Caroline Powell Donelan


Caroline Donelan is a trusted adviser and strategic partner to both domestic and foreign clients, providing advice and defense counsel in all areas of employment law compliance and litigation, including wage and hour class and representative (“PAGA”) actions, wrongful termination/retaliation, discrimination, harassment, trade secret disputes, data protection, and alleged fiduciary breaches.

Caroline’s proactive risk management practice includes drafting key workplace policies and agreements, providing practical implementation guidance, conducting workplace trainings, managing internal audits and investigations, and providing day-to-day counseling on the wide variety of employment issues her clients face.

Caroline also provides transactional support and advice on stock and asset purchase agreements, including buy- and sell-side due diligence and executive agreements.


Value-Driven Results:

  • Motion to dismiss granted in federal court for Fortune 50 client, dismissing with prejudice claims for gender discrimination, sex harassment, and failure to prevent discrimination and harassment.
  • Pre-discovery, court-approved settlements reached in numerous California wage and hour class and representative actions, negotiating favorable and cost-effective client outcomes.
  • Identified potential wage and hour liabilities and managed pre-litigation release roll-outs for putative class members across multiple jurisdictions, resulting in significant exposure mitigation.

News & Views

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  • 2024, “Stand-Out Lawyer,” a client-nominated distinction, listed by Thomson Reuters
  • 2024, Labor & Employment Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2023, “Top Labor & Employment Lawyer,” listed by Daily Journal
  • 2022, “Leader of Influence: Labor & Employment Attorneys,” listed by Los Angeles Business Journal
  • 2020, “Top 40 Under 40” in California, listed in the Daily Journal
  • 2020–2021, Los Angeles “Rising Star” in Employment and Labor, listed in Super Lawyers
  • 2019, “Woman of Business,” by Comerica Bank and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Women’s Business Awards



  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
Professional Activities

Caroline sits on the advisory board of Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, a non-profit providing mental health care, clinical training, and policy advocacy aimed at reducing the mental health gap and psychosocial impacts of trauma caused by war, torture, forced displacement, human trafficking, and persecution due to identity and beliefs.

She is also the co-founder of MAMAs LA (Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association), a family-friendly networking and support organization focused on the distinct issues women face while toggling the dual role of mother and attorney, including work-life balance, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and women’s advancement.

Caroline was elected to serve on the 2024 Law360 Employment Authority Wage & Hour Editorial Advisory Board.



  • California
  • North Carolina


  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BA
  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, JD