Our Story

Ours is a story of empowerment. We are in the business of moving our clients from victims to victors. We help them find an elegant ending to a horrible or horrific story of discrimination or retaliation or harassment. We guide our clients to write their own ending, and live a life on THEIR terms.

Brandi grew up hearing stories of discrimination and harassment in the workplace from her father, Carlos, who immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1969, at the age of sixteen. Carlos spoke no English but learned enough to get by in school and work in the fast food industry. In those early jobs, Carlos was mocked for his thick accent, and was excluded from certain jobs, like working the drive-thru, because his employer did not want customers hearing his accent. This impacted Carlos for life – even 20 years later as a successful businessman, husband, and father Carlos would not order at a drive-thru for fear people would mock his accent. Carlos worked as an appraiser in real estate, and was told by more than one company that he was the “token” Hispanic hire. At times he was mocked by certain peers and supervisors, and Brandi saw how that harassment was impactful on a daily basis, and caused Carlos to spend a lifetime trying to prove he was good enough, and that he belonged.

Witnessing this type of injustice instilled in Brandi a desire to help people find their voice when they felt powerless. In law school, Brandi took what was supposed to be a temporary job at a firm working on a class action involving age discrimination against writers in Hollywood. This “temp job” turned into a two year awakening that called Brandi to the field of employment law. Brandi’s job was to interview all of the plaintiffs to answer discovery questions. In doing that, Brandi was able to connect with so many creative and wonderful minds who had actually written the television shows she watched growing up. Hollywood had decided these writers were not young enough to write for the coveted 18-35 demographic, and excluded them from the very industry they had created. It was a true gift to bear witness to these experiences, and be part of a team that turned pain into progress.

Brandi has dedicated her professional life to representing employees who have endured harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Brandi takes on new challenges each day, and is not afraid to test the limits of the law and find new paths to justice. Brandi has tried cases based on entirely new causes of action, including the first failure to rehire case in the State of California, resulting in justice for a nurse who was retaliated against after advocating for her patients’ safety. Brandi is someone who believes in the power of the law to heal the wounds caused by injustice, and is honored to be trusted by her clients to transform oppression into an opportunity to make the world a better place.

Fearless champions of employee rights.

Workplace Advocates exclusively – and fearlessly – represents employees in individual, multi-plaintiff and class action lawsuits against businesses that subject their employees to unfair treatment under the law. Ours is a story of empowerment. We are in the business of moving our clients from victims to victors. We help our clients find an elegant ending to a horrible or horrific story of discrimination or retaliation or harassment. We guide our clients to write their own ending, and live a life on THEIR terms.

Workplace Advocates has a proven track record for successfully resolving claims against some of the biggest corporations in the United States by doing whatever is necessary to get results. We’ve resolved cases through negotiation, mediation, litigation and appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. When you choose California and Arizona employment lawyers Workplace Advocates to handle your employment matter, you’ll have the support you need no matter what it takes to resolve your case.

Workplace Advocates has successfully brought cases against some of the biggest companies in the world, including:

  • American Apparel

  • Alameda Health System

  • Boeing

  • Centurion Medical

  • Dignity Health

  • Disney

  • Expeditors International

  • Federal Express

  • FCA (formerly Chrysler Group)

  • Jamba Juice

  • Hertz

  • Home Depot

  • Kohl’s

  • Massage Envy

  • Office Max

  • NBC Universal

  • Raytheon

  • Saks & Company

  • Sears, Roebuck & Co.

  • Southwest Gas

  • State of California

  • Target

  • Tesla

  • Tenet Healthcare

  • Uber

  • Universal Protection Service

  • ValleyCare Health System

  • Vin Di Bona Entertainment

  • VMWare

  • Walgreens

  • Wal-Mart

  • Welk Resorts

  • Wyndham

About Attorney Barbara E. Cowan

Barbara E. Cowan founded Workplace Advocates, a employment law firm dedicated to asserting claims by employees against powerful Fortune 500 companies. She’s a leader in the field that’s been selected as one of the Top Fifty Women Attorneys in California by Super Lawyers because of her numerous settlements and verdicts in excess of a million dollars. In additional to her successful negotiation and trial work, she’s handled many appeals before the California Court of Appeals, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and The Supreme Court of the United States. Ms. Cowan’s experience with employment is vast. She’s represented clients for more than 65 trials, taken and defended more than 1,000 depositions and has drafted more than 2,000 motions.

