3/4 length portrait of Sharilyn R. Payne

Sharilyn’s practice focuses on counseling employers to help them comply with the complex California labor and employment laws.  In her over 20 years of practice, she has represented employers and employees before state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies such as the Labor Commissioner, the Employment Development Department, and Cal OSHA. Sharilyn provides the California statutorily required sexual harassment prevention training in English and Spanish.  She presents seminars on a wide range of employment matters including wage and hour disputes, classification of workers as independent contractors, exempt/non-exempt classification issues, wrongful termination, and discrimination. She helps employers draft employer policies specific to their industries, prepares employee policy manuals in English and Spanish, audits employer records for compliance with state and federal law, and performs workplace investigations in English and Spanish. Sharilyn earned her Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation of Spanish and English from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (now Middlebury Institute of International Studies). She spent much of her childhood in Honduras and the Dominican Republic and speaks, reads and writes in Spanish fluently. She is also proficient in French and Portuguese. Sharilyn writes articles on employment law issues. Her articles have appeared in local publications, including the Salinas Valley Business Journal.

Principal Areas of Practice

Labor and employment law litigation and counseling, general civil litigation.


  • Hartnell College, A.A. 1980 (Valedictorian)
  • University of California Los Angeles, B.A., 1983
  • Monterey Institute of International Studies, M.A., 1988
  • University of California Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1999 (legal extern to Hon. John Munter, San Francisco County Superior Court, 1998)

Professional Qualifications and Activities

  • Admitted to the California Bar in December 1999
  • Admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California


  • Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley (Board of Directors 2015 to 2021, Secretary 2020 to 2021)
  • Monterey County Bar Association (Board of Directors 2012 to 2017, Secretary 2013, 2017)
  • Girls Inc. of the Central Coast (PR/Marketing Committee 2014-2017)
  • The First Tee of Monterey County Pay It Forward Mentor (2015-2018)
  • Central Coast Human Resources Association (President 2007; Legislative Director 2005-2006, 2013-2014)
  • Monterey County Women Lawyers Association (Vice President 2005)
  • Leadership Salinas Valley (Graduate 2002)

Contact Information

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