Ms. Gilliam-Cathcart’s practice focuses primarily on representing independent and public schools and other public entities in a wide range of civil litigation matters pending in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, with an emphasis on employment-based and negligence claims. She regularly trains and presents to employers on civil rights compliance and employment best practices, and in the last few years has broadened her practice to include conducting investigations concerning claims of discrimination and retaliation.
Ms. Gilliam-Cathcart has practiced in Washington for the past seven years following a move from the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where her practice extended to all aspects of civil litigation before the Federal District and Territorial Courts in defense of corporate clients in varying tort and employment matters. Representative clients included Sears Holdings, RadioShack and refinery HOVENSA, L.L.C. Prior to her work in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ms. Gilliam-Cathcart served almost two years as a Staff Attorney to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and also worked for the Office of the City Attorney for the City of Berkeley.
- United States District Court of the Virgin Islands
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Washington State Court of Appeals
- Washington State Bar
- California State Bar
Volunteer Board Service
- Member of Board of Directors, Washington State Council of School Attorneys, 2019-2022
- Member of Board of Directors, Washington Initiative for Diversity, 2017-2020
- Past Member of Board of Trustees, Giddens School
- Washington State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Loren Miller Bar Association
- Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Diversity Committee
- Washington State Council of School Attorneys
- Association of Workplace Investigators
- Wright . Tukwila School District – Successfully moved for summary judgment on several claims allowing for attorneys’ fees in multi-plaintiff race discrimination case against Tukwila School District. Successful dismissals put case in posture for resolution favorable to the school district.
- Goode v. Tukwila School District – Obtained complete dismissal with prejudice of claims alleging discrimination under the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
- Lessons Learned from Student Activism in School Year 2017-18 (October 2018 NAIS/TABS Legal Symposium)
- Paid Family Medical Leave (Fall 2018 Helsell Fetterman Employment Breakfast)
- #MeToo: Receiving, Responding To, and Recovering After, Sexual Harassment Complaints (Spring 2018 Helsell Fetterman Employment Breakfast)
- State and Local Safety Laws and Workplace Violence (Fall 2017 Helsell Fetterman Employment Breakfast)
- Office for Civil Rights Complaints and Title IX Compliance, October 2015, a joint presentation at the Washington Schools Personnel Association and Washington Schools Risk Management Pool Law Conference.
- Leave Laws: Interplay between Washington State and Federal Laws, May 2015, a presentation for the 35th Annual Labor Relations Institute for the Association of Washington Cities.
- “Hiring Smart’, October 2014, a presentation for the Washington Association of County Officials.
Content by Onik’a Gilliam-Cathcart
- Launch of New Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program
- New Washington Law Limits Discovery of Health Care Information
- Court Rules Prior Salary Is Not a Defense Against Equal Pay
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination is a Form of Sex Discrimination
- Refusal to Hire an Applicant Due to Prior Opposition to Discriminatory Practices of a Prior Employer Can Expose Employer to Liability Under WLAD
- Gender Identity No Longer Protected Under Title VII
- Court of Appeals Blocks Uber, Lyft and Other For-Hire Drivers from Unionizing