In an email sent on Janaury 13, 2014, OFCCP Director Pat Shiu announced Janette Wipper as the new Regional Director of the Pacific Region. Wipper will assume duties from Acting Regional Director Melissa Speer, who will remain the Regional Director of the SWARM Region. Please see the full text of Shiu’s announcement below:
Today, I am pleased to welcome Janette Wipper to OFCCP as our new Regional Director for the Pacific.
Janette (starts out like “just” not “January”) comes to OFCCP from Sanford Heisler, a national civil rights law firm. During her seven-year tenure there, she litigated complex class action lawsuits on behalf of workers facing discrimination, misclassification and wage theft. In 2010 she was tapped to serve as Managing Partner, overseeing the establishment and expansion of Sanford Heisler’s San Francisco office.
At the firm, Janette served as lead advisor and consultant on the use of statistical evidence and experts in numerous class action cases. Among her many significant victories is the landmark Novartis lawsuit in which the pharmaceutical giant had to pay $250 million for discriminating against 5,600 female sales representatives in pay, promotion and because of pregnancy. That is the largest jury award for workers in a class action sex discrimination case ever. And Janette played a crucial role in the victory by uncovering flaws in the analysis used by a key expert for the defense. For her efforts on the Novartis case, she was named one of Law360’s rising stars in March of 2013.
Prior to joining Sanford, Janette practiced civil rights impact litigation at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Throughout her career, she has been a champion for social and environmental justice on behalf of low-wage workers, women and communities of color. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Janette received a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. In between acquiring these two degrees, she worked as field coordinator in Ecuador, advocating on behalf of indigenous communities affected by oil contamination in the Amazon. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and five-year-old daughter.
As the head of OFCCP’s Pacific operations, Janette will oversee more than 100 staff working 12 offices and responsible for enforcement across 11 states and territories. The Pacific is one of the largest and most diverse regions in our agency, and, over the past year, staff in the region were responsible for negotiating more than $2.2 million in back wages and 933 job offers on behalf of 3,685 workers affected by discrimination – the largest remedies in the nation.
I am thrilled to welcome Janette to OFCCP and am confident that she will be a terrific addition to our team! I know you will agree.
by Dave Sharrer, M.S., Associate Consultant, DCI Consulting Group