Cathy A. Harris serves as the Chair of KPWH’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Orientation, Transgender, and LGBT Practice sections, and is co-manager of the firm of Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC, in Washington, DC.
Ms. Harris has extensive experience in the litigation and settlement of federal sector class actions over the past decade. She has been counsel in at least five separate federal sector class actions, including Burden v. Barnhart, on behalf of African American males at the Social Security Administration, which settled for more than $7.8 million dollars. She currently serves as class counsel in several certified class action cases currently pending before the EEOC.
Ms. Harris also represents individual employees in both the federal and private sectors. She represents employees in all aspects of their employment, including discrimination and retaliation, management investigations, Inspector General investigations, negotiations of employment contracts, terminations, disciplinary actions, hostile work environments, whistleblowing, and disability retirement. She also represents employees in matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and in the federal courts.
Ms. Harris was honored as the 2010 “attorney of the year” by the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, and she was named as a 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in the practice area of Employment Law-Individuals in Washington, DC by Best Lawyers. Her areas of practice include employment, civil service, civil rights and general litigation at the administrative, trial and appellate levels, including cases involving sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination.
She graduated from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC with honors in 1997, where she received the Michael D. Cooley award for most successfully maintaining her compassion, vitality and humanity during law school and was elected to give the salutatory address at commencement. She served on the George Washington University Law Review, as an Articles Editor (1997) and a Member (1996). Ms. Harris has been with Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC, since 1999, and became a Member of the firm in January 2005.
Ms. Harris received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in Providence, R.I., in 1994. She was admitted to practice law before the New York State Appellate Division, First Department in 1998, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1999, the District of Columbia and the United States Court of Federal Claims in 2000, and the State of Maryland in 2015. Prior to joining Kator, Parks, Weiser & Harris, PLLC, Ms. Harris was an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She served as an Adjunct Professor at the George Washington University Law School from 2001 to 2004, teaching legal research and writing and oral advocacy to first-year law students.
While in law school, Ms. Harris published two pieces in the George Washington Law Review. She authored a Note on lesbian and gay civil rights litigation “Outing Privacy Litigation: Toward a Contextual Strategy For Lesbian And Gay Rights,” 65 Geo..Wash. L. Rev. 248 (1997), and a case note on “Unfair Labor Practices –– Pension Plans and the Postmodern Employee,” 64 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1354 (1996). She has also co-authored two manuals on sexual assault peer education for secondary schools, high schools and colleges.
Ms. Harris belongs to the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association. She has served in past years as the co-chair of the Merit Systems Protection Board Committee for the Federal Circuit Bar Association, and the treasurer of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.