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Education

JD, Loyola School of Law, Los Angeles

BA, University of California, San Diego

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Emanuela has run the LA marathon 5 times (training for a 6th), about 10 half marathons, and her goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states.

Todd Palombo v. City of Costa Mesa (2019) – A former firefighter brought claims against the City alleging he was not promoted to Captain due to his age. A prima facie case of age discrimination arises when the employee shows (1) at the time of the adverse action he or she was 40 years of age or older (2) an adverse employment action was taken against the employee, (3) at the time of the adverse action the employee was satisfactorily performing his or her job and (4) some other circumstance suggesting a discriminatory motive was present, such as replacement by a significantly younger worker with similar qualifications. Plaintiff argued that, because the testing process gave the Fire Chief discretion to promote the applicant he felt was best qualified from an eligibility list, it allowed the Fire Chief to discriminate against Plaintiff.  However, LCW demonstrated that the City had legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for promoting individuals other than Plaintiff. In fact, a majority of the candidates selected during the contested time period were over the age of 40 and outscored Plaintiff on the promotional examination.  Based on the foregoing, the Judge granted Motion Summary Judgement in favor of the City.

Smith Receives a Reprieve as the Supreme Court Turns its Attention to Questions of Compelled Speech
05/27/2022
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

In June 2021, the Supreme Court declined an invitation to overturn Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, its seminal 1990 case holding that a facially neutral and generally applicable law survives a challenge under the Free Exercise Clause if it is rationally...

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The Great Awakening in the 21st Century Workplace
12/07/2021
California Police Chief Magazine

The Great Awakening was an 18th Century religious revival in the American colonies in response to secularism that particularly encouraged people to develop a personal relationship with God.  Many historians believe it had a lasting impact on American culture.  Recent workforce developments suggest...

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The Protected Trait – the Dividing Line between Hurtful and Unlawful Conduct
02/02/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

The term “hostile work environment” is used – or rather, misused – so often, that its meaning has become somewhat obscured.  In an office full of fans of the local sports team, the sole fan of its archrival may say that being singled out as such creates a “hostile work environment.”  Or, in a...

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Fulton v. City of Philadelphia – The End of an Era in Limiting Free Exercise of Religion?
01/07/2021
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

In March 2018, a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter alerted the City’s Department of Human Services (“Department”) that two of the foster care agencies with which it contracts – including Catholic Social Services (“CSS”) – refused to work with same-sex foster parents.  The Department promptly conducted...

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What’s in a Name? – The Karen Meme Question
09/09/2020
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

If you consume social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or the app of the moment TikTok, you have certainly come across “the Karen meme.”  By and large, “the Karen meme” is an image depicting a middle-aged Caucasian woman, almost always sporting a spiky, short blonde haircut.  “Karen”...

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Witnesses Move on, and Memories Fade – but an Investigation Report is Forever
02/19/2020
California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Let’s set the scene.  It’s February of 2020, and an employee comes to you, a supervisor, to “vent” about being the target of off-color comments and jokes due to the employee’s national origin.  The employee does not use the term “harassment.”  Moreover, the employee tells...

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