Jen Cornell

San Francisco Office
(415) 981-3233, ext 1205
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If I Wasn't a Lawyer, I’d Be: A writer.

What Was Your Toughest Job? Rookie on Ladder 4.

Favorite Advice You've Received: Live more than one life.

What do you love about CA? The vistas and the weather.

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About Jen

Jen Cornell is a partner in CDF’s San Francisco office and aggressively defends California and national employers in a range of employment-related litigation and general business matters in both state and federal courts.  She has a special emphasis in defending companies in complex class action matters.  Specifically, she has extensive experience successfully managing and defending “bet the company” litigation such as wage and hour class actions and pay equity lawsuits.  She has particular industry experience in both the technology and retail sectors.

Cornell’s practice also focuses on conducting highly sensitive internal investigations and data-driven preventative audits for her clients.  She ensures proper and timely internal investigations are conducted when her clients are confronted with evidence or allegations of wrongdoing, as well as when evidence is uncovered during a routine audit, to help prevent lawsuits, harmful media exposure, as well as criminal penalties.  Cornell’s practice also includes helping employers in government litigation and audits, including wage and hour and I-9s, and conducting voluntary wage and hour and I-9 audits for employers.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Cornell spent 15 years as an urban structural firefighter in the Midwest, holding numerous ranks and retiring as a Battalion Chief.  Leveraging her experience as a manager in a unionized environment, Cornell enjoys providing proactive advice and counseling to employers.  She also regularly provides training and advice to clients in the areas of risk management and litigation avoidance, including a very engaging and necessary Respectful Workplace Training that meets California’s legal requirements for sexual harassment prevention training and more.  Jen also keeps her clients apprised of the changing laws and best practices in not only the challenging California legal climate, but on a national level as well.

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University of Minnesota Law School J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, 2010

  • Concentrations in Labor and Employment Law and Human Rights Law
  • Editor-in-Chief, Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice;
  • Co-Chair, Student Employment and Labor Law Association
  • McEvoy Award for Public Engagement & Leadership;
  • Presidential Student Leadership & Service Award;
  • Stark Award for Civil Rights & Liberties

University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, M.A., 1999        

  • Public Affairs with concentrations in Labor Policy and Public Management

University of Minnesota B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1993

Law Clerk for The Honorable John R. Tunheim and The Honorable Arthur J. Boylan, D. Minn.


"The #MeToo Movement Aftermath - How Companies Can Identify and Prevent Harassment in the Workplace,", July 2019

“Elements of Privilege: A Communication,” Attorney-Client Privilege: What Every Attorney Needs to Know, August, 2018

“Elements of Privilege: A Communication,” Attorney-Client Privilege, Deskbook Chapter, Minnesota CLE, 2018

“Sexual Harassment Investigations in the Age of #metoo,” Sexual Harassment, Deskbook Chapter, 1st Edition, 2018

“Will DOL’s Self-Reporting Program Paint a Target on Employers’ Back?”  HR Dive, Quoted, March 2018

“Enforcement Heating Up on I-9 Compliance,” Corporate Compliance Insights, September 2017

“Evolving Science May Provide Coverage for Transgender Employees Under the ADA,” The Corporate Counselor, April 2016

“Title VII Perils of Gendered Dress Codes,” Corporate Counsel, 2014

“Employees Can Decline Qualifying Leave Under the FMLA,” The Corporate Counselor, 2014

“EEOC Releases New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination: What Employers Need to Know,” Best Practices in HR, 2014

"Legal Protections for Transgendered Employees," Blog post, 2012

"Infertile Grounds: Feminist Interpretations of Infertility Exclusions and Sex Discrimination, Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory & Practice," 2010

"Trouble Tactics," Fire Chief Magazine, 2006

"Disciplinary Action," Fire Chief Magazine, 2003


“Epic Maneuvers: Litigation and Legislative Tactics in the World of Class Action Waivers,” Co-Presenter, 2020 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, September 2020

“FilmHouse Talk: What You Need to Know About AB-5,” Co-Presenter, California Lawyers for the Arts, February 2020

"Workplace Investigations Gone Wrong: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls That Expose Employers to Liability," Panelist, CDF Webinar, May 2019

“Anatomy of an I-9 Audit,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2018

“Best Practices for Sexual Harassment Investigations in the Wake of #MeToo,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2018

“Gender Identity in the Workplace: Emerging Employment Law Issues,” Minnesota Lavender Bar Association, 16th Annual Conference, February 2017

"The Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision: What It Means for Employer Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses," CLE Presentation, 2013

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Named, Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2018

Member, Lavender Bar Association, 2013 - 2018

Member, National LGBT Bar Association, 2017 - Present

Member, American Bar Association, 2013 - Present

Licensed in California and Minnesota


Our clients can rest assured that our attorneys will protect their time, protect their dime and protect their peace of mind, so they can focus on maintaining productive and rewarding workplaces to remain competitive and successful in their marketplace. CDF - Attorneys you can Trust. Experience you can Trust. Results you can Trust.

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