Mellissa Schafer represents her clients in labor and employment matters in addition to workplace injury litigation. She defends employers facing a wide-range of employment disputes, which includes extensive experience with matters involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and wage and hour violations. She also counsels employers about their employment policies and risk management decisions in addition to litigation and minimizing employers' workers' compensation claims.

In addition to her role as lead counsel for a national retailer, Mellissa represents a leading human resource company. She also works with various insurance companies, home health care facilities, hotels and other hospitality clients, as well as other retailers, to resolve their labor and employment issues.

Mellissa has been with Hinshaw since 2002. She began her practice in the firm's Milwaukee office, where she focused on toxic tort and general liability cases and also defended medical and legal professionals. After transferring to the firm's Los Angeles location in 2003, she began focusing on representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment.

Mellissa is the co-leader of Hinshaw's national Labor & Employment Practice Group. She also manages the labor and employment group in Los Angeles and serves on the firm's Executive Committee and Associate Hiring Committee.


  • Co-Presenter, "L&E Regional Law Updates: West Coast," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Virtual Event, January 10, 2024
  • "Navigate Workforce Injury Claims Like a Pro," 2023 California Assisted Living Association (CALA) Fall Conference & Trade Show, Palm Springs, California, November 8, 2023
  • Co-Presenter, “Executive Director Legal Pitfalls - The Defense Attorney Perspective,” Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Webinar, January 26, 2023

  • Panelist, "Workers’ Comp, OSHA & Risk Management Mitigation …Oh My!," California Assisted Living Association (CALA) 2022 Fall Conference & Trade Show, Palm Springs, California, November 8, 2022
  • Panelist, "Joint Employment, Wage and Hour, and Other Legislative News," Hinshaw's 26th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 27, 2022
  • Co-Presenter, "West Coast Labor & Employment Regional Law Update," Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Virtual Event, July 26, 2022
  • Co-Presenter, "Top 10 Issues and Developments in California Workers' Compensation in 2021," National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Webinar, August 10, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, "LGBTQ+ Corporate Equality and Harassment Prevention Training," Hinshaw Pride Month Training Program, June 10, 2021
  • Co-Presenter, "The Labor & Employment Year in Review: Is It Over Yet?" West Coast Session, Hinshaw's 25th Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Virtual Event, October 26, 2020
  • "Self-Expression in the California Workplace: How to Strike a Legal Balance in Drafting and Enforcing Dress, Grooming, and Bathroom Use Policies," 12th Annual California Employment Law Update, The Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California, October 12, 2017
  • "Comp Coast to Coast Workers' Compensation Strategies From a National Perspective," Hinshaw's Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, October 2013
  • "General Principles of Workers' Compensation" and "Settlements & Return to Work Issues," Workers' Compensation Law & Practice Seminar, Sterling Education Services, Inc., Pasadena, California, October 2012
  • "Total Disability/Vocational Strategies," CWCDAA 2012 Annual Summer Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 2012
  • "Utilization of the Vocational Expert in the Workers' Compensation Setting," VocEX 2011, Los Angeles, California, January 2011
  • "Implementing Successful Surveillance to Defeat Fraudulent Claims," Council on Education Management, Los Angeles, California, May 2005


  • "New Laws Will Keep Calif. Employers On Their Toes In 2021," Law360, January 7, 2021
  • "Calif. Lawmakers Kept Employers On Their Toes In 2019," Law360, December 19, 2019
  • "California's Top Employment Law Developments In 2018," Law360, December 17, 2018
  • "Brief Synopsis on Wisconsin Law Involving Subpoenas and Search Warrants," Risky Business, Wisconsin Society for Health Care Risk Management, January 2004

Blog Posts

J.D., Marquette University Law School, 1999

  • Executive Editor, Marquette Sports Law Journal
  • Winner, American Jurisprudence Award in Health Care Provider Liability

B.S., University of Southern California, 1995