Tamara M. Gerrard

Employment Compliance, Employment Litigation, Labor Relations

Tamara M. Gerrard has been litigating cases in Hawaii for twenty years, fourteen of which were as a Director in the employment law department at Torkildson, Katz, Hetherington, Harris & Knorek, Attorneys at Law, until she chose to become Of Counsel in 2014. During her career, she has appeared in both federal and state courts and before state agencies.

Recent representative matters include:

  • Obtaining a unanimous defense verdict in favor of employer after three week jury trial of a disability discrimination claim in the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit, State of Hawaii in 2011;
  • Obtaining summary judgment in federal court on behalf of employer as to Title VII claim for race and sex discrimination, prevailed on appeal to the Ninth Circuit in 2009 and successfully defeated plaintiff's application for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court in 2010;
  • Prevailing on claim brought against employer alleging termination for having suffered work injury, administrative hearing before State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Wage Standards Division, Hearings Branch, decision and order May 25, 2010; and
  • Prevailing on behalf of employer in private arbitration of employee's claim for breach of implied contract against employer, decision issued January 10, 2010.

Aside from litigating cases, she regularly counsels employers regarding compliance with federal and state employment laws, including leave entitlement, wage and hour issues, reasonable accommodation under disability law, and harassment investigations.


Ms. Gerrard has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in Hawaii every year from 2010 through the present. She was twice elected to serve as Chairperson of the Labor and Employment Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA).

Community Involvement

Ms. Gerrard enjoys educating and training employers and the public on employment law and compliance matters. She speaks on legal ethics and employment law issues to numerous professional and nonprofit groups, including the Hawaii State Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, SHRM Hawaii, the American Payroll Association, the Hawaii Claims Association, and nonprofit educational programs including Castle Colleagues (Directors of Preschools and Other Early Childhood Education Programs) and Weinberg Fellows (Executive Directors of Nonprofits). Ms. Gerrard has also lectured on labor and human resources issues for the University of Hawaii Executive MBA program.


  • J.D., 1992, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
    • Honors: Magna Cum Laude, Hastings Law Journal, Order of the Coif, Thurston Honor Society
  • B.A., 1989, University of California, Berkeley
    • Major: Economics
    • Honors: With Distinction

Admitted to Practice

  • California State Bar, 1992 (inactive)
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California, 1992
  • United States District Court, District of Hawaii, 1994
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1994
  • Hawaii State Bar, 1994
  • United States Supreme Court, 2010

Areas of Practice