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Jenn Protas

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Jenn Protas

Shareholder

55 South Market St., Suite 900
San Jose, CA 95113

408-947-2435 | 408-287-2583
jenn.protas@hogefenton.com
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Jenn Protas

Main Bio

Practice Overview

Jenn Protas helps employers navigate California’s numerous employment laws and defends employers with an eye toward successful, yet cost-effective resolution. Jenn builds relationships with her clients to better understand their businesses and provide counsel on a range of subjects, including employee leave issues, personnel management, hiring, terminations, and wage and hour practices. In addition, Jenn has substantial experience drafting employer policies, handbooks, confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), incentive compensation agreements, separation agreements, and settlement agreements.

Jenn also defends employers on matters related to wage and hour law, wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and retaliation in single-plaintiff litigation, Private Attorneys General Act actions, and/or class actions. Her practice also includes housing discrimination matters and business litigation.

Jenn is a frequent public speaker and regularly presents seminars and trainings on such employment issues as: annual legal updates, complex leave issues, complying with California wage and hour law, and effective employee management. She also provides legally-mandated harassment prevention trainings and fair housing trainings directly for clients.

Practice Areas

Education

  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, with distinction, Order of the Coif (top 10%)
  • B.A., English and Creative Writing, The University of Arizona, summa cum laude with honors

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Central, Eastern & Northern Districts of California
  • United States Supreme Court

Affiliation & Awards

Professional Activities

Jenn is an active member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association. She served as co-chair of the Judiciary Committee from 2019 to 2020. Jenn previously chaired the Diversity Committee of the Santa Clara County Bar Association in 2012 and served from 2010 to 2019, in addition to co-chairing the LGBT Committee from 2009 to 2010. She has also served on the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, Law-Related Education Committee, Civil Practice Committee, and the Employment Law Section.

Jenn was a Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose board member and served as their board secretary from 2018 to 2022. She has also served on the boards of the Santa Clara County Employer Advisory Council (EAC) and the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association.

Jenn participated four years in the Future Vision mentoring program at Lincoln High School in San Jose and coached the Mountain View High School mock trial team.

Awards

In 2018, Jenn was honored by the National LGBT Bar Association (now the National LGBTQ+ Bar Association) as one of the Best LGBT Attorneys Under 40. She was also recognized for her commitment to advancing inclusion and diversity in the legal profession by the Santa Clara County Bar Association with the 2018 Diversity Award. Jenn was honored by the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee as one of the recipients of the Unsung Heroes Award in 2013. She was also selected as the Santa Clara County Bar Association’s 2011 Barrister of the Year.

Jenn was named Northern California Super Lawyer from 2018 to 2023. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Before that, Jenn was named Northern California Rising Star in 2016 and 2017. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Jennifer M. Protas
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Representative Experience

Representative Matters

  • Reached a successful, early resolution of a threatened class and PAGA wage and hour action resulting in a settlement with the former employee for only $10,000
  • Defended employers in several class action and/or PAGA claims
  • Advised staffing industry clients regarding the effect of California employment laws on their industry, including pay
    history, final wages, and harassment prevention trainings
  • Successfully challenged a $6.37 million tax assessment on the issue of whether taxicab drivers were employees or
    independent contractors in a seven-day hearing before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
  • Successfully opposed petitions for writs of mandate to the Sixth District Court of Appeal and petition for review to
    the California Supreme Court
  • Obtained through mediation favorable results in claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful
    termination, wage and hour violations, PAGA allegations, assault and battery, and various other allegations
  • Defended businesses in court and before administrative agencies against wage and hour claims for overtime, meal
    and rest periods, and penalties
  • Obtained summary judgment and successfully defended judgment on appeal

Speaking & Publications

Speaking Engagements & Publications

Mackrell International California Minority Counsel Program Best Places to Work 2019 Bay Area Green Business