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Jane Kow

Employment Lawyer, HR Consultant,
Workplace Trainer and Investigator

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Phone: (415) 796-2785

Jane Kow has practiced employment law and provided human resources consulting services for employers for over 25 years. Following graduation from NYU School of Law in 1993, she practiced at various prominent law firms, where she advised and represented employers of all sizes and across industries in employment disputes. She also served as Senior Counsel and the sole employment lawyer at a Silicon Valley based company with 75 locations worldwide, before founding HR Law Consultants in 2002. Jane Kow continues to defend employers at hearings, settlement conferences, and mediations before federal and state administrative agencies, including the EEOC, DFEH, DOL, and DLSE, when employees allege discrimination, harassment, retaliation, failure to pay wages, violations of wage and hour and EEO laws.

Her firm focuses on advising, training, auditing and investigating workplaces to ensure compliance with federal, state and local workplace laws. Jane Kow advises employers on all aspects of workplace laws, including sexual harassment prevention, investigating and resolving workplace complaints, legal issues of supervision, regulating employee’s social media use, documenting employee misconduct and performance issues, managing employee medical leaves and providing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, and conducting audits of wage and hour practices and policies, and a variety of other employment law compliance topics. She has trained hundreds, if not thousands of human resources, employee relations professionals, managers, lawyers, and judges on these and other topics and routinely provides customized, interactive sexual harassment prevention training for workplaces consistent with the requirements under AB 1825 California’s sexual harassment prevention law.

Jane Kow has taught Employment Law classes at the University of California at Berkeley Extension Program in Human Resources and Legal Issues of Supervision classes at San Jose State University’s Professional Development Center in the Business and Management Program. She is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences sponsored by human resources, legal, disability organizations, as well as government agencies such as the California Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts, State Bar of California, American Bar Association, Department of Labor, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Disability Management Employers Coalition, and the Northern California Human Resources Association.

She was a special guest on “Employment Solutions at Your Fingertips: Social Media and the Workplace,” with Denise Eaton-May, live broadcast on 1220 AM radio from The MONEYSHOW, Marriot Marquis, San Francisco, CA. She recently appeared on as a guest on “Your Call” 91.7 FM KALW (NPR affiliate station) on “Sexual harassment and the Consequences of Inaction” in work and academic settings. Jane Kow is frequently retained to provide training on best practices to prevent disability discrimination in the workplace and employers’ obligations to engage in an “interactive dialogue” with employees with disabilities to determine reasonable workplace accommodations. She appeared on “Know Your Rights” program on KALW 91.7 FM local radio (part of the NPR digital network), discussing reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, employees’ right to medical privacy under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”) and Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (“GINA”), among other hot button issues related to workplace disability accommodations.

Jane Kow has testified before the Commissioners at the EEOC headquarters in Washington, DC on employer best practices on preventing and investigating workplace harassment, including harassment in social media, harassment against employees with disabilities, and how to conduct effective workplace investigations

    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
  • 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 The State Bar of California
      • 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
      • The Diversity Pipeline Taskforce's work culminated in a comprehensive "Report and Recommendations from the Diversity Pipeline Taskforce," published by the State Bar of California in August 2006, posted on its website at The State Bar of California
  • 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 The Bar Association of San Francisco
    • 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
  • 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