Katrina J. Nepacena represents school districts, community college districts, and county offices of education in labor and employment law and general education matters. As a former management-side employment litigator for a national defense firm, Ms. Nepacena is well-versed in successfully advocating for clients. She specializes in certificated and classified employee discipline and dismissal documents and hearings; employer responses to and mediation for EEOC/ DFEH Charges of Unlawful Discrimination; Workplace Violence Restraining Orders (WVROs); and subpoenas or CPRA requests for education records.
Ms. Nepacena is also an experienced workplace and school site investigator who is trained on trauma-informed interviewing techniques to handle sensitive and complex cases involving student and staff allegations of racial bias, discrimination, sexual harassment, and unprofessional conduct. Further, she provides representation, advice, and counsel on a wide variety of other hot-button issues, including education technology and social media as well as curriculum issues and social-emotional learning (SEL).
Prior to her legal career, Ms. Nepacena was a broadcast journalist in the North American bureau for “The Filipino Channel (TFC)” or ABS-CBN. She has taken those research and presentation skills to AALRR where she has organized and provided multiple trainings as part of AALRR’s Performance Management Series (Module 2: Conflicts in the Workplace, Module 3: Investigations, and Module 4: Evaluations) and EdTech Conference (Monitoring Students’ Online Activities during Distance Learning). Ms. Nepacena is also a member of the Women@AALRR committee to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
Ms. Nepacena personally understands the difficult journey of navigating the complexities of the “sandwich generation.” On one hand, her interests include: parenting, wellness, and early childhood education as she serves as a PTA Room Parent and Preschool Board Member for her children. On the other hand, Ms. Nepacena also recognizes the challenges of cultural expectations, long-distance caregiving for elderly parents, Alzheimer’s/ Dementia, and Mental Health/ Illness. From these experiences, Ms. Nepacena brings a unique and empathetic knowledge, perspective, and expertise to her practice.
Honors & Recognitions
- Honors in Labor and Employment Law Concentration, Dean’s Honor List, Public Service Honors Society, Pro Bono Honors Society
- Recipient – Dean’s Scholarship for Ethnic & Cultural Diversity, FALSD/ PALSD Bar Scholarship, KABA-SD Bar Scholarship
Successfully terminated high-ranking classified employee from community college district.
Conducted multiple high-profile investigations for large urban school districts who were in the media spotlight for behavior of the football coaches.
Successfully obtained several WVROs on behalf of school district clients.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
AALRR Performance Management Series – Resolving Conflict in the Workplace; Legally Compliant Investigations; Performance Evaluations: Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls
EdTech Webinar – Online Monitoring of Student Activities during Distance Learning
ACHRO – Public Records Disclosures
- EdLawConnect Blog, 06.22.2021
Community & Professional
- LexisNexis, Legal Research Certification
- LexisNexis, Professional Research Certification
- Preschool Board Member
- Elementary School Room Parent