Overview

Mishell Parreno Taylor knows first-hand how to operate the human capital aspects of business. She partners with stakeholders in organizations of all sizes, ranging from local to global corporations on a broad spectrum of employment law issues. She has extensive experience in litigating in federal and state courts and administrative agencies across the country, including California, Texas, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Alabama. Her experience includes defending clients against individual and class-wide claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation. Additionally, she aggressively handles both individual and class action/Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) wage and hour litigation in matters involving claims of missed meal and rest periods, unlawful deductions, misclassification, expense reimbursement, and off-the-clock work. Some of Mishell’s notable representations include: 

  • Successfully obtaining early dismissal of PAGA, class, and employee rights claims in California and Texas for global restaurant brand client based on joint-employer defense theories. 
  • Successfully obtaining Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming order granting Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of a major U.S. airline. 
  • Successfully litigating an all-defense verdict on behalf of a global defense contractor in the Southern District of California involving claims of national origin and race discrimination and retaliation. 
  • Obtaining an all-defense award for a large educational institution following a two-week arbitration involving claims of wrongful demotion and retaliation against a major San Diego employer and several of its executives. 

Mishell uses her deep multijurisdictional employment litigation experience to partner with clients in workplace crisis management and prevention. She has served as the key negotiator in high stakes workplace negotiations including exiting executives during threatened litigation. She conducts and oversees sensitive employee investigations involving post #metoo claims of harassment, inappropriate conduct, and whistleblower claims. Mishell also counsels organizations on COVID-19 workforce response, including compliance with government-related restrictions across the globe, managing remote workers, reorganizations, workplace safety related issues, and unemployment insurance and leave requirements under state and federal emergency legislation created during the pandemic. 

Mishell further distinguishes herself from many of her peers with her ability to effectively handle employment compliance and litigation in circumstances involving multilingual and multicultural human capital across the globe. Born in Guayaquil, Ecuador and being a native Spanish-speaker, she is able to appreciate the cultural differences and nuances inherent when communicating with Spanish-speaking employees. In collaboration with members of Littler Global, she serves as the U.S. liaison for multinational corporations operating or seeking to grow their global footprint in Latin America. Similarly, having Texas roots helps her clients feel she is a trusted advisor regarding California employment law and capable of managing any legal challenges they may encounter in either state.

Mishell is also focused on helping organizations build workplaces of the future. She collaborates with global clients to develop innovative solutions for achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives. This includes partnering with clients as architect and advisor in creating, implementing, and updating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.  She also serves as a trusted advisor to clients on a wide range of employment related issues across California and Texas, including counseling on hiring/onboarding procedures, testing, developing workplace policies and practices, anti-harassment/discrimination compliance and training, wage and hour compliance, leave administration, and termination decisions. 

Mishell is an active member of several of the firm’s practice groups: Complex Litigation and Jury Trials, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Hospitality, Wage and Hour, and International Employment Law. She is also a member of the firm’s Labor-Latin America and Spanish Services groups.

Mishell serves on the Managing Board of Littler Mexico, which manages the operations of Littler Mexico. Additionally, Mishell is a core member of Littler’s Virtual Litigation Planning Committee leading firm efforts in successfully navigating virtual litigation during the pandemic. She previously served as the office managing shareholder of the firm's San Diego office.

Mishell is a long-standing member of Littler’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and she is the immediate past Co-Chair of Reunión, the firm’s affinity group that provides support and development of its LatinX attorneys. Because of her deep commitment to the advancement of diverse attorneys in the profession, Mishell now serves as a Commissioner on the Hispanic National Bar Association, a commission focused on identifying and studying barriers to the professional development and advancement of Latina lawyers.  

Mishell previously served as a commissioner on the Police Officer's Civil Service Commission for the City of Houston where she presided and made final determinations over appeals of disciplinary actions, appeals of grievances, and all other duties associated with the classification system, promotional system, medical, and psychological (fitness for duty) separations. While in law school, she served as articles editor of the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal, assisted families in immigration matters, and successfully argued a client's claim for political asylum. Through her multilingual lens, Mishell continues to advocate for those without a voice and serves as pro-bono counsel in claims for asylum and separated minors.  

