Qiaojing Ella Zheng

Qiaojing Ella Zheng
Qiaojing Ella Zheng
Senior Counsel

(415) 795-2013

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Qiaojing Ella Zheng (郑巧晶 律师) is the Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Chair for Sanford Heisler Sharp. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has extensive experience representing China-based clients in legal matters arising under U.S.laws.

Qiaojing Ella Zheng Honored with 2018 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award

2018 YWCA Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award

Our commitment to securing justice and providing the best representation possible is reflected in a commitment to diversity within our own firm. At Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, we know better than to think the best attorneys look alike, sound alike, think alike, or live alike. What matters is talent, and we hire the best talent available.

As a result, our team more accurately mirrors America. Women, minority, and/or openly gay lawyers make up the majority of our staff. A passion for social justice unites our team - we all work to use the power of law to help create and enforce a more just society.

Qiaojing Ella Zheng (郑巧晶 律师) is the Asian American Litigation and Finance Practice Chair and a Senior Counsel in the San Francisco office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Tennessee, and Maryland. Ms. Zheng received her law degrees from Zhejiang University in China (LL.B.) and Thomas Jefferson School of Law (LL.M.).

Ms. Zheng is licensed to practice law in California and New York. Her practice encompasses a wide range of legal matters. She represents employees and whistleblowers on a variety of employment claims, including wage and hour violations, discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and disability, retaliation, wrongful termination. She also represents executive and managerial personnel in both public litigation and privately negotiated settlements.

Ms. Zheng has extensive experience in financial services practice. She regularly advises entrepreneurs, companies, and financial institutions in Silicon Valley and China on regulatory and compliance matters. In particular, Ms. Zheng specializes in representing China-based clients in legal matters arising under U.S. laws, including licensing and compliance for securities broker-dealers and investment advisers under the U.S. SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and state-level regulatory authorities. Having obtained legal education and work experience in both China and the U.S., she brings a unique perspective to facilitate her clients’ cross-border business activities, and devotes herself to bridging the cultural gap between domestic and foreign parties.

In addition, Ms. Zheng represents whistleblowers in False Claims Act/qui tam suits under investigation by the United States and other governmental agencies.

Ms. Zheng is a native Mandarin Chinese speaker. She is active in the tech communities and Asian American communities. She currently serves on the board of YWCA Silicon Valley and the Executive Committee of the Chinese American Lawyers of the Bay Area. She’s also a co-leader of the South Bay Female Attorneys Lean In Circle.

Ms. Zheng has been honored by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Northern California since 2016. She is also an Honoree of the Tribute to Women Awards by YWCA Silicon Valley. Ms. Zheng is a frequent speaker to professional and business groups on various employment litigation and compliance matters.

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Prior to joining Sanford Heisler Sharp, Ms. Zheng was an associate attorney at a boutique general practice firm in San Diego, California, where her practice encompassed a wide range of areas including international business, corporate, civil litigation, immigration, and family law.

Ms. Zheng is an advocate for diversity, leadership, and the public interest. During her tenure as Vice President and Secretary of the San Diego Chinese Attorneys Association, she organized a series of events focused on U.S./China social, business, and legal issues. While obtaining her LL.B. in China, Ms. Zheng organized the first moot court in the region advocating women’s rights and was awarded Outstanding Student Leader upon graduation.

Education

  • LL.M. (Master of Laws), Thomas Jefferson School of Law 2010
  • LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws), Zhejiang University 2009

Bar Admissions

  • New York 2012
  • California 2013

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California

Aurora Behavioral Healthcare – Santa Rosa, LLC and Signature Healthcare Services, LLC Whistleblower Retaliation Lawsuit

The suit characterizes Aurora and Signature as routinely prioritizing profits over the care and rights of patients and hospital staff at their Santa Rosa location, which provides inpatient, partial hospitalization and outpatient mental health services to adults and adolescents.

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InnoGrit Corp. Breach of Contract Suit

The Complaint on behalf of InnoGrit’s co-founder Yuhui (David) Chen alleges breach of contract, promissory fraud, retaliation, wrongful termination, and shareholder direct and derivative claims.

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  • October 10, 2017, Keynote Speaker
    Columbus Women In Tech Conference 2017

新冠病毒隔离期间,雇主可以因为我拒绝去办公室上班而解雇我吗?

