Xinying Valerian

Xinying Valerian
Xinying Valerian
San Francisco Managing Attorney

(415) 795-2015

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Ms. Valerian (迟欣颖 律师) has taken the lead on representing commissioned salespeople in significant cases for unpaid wages and also represents employees with retaliation, discrimination, civil rights and qui tam claims.

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.

Xinying Valerian (迟欣颖 律师) is the San Francisco Managing Attorney of Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national law firm with offices in Washington, DC, New York, San Diego, and Nashville. She received her law degree magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2007, where she was awarded Order of the Coif. She earned her undergraduate degree with high honors from Harvard University.

Ms. Valerian represents employees and whistleblowers in individual and class actions involving wage and hour, retaliation, discrimination and other civil rights claims, as well as in qui tam investigations. Among other cases, she is currently representing sales employees in representative and class litigation over unpaid commissions against Oracle and representing a female attorney in a proposed class and collective action against Sedgwick, a law firm.  She also represented female employees of Qualcomm in a gender discrimination class action that achieved significant monetary and programmatic relief.

Ms. Valerian is active in the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA). She serves as Chair of the Barristers Committee and ex officio member of the Executive Board and plans educational programs for the plaintiffs’ bar as a member of the Education Committee. Ms. Valerian also supports Equal Rights Advocates, a gender equality civil rights organization, through service on its Litigation Committee.  She has been honored as a “Northern California Rising Star” in 2016 and 2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Ms. Valerian is a native Mandarin speaker and originally hails from Shanghai, China.


Before joining Sanford Heisler, Ms. Valerian worked for the San Francisco class action firm Ram Olson Cereghino & Kopczynski. She also clerked for two years for the Honorable A. Howard Matz in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Ms. Valerian’s public interest experience includes representing low-income individuals as a staff attorney at Bay Area Legal Aid. While at Bay Area Legal Aid, Ms. Valerian litigated cases in state court to advance the rights of tenants, homeowners, and consumers and advocated for government policies and initiatives to help low-income communities suffering from the foreclosure crisis. Ms. Valerian’s diverse experiences include representing consumers in class actions and representing the media in public access cases.

While at NYU, Ms. Valerian was a member of the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, where she advocated for living wage legislation and represented an immigrant in federal deportation proceedings. As a volunteer for Law Students for Human Rights, Ms. Valerian led a team of students in drafting an international law amicus brief in a Guantanamo detainee case. As a law student, Ms. Valerian clerked at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center in San Francisco for its National Origin, Immigration, and Language Rights Program, and for the ACLU Women’s Rights Project in New York. Ms. Valerian is the author of Note, Properly Managed Temporary Labor Migration: A Model for Rights and Development for Labor-Sending Countries? 40 N.Y.U. J. INT’L L. & POL. 497 (Winter 2008).


  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 2007
  • Senior Articles Editor, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics
  • B.A., Harvard College, 2003


  • Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California


  • Immigrant Rights Clinic

Court Admissions

  • Central District of California 2007
  • Northern District of California 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Google, Inc. Wage and Hour Class Action – $5.5 Million Settlement

Former Google contract employee Tymuoi Ha filed the complaint in Santa Clara Superior Court against Google, Inc. and Urpan Technologies (UrpanTech), one of the many staffing agencies through which Google acquires temporary and contract workers. The complaint alleges that Defendants violated the California Labor Code by denying employees compensation for all overtime worked, failing to pay owed wages upon separation from employment and not furnishing accurate wage statements.

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Qualcomm Gender Discrimination Class Action – $19.5 Million Settlement

In addition to monetary relief, the settlement requires Qualcomm to institute comprehensive programmatic relief, which will ensure that female employees working, for example, in STEM and related positions will enjoy equal job opportunities at the company. The settlement on behalf of a class of approximately 3300 women was reached before Plaintiffs filed suit.

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Sedgwick Gender Discrimination Class Action – Settlement Reached

Traci M. Ribeiro, a high-performing, non-equity Partner at Sedgwick, alleges that Sedgwick engaged in systemic pay and promotion discrimination and thereby violated Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, and analogous state laws.

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Oracle Commissions Wage & Hour Lawsuits

Sanford Heisler Sharp has filed claims that through the use of a long and confusing set of Terms and Conditions issued to each sales representative with his or her compensation plan, Oracle unlawfully and retroactively reduced the commissions of sales representatives based on grounds, criteria, and methods not defined in a signed commission contract. The case is currently in discovery and continuing investigation.

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Overland Solutions Wage & Hour Class Action

Sanford Heisler Sharp filed a class and PAGA action on behalf of field inspectors against Overland Solutions, Inc. for willful misclassification, failure to pay wages, and failure to reimburse expenses under California Labor Code.

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Ma Labs Wage and Hour Class Action

The employees allege that Ma Labs engaged in pervasive time-shaving, whereby it wrote off and refused to pay employees’ pre-shift and post-shift overtime. The company also allegedly failed to provide its employees off-duty, uninterrupted rest and meal periods, as required by California law. The workers are mostly Chinese and Latino immigrants. The court granted class certification in October 2014.

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Boston Scientific Gender Pay and Promotion Discrimination Class Action

In March 2015, class representatives Denise Fretter and Maria Korsgaard filed a $50 million nationwide class and collective action against the Valencia, CA-based medical device manufacturer, Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation (BSNC), in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The Plaintiffs allege systemic violations of the Equal Pay Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act stemming from the company’s treatment of women who worked in its sales force hierarchy.

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  • Honored as a “Northern California Rising Star” in 2016 and 2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine

Tell-Tale Signs of Independent Contractor Misclassification

Uber. Lyft. Instacart. Caviar. Homejoy. It seems hardly a month passes without news about a lawsuit alleging that these on-demand gig-economy services are ripping off their workers.  Uber and Lyft alone have been sued in dozens of lawsuits alleging that they misclassified their drivers as independent contractors.  Some drivers who sued Uber reached a class […]

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Gossiping About Coworker Pay: Employee Rights At Stake

I have been psychologically conditioned by American culture to feel that open discussion about salaries is deeply uncomfortable, as if it involved baring your personal finances. I have earned money ever since I was 9 years old, working as a mommy’s helper for neighbors, to supplement my small weekly allowance. And I learned very early […]

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ShowMe50: A Female Executive in Corporate America On a Mission

Grassroots efforts to provide outlets for gender bias concerns have taken various forms, such as the new workplace-rating website InHerSight that Marissa recently blogged about, and the more established online group MomsRising.  Recently, I met a woman – herself a senior manager in a large corporation – who is advocating an approach that might appeal to those […]

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