Phyllis W. Cheng delivers strategic solutions as a mediator and investigator.  She is on the neutral panels of ADR Services, Inc.U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Profiled in the Daily Journal, its Resolution Issue cover story, and virtual mediation article, Ms. Cheng has resolved disputes on employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage and hour, COVID-19, class actions, civil rights, government, public accommodations, disability access, housing, landlord-tenant, CEQA, education, Title IX, appeals, business and consumer matters, among others.

Ms. Cheng was Partner at global firm DLA Piper, Of Counsel at employment firm Littler Mendelson, and Associate at civil rights firm Hadsell & Stormer.


Ms. Cheng served in the administrations of California Governors George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown. For nearly seven years, she was Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the largest state civil rights agency in the United States. Among other things, Ms. Cheng oversaw six and seven-figure judgments and settlements, the highest in DFEH history. She established a dispute resolution division, a special investigations unit, and an education pipeline (UC Irvine, UC Davis and Pepperdine Law Schools, CSU Bakersfield, College of the Canyons), and worked on reforming the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Ms. Cheng was also a Senior Appellate Court Attorney, Deputy Attorney General, and member of the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, Comparable Worth Task Force, and Commission on the Status of Women. She was Title IX Coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and was responsible for the enactment of California's version of the Title IX law.


Ms. Cheng is co-editor of California Fair Housing and Public Accommodations (The Rutter Group Civil Litigation Series), author of the California Lawyers Association's Labor & Employment Case Law Alert, managing editor of and columnist at the California Labor & Employment Law Review, and contributor to Employment Litigation (The Rutter Group California Practice Guide), Daily Journal, Bender's Labor & Employment Bulletin, The Corporate Counselor, and Cal Bar Journal. The State Bar of California named her the 2012 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year. Inside Counsel Magazine featured her on its May 2014 cover.  In addition, she has made over 500 presentations.


Ms. Cheng received her B.A. and M.Ed. from UCLA, J.D. from Southwestern Law School, and Ph.D. from USC, where she was a James Irvine Fellow.

Phyllis Cheng's photo by Asa Mathat Photography, February 2017.  Licensed to Phyllis Cheng.