Karen C. Carrera, Esq., AWI-CH

Provides sexual harassment and discrimination trainings and develops policies and procedures for employers, in both English and Spanish. Ms. Carrera is a Certificate Holder, Association of Workplace Investigators.

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Bilingual Attorney, Investigator, Trainer and DEI Consultant.  Ms. Carrera conducts workplace investigations for both public and private employers in response to employee complaints of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, and other alleged employee misconduct.  Ms. Carrera also provides diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and harassment prevention trainings and consultations for corporations, government agencies and individuals, in both English and Spanish.  She holds a certificate from the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), and is an active member.  She also holds a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University. 

Prior to becoming an investigator and trainer, Ms. Carrera was a Plaintiffs’ side employment law litigator at Villegas Carrera, Inc.  This uniquely qualifies her to determine risk and see where employers are vulnerable to being sued by employees.  Before Villegas Carrera, Ms. Carrera was a Deputy City Attorney and litigator with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where she filed lawsuits against property owners who violated San Francisco’s housing, health, fire, and police codes.  Ms. Carrera also formerly worked as the supervising attorney at Legal Aid of Marin and La Raza Centro Legal where she litigated employment and housing cases, and managed a diverse staff, including volunteers.  She facilitated community outreach meetings with the Latino community and services agencies and conducted bilingual trainings and drafted Spanish and English self-help manuals.   

Ms. Carrera is a 1992 graduate of the University of California College of the Law San Francisco (formerly U.C. Hastings) and has practiced law for 30 years. 


  1. County of Marin, Certificate of Recognition, Business Citizen of the Year, presented by Katie Rice, District 2 Supervisor, and Damon Connolly, September 24, 2021.
  2. Spirit of Marin Award – Business Professional of the Year, presented by Bank of Marin, 2021. 
  3. Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Karen C. Carrera, The Hon. Jared Huffman, for entrepreneurial accomplishments and civic involvement, 2021. 
  4. Certificate of Recognition, California State Legislature, Business Citizen of the Year, The Hon. Assemblyman Marc Levine, 2021. 
  5. Certificate of Appreciation, Marin County Board of Supervisors, Business Citizen of the Year, 2021.
  6. Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder (AWI-CH), February 2020 to the present. 
  7. Hero Award, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, for 15 years of service, 2019.
  8. Profile of Karen Carrera, Plaintiff Magazine, November 2017 
  9. Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Karen C. Carrera, The Hon. Jared Huffman, in honor of ongoing commitment to the Latino population in Marin County, 2015.  
  10. State of California Senate, Certificate of Recognition to Karen C. Carrera, The Hon. Mike McGuire, State Senator, for outstanding leadership and professional skills, 2015.  
  11. Hispanic Business Professional of the Year, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, for outstanding leadership, commitment, and professional skills in representing Latino immigrants, 2015.
  12. Legal Services Corporation, Certificate of Appreciation, for extraordinary commitment to providing equal access to justice through pro bono work with California Rural Legal Assistance, 2015.  
  13. Community Service Award Recipient and 2013 Graduation Keynote Speaker – Hastings College of the Law, La Raza Law Student’s Assoc.  May 2013.
  14. Outstanding Benefactor Award, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Sacramento, California, “for providing access to justice to low-income workers in California”. September 2008.
  15. California Assembly, Certificate of Recognition for providing volunteer legal services to low-income people in Marin, May 2006.  
  16. Wiley E. Manual Award from the State Bar of California in recognition of pro bono work. 2004.
  17. San Francisco Minority Bar Coalition, recipient of the Unity Award, for “Outstanding Service to the Legal Community”.  May 2004.
  18. Certificate of Appreciation, City of San Francisco, Hon. Willie Brown, for prosecuting slumlords on behalf of the City of San Francisco. May 2002.



University of California Law College of the Law San Francisco (formerly U.C. Hastings), September 2009-2019.

Adjunct Professor.  Classes taught:  Representing Spanish Speaking Clients in Employment Law; Interviewing and Counseling Clients; Negotiation and Mediation Strategies, Legal Writing and Research.

Berkeley School of Law, University of California, August – November 2018.

Lecturer in Law.  Legal Research & Writing, L.L.M. Legal Research and Writing Department.

  • Best Practices to Avoid Legal Risks for DEI Programs, Bar Association of San Francisco, November 16, 2022. 
  • Wage & Hour Law and the Immigrant Low Wage Worker, Marin Trial Lawyers Association, 2015.
  • Work Life Law for Women in Tech, Google, 2015.
  • Representing Immigrant Clients in Class Actions, S.F. Trial Lawyers Association, 2014.
  • U-Visas and Immigrant Clients in Employment Law, Marin Trial Lawyers Association, 2013.
  • Employment Law Overview, Legal Aid of Marin, 2010.
  • Wage & Hour Law and the Immigrant Low Wage Worker, PLUS Conference, 2009.


  1. Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Member, June 2019 – present.
  2. Diversity Inclusion Task Force, Town of Tiburon, 2021-present. 
  3. Citizens Advisory Panel, Tiburon Police Department, Sept. 2023 – present. 
  4. Association of Latino Marin Attorneys (ALMA) – Board of Directors, December 2022-present; Co-President 2023.  
  5. Marin Trial Lawyers Association Board of Directors, June 2018-present; Former Co-President, 2018-2019.  
  6. Marin County Women Lawyer’s Association Board of Directors, April 2019 – 2023.
  7. Aids Legal Referral Panel (ALRP) Volunteer Attorney, 2005-present.
  8. Canal AllianceBoard of Directors, (2014-2019).
  9. Equal Rights Advocates (ERA)Board of Directors (2008-2014).
  10. ACLU of Northern California, Board of Directors (2006-2008).
  11. La Raza Centro Legal, Board of Directors, (2000-2003).
  12. Bay Area Legal Aid, Board of Directors (1999-2000).
  13. General Counsel – Reed Schools Foundation, Tiburon, CA, 2004-2006.

On-site Training

Ms. Carrera offers onsite sexual and workplace harrassment training.


Ms. Carrera offers workplace investigation services for incidents of sexual or workplace harassment.

Our employer client was involved in very difficult and complicated harassment claims involving two female employees who were monolingual Spanish speakers.  We searched high and low across the state for a Spanish speaking workplace investigator who was a native speaker and who possessed an adequate amount of experience in California employment law.  Enter Karen Carrera – she fit the profile perfectly and dived into our case at a moment’s notice.  Through Karen’s investigation, we were able to gain a thorough, accurate, and unbiased portrait of what most likely happened.  From an employer’s perspective, we valued Karen’s background and experience representing plaintiffs and it was ultimately Karen’s investigation that made a critical difference in our case.   We recommend Karen as a workplace investigator for any employer with a significant Spanish speaking workforce.”

C. Lee

San Rafael, CA