Karen Tynan

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Karen Tynan is an of counsel attorney in the Sacramento office of Ogletree Deakins. Karen is originally from the state of Georgia, and after graduating with honors from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, she worked for Chevron Shipping Company for ten years – sailing as a ship’s officer on oil tankers rising to the rank of chief officer with her unlimited master’s license as well as San Francisco Bay pilotage endorsement. Karen was the highest ranking woman in the Chevron fleet when she left her seafaring life. This maritime and petroleum experience is unique among employment lawyers and brings a “real world” approach to working with management and achieving litigation goals.

After her decade in the merchant marine, Karen relocated to California and graduated cum Laude from Empire College School of Law. During law school, she clerked with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office for two years. The last decade, Karen’s specialized in defending employers in the workplace safety arena and defending sexual harassment and wrongful termination lawsuits for California employers including construction companies, transportation companies, wineries, and media companies. Recent notable successes include a 2017 defense verdict in a sexual harassment case in Napa County for a large construction company as well as successful settlement of Cal OSHA citations with a 90% reduction in fines for willful and serious citations issued out of Oakland for a large San Francisco based company in 2018. Karen’s expertise also includes blood-borne pathogen regulatory compliance related to the Cal/OSHA standard for hospitals, nursing homes, and general industry. She effectively defended five companies regarding the proper hazard minimization with regard to blood-borne pathogens in California.

Karen has been a community leader in Northern California taking leadership positions in a number of school boards and community organizations including libraries and professional organizations. She is the founding counsel for the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, which brought prize equality to women’s surfing by working closely with the leading big-wave women athletes and the California Coastal Commission and State Lands Commission from 2016 through 2018.

Monday, September 30, 2019

7-8:30 a.m.


Is the “Gig” Up for Your Employee Hiring Programs?

For both retailers and producers, finding, training and keeping qualified workers is an ongoing challenge. Resolving the gaps that exist between the expectations of today’s workforce and the needs of employers is a top concern for employee-rich and customer-centric industries such as ours.

The so-called “gig economy” is helping to fuel new employment models including the use of self-employed contractors to carry out short term or fixed projects known as “gigs”. By embracing experienced, freelance workers, food manufacturers and retailers can potentially gain access to a workforce that is ready to fill the gaps of open positions and shifts in demand.

To make things more complex, California courts and the Legislature have responded to this new trend and tightened the screws on California business to narrow employer’s abilities to classify workers as independent contractors.  Businesses can no longer rely on some of the historical classifications when working with vendors, wholesalers, or suppliers.  It’s time to take a fresh look and consider the options.

What operations areas are best-suited for gig workers (delivery, stocking shelves and inventory audits)? How might it evolve? What are the employment law issues related to using freelancers? This group discussion will explore the trends, the pros and cons of hiring employees vs independent contractors, and possible new laws in 2020. We will deliberate and debate strategies retailers and brands can employ in the changing world of employee hiring programs.

4:30–5 p.m.

Enterprise Risk Protection Executive Summit

California Consumer Privacy Act: Are You Ready?

The California Consumer Privacy Act; “CCPA” is in full effect starting January 1, 2020. With fines as high as $7,000 per record, the multi-million dollar question is: “are you ready?” How sure are you that your interpretations are correct? What will you do when you are asked to disclose all CCTV footage showing a particular customer? How will you handle the demand to erase every image of a criminal act? Are you required to post signs, hand out flyers or otherwise disclose the data you collect to secure your facilities?

Join Karen Tynan and Robert Rodriquez from Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, as they address the pressing questions Enterprise Risk Protection professionals are asking – or should be asking – about CCPA. In this fast-paced 30-minute session, you’ll receive a high-level overview of the law and what you should be doing about it.