About Vida

Vida Thomas is an Of Counsel attorney in Stoel Rives’ Labor & Employment group. An attorney who has practiced employment law for over 20 years, Vida advises employers regarding all aspects of employment law and human resources management, serves as an expert witness in state and federal employment lawsuits, and mediates litigation and non-litigation matters. Vida assists parties and attorneys in resolving employment claims, including but not limited to: harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims; wrongful termination claims; failure to accommodate and statutory leave violations; whistleblowing claims; wage and hour violations; invasion of privacy claims; and other statutory, tort and contract claims.

Vida also maintains a substantial workplace investigations practice, conducting impartial investigations into allegations of employee misconduct for private and public employers. She has conducted well over 100 workplace investigations and is experienced in complying with Title IX, Title V, the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights, and the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights. She has considerable experience investigating matters within a union setting and is particularly adept at investigating complex matters involving high-profile employers and individuals. Vida has been certified as an expert on investigations in federal court and frequently trains attorneys and human resources professionals on how to conduct legally effective workplace investigations.

Vida also routinely conducts sexual harassment prevention training (including AB1825 compliance training) for state agencies and private companies. She teaches human resources professionals and EEO officers how to conduct effective workplace investigations, and teaches managers and supervisors how to implement legally effective performance reviews. Clients have complimented Vida’s knack for making the law accessible, explaining complex legal concepts in a way that is both thorough and easy to understand. She believes training is most effective when it provides concrete, useful tips for navigating today’s complicated and highly regulated workplace.

She has advised clients and conducted dozens of seminars on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, employee drug testing and sexual harassment investigations.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Vida was an of counsel attorney with Weintraub Tobin Chediak Coleman Grodin Law Corporation. She began her legal career as an employment litigator at Kronick Moskovitz and then co-founded Carlsen Thomas, LLP, a boutique employment law firm that offered workplace investigations and employee training throughout California for 13 years.

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  • Conducts workplace investigations for private and public employers. Specializes in complex, high-profile matters. Handles employment litigation before state and federal courts and arbitrators. Has considerable experience defending federal and state harassment and discrimination suits including “pattern or practice” claims, and employment class actions.
  • Serves as an expert witness in federal court on the subject of conducting workplace investigations and handling harassment and discrimination complaints.
  • Serves as an expert witness in employment lawsuits and provides mediation services exclusively in the area of employment disputes.
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Honors & Activities

  • Teaching faculty, Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI)
  • Governmental Affairs Chair, San Joaquin SHRM
  • AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5.0 Peer Review Rated with Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Sacramento Business Journal, Best of the Bar Awardee, 2015 and 2017
  • Board Member, AWI, 2011-2012
  • Co-chair, AWI Best Practices Committee, 2011- 2012
  • Member, California State Bar’s Labor & Employment Committee, 2010-2012
  • Treasurer, Wiley Manual Bar Association of Sacramento, 2007
  • Associate Member, Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court, 2000-2001
  • Co-chair, Sacramento County Bar Association Minority Hiring and Retention Committee, 1999-2000
  • Board President, Chemical Dependency Center for Women, 1999-2000
  • Pro bono attorney, Sacramento Neighborhood Housing Services (Employment Matters), 1999
  • Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association Minority Hiring and Retention Committee, 1998-1999
  • Member, California State Bar Ethnic Minority Relations Committee, 1997-1998
  • Past chair, Sacramento Employer Advisory Council
  • Past member, Alumni Board of Pacific McGeorge School of Law
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Workplace Investigations,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 17th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Feb. 2019
  • California Employers: Ignore Piece-Rate Compensation Rules at Your Peril,” Stoel Rives Legal Update, Feb. 2019
  • “What California Employers Need to Know for 2019,” Stoel Rives LLP webinar, Jan. 2019
  • California Labor Commissioner Issues $1.9 Million Citation to Contractor for Wage Theft,” Stoel Rives Legal Update, Aug. 2018
  • California Supreme Court Makes It More Difficult for Employers to Classify Workers as Independent Contractors” (co-author), Stoel Rives Legal Update, May 2018
  • “Legal Update 2017: What California Restaurant owners Need to Know,” California Restaurant Association Annual Update, Chico, California, Oct. 2016
  • “California Equal Pay Act,” San Joaquin SHRM Annual Conference, Stockton, California, Jan. 2017
  • “Employment Law Update 2017,” National Business Institute, Oakland, California, Jan. 2017
  • “Employment Law Update 2017,” National Business Institute, Sacramento, California, Jan. 2017
  • “Advanced Workplace Investigation Techniques,” CalSHRM Legislative Conference, Sacramento, California, April 2017
  • “The Art of the Question: Tools and Techniques for Interviewing Witnesses,” National Association of College and University Attorneys Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 2017
  • “Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege; How It is Preserved and Refuted,” National Business Institute, Sacramento, California, Nov. 2017
  • “Tough, Tougher, Toughest: Navigating Difficult Situations During Investigation Interviews,” CalPELRA Annual Conference, Monterey, California, Dec. 2017

Related News & Publications

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