Cozen O’Connor: McFarland, Helen M.

Helen M. McFarland



(206) 373-7231

(415) 692-3682

San Francisco

(415) 593-9644

Helen M. McFarland focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling for a broad range of California, Oregon, and Washington employers, professionals, insurers, and businesses. She advises clients on the entire gamut of employment issues, including hiring and firing employees, avoiding harassment and discrimination claims, responding to leave requests, accommodating disabilities or claimed disabilities, ensuring wage and hour compliance, handling grievances and investigations, and drafting employee handbooks, agreements, and other employment policies. Helen also trains supervisors and other Human Resources professionals in best practices. 

In addition to counseling, Helen has more than 16 years of experience litigating cases in state and federal courts, in arbitrations, and before administrative agencies. She deftly handles all aspects of litigation from initial witness interviews through discovery, dispositive motions, mediations, and trial. She also assists employers in responding to complaints brought before the EEOC and the DFEH.

Helen earned her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School, where she served as the managing editor of the Environmental Law Review and was selected by faculty to be on the Cornelius Honor Society. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College.



Flexible Work Arrangements in California Present Unique Challenges

July 28, 2017

Helen McFarland, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Labor & Employment department, discusses flexible work arrangements in SHRM.


California Is Cleaning Up [Alert]

September 18, 2018

Craig Schloss, Jason Barsanti, Helen McFarland, and Aimee Axelrod Parker discuss California’s Property Service Workers Protection Act which applies to “any person or entity that employs at least one employee and one or more covered workers and that enters into contracts, subcontracts, or franchise arrangements to provide janitorial services.”

Are You Ready for Washington’s Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law? [Labor & Employment Law]

December 27, 2017

Helen McFarland reviews what employers need to know and do before Washington's paid sick leave law goes into effect on January 1.

California Bans Salary History Inquiries [Labor & Employment Alert]

October 23, 2017

Helen McFarland discusses California's new ban and what employers need to know before it goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

San Francisco Ordinance Requires Six Weeks of Fully Paid Parental Leave [Labor & Employment Alert]

April 14, 2016

Helen McFarland discusses this new requirement available to both mothers and fathers equally.

California Fair Pay Act: New Obligations for Employers or a Paper Tiger? [Labor & Employment Alert]

October 01, 2015

While the actual revisions to existing law are slight, these rigid systems may affect an employer’s ability to offer competitive salaries to high-value employees without impacting overall salaries within the company.

Construction Law [Oregon State Bar]

October 14, 2011

Helen McFarland authored a chapter on “The Surety Relationship and Payment and Performance Bonds” in the Oregon State Bar’s “Construction Law.”


  • Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, J.D., 2001
  • Vassar College, B.A.
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court -- Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court -- Oregon
  • U.S. District Court -- Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of Washington
  • Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference Planning Committee
  • King County Bar Association -Labor and Employment Section
  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • Edward J. McFetridge Inn of Court