Profile: Patricia Shiu, Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director

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Patricia Shiu

Patricia Shiu serves as director of the Labor Department‘s office of federal contract compliance programs, where she leads an 800-employee staff in enforcing equal employment opportunity regulations for the federal contracting sector.

She also serves on the National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force, responsible for enforcing the 1983 Equal Pay Act, and represents Labor Secretary Hilda Solis on a federal interagency working group for the White House’s initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Before joining the Obama administration, she served as vice president for programs at the Legal Aid Society’s employment law center in San Francisco, which she joined in 1983.

She spent 26 years in the center as a staff attorney, representing individuals in both individual and class action cases focused on employment discrimination. Those cases involved issues such as gender, race, sexual orientation, national origin, immigration, disability, domestic violence and harassment.

Shiu also argued wage and hour and reproductive health hazard cases.

As director of the society’s work and family project, she advocated for the passage of California’s Family Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and paid sick leave legislation. She also advocated for expanded educational access under Title IX and disability laws.

She started her career as an associate with Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro and San Francisco and was president of California Women Lawyers in 1987.

In 1993, then-Education Secretary Richard Riley appointed her to the Education Department’s Civil Rights Reviewing Authority.

Shiu has also served as vice president of the National Employment Lawyers Association and in 2009 she was recognized with the Joe Morozumi Lifetime Achievement Award.

She is also a recipient of the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Award and the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition’s “Women Warrior Award.”

Shiu is a graduate of the University of California-Berkley and the University of San Francisco’s School of Law.

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