Katherine González-Valentín

Katherine González-Valentín is a Capital Member and the Chair of the Labor and Employment practice. She is the first female partner to become member of the firm’s Executive Committee and has chaired the Firm Affairs Committee and the Litigation practice. With over 18 years of experience as an employment law and litigation attorney exclusively representing companies and management, Katherine has solid advocacy and counseling skills. A seasoned speaker on employment law topics and civil practice in forums in Puerto Rico and the United States, Katherine influences the legal and labor and employment community through active speaking engagements, employee training and publications on current and emerging legal topics. Her experience goes beyond the local arena, as she represents companies in cases and with operations in the continental United States and works with international companies.

Katherine primarily focuses her practice on advising employers and their management teams on employment relationships and human resources management and represents them in employment disputes before state and federal forums. She covers the full employment law spectrum including hiring practices, discrimination, sexual harassment, disability, retaliation, privacy, defamation, statutory leaves of absence, reductions in force, wage and hours, to name a few. She has considerable practical and substantive experience in local and federal laws concerning employment rights and compliance requirements and also focuses on health insurance and Medicare litigation.

Prior to joining Ferraiuoli, Katherine worked at two other top Puerto Rico law firms as a litigation and employment law attorney and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico. As such and through years of exposure to complex litigation, mediation and arbitration proceedings, Katherine has acquired valuable experience representing entities in cases concerning the healthcare insurance industry, Medicare fraud, medical malpractice, FINRA, contractual disputes and complex collections. She also has had extensive exposure to out-of-court, conflict resolution achieving comprehensive and mutually beneficial settlements in state, federal administrative and extrajudicial claims.

Katherine’s experience is further enhanced by her longstanding leadership in the Federal Bar Association and similar leading roles in other important organizations.

Get to know Katherine

Why Ferraiuoli?

An opportunity to establish a labor and employment department and contribute to the formation of a law firm and its components does not come across every day. Like forming a strong family, it takes time, patience, sacrifice, strategic planning, education and nurturing. I accepted the challenge and joined Ferraiuoli ready to create and arrange the building-blocks and strategically placed them in a way so we could have a stronger foundation and competitive edge. I invited others to do the same. Others followed, coworkers and clients alike. Today we have a track record of successful outcomes in litigation and preventive consulting, publications and industry recognition. Our initiatives have helped us build and grow a stellar employment law department and a unique legal business focused on our clients’ best interests. So, why Ferraiuoli? Because the labor that has gone into its formation fuels our desire to continue to excel in providing exceptional legal services, that are sensitive to our clients’ needs, goals and budgets.

Why do your clients come to you?

I take it very seriously when my clients choose me as their business partner to apply effective courtroom abilities and strong communication and analytical skills to rectify their legal matters. They see me as a professional who provides a proactive and practical approach with quick or step-by-step solutions for their problems as well as an emphasis on identifying potential risks to anticipate and prevent future conflicts. While I always try to avoid litigation, as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and active federal and state court practitioner, I know what it takes to master litigation successfully and cost-effectively in and out of court when there is no other option. My federal practice and litigation background, combined with more than 18 years exclusively counseling businesses, employers, management and human resources professionals also provides my clients with a high level of confidence that we can resolve matters efficiently and effectively.

What do you find most rewarding?

Having both the ability and opportunity to exert positive influences to obtain desired outcomes or lead others toward that end is what gives me the most satisfaction; it is why I love what I do for my clients, coworkers, colleagues and my firm. Whether it is arguing a case on a client’s behalf, speaking for a group of professionals at a conference or an in-house training for employees or leading strategic and professional development meetings with my team, I always find ways to ensure that what I do for a living is not only self-rewarding but valuable and worthwhile for those I serve as well.

