Kalpana Kotagal is a Partner at Cohen Milstein, a member of the firm’s Civil Rights & Employment practice group, and Chair of the firm’s Hiring and Diversity Committee. Ms. Kotagal plays an active role in the investigation and development of new matters for the Civil Rights & Employment practice group.
Ms. Kotagal is co-author of the “Inclusion Rider,” referenced by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand in her 2018 Best Actress acceptance speech. Ms. Kotagal is working on this project in collaboration with Dr. Stacy Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni of Pearl Street Films. Together they are working to transform the hiring practices in the film and television industry. Ms. Kotagal is also currently serving as an advisor to noted filmmakers on a film addressing issues of gender pay disparities.
A noted public speaker, Ms. Kotagal is often called on to address issues of employment and civil rights law, class actions, mandatory arbitration, diversity in the workplace. She also speaks regularly to law students and new lawyers.
Currently, Ms. Kotagal represents a class of female sales employees in a Title VII and Equal Pay Act case against one of the nation’s largest jewelry chains in Jock, et al. v Sterling Jewelers Inc. Her clients have alleged a pattern of sex discrimination in compensation and promotions. Ms. Kotagal also represents transgender beneficiaries of federal health insurance who have challenged the denial of transition-related care as discriminatory.