Hillary Baca - Labor & Employment lawyer - Nixon Peabody LLP

Hillary Baca

Hillary Baca is an associate in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group. She has experience representing employers in both federal and state court and before administrative agencies. Hillary advises employers on complex employment and traditional labor matters. She works with clients across a broad range of industries, but has particular experience advising employers in the health care industry.

What do you focus on?

I focus my practice on two areas: I defend clients in employment litigation and I provide advice and counseling to clients with both union-represented and non-union employees on how to best navigate complex labor and employment matters.

Advice and Counseling

I counsel clients on all areas of state and federal employment law, including wage and hour compliance, the limitations on pre-employment background checks, and state and local paid sick leave ordinances. I also advise on workplace investigations, personnel decisions and terminations, disability accommodations and leaves of absence management. I provide tailored advice to employers to help them avoid discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour claims. I also provide harassment prevention, sensitivity, and wage and hour compliance trainings to management and non-management employees.

Employment Litigation

I defend employers in litigation involving claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, harassment and wage and hour violations. I represent employers in both single-plaintiff and class-action matters and before administrative agencies, including the DFEH, EEOC, DOL, and DLSE.

Labor Law

I have experience advising employers on a variety of labor matters. I also represent employers in collective bargaining agreement negotiations, proceedings before the NLRB and PERB, and arbitrations related to contract interpretation and employee terminations. I have particular experience representing both public and private health care employers.

What do you see on the horizon?

I see more states and cities enacting legislation limiting the use of pre-employment background checks. I also see more local legislation creating paid sick leave entitlements for employees. Employers will have to be diligent to ensure compliance with overlapping state and local requirements in both areas of law.

Presentations and Publications

  • “MDA Advocacy Institute: Employment Rights for People Living with a Disability,” Muscular Dystrophy Association, Webinar, October 2020
  • “Signet furloughs workers, appoints accounting officer,” JCK Magazine, March 2020
  • “Coronavirus Outbreak: Employment Law and Business Issues,” Jewelers of America, March 2020
  • “California Labor and Employment Law Update: Get Ready for 2020,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, November 2019
  • “Ready, Set, Comply: Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Law,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, San Francisco, January 2019

Top arbitration developments of 2021

Law360 | December 22, 2021

This 2021 roundup of arbitration developments related to wage and hour law quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca related to a September ruling in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Bonta, when a Ninth Circuit panel found that California’s A.B. 51, which cracks down on arbitration agreements, doesn’t run afoul of the Federal Arbitration Act.

The biggest wage and hour cases of 2021

Law360 | December 20, 2021

This article looking at the year’s top wage and hour rulings quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca on how the retroactive application of the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex ruling, which made it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors, could impact employers.

Employer conundrum: To test or not to test?

Politico Pro | October 05, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca, also a member of the firm’s Cannabis practice, is quoted in this article on how pressures of the recent labor shortage and changing attitudes toward cannabis have some employers reconsidering drug-testing policies. The article is based on a client alert Hillary co-authored with Rochester Labor & Employment partner Kim Harding.

U.S. Appeals Court says gig worker rules apply in California trucking

Engineering News-Record | May 04, 2021

This article, covering a recent Ninth Circuit ruling that California Assembly Bill 5 applies to the trucking industry in California, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca on the challenges it could create for commercial trucking companies.

Retroactive Dynamex Exposes CA Employers to Wage Suits

Law360 | January 15, 2021

In this analysis of the California Supreme Court’s opinion that Dynamex applies retroactively, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hillary Baca provides commentary on potential implications for pending worker-classification cases as well as those coming down the pipeline.

On High Alert: Running a Retail Business in the Age of the COVID Pandemic

Marijuana Venture | August 10, 2020

San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt, who co-leads NP’s Food, Beverage & Agribusiness team, and San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Hilary Baca co-wrote this contributed article on how cannabis retailers can revamp their stores and policies to stay in compliance with state and local laws, while helping to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses to customers and employees.

Marijuana Social Clubs: How Colorado is Setting the Pace

Cannabis Business Executive | June 17, 2020

This article, on the reopening of Colorado’s marijuana hospitality industry, cites a recent NP alert that details guidelines for cannabis retailers to consider for revamping operations without spreading communicable illnesses. Cannabis Business Executive also re-published the complete NP alert, written by San Francisco Affordable Housing & Real Estate partner Alison Torbitt; Los Angeles Intellectual Property partner, Litigation Department vice-chair, and Fashion practice leader Staci Riordan; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Hillary Baca and Rachel Conn.

How employers can prepare for expected waves of coronavirus-related litigation

Daily Journal | June 03, 2020

Labor and Employment partner Bonnie Glatzer and associates Hillary Baca and Jade Butman, all in San Francisco, contributed this article on potential coronavirus-related litigation matters that California employers should be aware of, and how employers can prepare for possible lawsuits.

Signet furloughs workers, appoints accounting officer

JCK Magazine | March 31, 2020

This leading trade publication in the jewelry industry quotes San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Hillary Baca, who explained in a recent industry webinar why many employers prefer furloughs to layoffs during this time of economic uncertainty.


Hillary Baca


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8393

Fax: 844-328-6418

University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, J.D.

University of California, Berkeley, B.A.


  • Named to the 2022 list of “Ones to Watch” by The Best Lawyers in America© for Labor and Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment in San Francisco, CA
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