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Jane Kow

Jane Kow received her Bachelor of Science at Cornell University in 1984 and Juris Doctor at New York University School of Law in 1993. Before starting her own employment law practice, Ms. Kow practiced employment law and litigation at leading California and national law firms, and served as the sole employment lawyer and Senior Counsel at a Silicon Valley based company with 75 locations worldwide. She has advised and represented companies of all sizes and across industries in all phases of employment disputes and litigation. Notably, she was an early contributor to the California Practice Guide on Employment Litigation, published by the Rutter Group, widely used by judges and lawyers throughout California.

Jane Kow is an employment lawyer who specializes in providing employers with advice, consulting, and training on all aspects of employee relations. She focuses on helping employers develop and implement sound personnel policies and practices to effectively reduce the risk of employment litigation. She provides consulting and customized training for clients on a variety of topics, including sexual harassment prevention, conducting internal workplace investigations, effective documentation and performance management practices for managers, managing employee medical leaves and disability accommodations requests, and compliance with the myriad of wage and hour laws.

She also has extensive experience conducting workplace investigations on behalf of employers and provides customized training for human resources professionals and investigators on how to conduct effective workplace investigations.

She provides guidance to companies on wage and hour audits to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and helps them to determine which workers are properly classified as independent contractors (and not employees) and which employees are exempt (and non-exempt).

Jane Kow has been retained as a management practices expert in disability discrimination cases to provide opinions on employers’ obligations to engage in an “interactive dialogue” with employees with disabilities in order to provide reasonable workplace accommodations, as well as employer best practices, policies and procedures to prevent disability discrimination in the workplace.

She has taught "Employment Law" in the Human Resources Program at the University of California at Berkeley and "Legal Issues of Supervision" in the Human Resources and Business and Management Programs at San Jose State University.

She is also a frequent trainer and speaker at programs sponsored by various human resources, disability, risk management, government, educational, small business, non-profit, women’s professional organizations, state courts and bar associations, including: Business and Professional Women (BPW), CA Association of Equal Rights Professionals (CAERP), CA Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies (CASRA), CA Consumer Employment Summit, CA Institute for Mental Health (CIMH), CA Department of Mental Health and Department of Rehabilitation, Certified Employee Benefits Specialists( CEBS), Disability Management Employers Coalition (DMEC), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), HR Champions, HR Star Conference, Judicial Council of California/Administrative Offices of the Courts, National Human Resources Association (NHRA), Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA), Silicon Valley Women in Human Resources, Tri-Valley Human Resources Association, San Francisco Small Business Development Center, CompassPoint Non-Profit Services, the Lawyers Club of San Francisco, Bar Association of San Francisco, the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association.

EDUCATION, ACADEMIC HONORS AND AWARDS
  • NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, New York, N.Y., J.D., 1993
    Honors and Awards:

    C.V. Starr Foundation Scholarship
    Helena Rubinstein Foundation Scholarship
    Thomas T. Hayashi Memorial Law Scholarship (awarded by the Japanese American Citizens League)
    Associate Editor, Review of Law and Social Change
    Executive Board Member, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association

  • CORNELL UNIVERSITY, Ithaca, N.Y., B.S., Human Development and Family Studies, 1984
    Honors and Awards:

    Dean’s List
    Federation of Cornell Clubs Scholarship for Women
    Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
    Omicron Nu Mu National Collegiate Honor Society
    Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society
    Cornell University Office of Minority Educational Affairs Award for
    Exceptional Leadership, Scholarly Example, Outstanding Service and Commitment
PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AND BAR ASSOCIATION ACTIVITIES
  • Bar Admissions

    • State Bar of California (Supreme Court of the State of California)
    • United States District Court (Northern, Southern, and Central Districts of California)
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • American Bar Association

    • Elected a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, in recognition of outstanding dedication to the welfare of the community, the traditions of the profession, and the maintenance and advancement of the objectives of the American Bar Association
    • Contributor to 2009 Second Edition of the book published by the ABA, entitled: "Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Strategies for Success from Multicultural Women Attorneys"
    • ABA Advisory Panel
    • General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division
      • 2006-2007 Appointed as a Diversity Fellow and Member of Diversity Committee
      • Liaison to the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession
  • State Bar of California

    • Appointed by the Board of Governors to serve on the Ethnic Minority Relations Committee of the State Bar of CA (2003), Vice Chair (2004-2005) and Chair (2005-2006)
      • Developed mandatory continuing legal educational (MCLE) programs and spearheaded research on bias and diversity within the legal profession
      • Helped to develop a comprehensive survey on the experiences of attorneys who experienced race, gender, sexual orientation and age bias in the legal profession
      • Analyzed results and compiled findings into a report released by the State Bar of California, posted on its website at http://calbar.ca.gov/calbar/pdfs/reports/2006_Diversity-Survey-Report.pdf
      • Presented findings and recommendations for eradicating bias in the legal profession in California at the 2006 CA State Bar Summit on Diversity, entitled "Dream Deferred No Longer: Achieving True Diversity in the Legal Profession"
    • Liaison to the Access and Fairness Advisory Committee of the Judicial Council of California, 2003-2004
    • Member of the CA State Bar Diversity Pipeline Taskforce Committee (comprised of judges, educators, bar association leaders, law firm partners, heads of government law departments and general counsel of Fortune 500 companies, who devised a set of best practices to increase diversity within the legal profession), 2005-2006
  • Bar Association of San Francisco

    • Member of Diversity Task Force
      • Interviewed San Francisco law firms on diversity practices and provided substantive review and recommendations incorporated in the 2005 Report on the Goals and Timetables on Minority Hiring and Advancement, posted on its website at http://www.sfbar.org/diversity/minority_hiring.aspx
    • Member of Solo and Small Firm Committee
  • Asian Bar Associations

    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
    • Asian American Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area
  • California Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc. (AWI)

    • Member of national organization of workplace investigators
COMMUNITY SERVICE AND VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
  • Member of Board of Directors of Kimochi, Inc., a community based non-profit organization that provides housing, nutritional programs, and support services for seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area (2000-2005)

  • Pro bono legal counsel to the San Francisco Japantown Task Force and various other non-profit organizations