Camille A.Olson

Partner

For nearly 30 years, Camille has represented companies nationwide in all areas of litigation, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour matters, and independent contractor status.


More About Camille

In high-profile situations with significant reputational risk, national companies rely on Camille's dexterity in managing legal, policy, and media matters. Investor and market perceptions often evolve into derivative shareholder suits, and cause irreparable damage to valuable brands. Camille helps clients navigate these challenges and translate these often nebulous risks into tangible analyses of her clients' decision points. She is an invaluable advisor and crisis manager.

Camille is a partner at Seyfarth, co-chair of its National Complex Litigation practice group, and national chair of its Complex Discrimination Litigation practice group. She serves on the firm's National Labor and Employment Law Steering Committee, and is the past national chair of the Labor & Employment practice department. Since 2013, Camille has served as chair of the US Chamber of Commerce's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Subcommittee. For nearly 30 years, she has represented companies nationwide in all areas of litigation, with an emphasis on employment discrimination and harassment, wage-and-hour matters, and independent contractor status.

Camille's trial experience includes lead defense trial counsel in "bet the company" harassment, discrimination, independent contractor, contract, commercial, and wage-and-hour cases. She has also served as outside counsel and independent counsel to boards of directors and executive team members in connection with internal investigations and highly sensitive litigation matters. She has litigated numerous discrimination cases through both successful summary judgment motions and favorable jury verdicts in the context of EEOC pattern and practice multiplaintiff cases, reductions in force, individual terminations, and harassment allegations.

Throughout the last decade, Camille has regularly appeared before the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the EEOC, and the US Department of Labor on her own behalf (because of her extensive experience in various fields), and on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce and the Society for Human Resource Management. In these capacities, she has provided the business perspective on proposed legislation to amend the following laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the application of white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Internal Revenue Code, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. During the Bush Administration, Camille served as the employer spokesperson to the Department of Labor, advising Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on significant wage-and-hour matters.

Advocacy groups have called upon Camille time and again for amicus curiae representation in many landmark cases before the Circuit Courts of Appeals and the US Supreme Court. She has contributed to US Chamber publications, including "The Impact of State Employment Policies on Job Growth: A 50-State Review" (2011) and "A Review of EEOC Enforcement and Litigation Strategy during the Obama Administration—A Misuse of Authority" (2014). In 2014, she testified before the Senate HELP Committee concerning the Paycheck Fairness Act and before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections regarding EEOC priorities and enforcement. In 2016, Camille testified before the EEOC on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce concerning proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). In 2017, she testified before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on behalf of the US Chamber of Commerce concerning the need for more responsible regulatory and enforcement policies at the EEOC. In 2018, Camille testified before the Senate HELP subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security on the subject of the gig economy and the future of retirement savings. In 2019, she testified before a joint hearing of the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services and the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on the Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 7). Camille continues her advocacy for the employer perspective as the US Chamber of Commerce's chair of the equal employment opportunity policy subcommittee.

Camille's deep command of policy matters and sophisticated understanding of the legislative and enforcement processes are invaluable assets for her clients. Her legal analysis encompasses unparalleled insight into legislative intent and history, which translates to nuanced interpretation and creative application of governing law. In 2016, Camille was nominated to serve on the FLSA Discovery Protocols Committee formed by the US Civil Rules Advisory Committee to draft proposed FLSA Discovery Protocols for FLSA Collective Actions to be used in federal courts.

Camille's track record of success in trial practice reflects her strategic and incisive approach to every phase of litigation. Through focused discovery and dispositive motion practice, she exerts pressure on the opposition at each stage, up to and including trial. In numerous instances, Camille has achieved successful resolution for clients on the eve of trial—and in a few cases during trial—through sophisticated and creative motion practice. In the past five years, she has negotiated several confidential settlements in various stages of litigation on behalf of both high-profile executives and Fortune 100 companies in cases involving allegations of misconduct, systemic violations of regulatory or company policies, misappropriation of trade secrets, and severance matters, as well as harassment and discrimination allegations.

Camille's celebrated track record as a litigator is testament to her ability to quickly gain command of highly complex and often unwieldy fact patterns. In nearly three decades as a litigator, she has led hundreds of effective and efficient fact investigations within a litigation context. As lead investigator, Camille knows how to keep the controlling matters in the crosshairs—she delivers reliable, consistent results for her clients by leading highly talented and cross-functional teams in navigating vast repositories of information strategically, never losing sight of clearly articulated goals.

In a recent example, Camille was part of a unique, collaborative trial team that secured the largest commercial verdict in California history. After a six-week trial in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in San Jose, California, the jury returned a verdict of $3.014 billion in damages in favor of HP. In another instance, Camille and her team won a key discovery ruling in a collective discrimination action brought by the EEOC on behalf of more than 90 claimants; the District Court's decision required the commission to produce all claimants for deposition, which neutralized common EEOC advantages in litigating collective enforcement actions. The Commission's ability to continue adding new claimants as matters progress, while citing reliance on representative testimony and ad discovery, often forces employers to defend against vague and broad claims that are essentially moving targets. Through this motion to compel, Camille's team struck a blow that should have widespread impact on employers' ability to defend against EEOC-initiated litigation where Rule 23 safeguards are unavailable by upholding employers' right to probe specific accusations of discrimination.

Other examples of Camille's creative pathways to victory include:

  • In a sexual harassment pattern and practice case, brought by the EEOC on behalf of 101 employees against the Dial Corporation, Camille negotiated a settlement on the day of trial following a series of victories on critical motions in limine.
  • In a discrimination case against the CEO and executive team of Motorola, Camille led a motion for directed verdict that resulted in a favorable settlement at the close of the plaintiff's case.
  • Representing Aaron's, Inc. in the Alford matter, Camille spearheaded the post-verdict strategy that secured a reversal of the largest-known single-plaintiff sexual harassment verdict in US history.

Camille is a frequent representative and speaker on a wide range of legal matters facing media employers. She represents companies throughout the country in nonemployee and independent contractor issues, with a focus on on-air talent. In 2014, she led the defense of a national broadcast and print media company in a discrimination class action with potential exposure throughout the southern US. The plaintiff subsequently dismissed the case. She has served as co-editor of the Guide to Employment Law Compliance, published by Thompson. In November 2014, in recognition of Camille's commitment to excellence in managing independent contractor relationships, the Dispatch Printing Company of Columbus, Ohio, inaugurated the Camille A. Olson Award of Excellence to be awarded annually to one of their managers. She has also published numerous articles and chapters on various labor matters, and is a regular speaker on complex litigation, discrimination, and nonemployee worker matters nationally and internationally. Camille is frequently quoted and consulted in publications and news outlets, such as National Public Radio, The New York Times, The Daily Labor Report, The Chicago Tribune, Crain's Chicago Business, The Wall Street Journal, Presstime, Editor & Publisher, HR Magazine, and HR Wire.

Camille's creativity and tenacity are the reasons that national companies rely on her to navigate no-win and high-stakes situations. From early and aggressive attacks on the pleadings, such as Twombly/Iqbal challenges in discrimination cases, to a full battery of postverdict strategies, including Rule 12, 50, and 59 motions, Camille's litigation approach is defined by sophistication and resourcefulness.

  • BA, University of Michigan

    Highest Honors Award
    Eita Krom Scholar for Published Honors Thesis, published as Effort and Reward: The Assumption that College Grades are Affected by Quantity of Study in Social Forces (June 1985, Volume 63, Number 4, p. 945-967)

  • JD, University of Michigan Law School
  • California
  • Illinois
  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
  • US District Court, District of Columbia
  • US District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • US District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • US District Court, Eastern District of Michigan