Pilar represents public and private educational institutions, in such areas as administrative, personnel, student matters, general business law, governance, the Brown Act, Public Records Act, and conflicts of interest.
Pilar is experienced in representing educational institutions in responding to complaints filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights alleging harassment, retaliation and discrimination. Pilar regularly provides advice and counsel to help clients integrate the requirements of all federal, state, and local regulations, in responding to and preventing harassment and discrimination.
Pilar also represents school and colleges in employment disputes including matters under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, California Labor Code, California Education Code, collective bargaining agreements, Personnel Commission rules, employment contracts, state and federal law, or other applicable source of employment laws. Pilar serves as an advocate in administrative hearings related to discipline, layoff/reduction-in-force hearings, and other administrative hearings before governmental agencies. Pilar provides advice and counsel with regard to employment issues including but not limited to hiring and employment classifications, employee discipline, family and medical and related leaves, disability issues and the interactive process, privacy and speech issues.
Pilar also provides legal advice related to general education law including, school law enforcement, constitutional issues, First Amendment, student discipline, student privacy laws, student records, confidentiality and FERPA, student grievances and complaints.
Pilar regularly advises educational institutions about sexual misconduct policies, changes in the law, and investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence. She assists the firm's clients in complying with the overlapping laws including the Education Code, Campus SaVE, Clery, and FERPA. Pilar has trained boards, Title IX Coordinators, faculty and students at various colleges and schools concerning the prevention of and response to sexual harassment and assaults in compliance with federal and state laws and regulations. She also has presented on this topic at the Association of California Community College Administrators, California Council of School Attorneys and the Community College League of California. Pilar regularly works with the firm's education clients in assisting them with the supervision of outside investigators, discipline, interim measures, and the revision of rules and procedures.
Pilar is experienced in all phases of trial practice, including litigation before state and federal courts, administrative bodies, and alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and arbitration.
Pilar is experienced in conducting and assisting with investigations pertaining to harassment, discrimination and employee and student misconduct. Pilar advises and conducts training for clients concerning best practices and compliance with state and federal laws.
Pilar is an editor on the firm's California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog and has served on the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) NOTES Editorial Board from 2014-to the present. Between 2012-2014, she served on the editorial board of the Journal of College and University Law. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the California Council of School Attorneys, and the National School Board Association's Counsel of School Attorneys.
Pilar is bilingual and conducts investigations and training in Spanish.