Headshot of Janette Wipper

Janette Wipper

Partner and Firmwide Head of Litigation

Janette Wipper is a Partner, the Firmwide Head of Litigation, and a Co-Chair of the Executive Representation Practice Group at Sanford Heisler Sharp. She worked with Sanford Heisler Sharp from 2006 to 2014 and then rejoined the firm in 2023. In between her work with the firm, Janette spent nearly a decade in public service enforcing civil rights laws on behalf of the federal and state government. In the Obama-Biden Administration, Janette served as Pacific Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs until 2018 and then served as Chief Counsel of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) from 2018 to 2022.

Both in the public and private sector, Janette has played an instrumental role in the most impactful civil rights litigation and remedies for women, including one of the largest gender discrimination class action jury verdicts of $253 million in Velez et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals with the firm. Most recently, beginning in 2018, Janette represented two state agencies in their first systemic gender discrimination, sexual harassment and equal pay case against a video game company and then led their negotiations in late 2021 to obtain $100 million, plus $18 million in pay adjustments and injunctive relief, for approximately 2,000 women in DFEH and DLSE v. Riot Games. The case is the largest gender bias remedy obtained by the government in California’s history.

With the firm, Janette’s practice focuses on worker rights and investor rights, representing both individuals and classes. She has extensive experience working on equal pay matters, stock equity and incentive compensation, and statistical evidence of discrimination. Her cases have consistently covered complex and precedent-setting matters in the pharmaceutical, technology, and video game industries for over a decade, including:

Janette began her legal career with national non-profit civil rights organizations such as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the NAACP. Before law school, Janette worked with indigenous communities challenging oil contamination in the Amazon with Acción Ecológica. Janette received her law degree from Vermont Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of the California and District of Columbia bar associations.

Education

  • J.D., Vermont Law School
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • District Court of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Memberships and Activities

  • California Bar Association, Member
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Member