Ms. Cowan began her legal career representing indigent criminal defendants at the Washington County Public Defender’s Office in Stillwater, Minnesota. Her next position was as a civil rights trial lawyer at the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in St. Paul, representing the County in child welfare actions to ensure the safety of children in domestic abuse cases. She went on to work for Spencer & Lang in Minneapolis, creating and preparing materials for 178 person class action age discrimination case.

Ms. Cowan is admitted to practice law in the state bars of California and Arizona, United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, U.S. District Court, Central, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of California and U.S. District Court in Arizona. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude, with a concentration in Labor and Employment Law. She contributed to the Minnesota Journal of Law and Equality and the Philips C. Jessup Moot Court. Ms. Cowan earned her Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Illinois State University, graduating magna cum laude. Ms. Cowan is also an accomplished violinist, with 25 years of experience playing in symphonies, and a certified yoga instructor.

Our Passion for Employment Law – By Attorney Barbara E. Cowan

I have dedicated my professional life to representing employees who have endured harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. I takes on new challenges each day, and am not afraid to test the limits of the law and find new paths to justice. I have tried cases based on entirely new causes of action, including the first failure to rehire case in the State of California, resulting in justice for a nurse who was retaliated against after advocating for her patients’ safety. I am someone who believes in the power of the law to heal the wounds caused by injustice, and is honored to be trusted by our clients to transform oppression into an opportunity to make the world a better place.

I grew up hearing stories of discrimination and harassment in the workplace from my father, Carlos, who immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1969, at the age of sixteen. Carlos spoke no English but learned enough to get by in school and work in the fast food industry. In those early jobs,

My dad was mocked for his thick accent, and was excluded from certain jobs, like working the drive-thru, because his employer did not want customers hearing his accent. This impacted my dad for life – even 20 years later as a successful businessman, husband, and father my dad would not order at a drive-thru for fear people would mock his accent. My dad worked as an appraiser in real estate, and was told by more than one company that he was the “token” Hispanic hire. At times he was mocked by certain peers and supervisors, and Brandi saw how that harassment was impactful on a daily basis, and caused my dad to spend a lifetime trying to prove he was good enough, and that he belonged. Witnessing this type of injustice instilled in me a desire to help people find their voice when they felt powerless. In law school, I took what was supposed to be a temporary job at a firm working on a class action involving age discrimination against writers in Hollywood. This “temp job” turned into a two year awakening that called me to the field of employment law. My job was to interview all of the plaintiffs to answer discovery questions. In doing that, I was able to connect with so many creative and wonderful minds who had actually written the television shows I watched growing up. Hollywood had decided these writers were not young enough to write for the coveted 18-35 demographic, and excluded them from the very industry they had created. It was a true gift to bear witness to these experiences, and be part of a team that turned pain into progress for so many affected by age discrimination in the entertainment industry.

American Apparel

Boeing

Centurion Medical

Dignity Health

Disney

Federal Express

Jamba Juice

Hertz

Home Depot

Kohl’s

Massage Envy

NBC Universal

Raytheon

Sears, Roebuck & Co.

State of California

Tenet Healthcare

Uber

VMWare

Wal-Mart

Welk Resorts

Wyndham

Our Story

Ours is a story of empowerment. We are in the business of moving our clients from victims to victors. We help them find an elegant ending to a horrible or horrific story of discrimination or retaliation or harassment. We guide our clients to write their own ending, and live a life on THEIR terms.

Brandi grew up hearing stories of discrimination and harassment in the workplace from her father, Carlos, who immigrated to the United States from Argentina in 1969, at the age of sixteen. Carlos spoke no English but learned enough to get by in school and work in the fast food industry. In those early jobs, Carlos was mocked for his thick accent, and was excluded from certain jobs, like working the drive-thru, because his employer did not want customers hearing his accent. This impacted Carlos for life – even 20 years later as a successful businessman, husband, and father Carlos would not order at a drive-thru for fear people would mock his accent. Carlos worked as an appraiser in real estate, and was told by more than one company that he was the “token” Hispanic hire. At times he was mocked by certain peers and supervisors, and Brandi saw how that harassment was impactful on a daily basis, and caused Carlos to spend a lifetime trying to prove he was good enough, and that he belonged.

Attorneys

Brandi has dedicated her professional life to representing employees who have endured harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Brandi takes on new challenges each day, and is not afraid to test the limits of the law and find new paths to justice. Brandi has tried cases based on entirely new causes of action, including the first failure to rehire case in the State of California, resulting in justice for a nurse who was retaliated against after advocating for her patients’ safety.

Brandi Cowan

Attorney