Representative Cases or Transactions

  • Delia Pabón Ramírez et al v. MMM Healthcare, Inc., 2014 WL 1797041, D. Puerto Rico, April 29, 2014 (Civil No. 12-1743 JAF) (granting defendants’ motions to dismiss, motions to alter judgment and motions for summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs’ state and federal claims for alleged disability and age discrimination, constructive discharge, hostile work environment and damages, among others).
  •  Cabrera-Ruiz v. Rocket Learning, Inc. Slip Copy, 2011 WL 1810630, D. Puerto Rico, May 11, 2011 (Civ. No. 10-1865 JAF) (dismissing plaintiffs’ age discrimination, constructive discharge and hostile work environment claims).
  • Arturo Alfonso Bru v. Trane Export, 2001 TSPR 129, (setting standard for disclosure during discovery of income tax returns in employment litigation).
  • Benjamín Ortiz Algarín v. Federal Express Corp., 56 F. Supp. 2d 172 (D. Puerto Rico 1999), (inapplicability of the compelled self-publication doctrine in Puerto Rico).
  • De Jesus v. Potter, 397 F.Supp.2d 319, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25454; affirmed in part and vacated in part by De Jesus v. Potter, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 31839 (1st Cir. P.R. Dec. 27, 2006), (dismissing plaintiffs’ Title VII sex and national origin discrimination and disparate impact claims).
  • Fontan v. Potter, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39493 (D.P.R. June 12, 2006), (dismissing plaintiff’s disability discrimination, hostile work environment, constructive discharge and retaliation claims).
  • Franceschi v. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69593, (D.P.R. Sept. 26, 2006); affirmed by Franceschi v. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs, 514 F.3d 81 (1st Cir. P.R. Jan. 30, 2008), (dismissing plaintiffs’ gender discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation claims).
  • Gorencavic v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 165 Fed.Appx. 949 (2nd Cir. 2006) (denying aliens’ petition for review of Board of Immigration Appeals summary confirmation of denial of asylum since conditions in country of origin adequately rebutted presumption of future persecution).
  • Wilson-López v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5849, (District Court granted BOP’s request for dismissal of writ of habeas corpus absent a case or controversy because petitioner’s actions mooted relief sought).

view all

Speaking Engagements

  • Killer Stereotypes: Women Who Lead Human Resources Edition. August 17, 2016
  • How healthy is your Wellness Program? Diagnosis on changing postures of EEOC and Courts, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, San Juan, PR, April 28, 2016
  • Your Wellness Program. Important considerations under ADA, GINA, HIPPA and the EEOC regulations, Association of Labor Relations Professionals, Verdanza Hotel, May 12, 2016
  • How healthy is your Wellness Program? Diagnosis on changing postures of EEOC and Courts, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel, April 28, 2016
  • The Legal X, Y, Z and the multi-generational workforce, PR Mfg. Association HR Management Forum, Puerto Rico, March 2016
  • Client Seminar – Diversity & Inclusion Program: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Reaching Gender Party, March 2016
  • Fashion Law Conference of the Federal Bar Association: Ethical Sourcing and Labor Considerations Panel, Compensation and wage and hour issues in internships and train ing programs and independent contractors in retail and fashion; Parsons School of Design: School of Fashion, New York City; February 12, 2016
  • Four Generations, One Workplace: Legal and practical considerations for the multigenerational workforce, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • How to tackle the good, the bad and the ugly through performance management, Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • Social Media in the Workplace: Dream or Nightmare?, Association of Labor Relations Professionals, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • Federal Internet Law Statutes & Remedies. Big Brother is Watching: Can You Watch Too?, Federal Bar Association 2015 Annual Meeting and Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2015
  • The Legal X, Y, Z: Another optic to manage a multi-generational workforce, Southwestern Industrial Association’s HR Management Forum, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, August 2015
  • If domestic violence knocks on your office’s door, would you know what to do?, Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 2015
  • The Glass Ceiling in the Legal Profession: How are Women Progressing?, Federal Bar Association’s Second Annual Women in the Law Conference, Washington, DC, June 2015, Moderator
  • Avoiding Million Dollar Verdicts Against the Employer: Sexual Harassment and The Vital Role of the Investigator,  Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2015
  • Social Media in the Workplace: Dream or Nightmare?, Women Who Lead Summit, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 2015
  • Cutting Edge Cases in Federal Employment Law Litigation: A view from the bar and the bench, Federal Bar Association 2014 Annual Meeting and Convention, Providence, Rhode Island, September 2014
  • Recent Tendencies and Strategies in the Employment Context – Best Practices for Social Media Policies, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, October 2014
  • Discussion of Statutory Leaves for Employees, a Forum by the Society for Human Resources Management PR Chapter, November 2013
  • How Long has it Really Been Since our Employment Policies Were Revised? Taking a Fresh Look at the Employee Handbook for Updates and Compliance with 2012-2013 Requirements & Trends, Society for Human Resources Management Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Convention, September 2013
  • Women in the Law: Understanding the Impact of Gender on the Retention and Advancement of Women in the Legal Workplace, Federal Bar Association 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention, San Juan, PR, September 2013
  • Do it Right, Say it Right: Strategies and Golden Rules for Superior Preparation and Effective Testimony During Depositions in Employment Litigation, Federal Bar Association webinar series, March 2013
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Prevention Trainings for Management and Employees, October 2012 – Present
  • Internal Investigations in the Workplace, Puerto Rico Manufacturers’ Association, December 2011
  • Strategies for Effective Deposition Testimony, September 2011 and July 2010; and, Recent Developments in Employment Law, June 2008 – Society for Human Resources Management
  • Performance Management, Corrective Measures and Documentation, August 2010; and, Employment Law Seminar for Managers, March 2007 – Client Seminars
  • The Workplace and Technological Changes, PR Chamber of Commerce, 2008

