Kate S.O'Scannlain


Washington + 1.202.879.3629

Former Solicitor of Labor Kate O'Scannlain counsels clients in labor and employment matters, including litigation, investigations, compliance, and regulation.

Kate was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate to serve as the highest-ranking woman and third-highest-ranking official at the Department of Labor (DOL) from 2018 to 2021, where she led the federal government's second-largest legal department as chief legal officer, supervising approximately 500+ lawyers and staff, across the country. She managed DOL's enforcement responsibility, including under FLSA (fair labor), OSHA (occupational safety and health), FMLA (family & medical leave), INA (immigration), Title VII (civil rights), ERISA (employee retirement), and other antidiscrimination and whistleblower statutes. She represented 23 client agencies such as WHD (wage & hour), OSHA, and OFCCP (federal contract compliance) and oversaw the development and legal analysis of 62 regulations (including overtime, joint employer, independent contractor, regular rate, tips, association health plans, ESG [environmental, social, and governance], H-2A and H-1B visas, and beryllium standards) and numerous guidance documents and opinion letters. She also worked closely on legal strategy with other government officials.

Kate guided DOL's COVID-19 legal response, equities in CARES (aid relief) and FFCRA (families first) acts, and subsequent drafting, publishing, and enforcement of regulations (including paid leave). She also led successful efforts to defeat COVID-19 mandamus petitions.

Prior to her appointment, Kate was a partner at a global law firm, where she represented clients in discrimination and retaliation charges, contract disputes, and breach of fiduciary duty claims. She also counseled on negotiating executive terminations and severance agreements, reductions-in-force, WARN (worker adjustment and retraining) compliance, restrictive covenants, unfair labor practices, and employee handbooks.