Rachel L. Conn

Rachel is a partner in Nixon Peabody’s Labor & Employment group and a member of the firm’s Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) practice. She represents clients in both federal and state court litigation and before administrative agencies as well as providing labor and employment law advice and training, with a particular emphasis on occupational safety and health compliance and litigation.

What do you focus on?

Today I focus my practice on three main areas, leveraging a wide-range of skills from traditional labor law, employment law and occupational safety and health law to help clients navigate the modern workplace.

Occupational Safety and Health

My practice also has a special focus on occupational safety and health compliance and litigation, including but not limited to Cal/OSHA and Fed/OSHA matters. This involves developing state of the art safety procedures, training, safety and health audits, appeals of citations, and representing employers in the rulemaking process.

Employment Law

Much of my work involves representing, advising and training clients in various areas of employment law including wrongful termination, employment discrimination and harassment, arbitrations, ADA Title III access, trade secrets and restrictive covenants and wage-hour.

I have also represented all types of employers in federal and state court litigation and before various federal and state administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, United States Department of Labor and California Labor Commission.

Labor Law

I’ve represented employers before both federal and state agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. I help employers with a wide-range of labor related issues including negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, union elections and defending against unfair labor practice charges.

What do you see on the horizon?

In order to navigate the modern workplace, it takes the knowledge of traditional labor and employment laws as well as an understanding of occupational safety and health. As the on-demand and sharing economies become more prevalent, the workplace, as well as the laws that govern it, will have to adjust.

Publications & Presentations

  • “Behavior-Based Safety,” Lorman Education Services, Webinar, August 18, 2021
  • “Making it through changes in employment, labor and workplace health and safety law,” Rhode Island Manufacturers Association Spring Reignite & Reengage Conference, April 13, 2021
  • “COVID Litigation Trends, and Legislative and Regulatory Developments,” The Bar Association of San Francisco: Annual Labor and Employment Conference, Webinar, February 2021
  • “California’s COVID-19 Emergency Standards: How to Comply and Avoid Costly Enforcement,” Business & Learning Resources (BLR), Webinar, February 2021
  • “Returning to Work in the COVID-19 Era: Health and Safety Issues Raised by the Remote Workplace and the Return to Work,” Bar Association of San Francisco, Webinar, May 2020
  • “Responding to COVID-19–8 Steps for Hospitals to Protect Patients, Employees, and Communities” (co-author), American Health Lawyers Association Publication, March 2020
  • “Using Mobile Devices to Communicate Safety Updates,” Lorman Education Services, Webinar, March 2020
  • “Injury and Illness Recordkeeping in California: Key State Differences and Upcoming Developments,” Business & Legal Resources (BLR), Webinar, May 2019
  • “Emergency Preparedness—What To Do In Case of Fire, Flood, Tornado, Bomb Threat, Power Outage, etc.” Online Compliance Panel, Webinar, June 2018
  • “Emergency Preparedness: What Does Cal/OSHA Require?” Online Compliance Panel, Webinar, May 2018
  • “Hiring and Retaining Employees From A-Z,” SFMade, San Francisco, March 2018
  • “OSHA Safety,” SFMade, San Francisco, August 2017
  • Rutter Guide California Practice Guide Employment Litigation Workplace Safety Chapter (Contributing Editor)
  • “Sex and the attorney-client relationship,” Nixon Peabody Annual MCLE Seminar, San Francisco, January 2017
  • “Additional Developments in Trademark Law—LaRussa v. Twitter, Inc.,” 25 Berkeley Tech L.J. 493 (2010)
  • “Additional Developments in Privacy Law—Toffoloni v. LFP Publishing Group,” 25 Berkeley Tech L.J. 701 (2010)

Apple isn't the only tech company spooked by the Delta variant

Protocol | July 23, 2021

This article, on how some tech companies are reevaluating return to office plans in light of Covid-19 Delta variant concerns, quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn on possible facial covering mandates and considerations about the Delta variant that employers should take into account.

Cal/OSHA Updated COVID-19 Guidelines

CBS/KNX News Radio | June 09, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn discussed an upcoming Cal/OSHA emergency standard board meeting to review its recently updated COVID-19 guidelines on facial coverings, following the urging made by the California Department of Public Health to reconsider the board’s earlier guidelines to better align with CDC recommendations.

In Depth

CBS/KNX News Radio | June 01, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn discussed Cal/OSHA’ s proposed updated COVID-19 guidelines and other top-of-mind issues for California-based employers and employees, including whether employers can ask for workers’ vaccination status, Cal/OSHA’ s requirement for vaccination documentation, and whether employers can require employees to be vaccinated.

Mask guidelines pose challenge to OSHA's ‘grave danger’ mandate

Bloomberg Law | May 20, 2021

San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn is quoted in this article on how the CDC’s updated guidance that the risk of COVID infection is minimal for people who are fully vaccinated likely weakens OSHA’s argument that there is a “grave danger” to employees.

Employers face new risks as business travel returns

Law360 | March 16, 2021

This article on the risks employers face as business travel returns quotes Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair Ben Kim, of Los Angeles, and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn on the realities of a shifting office environment.

CDC vaccine guidance offers ‘road map’ for employers

Law360 | March 10, 2021

Labor & Employment deputy practice group leader and OSHA practice chair Ben Kim, of Los Angeles, and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner Rachel Conn provide commentary in this article analyzing the CDC’s new post-vaccination guidance, discussing implications for employers.

