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Alumni Spotlight: Rae Vann, Head of Employment Law and Labor Relations, Wayfair

February 12, 2024
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Update us on your current role.

I’m the head of global employment law and labor relations for Wayfair. I lead a team responsible for managing all aspects of employment compliance. We keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening from a regulatory standpoint in the workplace law arena and ensure that our policies, procedures, and processes meet statutory and regulatory requirements while reflecting best practices and the values of our customers. We also provide counsel and advice to stakeholders and partners on issues such as escalations, bias, and talent concerns. Our focus also includes maintaining strategic employee engagement and supporting broader business initiatives.

 

What is the most interesting trend in your industry?

Generative AI, as a tool for innovation and efficiency. We are actively monitoring for developments that may emerge and exploring where it can provide the most value in the workplace while remaining mindful of potential risks.

 

What did your time at Carlton Fields teach you?

It provided me with valuable insight into business beyond my employment law background. It instilled a full-service mentality, from a customer service perspective, on how businesses operate and how legal issues can impact our work and the ways we can best serve our clients.

 

What keeps you motivated?

I consider myself a lifelong learner. There's a certain thrill in realizing there’s always more to learn, and so much more that the world, people, and experiences can teach me.

 

What advice would you give to attorneys as they begin their careers?

Understand the business that you’re supporting, and your organization’s risk tolerance. That’s true whether you’re outside counsel, in-house counsel, or a business leader. Approach decisions pragmatically — how can we meet our compliance goals without undermining our business objectives.

For young lawyers, I think it’s important to have a strong support network. Engage with an affinity community that understands the challenges you might face and can offer insights, tools, and resources to overcome them.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Spending time at home with my family. Also cooking and traveling.

 

What is your favorite quote?

One of my favorites is from Toni Morrison, in her novel Song of Solomon: “If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

 

Name three things you couldn’t live without.

Coffee, pizza, and “Real Housewives”! But in all seriousness, family, faith, and freedom.


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