Gina M. Roccanova
Gina Roccanova is a Principal at Meyers Nave and Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group. With more than 20 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, Gina brings a practical, problem-solving orientation to her work in negotiations, counseling, investigations, litigation, arbitration and training. Gina’s approach to advice and counseling is pragmatic and people-centered. She aims not only to keep her clients out of trouble, but to help them enhance their operations, increase employee engagement, and live out their organizational values.
Gina has negotiated labor agreements with SEIU, transit unions, IAFF, Stationary Engineers, crafts unions, and other employee organizations for a variety of public sector, non-profit, and private sector clients in health care, public protection, railroad, transit, building management, education, retail, and other settings. She regularly represents clients in discipline, contract interpretation, and interest arbitration, as well as unfair labor practice charges, and fact-finding proceedings. Gina’s experience includes negotiating post-Janus side letters for public agencies.
Gina has also handled representation and decertification petitions for clients before the Public Employment Relations Board, and has defended clients against unfair labor practice charges incident to organizing campaigns. She has advised public and private-sector clients on issues such as permissible parameters of organizational picketing and pamphleting; rules limiting management communication with employees before and during organizational campaigns and elections; proper conduct of elections; and bargaining unit determination.
As a litigator, Gina has prevailed on behalf of clients in high-profile matters, including a constitutional challenge to an Education Code provision, winning summary judgment in a disparate impact challenge to a promotional exam, and successfully defending high-level executives and general counsels. She has particular expertise with employment matters in the areas of discrimination, accommodation, leave of absence laws, wage-and-hour law, medical and recreational marijuana use issues, and NLRB enforcement in non-unionized workplaces.
Gina has defended public and private employers in wage-and-hour litigation claims that allege misclassification, unpaid wages, overtime, commissions, meal and rest breaks, waiting time penalties, off-the-clock claims; split shifts, travel time, and donning/doffing, and joint employment issues. She also has advised public and private sector clients on a variety of wage and hour issues, including employee classification, workweek definition, alternative workweeks, policies and documentation, exemption, the interplay between the Labor Code and collective bargaining agreements, calculation of the regular rate of pay, work schedules, and related issues.
Gina has also conducted workplace investigations for clients in a variety of industries and settings. Her experience as an employment litigator, counselor, and manager inform her investigative approach, which emphasizes objectivity, an understanding of context, and approachability, and strives to balance thoroughness and speed.
Gina’s decade of service as a Deputy City Attorney on the Labor Team in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office provides her with extensive experience handling a wide range of labor matters, including administrative hearings, collective bargaining and labor arbitrations, as well as providing advice and counsel to elected and appointed officials. Examples of her experience include representing management in labor negotiations with numerous employee groups as legal counsel and lead negotiator; successfully defending the City in litigation, arbitration, and unfair labor practice proceedings; and supervising disciplinary and public integrity investigations resulting in improvements and fewer reversals through the grievance process.
Gina has also served as a Commissioner on the San Francisco Civil Service Commission, which oversees all aspects of City employment and serves both a policy-making and adjudicatory function. The five-member Commission handles resolution of discrimination complaints, eligibility and hiring, promotion, qualifications, and job classification. Gina’s experience as an advocate, Civil Service Commissioner, and hearing officer informs both her strategy in litigation/arbitration and her advice to clients. She is also a California State Bar certified mediator.
Gina presents education and training programs on a wide range of legal and regulatory topics, including leave management, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, discipline, disability law, workplace violence, internal investigations, marijuana in the workplace, and Board responsibilities in responding to staff complaints.
Gina clerked for the Honorable Sue L. Robinson of the United States District Court from 1995-1997.
- San Francisco Unified School District v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., (2012) 205 Cal.App.4th 1070
- City and County of San Francisco v. Stationary Engineers, Local 39 (2007) 31 PERC ¶82
- San Francisco Unified School District v. City and County of San Francisco, et al. Successfully defended the City’s merit system, and the Educational Code provision requiring classified employees to participate in it, against a constitutional challenge from the School District. The City’s two biggest unions intervened on the side of the City, and Ms. Roccanova led the team to victory on the parties’ motions for summary judgment. The judgment was upheld on appeal.
- Johnson v. City and County of San Francisco. Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the City in a complex disparate impact case challenging a fire department promotional examination. Successfully defended against an effort to enjoin an upcoming promotional exam.
- Hessong v. City and County of San Francisco. In this disability discrimination case, won summary judgment on a theory of the plaintiff’s failure to participate in the interactive process.
- Williams v. City and County of San Francisco. Obtained a nonsuit in a case seeking specific performance of a settlement agreement.
- Martinez v. City and County of San Francisco. Won summary judgment for the City in a race discrimination/failure to promote case and successfully defended the decision on appeal.