Professional & Community Affiliations

Member

American Bar Association

Member

Hispanic National Bar Association

Member

National Employment Law Council

Member

Labor and Employment Section

San Diego Bar Association

Member

International Law Section

San Diego Bar Association

Member

San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association

Member

Pro Bono Committee

State Bar of Texas

Recognition

Recipient, University of Houston Law Center (UHLC) Alumni Association Private Practice Achievement Award

2020

Named, 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego

The Daily Transcript

September 4, 2019

Golden Key National Honor Society

Psi Chi

International Honor Society in Psychology

News, Analysis & Press

San Diego Requires Temperature Checks

SHRM Online

May 28, 2020

Today’s Affinity Groups: Risks and Rewards

SHRM Online

October 22, 2019

Nafta 2.0

Global Trade Magazine

November 7, 2018

Social Media in the Workplace

Noticias Univision

May 23, 2012

Workplace Safety and Health

2004 Bake Trends

August 2004

Books & Book Chapters

  • Statutory Rights under California Law, Chapter 3, The California Employer, Littler Mendelson and LexisNexis, chapter co-editor, 2009

Speaking Engagements

Navigating Bias and Embracing Inclusivity

San Diego Women’s Week Webinar

March 19, 2021

Latinas in the Law

Hispanic National Bar Association, Pearls of Wisdom, Women’s History Month speaker

March 11, 2021

2021 Legal Update

Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce Webinar

January 28, 2021

The Inclusion Project: Building a Successful D&I Program

Hispanic National Bar Association Webinar

January 13, 2021

How Women Lead When “Shift” Happens

North San Diego Business Chamber Webinar

October 29, 2020

COVID-19: Sick and Family Leave Regulations

Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce & Littler Client Webinar

April 8, 2020

Effectively Navigating Employment Laws When Operating in Texas and California

Webinar

October 16, 2019

Sexto Foro Regional de Derecho Laboral

Panama City

September 20, 2019

The Drama-Free Workplace: How You Can Prevent Unconscious Bias, Sexual Harassment, Ethics Lapses, and Inspire a Healthy Culture

North San Diego Business Chamber

July 24, 2019

Here, There and Everywhere: International Sexual Harassment Laws and the Evolving Impacts of #MeToo, #StandUp and Beyond

The 2019 Executive Employer® Conference, Phoenix, AZ

May 9, 2019

International #MeToo, #StandUp and Transformative Technologies in the Workplace

Seattle, WA

December 4, 2018

Fourth Annual Conference in Monterrey

Monterrey, NLE

November 15, 2018

Cuarta Conferencia Anual en Monterrey

Monterrey, NLE

November 15, 2018

Fourth Annual Conference in Mexico City

México City

November 14, 2018

Cuarta Conferencia Anual en Ciudad de México

México City

November 14, 2018

Speak Up: Finding Your Voice in the #MeToo Era

Latina Success Conference MANA of San Diego

October 8, 2018

Legal Update on Labor and Employment Laws Critical to Any Size Business

October 4, 2018

4a Conferencia Anual en Colombia

Bogotá

September 26, 2018

#MeToo, #StandUp and Transformative Technologies in the Workplace

San Francisco, CA

September 13, 2018

International Employment & Labor Law Roundtable

Los Angeles, CA

September 12, 2018

An Ounce of Prevention: How to Successfully Navigate Through a Serious Crisis

Littler Executive Employer, Phoenix, AZ

May 4, 2018

Leading Edge Employment Law: Emerging Trends In Pay Parity Litigation and Enforcement

Hispanic National Bar Association, San Francisco, CA

March 17, 2018

Food and Beverage Industry Roundtable

The 2016 Executive Employer® Conference, Scottsdale, AZ

May 6, 2016

Working with a Multi-Lingual, Multi-Cultural Workforce

The 2015 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Phoenix, AZ

May 7, 2015

Employment Laws Affecting California Businesses in 2015

Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, Otay Mesa, CA

February 24, 2015

Legal Careers

Employment and Labor Law Society - California Western School of Law

November 11, 2014

Education

  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2003
  • B.A., University of Houston, 1999cum laude

Languages

  • Spanish

Bar Admission

California
Texas

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas