PAWANPREET K. DHALIWAL is a senior associate at Outten & Golden LLP, where she provides zealous, client-centered, and trauma-informed representation to employees, professionals, and executives.

Ms. Dhaliwal negotiates, arbitrates, and litigates discrimination, harassment, and retaliation matters. She has contributed to obtaining numerous six-figure settlements*, including in cases on behalf of a technology start-up executive who experienced egregious sexual harassment and retaliation, a non-profit leader subjected to gender- and race-based pay inequities, and a healthcare whistleblower terminated after raising patient safety concerns. She has extensive experience representing employees in the technology and healthcare sectors, among others.

Ms. Dhaliwal has deep knowledge of California’s complex and ever-evolving workplace laws, including in the areas of sexual harassment, pay equity, discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, and leave status, and whistleblower retaliation. She is a member of the firm’s Individual Practice Area, Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Practice Group, and Whistleblower Retaliation Practice Group, and co-author of a chapter on California Harassment Law for a legal treatise.

Ms. Dhaliwal received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 2009, and her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 2015.

Ms. Dhaliwal serves as a Co-Chair of the Civil Rights Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, one of the country’s oldest and largest minority bar associations. 

Prior to joining Outten & Golden, Ms. Dhaliwal worked as a civil and workers’ rights lawyer at a prominent labor union representing healthcare professionals, a reputable boutique employee-side law firm, and a leading national civil rights organization. 

(*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.)

Bar Admission and Professional Activity

Ms. Dhaliwal is admitted to practice law only in California.

Ms. Dhaliwal is admitted to the following federal courts: The United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

  • Member, National Lawyers Guild
  • Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Member, Asian American Bar Association – Greater Bay Area Chapter
    • Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair (2022 – Present)
  • Member, South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
    • Board Member (2016-2017)
    • Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair (2017)
    • Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair (2016-2017)

Video & Podcasts

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Speaking Engagements


  • Moderator: “Hate Crimes, Anti-Semitism and the Rise of the White Nationalist Right,” How to be a Good Ally: A Strategic Engagement Conference, San Francisco, CA


  • Panelist: “Diversity in the Military: Religious Accommodations for Minorities,” NAPABA Annual Convention, San Diego, CA

Articles & Publications

New Law Allows California Survivors of Sexual Assault to File Previously Time-Barred Claims for Compensation Against Their Attackers

#MeToo Five Years On: Persistence, Progress, and Policy Change on Workplace Sexual Harassment

Five Years On, the Power of #MeToo Can Be Seen in a Changed Legal Landscape Involving Sexual Harassment

The #MeToo movement successfully challenged decades of pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace and all facets of society. Since then, the movement's impact has reverbated throughout society, changing attitudes and spurring much-needed change. Workers, consumers, and citizens involved in the movement have not only held corporations and employers accountable for enabling sexual misconduct, but have also lobbied for legal reforms to effect meaningful social change.

Solidarity Against Workplace Sexual Harassment: How the Law Protects Those Who Stand Up and Speak Out Alongside Survivors

The #MeToo Movement has inspired workers to engage in solidarity with colleagues experiencing sexual harassment, and many of these courageous acts entitle individuals to anti-retaliation protections under civil rights, anti-discrimination, labor, and whistleblower protection laws. While it is true that individuals targeted for abuse in the workplace bear the brunt of the dignitary harm and trauma caused by such misconduct, all employees are detrimentally impacted by sexual harassment in the workplace, as  reports prepared by an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) task force and by Deloitte both discuss. As such, all employees have a moral (and at times, legal) obligation to stand by our colleagues and against harassment and discrimination.

Inequality Squared: Understanding “Intersectional” Discrimination and Harassment

None of us are defined by a single trait or characteristic, and many individuals share more than one class of traits that may make them targets of legally prohibited discrimination or harassment. Indeed, as the #MeToo Movement has reminded us, perpetrators of sexual harassment may be more likely to target individuals with multiple protected traits, including people with disabilities and people of color, for abuse.

Judges are increasingly recognizing these forms of “intersectional” discrimination and harassment in cases involving plaintiffs whose claims are based on their membership in more than one protected class. 

An Intersectional Approach to Supporting Disabled Sexual Harassment Survivors

Sexual harassment at work or on campus is all too common. But when a disabled employee or student is the target of discrimination and abuse because of two protected traits, the effect on that individual can be devasting and traumatic.

When the Boss is “Hardcore,” Workers Respond with Confidence

As many tech companies faced the tough decision to lay off thousands of workers last fall, Elon Musk’s chaotic and even antagonistic approach to his newly acquired Twitter workforce made those layoffs particularly painful. He may have gloated in his “hardcore” approach to slashing jobs, but his moves sparked a mobilization of worker self-advocacy and litigation that serves as a cautionary tale for any company considering aggressive terminations.

California Employment Law

Among other important topics, California Employment Law covers the essentials of the employment relationship, including mutual rights and duties, duration, and termination; discrimination based on such factors as gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, religion, and national origin; workplace harassment; leaves of absence; wage and hour rules; trade secrets; employment torts; and whistleblowing.

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day: Honoring the Everyday Heroes

Outten & Golden LLP, By Tammy Marzigliano, Pawanpreet Dhaliwal, and Brittany Arnold

Awards & Recognition

  • 2024: Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch – Litigation – Labor and Employment
  • 2024: Best Lawyers – Ones to Watch – Labor and Employment Law – Employee
  • 2023: Super Lawyers – Rising Star
  • 2023 Leadership Advancement Program (LAP) – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Leadership Advancement Program