Overview
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Speeches

Whether it is day-to-day advice and counsel, compliance, audits and risk reduction initiatives, or litigation/class action management, I am laser-focused on providing responsive, collaborative, business-savvy workplace solutions for regional and national employers. Together, we will unravel your workplace challenge of the moment, and strike the appropriate balance between your business goals, legal obligations and risk tolerance.

Aura Adams heads the firm’s Wine Country office. She has over 20 years of practice, including 17 serving as both an HR executive and in-house employment lawyer to a range of leading companies, which provided her with a unique perspective. She understands the pressure of reconciling business objectives with legal obligations while also striving to be a compassionate employer: “My core strength lies in understanding my clients’ operations and challenges, and helping them reduce legal exposure through sound decision making, proactive programs and trainings, and hands-on litigation management.”

Aura has provided advice to employers on issues arising throughout the U.S. on thousands of high-risk employment decisions, ranging from complex internal investigations to thorny leave and disability issues, wage-hour disputes, executive transitions and large scale reductions-in-force. She prides herself on developing practical and creative strategies designed to resolve conflicts and ensure legal compliance. She also has extensive experience investigating and responding to attorney demand letters, agency charges, and audits conducted by the US Department of Labor, California Labor Commissioner and other government agencies.

“Today, the law is often an Internet search away, however the HR professionals, in-house lawyers and executives who call me are looking for much more. Your problems are not merely legal, so your solutions cannot be either.”

As federal, state and local employment laws proliferate, so also does the challenge for employers. Aura has helped large regional and national employers reduce risk by prioritizing compliance initiatives and designing tailored, proactive solutions including policy development and trainings. She has conducted and responded to dozens of multi-state wage-hour audits focusing on exemption classifications, independent contractors, and pay practices. Her successful track record of helping employers develop California-specific risk reduction initiatives includes e-learnings, reference and operations manuals, corporate policies, employee communications and providing live training for small and large groups.

Equally extensive is Aura’s litigation and class action management experience. In her former roles as in-house lawyer and HR Director, she has managed countless lawsuits and dozens of California wage-hour class actions. “When managing your lawsuit, I will ensure maximum value by assigning the best internal resources. I broadly define litigation success as achieving the best result at the lowest and most predictable cost, while keeping an eye on the intangible costs like customer/brand perception and distraction to the business.”

Aura enjoys food, fitness, and spending time with her husband, Tom, and two children, Ainsley and Kashin. She avidly supports several nonprofits throughout the Napa community.

Leadership Napa Valley, Graduate (2015)

Fork It Over at Oxbow, a fundraiser for the Napa Valley Food Bank, (Chairperson 2013–2015; Steering Committee 2016–current)

100+ Women Who Care, Napa Valley (2015–current)

Mt. George School Jog-a-Thon, Chairperson (2012–2014)

PASCO (North Bay SHRM Chapter), Board Member (current)

Napa Valley Grape Growers, Member (current)

Conducting Internal Investigations

Preventing Off-the-Clock Wage Claims

Navigating through Complex Leave of Absence Issues

Reducing Employment Law Risk in California

Union Awareness

Hot Employment Law Developments

Education

J.D., McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, 1997, with Great Distinction, Order of the Coif

B.A., University of the Pacific, 1994, cum laude

Judicial

Annual (1997–98) and Senior Law Clerk (2000) for The Honorable William B. Shubb, Chief Judge for the Eastern District of California

Admissions

California