Joan M. Wakeley has worked at Littler Mendelson for more than 25 years and is well-recognized for her extensive experience counseling and representing employers, including cities, retailers, and manufacturers, with respect to:

  • Claims for workers' compensation benefits
  • Related claims of discrimination due to work injury or disability
  • Claims of serious and willful misconduct

Joan's extensive background includes the evaluation, trial and appeal of diverse cases before California state courts, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Her expertise also extends to:

  • Employment discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wrongful termination
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Fair Employment and Housing Act
  • The California Family Rights Act
  • California Labor Code section 132a

The former chair of the Workers' Compensation Practice Group, Joan is a highly-sought after speaker and routinely conducts workshops and seminars for employers and attorneys on a variety of subjects, including:

  • Wrongful discharge
  • Workers' compensation
  • Disability discrimination
  • Family and medical leave laws

Professional & Community Affiliations


State Bar of California


Labor Law Section

Santa Clara County Bar Association


Workers' Compensation Section

Santa Clara County Bar Association


  • J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1982
  • B.A., School for International Training, 1978

Bar Admission