Saundra L. M. Riley

Counsel, Litigation  

Mountain View 650.335.7170


Saundra Riley is an experienced employment law advisor and advocate who partners with stakeholders to develop practical business solutions that mitigate legal risk. Her practice concentrates on employment counseling and litigation, and litigation of employment-related intellectual property disputes.

In her employment counseling practice, Saundra advises employers about trade secret protection and employee mobility issues, leaves of absence, employee terminations, reductions in force, employee privacy and investigations, employment contracts and invention assignment agreements, wage and hour issues, company handbooks and policies, and many other personnel issues. Additionally, Saundra regularly provides management and employee training on topics such as harassment prevention, investigations, and wage and hour compliance, and speaks and writes on a variety of employment law subjects, including for the Employer Resource Institute (including in the California Employer Advisor), the Business and Legal Resources, and the Business Law News (of the Business Law Section, State Bar of California).​

In her employment litigation practice, Saundra defends employers against claims for discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; wage and hour and California Labor Code violations; unfair competition and trade secret violations; breach of contract; and many other claims in state and federal court and before state and federal agencies.

In 2014, Saundra was recognized as a Rising Star in employment law by Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine. She has served on the Executive Committee for the Labor and Employment Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association since 2010, and is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers having formerly served on its Leadership Development Committee.

During her studies at Hastings, Saundra earned Best Overall Advocate for her participation in the Snodgrass Competition and competed as a member of the Hastings National Moot Court Competition Team.

Representative Publications and Seminars:

  • The Most Significant Employment Law Developments of 2015: What They Mean for Your Business in 2016,” Fenwick & West LLP, 2016, Co-Author and Co-Presenter.
  • "Top Legal Pitfalls Hiring Managers Make Along the Employment Lifecycle," LinkedIn, 2015, Presenter.
  • "No-Accrual Time Off Policies: Assessing Fit and Function," NCHRA, HR West, 2015, Co-Presenter.
  • The Most Significant Employment Law Developments of 2013: What They Mean for Your Business in 2014,” Fenwick & West LLP, 2014, Co-Author and Co-Presenter.
  • “Social Media Policies and the NLRB: What Employers Need to Know,” Fenwick & West LLP, 2013, Co-Author.
  • “Commissions: Drafting and Enforcing Commission Plans in California,” Fenwick & West LLP, 2013, Co-Presenter.
  • “Leaves of Absence – Interplay, Peculiarities and Pitfalls of Taking or Giving Time Off Under California Employment Law,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2013, Co-Presenter.
  • “Protecting Confidential Information from the Revolving Door of Competitor Hiring,” Daily Labor Report, 2011, Author. 
  • “Navigating the Legal Maze:  Leaves of Absence and the Disabled Worker,” California Employment Law Council, 2011, Co-Author and Co-Presenter.
  • “Employment Law Mock Trial:  Getting Behind Closed Doors,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2011, Program Committee Co-Chair.
  • “Ringing in the New Year with New Liability:  Annual Employment Law Update,” Santa Clara County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, 2011, Co-Author and Co-Presenter.
  • "Preventing Sexual Harassment," Fenwick & West Employment Practices Group Breakfast Briefing Series, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, Co-Presenter.
  • "Employee Use of Mobile Devices: Best Practices re: Policy Drafting, Enforcement & Legal Compliance," Avant Resources, 2010, Presenter.
  • "Government-Issued Phones: Stay in Compliance with Effective Policies," Progressive Business Audio Conferences, 2010, Co-Presenter.
  • "Preserving Trade Secrets in California: Best Practices," Business Law News, Business Law Section of the State Bar of California, Issue Two, 2009, Co-Author.
  • "Summary of Covenants Not to Compete: A Global Perspective," Tech Law Group, 2009, Co-Author of Chapters on California, Arizona, and Montana Law.
  • "Wage and Hour: Expert Tips on Self-Auditing Exempt Classifications," California Employer Advisor, Employer Resource Institute, 2009, Co-Author.
  • "Leaves of Absence: Navigating the Legal Maze," Fenwick & West Employment Practices Group Breakfast Briefing Series, 2009, 2006, Co-Presenter and Co-Author.
  • "Strategies to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Harassment," Employer Resource Institute, 2009, Co-Presenter.
  • "Hiring and Firing," Northern California Human Resources Association, Santa Clara County Chapter, 2008, Presenter.
  • "Internal Investigations," Business and Legal Reports, 2008, Co-Presenter.
  • "Managing the Disabled in the California Workforce," California Employment Law Council, 2008, Co-Author of Seminar Materials.
  • "The Most Important Employment Law Developments in 2007, What They Mean for Your Business in 2008," Fenwick & West Employment Practices Group Annual Update, 2008, Co-Author of Seminar Materials.
  • "A Toolkit for Managing the FMLA," Council on Education in Management, 2007, 2006, Presenter and Author of Supplemental Materials.
  • "Ethical Limits on the Use of Private Investigators in Litigation," Fenwick & West IP and Technology Group Annual Seminar, 2007, Co-Author of Seminar Materials.
  • "ADA Compliance Update," National Employment Law Institute, 2006, Co-Author of Seminar Materials.
  • "Employers' and Employees' Rights in the World of Blogs," Fenwick & West Employment Practices Group Breakfast Briefing Series, 2005, Co-Presenter and Co-Author.
  • "Preventing the 'New Breed' of Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Claims," Fenwick & West Employment Practices Group Breakfast Briefing Series, 2004, Co-Presenter.
  • Co-Editor and Contributing Author: Fenwick Employment Briefs (