Andrew Melzer律师 郑巧晶律师 由于新型冠状病毒的蔓延,我们在如题所示的这个问题上面临着几乎前所未有的挑战。答案可能取决于诸多因素,例如:员工所在地域的病毒危机有多严重,员工所居住或是工作的地区政府出台实施了什么样的法令和措施(例如居家令、限制出行命令等),当地的州法及政府规章,以及雇主为确保员工的健康和安全愿意提供什么类型的安排等。有一些州为因为拒绝违反一项旨在保护公共健康安全的法律或规定而遭到解雇的员工提供了法律上的诉由。具体情况需要具体分析,但是这些对员工的法律保护很有可能包括与新冠病毒相关的一些行政命令。 《美国联邦职业安全和健康法案》规定雇主必须为每一位员工提供“不会造成或极有可能造成员工死亡或严重生理伤害的可见风险的劳务关系及劳动场所”。详见《美国法典》第29章第654(a)(1)条。雇主也必须“遵守该法典规定的各项职业安全及健康标准”。详见《美国法典》第29章第654(a)(2)条。相应的,员工也有义务“遵守各项职业安全及健康标准”以及所有适用的“根据该法案发布的法律、规定以及行政命令”。详见《美国法典》第29章第654(b)条。这应该就包括由美国职业安全与健康管理局(简称OSHA)发布或采用的维持社交距离和“限制出行”的行政命令。 《美国法典》第29章第660(c)条为“因为代表他自己或代表他人行使该章法条中规定的权利”而被解雇的员工提供了法律诉由。这类法律诉求必须在被解雇后的30天内向美国劳工部提起。 员工为了遵守跟新型冠状病毒相关的规定和指示而拒绝到工作场所报道可以视为员工在行使他/她自己或其同事的享有安全健康的工作环境的权利。 如果员工违反行政命令而去上班,那么他/她其实是置其他员工于危险的境地并有可能违反了《美国法典》第29章第654(b)条中规定的法律义务。 根据《美国法典》第29章第660(c)条的解释条例,一般来说员工没有权利因为不安全的工作场所状况而擅自离岗。总的来说,员工应该先跟雇主就危险的工作状况进行沟通并尝试纠正这些状况,然后再跟美国职业安全与健康管理局或相关的公共部门进行沟通予以解决。详见《美国联邦法典》第29章第1977.12(b)(1)条。这条规定有一项例外: “但是,有可能出现这样的情况:员工面临或是不能完成分配的工作任务或是承受工作场所的危险环境带来的严重伤害或死亡的风险的两难选择。如果在没有其他合理的选择的情况下,员工善意地拒绝在危险的工作条件下工作,那么他/她应该受到保护,而不应该遭受后续的歧视。这个造成员工产生死亡或受伤的顾虑的条件本质上必须是任何一个合理的人在这个员工所处的境况下都会认为存在真实的死亡或严重伤害的危险并且由于情况紧急,没有足够的时间来通过求助于正常的法律执行渠道而消除这样的危险。另外,在这样的情况下,如果可能的话,该员工必须已经向他的雇主提出请求但无法得到雇主对这些危险状况的纠正。” 那么现在的问题是在新冠病毒蔓延的情况下去上班是否会对员工带来即刻的死亡或严重身体伤害的威胁而让员工可以享有这些法律的保护呢?这个问题的答案需要具体情况具体分析(例如工作环境的性质,员工是否属于高风险人群等),但是根据密切观察新型冠状病毒危机的一些法律专业人士的观点,美国大部分工作条件都无法满足员工有权拒绝去办公室上班的最低必要标准。而机关或法院的立场目前还不明确,也就是说我们不知道他们会不会对工作阶层的集体困境采取同情的立场,还是反而会采用更狭隘的观点,即在大多数情况下,由于目前报道出来的住院治疗以及死亡的比例还比较低,面临是否要去办公室上班的选择的员工其实感染病毒的可能性相对还是很低的。 员工和律师都应该继续关注OSHA发布的综合性或是跟具体行业相关的命令和指导意见。具体信息可以查询这个网站https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19。如果雇主违反这些特定的OSHA规定,员工更有可能可以提起有效的法律诉求。 有些司法辖区提供了比联邦《职业安全和健康法案》更强有力的保护和救济措施。根据这些法律,员工无需面临迫在眉睫的死亡或严重伤害的危险。例如,例如纽约州的法律保护那些“反对或拒绝参与跟法律、法规或规定相违背并且对公共健康或安全造成或带来实质性和特定的危险和行为、政策或做法”的员工。详见《纽约州劳动法》第740(2)条。这项法条应该视为包含了员工拒绝违反正式的居家令或是维持社交距离的命令的情况。相类似的,加州的劳工法也规定:如果员工的工作会违反劳工法的规定,包括(雇主提供安全健康的劳动条件的法律义务),其他任何执业安全或健康的标准,或加州执业安全健康管理局或执业安全健康标准委员会发布的其他安全命令,而且这样的违反规定的行为会对该员工或其同事造成真实明显的危险,那么员工不应该因为拒绝这样的工作而遭到遣散或解雇。详见《加州劳工法》第6311条。 《新泽西州良心雇员保护法案》提供了尤其强有力的保护。该法案规定,如果员工有合理的理由相信参与某项活动、政策或做法会(1)违反法律或根据法律发布的法则或规定…或(3)与公共健康、安全或利益或环境保护的相关公共政策的执行相违背,而反对或拒绝参与以上活动、政策或做法,那么雇主不能对该员工进行打击报复。详见《新泽西州成文法》第34章19-3(c)条。 从更广泛的层面来看,有些州采用了普通法上(即司法过程中诞生的)违反公共政策的非法解雇的诉由。根据这类论点,正式的居家令和维持社交距离的措施旨在防止全球疾病的蔓延,是一种强力的公共政策,在很多司法辖区都应该受到相应的保护。因此如果员工因为雇主不愿意遵守这样的法令而遭到解雇,那么他/她当然应该有权提起有效的法律诉求。 另外,如果员工因为新冠病毒需要请假,那么他们也受联邦《家庭医疗休假法案》、州及地方休假法律,以及4月2号开始生效的《家庭至上响应新型冠状病毒法案》等法律的保护。 该新法案为由于新冠病毒问题而无法工作的员工提供两周的带薪病假,并为由于新冠病毒相关的育儿义务而无法工作的员工额外提供为期10周的带薪家庭医疗休假。详见网址 https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave。 总而言之,由于新冠病毒危机而被解雇或是觉得工作不保的员工很有可能有法律上的诉求,应当尽快咨询法律专业人士。

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