Stefanie K. Vaudreuil

Stefanie K. Vaudreuil Senior Counsel

Stefanie Vaudreuil has spent her legal career providing counsel and advice to and litigating on behalf of public agencies, including fire departments/districts, law enforcement, cities, counties, special districts, school districts, charter schools, community colleges, and county offices of education.  Stefanie also is experienced in advising and representing independent schools. Stefanie, the daughter of a retired fire marshal, has a special interest in working with fire departments and districts.  She understands and appreciates the unique culture that is the fire service.

Stefanie regularly and promptly advises public agencies and independent schools on all aspects of employment law, including employee leaves, disability accommodation and interactive process, discipline, first amendment rights, employment contracts, agency policies and procedures.  In addition to providing employment law advice, Stefanie advises independent schools on a wide variety of subjects, such as pupil records, school security, student discipline, enrollment contracts, suspensions and expulsions, student harassment, international students, restraining orders, among others.     

Stefanie represents public agencies at administrative hearings for employee discipline appeals and employee grievances arising out of bargaining agreements.  She also is an experienced litigator representing public agencies and independent schools in state and federal courts at all phases of litigation from initial pleadings through appeal.  Stefanie has obtained favorable results through negotiated settlements, dismissal at the initial pleading stage, summary judgment, trial, and appeal.  Stefanie has successfully argued before the California State Court of Appeal.

Prior to joining Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Stefanie was a partner in a national law firm, where she represented public and private employers in discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, and civil rights litigation.  Before that, Stefanie was an associate with a firm that exclusively represented California K-12 school districts and county offices of education.

Stefanie is also a contributing author to the firm's California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog.

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS

Firefighter/Paramedic v. City (2015) - Administrative law judge upheld the termination of two paramedic/firefighters who provided inadequate care to multiple patients.

DISCIPLINARY APPEALS

Arbitrator Upholds Police Sergeant Termination (November 2016) – In a case involving similar allegations as the August 2016 case noted below, a sergeant was terminated for submitting false reports to the federal government, overtime abuse, and incompetence. The sergeant claimed to be conducting “investigations and surveillance” on overtime shifts that were paid for by a grant from the federal government. The enforcement grant required officers to engage in self-initiated enforcement activity or investigations but only if done in accordance with a department approved an operational plan. Officers working the overtime were required to submit daily activity reports to the federal government describing the activity conducted on the overtime shift. On a regular basis and for a significant period of time, the sergeant submitted false reports to the federal government regarding his alleged activity.

Arbitrator Upholds Police Sergeant Termination (August 2016) - A sergeant was terminated from his employment based upon findings that he engaged in overtime abuse and submitted false reports to the federal government. The sergeant was working overtime shifts that were paid for by a grant from the federal government to assist in certain federal law enforcement activity. The grant was an “enforcement grant,” which required the individual officers working the overtime shift to engage in self-initiated enforcement activity and backup regular shift officers only when necessary. Officers were then required to submit daily activity reports to the federal government, documenting what enforcement activity relevant to the grant they conducted during the shift. The reports were submitted by the officers directly to the federal government.

LITIGATION

Western University of Health Care Sciences et al. (2015) - Plaintiff sued the University for alleged violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In June 2013, plaintiff was terminated from her employment due to poor performance. Subsequently, she filed the lawsuit alleging she was discriminated against because of a disability and race and harassed because of a disability. The University submitted a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative summary adjudication, which was granted in its entirety by the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The court determined that the University met its burden of proving it had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating plaintiff's employment and that plaintiff had no evidence to prove she was discriminated against or harassed. Judgment was entered in favor of the University.

South Pasadena Police Officers Assn. v. City of South Pasadena (2015) - California Court of Appeal upheld judgment in favor of the City upon labor unions' petition for a writ of mandate to compel the City to revoke its change in contributions to retiree medical insurance. The Court found no violation of the U.S. or California Constitutions when, after exhausting meet and confer processes, the City unilaterally imposed a change in the City's contribution to the retiree medical insurance for current employees. The Court held the MOU's promise of retiree medical contributions was only binding until the expiration of the MOU. Employees who did not retire during the term of the MOU had no vested right to any level of City contributions to retiree medical after the MOU expired and another MOU entered into or an imposition of terms and conditions of employment after impasse.