- SEIU v. City and County of San Francisco. Successfully defended the City against a claim that 500 layoffs should be subject to arbitration.
- In re Marriage Cases. Developed aspects of the case, assisted in moot court, participated in strategy sessions, and otherwise supported lead counsel in this historic constitutional case for marriage equality.
- Stationary Engineers Local 39 v. City and County of San Francisco. In this PERB challenge to San Francisco’s Charter-mandated impasse resolution process, the union contended that the City’s local rules violated the Meyers Milias Brown Act. Successfully defended the Charter language and obtained a ruling that the union had violated it. PERB upheld the hearing officer’s conclusions.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of clients in harassment, retaliation, termination, and failure to hire claims.
- Obtained dismissal sanction against plaintiff for discovery abuses.
- Successfully tried dozens of public safety discipline cases and arbitration hearings.
- Represented public agencies in interest arbitration and fact-finding.
- Secured, through interest arbitration, major work rule concessions and more than $10 million in salary concessions from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency operators. (2010)
- Obtained favorable rulings from PERB in a challenge to city’s impasse resolution procedures.
- Reviewed, consulted and created comprehensive employment agreements, checklists, handbooks, forms, and guides for managers in emerging companies.
- Advised public and private-sector employers on collective bargaining, unit determination and related issues.
- Advised clients on preparing for potential union organizing efforts, addressing such issues as picketing activity and wage-and-hour concerns.
- Served as General Counsel to the City and County of San Francisco’s Health Service System.
Presentations and Publications
- Quoted, “State Issues Largest-Ever Wage Theft Citation,” Daily Journal, February 13, 2019
- Presenter, “The Ins and Outs of Employee Confidentiality,” HR West Annual Conference, 2019
- Quoted, “California Anti-Harassment Laws Prompt Employee Handbook Updates,” Society for Human Resource Management, February 4, 2019
- Author, “Arbitration: Is It Still Worth It?”, The Recorder, January 23, 2019
- Presenter, “Workplace Investigations: How to Ensure They Can Withstand Attacks in Court and Administrative Proceedings,” Clear Law Institute webinar, 2019
- Quoted, “2018 in Labor Law is a Tale of Two Court Systems,” Daily Journal, December 18, 2018
- Quoted, “Attorneys: Client Companies Becoming More Proactive in Addressing Harassment,” Daily Journal, December 13, 2018
- Live Q&A Radio Program, “Selected Issues in Government Employment Law,” Your Legal Rights Program, KALW Local Public Radio, October 24, 2018
- Presenter, “Is It OK? A New Approach to Harassment Prevention Training,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2018
- Presenter, “How to Do Effective Progressive Discipline with a Difficult Employee,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2018
- Presenter, “Discipline that Sticks – How to Create Your Best Record for Arbitration,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2018
- Quoted, “It’s legal in California, Right? Yes, Elon, but Pot Can Still Get You Fired,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 7, 2018
- Quoted, “Employee Presumption Bill for Janitors Passes Legislature,” Daily Journal, August 10, 2018
- Presenter, “Workplace Investigations: Post-Investigation Issues in Court and Administrative Proceedings,” Clear Law Institute webinar, 2018
- Author, “Appellate Court Clarifies ‘Dynamex’ ABC Test Doesn’t Apply to Joint Employment Arrangements,” The Recorder, July 13, 2018
- Quoted, “ ‘Reliance’ Argument May Be Focus in Wave of Post-Janus Suits,” Daily Journal, July 12, 2018
- Quoted, “Patchwork of Minimum Wage Ordinances Could Legally Expose Small, Medium Businesses,” Daily Journal, July 6, 2018
- Quoted, “State Marijuana Labor Regulation May Be Federally Preempted,” Daily Journal, June 13, 2018
- Podcast Presenter, “Learning the ABCs (Dynamex v. Superior Court),” Daily Journal, May 11, 2018 (46 minute mark)
- Author, “Unanswered Questions After Employee Classification Ruling in Dynamex,” Daily Journal, May 8, 2018
- Quoted, “State High Court: In Misclassification Disputes, Assume They are Employees,” Daily Journal, May 1, 2018
- Presenter, “Harassment in the Workplace,” Northern District Judicial Conference, 2018
- Presenter, “Anatomy of a Workplace Investigation in Today’s New Environment,” Workplace Investigations: Facing High-Risk Situations, CLE International Conference, 2018
- Author, “After #MeToo, Employees Need to Ask #IsItOK?“, Employee Benefit News, April 12, 2018