view all

Publications

  •  Practical Law, State Q&A, Mini-WARN Act: Puerto Rico, published by Thomson Reuters (April 2015)
  • Who’s burning now? Avoiding “cat’s paw liability” through proper Pre-disciplinary Investigation, The Federal Lawyer January/February 2012.

view all

Get to know Katherine

Why Ferraiuoli?

An opportunity to establish a labor and employment department and contribute to the formation of a law firm and its components does not come across every day. Like forming a strong family, it takes time, patience, sacrifice, strategic planning, education and nurturing. I accepted the challenge and joined Ferraiuoli ready to create and arrange the building-blocks and strategically placed them in a way so we could have a stronger foundation and competitive edge. I invited others to do the same. Others followed, coworkers and clients alike. Today we have a track record of successful outcomes in litigation and preventive consulting, publications and industry recognition. Our initiatives have helped us build and grow a stellar employment law department and a unique legal business focused on our clients’ best interests. So, why Ferraiuoli? Because the labor that has gone into its formation fuels our desire to continue to excel in providing exceptional legal services, that are sensitive to our clients’ needs, goals and budgets.

Why do your clients come to you?

I take it very seriously when my clients choose me as their business partner to apply effective courtroom abilities and strong communication and analytical skills to rectify their legal matters. They see me as a professional who provides a proactive and practical approach with quick or step-by-step solutions for their problems as well as an emphasis on identifying potential risks to anticipate and prevent future conflicts. While I always try to avoid litigation, as a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and active federal and state court practitioner, I know what it takes to master litigation successfully and cost-effectively in and out of court when there is no other option. My federal practice and litigation background, combined with more than 18 years exclusively counseling businesses, employers, management and human resources professionals also provides my clients with a high level of confidence that we can resolve matters efficiently and effectively.

What do you find most rewarding?

Having both the ability and opportunity to exert positive influences to obtain desired outcomes or lead others toward that end is what gives me the most satisfaction; it is why I love what I do for my clients, coworkers, colleagues and my firm. Whether it is arguing a case on a client’s behalf, speaking for a group of professionals at a conference or an in-house training for employees or leading strategic and professional development meetings with my team, I always find ways to ensure that what I do for a living is not only self-rewarding but valuable and worthwhile for those I serve as well.

Representative Cases or Transactions

  • Delia Pabón Ramírez et al v. MMM Healthcare, Inc., 2014 WL 1797041, D. Puerto Rico, April 29, 2014 (Civil No. 12-1743 JAF) (granting defendants’ motions to dismiss, motions to alter judgment and motions for summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs’ state and federal claims for alleged disability and age discrimination, constructive discharge, hostile work environment and damages, among others).
  •  Cabrera-Ruiz v. Rocket Learning, Inc. Slip Copy, 2011 WL 1810630, D. Puerto Rico, May 11, 2011 (Civ. No. 10-1865 JAF) (dismissing plaintiffs’ age discrimination, constructive discharge and hostile work environment claims).
  • Arturo Alfonso Bru v. Trane Export, 2001 TSPR 129, (setting standard for disclosure during discovery of income tax returns in employment litigation).
  • Benjamín Ortiz Algarín v. Federal Express Corp., 56 F. Supp. 2d 172 (D. Puerto Rico 1999), (inapplicability of the compelled self-publication doctrine in Puerto Rico).
  • De Jesus v. Potter, 397 F.Supp.2d 319, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25454; affirmed in part and vacated in part by De Jesus v. Potter, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 31839 (1st Cir. P.R. Dec. 27, 2006), (dismissing plaintiffs’ Title VII sex and national origin discrimination and disparate impact claims).
  • Fontan v. Potter, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39493 (D.P.R. June 12, 2006), (dismissing plaintiff’s disability discrimination, hostile work environment, constructive discharge and retaliation claims).
  • Franceschi v. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69593, (D.P.R. Sept. 26, 2006); affirmed by Franceschi v. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs, 514 F.3d 81 (1st Cir. P.R. Jan. 30, 2008), (dismissing plaintiffs’ gender discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation claims).
  • Gorencavic v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, 165 Fed.Appx. 949 (2nd Cir. 2006) (denying aliens’ petition for review of Board of Immigration Appeals summary confirmation of denial of asylum since conditions in country of origin adequately rebutted presumption of future persecution).
  • Wilson-López v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5849, (District Court granted BOP’s request for dismissal of writ of habeas corpus absent a case or controversy because petitioner’s actions mooted relief sought).

