O&G Employment Law Blog, June 20, 2017

Job Protection Must Be Part of Any Family Leave Laws

Menaka N. Fernando, O&G Employment Law Blog, August 3, 2016

Females’ pay inequity in tech industry needs more than ‘karma’ to be corrected

Menaka Fernando, Guest Column, San Francisco Examiner, October 16, 2014

Universal Jurisdiction, Research Handbook of International Criminal law

Menaka N. Fernando, Co-authored chapter with UC Hastings Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza, Brown, Bartram, 2012

Back to top

Awards & Recognition

  • 2018-20: Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars

  • 2019: Northern California Women's Edition Rising Stars

Back to top