RIMA to host virtual manufacturing conference and expo April 13

Providence Business News | March 09, 2021

This article, covering the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association’s annual conference, mentions that NP will host a workshop entitled “Making It Through Changes in Employment, Labor and Workplace Health and Safety Law.“ Providence office managing partner Andrew Prescott and San Francisco partner Rachel Conn, both of the Labor &Employment group, will present the session.

On the Move

The Recorder (California) | January 28, 2021

Los Angeles Project Finance & Public Finance partner-elect Jade Turner-Bond and San Francisco Labor & Employment partner-elect Rachel Conn were included in this roundup of notable legal moves for their promotions to partner.

California Poised For Growth Despite Pandemic Impacts, Regulations

Engineering News-Record | December 10, 2020

In this article on the workplace requirements for contractors and other employers in the construction industry, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted for her outlook on Cal/OSHA’s definition of “exposed workplace” and the potential overlap of notifications requirements with AB 685.

In Depth

KNX-AM | December 10, 2020

San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn appears as a guest in this radio news segment to discuss the dilemma employers are facing and what they should consider—Cal/OSHA, California sick leave laws and other advisories—as they navigate how to provide a safe workplace for their employees during the holidays.

Former OSHA Head's Transition Role Suggests Quick Emergency Rule

Bloomberg Law | December 08, 2020

In this article covering former OSHA head David Michaels being named to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team Covid-19 task force, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted on employers’ trepidation over possible new regulation.

Your Boss Can Restrict Your Holiday Plans in the Pandemic

The Wall Street Journal | December 07, 2020

In an article covering what employers can and cannot enforce when employees are outside of the workplace, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn explains how off-duty conduct laws in some states and union contracts could prevent employers from taking action against employees.

MRM Research Roundup: End-of-October 2020 Edition

Modern Restaurant Management | November 02, 2020

This roundup of current industry issues to watch highlights several thought leadership pieces from NP’s recently published fourth-quarter Food & Beverage Crystal Ball. The publication summarizes trends provided by San Francisco partner Alison Torbitt and counsel Ian O’Banion, both of the Affordable Housing & Real Estate Group; Rochester Corporate associate Isaac Figueras; and San Francisco Labor & Employment associates Rachel Conn and Maritza Martin.

DOL Must Hand Over Amazon Safety Data to Journalism Outlet

Bloomberg Law | July 07, 2020

In this article on a recent decision requiring the U.S. Labor Department to provide unredacted safety records to an investigative journalism organization, San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Rachel Conn is quoted on how the decision could make it easier for media outlets and labor unions to request injury and illness data from the government. The decision could also lead to adverse publicity for companies.

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.

Employers with skeleton crews are on the hook for their safety

Bloomberg Law | March 26, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses some of the methods employers are using to keep essential employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak—from staggered shifts to reconfigured work spaces.

One of your employees is diagnosed with coronavirus What now

CNN Business | March 13, 2020

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discusses the steps employers should take if they learn that an employee has contracted coronavirus, including reaching out to local health authorities and notifying employees, customers, and vendors.

The Coronavirus checklist: Nine steps to protect your company

Bloomberg Businessweek | March 03, 2020

In this article, San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn suggests that employers coping with coronavirus impacts create a communicable illness policy that outlines what illnesses are covered, employees’ obligation to report them, and employers’ communications practices during an outbreak.

Coronavirus putting crimp on firms doing business in China

Rochester Business Journal | February 21, 2020

Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk authored this column about how employers with business operations in China are responding to the coronavirus outbreak and related travel restrictions. The article is based on an alert by Hong Kong Corporate partner David Cheng, Los Angeles Labor and Employment partner Benjamin Kim, San Francisco Labor and Employment senior counsel Jeffrey Tanenbaum and associate Rachel Conn, and Director of Global Strategies David Kaufman

Coronavirus closes China to the world, straining global economy

The Wall Street Journal | February 03, 2020

This article quotes San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn discussing how employers are reacting to a wave of travel cancellations, store closures, and supply chain disruptions caused by the spread of coronavirus. Click here to read the article.

California Employers Should Start Working on Violence-Prevention Plans

Society for HR Management | December 09, 2019

In this article, San Francisco labor and employment associate Rachel Conn provides her insights related to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s draft regulation on workplace-violence prevention programs.

California nears enactment of nation’s first workplace violence prevention regulation for general industry

Recorder (Law.com) | September 17, 2019

Los Angeles partner Ben Kim and San Francisco associate Rachel Conn, both of the Labor and Employment practice group, co-wrote this contributed article analyzing California’s latest effort to prevent workplace violence through regulations.

INSIGHT: California overhaul of injury recordkeeping rules just a start

Bloomberg Law | June 04, 2019

San Francisco Labor and Employment associate Rachel Conn wrote this contributed article outlining California’s recent actions to strengthen its occupational safety record-keeping rules in response to weakened protections at the federal level.


Rachel L. Conn


San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8216

Fax: 855-887-8999

University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D., Associate Editor, Berkeley Technology Law Journal; Recipient, Prosser Award for Pre-Trial Civil Litigation.

The Catholic University of America, B.A.


Back to top