Danielle Pener, Principal Attorney


Danielle L. Pener
Principal Attorney




Danielle L. Pener is an experienced employment attorney who has counseled and represented companies for almost two decades.

Danielle focuses on bringing strategic and practical preventative advice and counsel to her clients on California employment law in the following areas:

  • Wage-and-hour matters
  • Employee and new hire audits to determine proper exemption classification
  • Independent contractor classification audits and AB5 compliance
  • Leaves of absence and disability accommodation
  • Employee hiring, management, discipline, and terminations (including reductions-in-force)
  • Employee relations issues
  • Discrimination and harassment complaints

Danielle concentrates her practice on this preventative approach. She prepares agreements, policies, handbooks, and compensation plans to ensure a company is compliant with California and local law, and that they are set up for success in their interactions with its workforce. Having served as in-house counsel at both a Silicon Valley company as well as a very large fortune 500 retailer, Danielle understands that clients are focused on the success of their business and connects with her clients on a more intricate level to merge their business needs with the necessary employment law advice.

In addition to her counseling practice, Danielle also is a skilled workplace investigator who has conducted multiple dozens of investigations (as well as overseen many others) for companies of all sizes, in myriad industries. She understands that a company’s liability can be directly impacted by the quality of their investigation. Her investigations are not only thorough and prompt, but also efficient. She has developed an aptitude for obtaining and evaluating witness information and producing investigative findings that will withstand scrutiny. Danielle is a perceptive listener who can connect with individuals in varied employment settings – from white collar and technology companies to manufacturing and hospitality settings.

While she no longer litigates cases, Danielle’s prior litigation experience in state courts and in front of many administrative agencies brings a wealth of knowledge to her clients. She works diligently with her clients to avoid claims where possible; when claims do arise, she employs a conciliatory approach to minimize protracted expensive litigation.

In all of her work, Danielle leverages her experience on the complexities of California employment law, as well as local and state ordinances. Her clients are involved in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, professional services, technology, retail, and hospitality.


Danielle graduated with her J.D. in 2001 from the University of California, Davis. She graduated with her B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, in 1998 from Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Danielle is admitted to the bar in California, Missouri and Kansas.

Community Work and Personal

Danielle has been active philanthropically and in the business community:

  • Served on the Board of Camp Newman as part of the SF Jewish Federation Fed Fellows Program
  • Donated pro bono legal services through the Pro Bono Consulting Practice of the Jewish Federation in San Francisco
  • Past Chair (2 years) of the Steering Committee of the Business Leadership Counsel of the SF Jewish Federation
  • Served on the Executive Committee of her San Francisco ProVisors Group – VIII
  • Past Membership Chair on the Board of the Council of Business Advisors

Danielle also taught Moot Court and Legal Research and Writing as an adjunct professor at UC Hastings College of the Law and Golden Gate University School of Law.

Danielle lives with her husband, a marketing executive, and two small children, splitting her time between San Diego and San Francisco. Currently, all of Danielle’s time is spent running Alta Employment Law, and running after her toddler boy and baby girl, but she hopes to return to service in the community soon.