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.

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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

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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
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Publications & Articles

According to data from the United States Department of Labor, there are 72 million women ages 16 and over in our country who are currently working or...

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, California businesses braced for the significant impact that the new California Consumer Protection...

There is no shortage of heroes in California during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals...

The massive protests following the murder of George Floyd have brought together people of all races, ages, and walks of life in a collective movement...

Expectant mothers and new parents face plenty of workplace challenges and confront unique issues even in the best of times. But the uncertainty, risk...

A few weeks ago, the California state legislature passed a bill that unequivocally prohibits employers from using an employee's prior salary, even in...

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

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

Last week, California's governor signed a bill that will expand parental leave rights to 2.7 million workers who are otherwise ineligible because they...

Two years ago, when Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced he was taking paternity leave to spend time with his wife and newborn daughter...

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Awards & Recognition

  • 2021: Bloomberg Law’s “They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40” Honoree

  • 2018-2021: Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars

  • 2019: Northern California Women's Edition Rising Stars

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