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

Jun 8, 2016 Webinars on Demand
The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

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

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

Jun 8, 2016 Webinars on Demand
The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

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

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Jun 8, 2016 Webinars on Demand
The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

May 30, 2017

California Legislation to Watch in The Final Journey to the Governor’s Desk

The California Legislature is working hard to push bills through to the general assembly and senate votes that are scheduled for September.  A number of bills making their way to that final vote are noteworthy for public employers. 

Feb 2, 2017

For Better or Worse: Ten Years of the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act

In 2007, the Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act (FBOR) was enacted after several years of unsuccessful attempts to pass similar legislation. 

Jan 9, 2017

Yes, these are real cases involving real people!

Employment Risk Management Authority (ERMA) Important Legal Alert (January 2017)

Nov 22, 2016

Third Annual Review of Unbelievable Employment Cases

Yes, these are real cases involving real people.

Sep 14, 2016

Employers, Prepare for the Wave of Unequal Pay Litigation

How many times has an employee complained to you that he or she was not being paid fairly?  Certainly, at least once and possibly more.  What was your impression of the complaint?  Did you immediately disagree?  Did you understand what the employee was actually complaining about?  Did you believe the complaint to be accurate?  Did you have any idea what to do?

Jun 2, 2016

Revisiting Transgender Employment Issues

Quite a bit has changed since we last visited this topic generally in 2014.  Approximately eighteen states and over 200 municipalities ban gender identity discrimination.  Indeed, for several years, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act has prohibited discrimination on the basis of “sex, gender, gender identity, [and] gender expression.”  As to federal law, this year, the Obama Administration issued guidelines explaining that federal law also bans gender identity discrimination.  In response to the recent federal guidelines, several states and school districts filed a lawsuit in May against the United States and its departments of education, justice, and labor, the equal employment opportunity commission, and individual defendants.  According to the plaintiffs, the “[d]efendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment” and “radical changes” have been “foisted” on the nation.

Education

  • JD, Whittier Law School

  • MA, California State University, Sacramento

  • BA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Jun 8, 2016 Webinars on Demand
The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

The Public's Right to Know vs. Public Safety Officer Privacy Rights

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