McCurdy v. Western University of Health Care Sciences et al. (2015) - Plaintiff Jullie McCurdy sued the University for alleged violations of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In June 2013, plaintiff was terminated from her employment due to poor performance. Subsequently, she filed the lawsuit alleging she was discriminated against because of a disability and race and harassed because of a disability. The University submitted a motion for summary judgment, or in the alternative summary adjudication, which was granted in its entirety by the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The court determined that the University met its burden of proving it had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for terminating plaintiff's employment and that plaintiff had no evidence to prove she was discriminated against or harassed. Judgment was entered in favor of the University.

NEGOTIATIONS

Casa Ramona Academy Charter School - Teachers Association.

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Robert A. Banyard Inn of Court (2001-2011)

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Jul 12, 2019

Implanted Microchips: The (Dystopian?) Future of Employee Monitoring

Microchips for dogs and cats is nothing new.  Our fluffy friends have been receiving microchips for more than 30 years, resulting in happy reunifications of owners and lost pets.  The latest trend in microchipping moves beyond cats and dogs and on to the workplace—not because employees are getting lost but as a means to assess productivity and track efficiency, among other things.

Apr 24, 2019

Leaving the Leaves to Someone Else: What Employers Should Know About Third Party Leave of Absence Administration

With all the possible leaves of absence that may be available to employees, ensuring consistent and accurate application of the applicable laws relating to leaves can be one of the more daunting tasks for employers. In a recent survey conducted by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC), 1203 employers responded to 75 questions related to employee leaves. The top challenges in leave management were identified as “relying on managers for leave enforcement . . . training supervisors and managers on the FMLA, and managing intermittent leave.” Other areas of particular difficulty for employers include the crossover between FMLA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and workers’ compensation leaves and situations where employee abuse leaves of absence.

Oct 30, 2018

Real Strange Employment Cases About Real People

In this fifth annual installment of a look at some unbelievable, strange and wacky employment litigation, there remains no shortage of cases that will make you believe your human resources issues aren’t so bad after all.

Jul 31, 2018

Department of Fair Employment and Housing Issues New Regulations on National Origin, Immigration-Related Practices, and Language and Height/Weight Restrictions

It’s time to check your policies. New DFEH regulations (California Code of Regulations, title 2, sections 11027.1 and 11028) went into effect on July 1, 2018 that provide definitions on “national origin” and “undocumented applicant or employee,” in addition to outlining specific employment practices regarding language restrictions and height/weight restrictions.

May 1, 2018

A #MeToo Legislative Reckoning is Coming to California in 2018

There are a number of bills pending in the California Legislature this year that employers should be watching closely.

Dec 5, 2017

The Annual Look at the Weird, Wacky and Just Plain Strange Employment Lawsuits

It is that time again. These are actual employment cases.  Really, they are.

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

25 February 2020
Customized Trainings

Key Legal Principles for Public Safety Managers - POST Management Course

Peace Officer Standards and Training - POST San Diego
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6 February 2020
Consortium Trainings

Iron Fists or Kid Gloves: Retaliation in the Workplace

Imperial Valley ERC El Centro
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6 February 2020
Consortium Trainings

Addressing Workplace Violence

Imperial Valley ERC El Centro
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15 January 2020
Consortium Trainings

Advanced Investigations of Workplace Complaints

San Diego Fire Districts Bonita
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7 January 2020
Customized Trainings

Key Legal Principles for Public Safety Managers - POST Management Course

Peace Officer Standards and Training - POST San Diego
Read more
5 November 2019
Consortium Trainings

Supervisor’s Guide to Public Sector Employment Law

North San Diego County ERC San Marcos
Read more

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Contact Us

General Inquiries

info@lcwlegal.com

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Media Inquiries

Please contact Cynthia Weldon, Director of Marketing & Training, 800.981.2000.

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