Barbara Raileanu is head of the firm’s labor and employment department. She also serves as General Counsel to the Riverside Transit Agency. She has over twenty years of experience advising and defending public entity clients in all aspects of labor and employment matters. She routinely advises clients on federal and state employment laws including the California Civil Rights Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, California sick leave laws, HIPAA, Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, whistleblower laws, Meyers Milias Brown Act (MMBA), constitutional due process and right to privacy, and the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Act, among many others.
She assists clients with workplace investigations (including allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, workplace violence, and other allegations of misconduct), has consistently successfully defended clients in administrative hearings and arbitrations; has served as a hearing officer and advisor to Personnel Boards; and has presented hundreds of seminars on topics including harassment, discrimination, workplace violence, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, public nature of personnel records, processing grievances, Firefighters Bill of Rights and Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights, progressive discipline principles, and writing effective performance evaluations. She has also successfully defended the Firm’s clients in litigation alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and medical leaves of absence in the demurrer or motion for summary judgment phase.
Ms. Raileanu has extensive experience interpreting provisions of collective bargaining agreements and memoranda of understanding and has prevailed in all but one labor arbitration involving contract interpretation issues. She has extensive familiarity and a high level of understanding with respect to meet and confer, impasse and fact-finding requirements set forth in the MMBA and National Labor Relations Act decisions (that have been relied on by California courts to interpret the MMBA) and has achieved positive results defending unfair practice charges before the Public Employment Relations Board. Finally, she has vast experience advising Boards and City Councils on various personnel matters in closed session.
Ms. Raileanu is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the Orange County Bar Association and the California Bar Association.
- In Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority, obtained a published California Supreme Court decision in favor of employer finding that supervisor’s practice of maintaining notes for use when preparing performance evaluation did not violate the Firefighters Bill of Rights Act
- Obtained a favorable summary judgment ruling regarding liability of an employer in a harassment case when the individual accused of harassment did not meet the definition of a supervisor under California law, further resulting in the plaintiff dismissing the entire action in order to appeal, which also resulted in a win for our client.
- Obtained a ruling upholding termination of a union steward for encouraging employees to be insubordinate rather than follow the grievance procedure
- Obtained a ruling upholding termination of bus driver with no disciplinary record for violation of employer’s zero tolerance for use of electronic devices policy
- Obtained a ruling upholding termination of police detective for neglect of duty, insubordination, and dishonesty after fourteen days of hearing and defeated claims of USERRA based discrimination
- Obtained favorable ruling for employer in grievance alleging violation of specialty pay provisions in MOU
- Successfully defended employer from claim of back wages after disability retirement application was denied by OCERS
- Successfully assisted city with resolving PERS dispute regarding designation of employee as independent contractor
- Investigated high-level county officials accused of discrimination and nepotism
Relevant Publications & Presentations
- “Police Officers & Firefighters Bills of Rights: The Basics and Nuances That Departments Need to Know” (October 2015 (PELRAC Conference) November 2015, January 2016, and September 2016)
- “Conducting Workplace Investigations: Best Practices and Avoiding Pitfalls” (March 2013, January 2016)
- Litigating Claims Against Public Entities (OCBA, Labor and Employment Section Conference, June 2016)
- “How Do I Effectively Engage in the Interactive Process: Do I Really Have to Accommodate?” (March 2016, April 2014)
- “Pervasive Retaliation and Whistleblowing Claims.” (September 2016)
- “Big Brother in the Workplace: Privacy Rights of Public Employees” (March 2012)
- “Navigating the Web of Disability Leave Laws” (April 2011 and 2013)
- University of California at Davis, King Hall School of Law (J.D., 1999)
- University of California at Los Angeles (B.A., 1995)