view all

Speaking Engagements

  • Killer Stereotypes: Women Who Lead Human Resources Edition. August 17, 2016
  • How healthy is your Wellness Program? Diagnosis on changing postures of EEOC and Courts, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, San Juan, PR, April 28, 2016
  • Your Wellness Program. Important considerations under ADA, GINA, HIPPA and the EEOC regulations, Association of Labor Relations Professionals, Verdanza Hotel, May 12, 2016
  • How healthy is your Wellness Program? Diagnosis on changing postures of EEOC and Courts, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel, April 28, 2016
  • The Legal X, Y, Z and the multi-generational workforce, PR Mfg. Association HR Management Forum, Puerto Rico, March 2016
  • Client Seminar – Diversity & Inclusion Program: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough: Reaching Gender Party, March 2016
  • Fashion Law Conference of the Federal Bar Association: Ethical Sourcing and Labor Considerations Panel, Compensation and wage and hour issues in internships and train ing programs and independent contractors in retail and fashion; Parsons School of Design: School of Fashion, New York City; February 12, 2016
  • Four Generations, One Workplace: Legal and practical considerations for the multigenerational workforce, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • How to tackle the good, the bad and the ugly through performance management, Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • Social Media in the Workplace: Dream or Nightmare?, Association of Labor Relations Professionals, San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2015
  • Federal Internet Law Statutes & Remedies. Big Brother is Watching: Can You Watch Too?, Federal Bar Association 2015 Annual Meeting and Convention, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 2015
  • The Legal X, Y, Z: Another optic to manage a multi-generational workforce, Southwestern Industrial Association’s HR Management Forum, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, August 2015
  • If domestic violence knocks on your office’s door, would you know what to do?, Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, August 2015
  • The Glass Ceiling in the Legal Profession: How are Women Progressing?, Federal Bar Association’s Second Annual Women in the Law Conference, Washington, DC, June 2015, Moderator
  • Avoiding Million Dollar Verdicts Against the Employer: Sexual Harassment and The Vital Role of the Investigator,  Society for Human Resources Management, Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2015
  • Social Media in the Workplace: Dream or Nightmare?, Women Who Lead Summit, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 2015
  • Cutting Edge Cases in Federal Employment Law Litigation: A view from the bar and the bench, Federal Bar Association 2014 Annual Meeting and Convention, Providence, Rhode Island, September 2014
  • Recent Tendencies and Strategies in the Employment Context – Best Practices for Social Media Policies, Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, October 2014
  • Discussion of Statutory Leaves for Employees, a Forum by the Society for Human Resources Management PR Chapter, November 2013
  • How Long has it Really Been Since our Employment Policies Were Revised? Taking a Fresh Look at the Employee Handbook for Updates and Compliance with 2012-2013 Requirements & Trends, Society for Human Resources Management Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Convention, September 2013
  • Women in the Law: Understanding the Impact of Gender on the Retention and Advancement of Women in the Legal Workplace, Federal Bar Association 2013 Annual Meeting and Convention, San Juan, PR, September 2013
  • Do it Right, Say it Right: Strategies and Golden Rules for Superior Preparation and Effective Testimony During Depositions in Employment Litigation, Federal Bar Association webinar series, March 2013
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Prevention Trainings for Management and Employees, October 2012 – Present
  • Internal Investigations in the Workplace, Puerto Rico Manufacturers’ Association, December 2011
  • Strategies for Effective Deposition Testimony, September 2011 and July 2010; and, Recent Developments in Employment Law, June 2008 – Society for Human Resources Management
  • Performance Management, Corrective Measures and Documentation, August 2010; and, Employment Law Seminar for Managers, March 2007 – Client Seminars
  • The Workplace and Technological Changes, PR Chamber of Commerce, 2008

view all

Publications

  •  Practical Law, State Q&A, Mini-WARN Act: Puerto Rico, published by Thomson Reuters (April 2015)
  • Who’s burning now? Avoiding “cat’s paw liability” through proper Pre-disciplinary Investigation, The Federal Lawyer January/February 2012.

view all