Catha Worthman

Catha Worthman is a founding partner at the firm. Through her public interest practice involving class actions, multi-plaintiff cases, and individual litigation, Catha advocates for the rights of workers, retirees, and people with disabilities. She has litigated cases involving the full range of ERISA and employee benefits issues, including breach of fiduciary duty, ESOP, pension, healthcare and long-term disability benefits, as well as wage and hour and disability rights cases.  Her work has helped to recover unpaid wages and benefits for employees across a range of industries, including healthcare, transportation, fast food, and construction.

Catha often partners with nonprofit social justice organizations and labor unions in impact litigation and policy strategies. Presently, she is co-counsel with leading civil rights advocates in a case challenging discrimination against Latinos on Medi-Cal. She served as co-counsel in National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix, obtaining a favorable decision of first impression that ultimately resulted in Netflix agreeing to make its streaming video 100% accessible through closed captioning.

Catha writes and speaks frequently on her issues of expertise,  including civil procedure, ERISA and other employee benefits issues, and wage and hour rights. An effective appellate advocate, she has successfully argued in the Fourth Circuit and briefed several appeals in California and federal courts.

Before joining the firm, Catha was a shareholder at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee & Jackson, P.C. Previously, she served as a law clerk to Judge William A. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and worked for the Health Systems Division of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

 

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Significant Cases

  • National Association of the Deaf et al. v. Netflix, Inc.
  • Gutierrez v. Schmid Insulation Contractors
  • Tatum v. R.J. Reynolds
  • National Association of the Deaf et al. v. Netflix, Inc.
  • Connor v. First Student

Awards

  • Top Women Attorneys in Northern California (2011-2016)
  • Northern California Super Lawyer (2015-2016) and Rising Star (2011-2014)
  • Peggy Browning Fellow in Employment and Labor Law (2000)

Civic Activities & Professional Associations

  • Board of Directors, Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Asian Law Caucus
  • Supervising Attorney, San Francisco Legal Aid Society — Employment Law Center Workers’ Rights Clinic
  • Litigation Committee, Equal Rights Advocates
  • Vice Chair for Diversity, ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Employee Benefits Committee
  • Board Member, Alumni Committee, U.C. Berkeley School of Law International Human Rights Law Clinic
  • Member, NELA, CELA, ABA Labor & Employment Law Section, Employee Benefits Committee

Publications & Presentations

  • Frequent writer and speaker on employment law and civil procedure, including for CEB, BNA, NELA, Bridgeport (Wage & Hour), San Francisco Bar Association, ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, and Tort Trial Insurance Practice Section, among others

  • Co-Author, with Andrew J. McGuiness, “Class Certification Strategy,” in Class Action Strategy (ABA, forthcoming)

  • Rewrite and Contributing Author, Sacher et. al., Employee Benefits Law (BNA Books 2013)

  • Author, “Civil Penalties Under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA),” Employment Damages and Remedies (CEB 2016)

  • Co-Author, with Byron Walker, “Have You Got What It Takes For Federal Court?:  CAFA’s Amount in Controversy,” Class Action Fairness Act: Law and Strategy (ABA 2013)

  • Co-Author, with Harley Shaiken, “Crossing Borders: Trade Policy and Transnational Labour Education,” Labour, Capital & Society (Nov. 2002)

Other Languages Spoken

  • Spanish