People: Karla Grossenbacher, Partner

Photo of Karla Grossenbacher, Partner

Karla Grossenbacher

Partner

Washington, D.C.
Direct: (202) 828-3556
Fax: (202) 828-5393
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Ms. Grossenbacher is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Washington, D.C. office concentrating in labor and employment law.  She is Chair of the Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment Practice Group and also heads the Firm’s National Workplace Privacy team.  In addition, Ms. Grossenbacher serves on the Steering Committee of the Firm’s Global Privacy and Security team and the firm’s national Labor and Employment Steering Committee.

In the workplace privacy area, Ms. Grossenbacher specializes in advising employers on workplace privacy issues, such as monitoring of electronic communications, such as social media, texts, group messaging and personal email accounts, video surveillance, workplace searches and investigations, and preparation of policies that raise workplace privacy issues, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, workplace communication policies, electronic communications policies and social media policies.  Ms. Grossenbacher also specializes in advising employers on responding to cybersecurity incidents and data breaches, including preparation of data breach response plans.  Ms. Grossenbacher is a frequent presenter, author and blogger on workplace privacy issues.

Ms. Grossenbacher is both an experienced litigator and counselor.  She regularly advises employers on compliance with employment laws, both state and federal, and advises in-house counsel and human resources executives on high-risk terminations, employee privacy issues, and layoffs and also conducts policy reviews and audits of employment documents.  Ms. Grossenbacher also has significant experience conducting high stakes workplace investigations for clients.  

In the litigation arena, Ms. Grossenbacher has extensive experience representing employers across the country in employment-related litigation on federal, state and local levels before courts, arbitration tribunals and administrative agencies.  Ms. Grossenbacher’s record in obtaining summary judgment on behalf of her clients is stellar, and she regularly litigates claims concerning discrimination, wage and hour violations (including collective actions), violations of ERISA, enforceability of arbitration agreements in the employment context and covenants not to compete.

Ms. Grossenbacher is well-versed in issues facing non-profit employers, as she represents a number of the largest non-profit organizations in the country.  She also represents a number of startups and emerging companies and advises them on the labor and employment issues facing growing companies.

Ms. Grossenbacher joined Seyfarth Shaw in 1993 after clerking for the Honorable Mildred M. Edwards of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Ms. Grossenbacher is a partner in Seyfarth Shaw’s Washington, D.C. office concentrating in labor and employment law.  She is Chair of the Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment Practice Group and also heads the Firm’s National Workplace Privacy team.  In addition, Ms. Grossenbacher serves on the Steering Committee of the Firm’s Global Privacy and Security team and the firm’s national Labor and Employment Steering Committee.

In the workplace privacy area, Ms. Grossenbacher specializes in advising employers on workplace privacy issues, such as monitoring of electronic communications, such as social media, texts, group messaging and personal email accounts, video surveillance, workplace searches and investigations, and preparation of policies that raise workplace privacy issues, such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, workplace communication policies, electronic communications policies and social media policies.  Ms. Grossenbacher also specializes in advising employers on responding to cybersecurity incidents and data breaches, including preparation of data breach response plans.  Ms. Grossenbacher is a frequent presenter, author and blogger on workplace privacy issues.

Ms. Grossenbacher is both an experienced litigator and counselor.  She regularly advises employers on compliance with employment laws, both state and federal, and advises in-house counsel and human resources executives on high-risk terminations, employee privacy issues, and layoffs and also conducts policy reviews and audits of employment documents.  Ms. Grossenbacher also has significant experience conducting high stakes workplace investigations for clients.  

In the litigation arena, Ms. Grossenbacher has extensive experience representing employers across the country in employment-related litigation on federal, state and local levels before courts, arbitration tribunals and administrative agencies.  Ms. Grossenbacher’s record in obtaining summary judgment on behalf of her clients is stellar, and she regularly litigates claims concerning discrimination, wage and hour violations (including collective actions), violations of ERISA, enforceability of arbitration agreements in the employment context and covenants not to compete.

Ms. Grossenbacher is well-versed in issues facing non-profit employers, as she represents a number of the largest non-profit organizations in the country.  She also represents a number of startups and emerging companies and advises them on the labor and employment issues facing growing companies.

Ms. Grossenbacher joined Seyfarth Shaw in 1993 after clerking for the Honorable Mildred M. Edwards of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude (1992)

  • B.A., Marquette University, with honors (1989)

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Third and Fourth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Affiliations

  • Northern Virginia Society of Human Resources Management (NOVA SHRM) (Co-Vice President, Legislative Affairs)

Representative Engagements

  • Swann v. US Foods, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78665 (E.D.Va. June 15, 2015) (summary judgment granted in case alleging Title VII, ADA and FMLA violations)
  • Kearns v. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70881 (D.Md. May 23, 2014) (summary judgment granted in case alleging age discrimination, retaliation and constructive discharge)
  • Roecker v. McDonald’s Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98095 (D.Md. July 15, 2013) (summary judgment granted in pregnancy discrimination case)
  • Shaheen v. The WellPoint Companies, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127164 (E.D.Va. Nov. 3, 2011) (summary judgment granted in pregnancy discrimination case )
  • Kaplan v. GridPoint, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57006 (D.Wash. June 9, 2010) (judgment for defendant at trial in breach of employment agreement)
  • Pettaway v. National Academy of Sciences, (D.D.C. 2010) (summary judgment granted in ERISA case (denial of long term benefits)) (affirmed on appeal)
  • Wicks v. American Transmission Co., 701 F. Supp.2d 38 (D.D.C. 2010)(summary judgment for defendant in race discrimination case) (affirmed on appeal)
  • McIlwain v. Kaiser Permanente, (D.Md. 2006) (summary judgment for defendant in race discrimination case)
  • Baker v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 240 F. Supp.2d 454 (D.Md. 2003) (summary judgment granted in sex discrimination case) (affirmed on appeal)

Presentations

  • "Monitoring the eWorkplace: The Use (and Misuse) of Technology & Social Media," Employment Law Conference, presented by National Employment Law Institute, San Francisco, CA (December 1, 2016), Boca Raton, FL (March 8, 2017), and Washington, DC (July 22, 2017)
  • "Navigating Employee Privacy Issues in the Workplace," Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (November 2, 2016)
  • “Resolving Your Case Prior to Trial: Strategies and Considerations for Dispositive Motions and Settlement,” Litigation Forum Conference, presented by Association of Corporate Counsel (July 20, 2016)
  • “The e-Workplace: Restricting Employees’ Use of Technology, Social Media and The Cloud,” Employment Law Update, presented by The National Employment Law Institute, San Francisco, CA (July 14, 2016)
  • "Data Breach Response: Best Practices When Your Company is Facing a US Lawsuit," Webinar, Association of Corporate Counsel (May 5, 2016)
  • “BYOD Policies and Related Issues," Seyfarth Shaw Client Briefing (August 20, 2015)
  • “Data Breach Class Action Lawsuits on the Rise: How to Bullet-Proof Your Company from Data Breach Liability,” Live Webcast, presented by the Knowledge Group (March 15, 2016)
  • “Best Practices for Data Breach Response: A Top Ten List,” Driven Speaker Series, Washington, D.C. (February 24, 2016)
  • “Information Security Policies and Data Breach Response Plans,” Webinar, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 22, 2015)

Publications