- Quoted, “Keeping the Peace: As Unions Spread Within the Cannabis Industry, Business Owners Can Take Steps to Address “Peace Agreements” That Can Lead to Unionization,” Marijuana Business Magazine, April 2018
- Quoted, “Google suit alleging prior salary is inherently discriminatory moves forward,” Daily Journal, March 30, 2018
- Presenter, “California’s New Marijuana Law: How Does It Impact Employers?”, Lorman webinar, 2018
- Presenter, “What Every Employment Lawyer Should Know About What’s Hot in Labor,” Los Angeles County Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting, 2018
- Author, “‘Lawson v. Grubhub‘: Good Omen or Temporary Reprieve?”, The Recorder, February 22, 2018
- Presenter, “Effective and Legal Discipline of High-Risk Employees,” HR West Annual Conference, 2018
- Quoted, “Class Action Filed Against Trucking Company Over Driver Misclassification,” Daily Journal, February 28, 2018
- Quoted, “GrubHub Driver In Gig Economy Case Is A Contractor,” Law360, February 9, 2018
- Quoted, “In Bellwether Gig Economy Case, Judge Rules GrubHub Driver Is Not An Employee,” The Recorder, February 8, 2018
- Quoted, “Weed in the Workplace: What are California Employers’ Rights?,” The Recorder, January 9, 2018
- Quoted, “California Legislation And Regulation To Watch In 2018,” Law 360, January 1, 2018
- Author, “Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Today’s Headlines Create Opportunities for Change for Employers,” The Recorder, December 7, 2017
- Quoted, “Bill to Ban Employers from Asking Salary History Signed Into Law,” Sacramento Business Journal,” October 12, 2017
- Presenter, “How to Conduct Workplace Investigations that Stand Up in Court and Arbitration,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2017
- Presenter, “How to Effectively do Progressive Discipline with a Difficult Employee,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2017
- Presenter, “California’s New Marijuana Law: How Does It Impact Employers?”, Meyers Nave webinar and Lorman Education Services webinar, 2017
- Q&A Interview, “Five New Challenges Facing Employers Today,” NorthBayBiz, October 2017
- Author, “California Aims to Raise Bar On Overtime Salary Test,” Law360, July 17, 2017
- Author, “Is California Moving Toward Completely ‘Blind’ Hiring?” Daily Journal, May 10, 2017
- Quoted, “Employers Win Flexibility in California Supreme Court Ruling on “Right to Rest” Employment Law Case,” San Francisco Business Times, May 9, 2017
- Quoted, “Pot Industry Cultivates a New Branch with HR,” Workforce Magazine, May 3, 3017
- Quoted, “Is a Legal Battle the Next Act In the Oscars Snafu Saga?,” The Hollywood Reporter, March 03, 2017
- Author, “AB 1289: New Law Creates Exception to the Trend of Limiting Pre-Employment Screening,” Daily Journal, January 18, 2017
- Presenter, “Legalized Recreational Marijuana: Do’s and Don’ts for Employers,” Meyers Nave webinar, 2017
- Author, “A Likely Shift On Joint Employment Policies Ahead,” Law360, November 22, 2016
- Presenter, “Addressing the Under-Performing Employee’s Pre-Emptive Strike,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2016
- Presenter, “Developing Your Theory of the Case,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2016
- Presenter, “Advanced Topics in Leaves of Absence,” Meyers Nave Webinar, 2016
- Quote, “Legalizing Pot Won’t Green-Light it at Work,” San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 2016
- Author, “Marijuana Legalization: What’s on the Horizon for California Employers?,” CEBblog post, 2016
- Author, “Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: A Legal Overview and Practical Suggestions for the Future,” California Special Districts Magazine, Vol. 11, Issue 2, March/April 2016
- Presenter, “Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Sorting Through the Legal Haze,” General Manager Leadership Summit, California Special Districts Association, 2016
- Presenter, “Avoiding Pitfalls in Hiring,” Meyers Nave Webinar, 2016
- Presenter, “The Child Abuse And Neglect Reporting Act,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Training Conference, 2015
- Presenter, “Managing Leaves of Absence,” Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California Annual Conference, 2015
- Presenter, “The Paid Sick Leave Law (AB 1522) – Are You Ready?” Southern California Public Labor Relations Council, 2015
- Author, “New Laws in the New Year,” The Recorder, November 28, 2012
- Presenter, “The Family and Medical Leave Act and California Family Rights Act: What You Need To Know,” BASF Barristers Club, 2008
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, The Bar Association of San Francisco
- Member, Northern California Human Resources Association
- Member, Hospital Association of Southern California
- Member, California Public Employers Labor Relations Association
- Member, California School Boards Association
- University of Michigan Law SchoolJD, 1995
- Yale CollegeBA, cum laude, American Studies, 1989