With extensive state and federal employment tax expertise, GJ Stillson MacDonnell has successfully handled numerous employment tax audits and litigation against the Internal Revenue Service, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and the California Employment Development Department.

GJ handles all aspects of employment tax matters, including Independent contractor status under tax and other laws. She often works with housekeeping referral services and has specific knowledge of:

  • The Internal Revenue Code
  • The California Unemployment Insurance Code
  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act

She also frequently speaks on employment tax matters in professional and industry educational forums.

Founder and former chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group, she serves as the current chair of the Employment Taxes Practices Group. Prior to joining Littler Mendelson, she worked in private practice in Connecticut and served as pension counsel for a major insurance company's group pension division. She also has extensive experience representing various non-profits on social issues before the Connecticut legislature.

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member, Executive Committee

Tax Section

Bar Association of San Francisco

Former Chair

Employment Taxes Committee, Tax Section

American Bar Association


Former Vice-Chair

Employment Taxes Committee, Tax Section

American Bar Association, 2002-2004


American Payroll Association


Connecticut Commission on the Status of Women


YMCA Hartford Rape Crisis Center

Legal Advisor

YMCA Hartford Rape Crisis Center


Elected Fellow

American Bar Foundation


Recipient, Award of Merit

Bar Association of San Francisco


News, Analysis & Press

Misclassification Gets More Expensive

The Recorder

January 3, 2012

GJ MacDonnell Weaves Through Unemployment Taxes

HR News

January 5, 2007

Important Developments During the Year

The Tax Lawyer


the Federal Insurance Contributions Act and the Federal Unemployment Tax Act

LexisNexis Tax Advisor – Federal Topical

Books & Book Chapters

  • Independent Contractor Status Under Federal Labor and Employment Laws, Legal Guide to Independent Contractor Status, 4th Ed., 2007
  • Is the taxpayer/worker an employee or an independent contractor for IRC purposes? Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS - A Practical Manual for the Tax Practitioner, American Bar Association, 4th Ed.

Speaking Engagements

The Time is Nigh! Restructure your Global Mobility Program

Global Employer Institute

Littler Mendelson, Washington D.C.

November 9, 2012

No new taxes? Phooey! Government Agencies Attack Independent Contractor Relationships to Refill Depleted Coffers

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 10, 2012

ACC Annual Meeting

October 19, 2009


  • J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law, 1973 With Honors
  • B.A., Farleigh Dickinson University, 1969

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut