Irma Rodríguez Moisa is an experienced litigator, labor negotiator, and trial attorney representing public and private entities in labor and employment matters. She is recognized as one of the top Labor and Employment lawyers in the state for her outstanding results for her clients in their most complex and sensitive matters. She has handled matters ranging from discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, FMLA/CFRA, disability discrimination, wrongful termination, and the First Amendment.
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa serves as the Partner In Charge of the Firm's Headquarters office in Cerritos. She also served as the Practice Group Leader for the Public Entity Labor and Employment Practice Group.
Honors & Recognitions
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa was named to the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers list in 2015 and its Top Labor & Employment Attorney list in 2015 and 2017. In 2011, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa was named to the Daily Journal's top municipal lawyers in California. In 2009, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa was named to the Daily Journal’s annual list of the “Top Women Litigators” in California. Every year since 2004, she has been recognized as a Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine.
Upon graduating from law school Ms. Rodríguez Moisa earned a Skadden Arps Public Interest Law Fellowship, awarded to only twenty-five law students from around the country. The Fellowship allowed Ms. Rodríguez Moisa to spend the first four years of her career at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), working on issues related to language-based discrimination and voting rights.
Irma Rodríguez Moisa began negotiating on behalf of public agencies in 1999. She was drawn into this field by clients who admired her advocacy style in litigation and because of her public policy background. Since that time, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has served as lead negotiator for numerous agencies, usually negotiating three to five contracts per year. As chief negotiator, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has provided strategic labor advice to clients, allowing them to reach their short- and long-term organizational and financial goals.
These negotiations have resulted in changes to retiree medical benefits, implementation of furloughs, salary concessions, and changes to pension benefit formulas and contributions. Some of Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s clients in the last few years include the following:
- City of Long Beach: Negotiated four-year agreements with the City's largest civilian union after years of contentious relationships. Also negotiated three-year agreements with the City's firefighters association and lifeguard association.
- Long Beach Transit: Serve as the chief negotiator with the bus operator and supervisor bargaining units. Negotiated the initial four-year comprehensive MOU with the supervisor unit.
- City of Anaheim: Served as chief negotiator with the Anaheim Police Association, convention center employees (represented by Teamsters) and supervisors (represented by AFSCME) bargaining units. Reached multi-year agreements.
- City of Pasadena: Served as chief negotiator with the POA and reached a three-year agreement after contentious and political negotiations.
- City of Los Angeles: Served as co-chief negotiator for the City’s negotiations with the Coalition of Los Angeles City Unions, which represents approximately 60 percent of the City’s civilian workforce. These negotiations resulted in an unprecedented amount of concessions, revisions to retiree health benefits, and resolution of several outstanding lawsuits. In addition, in 2012, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa assisted the City in negotiating with the Engineers and Architects Association to bring about salary and health insurance concessions and resolve the parties’ furlough litigation.
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has represented clients in hundreds of lawsuits in both state and federal court. Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has taken dozens of cases to trial and arbitration, with a remarkable success record. These matters range from sexual harassment and discrimination claims to First Amendment and whistleblower claims. Some representative trials include:
- Complete Defense Verdict: After the plaintiff was discharged from his job, he filed a civil action against a major California water district. He alleged religious discrimination and retaliation and sought economic damages in excess of $1.6 million, plus emotional distress damages. The plaintiff claimed that his supervisor was biased against him due to his religious beliefs and that the defendant retaliated against him after he filed an internal complaint for religious discrimination. During a three-week trial, Ms. Rodríguez Moisa provided evidence of the defendant’s culture of religious tolerance, the plaintiff’s insubordination and misrepresentations, and the defendant’s attempts to counsel, train, and otherwise help the plaintiff. Witnesses included the defendant’s supervisors, employee relations personnel, and coworkers as well as a psychiatrist and an economist. On June 1, 2016, the jury returned a 12-0 verdict in favor of the defendant on the religious discrimination claim and an 11-1 verdict for the defendant on the retaliation claim.
- Greatly Reduced Damages: The plaintiff, the only African-American firefighter employed by Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s client, a city in California, alleged he was subjected to a hostile work environment and discrimination due to his race and to retaliation for complaining of discrimination and harassment. The plaintiff contended that his supervisor and colleagues referred to him as a “n” and made other racially demeaning comments. The plaintiff also contended that he was denied promotional opportunities. He demanded $4.5 million in damages from the City. The City admitted that the supervisor used the “n” word on three occasions and explained that the supervisor was terminated after the plaintiff complained. The City also denied that the plaintiff was refused a promotion and instead noted that he remained on the eligibility list for a promotion. After an eleven-day trial, the jury awarded Plaintiff $915,000 in damages.
- Highly Favorable Settlement: The plaintiff filed suit against Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s client, a large grocery chain, alleging that he had been subjected to disability discrimination and retaliation, and that the defendant failed to engage in the interactive process and failed to accommodate him in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The plaintiff alleged that he was terminated because his store manager harbored animus towards him after he suffered a workplace injury. He claimed that the store manager targeted him for termination after he purportedly ate one grape while on the produce department floor. The defendant contended that the plaintiff was terminated for violating its company policy prohibiting employees from consuming or taking company product without paying for it. After seven days of trial and Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s cross-examination of the plaintiff, the case settled for $5,000.
- Summary Judgment: The plaintiff, a faculty member and surgeon at a highly prestigious medical school and hospital, filed suit alleging discrimination based on his association with an African-American colleague and retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The plaintiff alleged that he was subjected to numerous adverse employment actions because of his support of his colleague’s lawsuit against the defendants. The plaintiff claimed that he was the only person who corroborated the showing of an inappropriate and racist slideshow depicting his colleague as a gorilla. The plaintiff claimed that his supervisors and hospital administrators sought to discredit him and decrease his practice by wrongfully reporting him in a malpractice action, reducing the number of patient referrals, and having to endure his colleagues’ ostracism. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that one of his colleagues prepared a slide show depicting his gravestone and stating that he should “RIP.” After aggressive litigation, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted.
- Complete Defense Verdict: The plaintiff was laid off from his job at a large public institution of higher education in 2010 after a reorganization of his unit resulted in his position being eliminated. He filed suit, alleging several causes of actions against Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s client, including: religious creed discrimination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA); whistleblower retaliation; and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. During the course of litigation, multiple claims were dismissed. Consequently, the only claims presented to the jury at trial were the claims for age discrimination, retaliation under the FEHA, and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation, with alleged economic damages of about $750,000 and non-economic damages of two to three times that amount. After three weeks of trial, the jury rendered a defense verdict in less than 45 minutes of deliberation.
- Complete Defense Verdict: The plaintiff alleged that she was subjected to sexual harassment by a co-worker and that her supervisor ignored her complaints. Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s client, a large grocery chain, contended it took appropriate corrective action after the plaintiff complained. A defense verdict was rendered after less than two hours of deliberations.
- Appellate Victory: The plaintiff filed suit against a large California city represented by Ms. Rodríguez Moisa and five individual defendants, alleging eight separate causes of action. After a two-month jury trial, the jury found in favor of the City in six of the eight causes of action. On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the jury’s verdict on the other two causes of action and rendered judgment in favor of the City.
Ralphs Grocery Company; Home Depot; CalAmp Wireless Networks, Inc.; PIH Health; The Regents of the University of California; Metropolitan Water District; California cities include: Los Angeles, Downey, Long Beach, Camarillo, Montebello, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Vernon, and Commerce; California counties include: Imperial, San Bernardino, and Inyo.
News & Publications
- Twelve Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 202208.19.2021
- Attorney Irma Rodríguez Moisa Selected For Inclusion In the Daily Journal’s Top Labor & Employment..06.09.2015
- The Daily Journal, 12.11.2013
- Daily Journal, 12.16.2011
Events & Speaking Engagements
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa is a sought-after presenter and instructor. She has provided training to various entities and professional associations on topics such as: preventing discrimination, retaliation, and harassment; conducting disciplinary investigations; responding to EEOC and DFEH complaints; understanding employee privacy rights; properly maintaining personnel files; managing employee leaves; and imposing employee discipline.
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has spoken before numerous organizations, including the National Employment Law Institute, the California Association of District Attorneys, PIHRA, ACHRO, CalPELRA, the Kansas Judicial Council, the California League of Cities, the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County, the Orange County City Attorneys Association, SCPMA, and SCPLRC. Some of Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s recent presentations include:
"Free Speech and HR's Role in the Public Sector" - SCPLC Annual Conference (February 2022)
"Legal Strategies" - CALEPLRA Annual Conference - General Session (November 2021)
- "Tints, Tones & Shades-Getting 2 Yes: Successful Bargaining Techniques" - CALEPLRA Annual Conference (November 2021)
10 Habits of the Successful Negotiator," CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, virtual (November 2020)
- "Who Are Our Leaders Of Tomorrow? Informal Leaders And The Effects Of Transformational Leadership In The Workplace" CALPELRA Annual Training Conference, virtual (November 2020)
- Sanctuary State Laws And How They May Affect Your Agency - CALPELRA Conference - December 2018
- Vested Rights And Public Pensions In The 21st Century - CALPELRA Conference - December 2018
- Making The #MeToo Movement Count: Better Ways To Stop Sexual Harassment - CALPELRA Conference - December 2018
- Unfunded Liability Continues To Haunt Agencies: Where Are We Now And Where Are We Going? - CALPELRA Conference - December 2018
- “Investigate like a Star: The Anatomy of an Effective Internal Investigation” — AALRR Employment Law Conference, March 2017
- Ms. Rodríguez Moisa also serves as a trainer at the California Public Employer Labor Relations Association Labor Academies (“CalPELRALearn”) and has taught at the National Employment Law Institute. Her training subjects include:
- “Discipline in the 21st Century” — CALPELRALearn (March 2012)
- “The Affordable Care Act” — CALPELRALearn (March 2011)
- “Conducting Disciplinary Investigations?” — CUIC (February 2010)
Alerts & Articles
- PERB Reinforces Deferral to Arbitration Doctrine in Context of Retaliation Unfair Practice Claims Brought Under MMBA10.10.2022
- Third Circuit Court Highlights Free Speech Protections for Public Employees in Context of Discipline for Violation of COVID-19 Face Covering Policy07.11.2022
- Appellate Court Reaffirms Importance of Three-Prong Test for Whether Managerial Decision Is Subject to Bargaining06.29.2022
- California Appellate Court Rules that State Labor Law Preempts a Voter-Approved Measure Setting City Firefighter Salaries03.30.2022
- California Supreme Court Confirms Worker Friendly Evidentiary Standard for Whistleblower Retaliation Claims01.28.2022
- California Public Employers May Face a State Vaccination Mandate Should OSHA Issue Regulations Based on President Biden’s Vaccine Initiative09.23.2021
- PERB Decision Interprets Statute Which Prohibits Public Employers From Deterring or Discouraging Union Membership03.09.2021
- Legal and Practical Considerations for Mandating That Public Employees Obtain a COVID-19 Vaccination12.17.2020
- Cal/OSHA Adopts Expansive and Burdensome Regulations to Mitigate COVID-19 Exposure and Outbreaks in the Workplace12.02.2020
- The California Supreme Court Upholds PEPRA’s Changes to “Compensation Earnable,” But Leaves the “California Rule” Intact08.13.2020
- In a Significant Ruling in Favor of a Public Entity, Appellate Court Clarifies the Dilution Requirement of the California Voting Rights Act07.10.2020
- U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge to California’s “Sanctuary State” Law Leaving the Law Intact06.17.2020
- Governor Issues Executive Order Affecting Statutory Deadlines or Requirements for Collective Bargaining, Administrative Hearings, and POST in Response to COVID-1905.14.2020
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Medical Inquiries and Medical Examinations During COVID-19 Pandemic03.27.2020
- Governor Newsom’s Updated List of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” Includes Government Employees03.23.2020
- Governor Newsom Issues a Statewide “Stay Home” Order That Affects But Does Not Close Public Entity Employers03.20.2020
- Eight California Counties and the City of Fresno Release Orders Affecting Public Entity Employers in Those Areas03.19.2020
- Court Requires Record of Threatened Litigation to be Included in Agenda Packet for Closed Session Item03.09.2020
- California Enacts New Independent Contractor Status Analysis - The Impact of AB 5 on Public Agencies10.14.2019
- Practical Tips in the Wake of Recent Changes to the Federal and California Equal Pay Acts and the Ninth Circuit’s Rizo Decision07.19.2018
- Supreme Court Limits Reach of Public Sector Unions in Janus, Finding Agency Fee Arrangements to Be Unconstitutional06.27.2018
- Probationary Employees Who May Be Terminated for Subjective Reasons Lack Property Interest in their Position05.18.2018
- Court of Appeal Defines “Fire Chief’ Subject to Removal Under Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act03.28.2018
- Award of Costs to Prevailing Employers Is “Mandatory” When the Plaintiff Rejects a Section 998 Offer and Fails to Obtain a More Favorable Judgment10.23.2017
- Appellate Court Ruling: Absent a “Clear Showing,” the Presumption Is That a Memorandum of Understanding Does Not Create a Vested Right09.01.2017
- Appellate Court Affirms Discharge of Peace Officer for Improperly Accessing Confidential Records and Making False Statements to Investigators07.11.2017
- California Supreme Court Holds Public Records Sent Through Private Email Accounts and Devices May Be Subject to Disclosure03.03.2017
- Appellate Court Rules that MMBA Permits Modified Agency Shop Arrangement Applying Only to New Employees02.08.2017
- PERB’S Order Directing the City Council to Rescind Its Resolution Violated Doctrine of Separation of Powers01.06.2017
- California Court of Appeal Finds Employers Must Accommodate Employee’s Association With Disabled Ind04.18.2016
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa’s most recent articles include:
- “Banning Beards at Work Could Get a Little Hairy,” Daily Journal (August 2016)
- “Self-Help Discovery?” Daily Journal (July, 2016)
- “The Cat’s Paw Doctrine: Declawing Summary Judgment,” Daily Journal (May 2016)
- Labor & Employment Law Blog, 10.03.2014
- EdLawConnect Blog, 09.24.2012
- Labor & Employment Law Blog, 09.24.2012
- Labor & Employment Law Blog, 10.08.2010
- U.S. Supreme Court Uholds Employer Search Of Pager Text Message Records Where Search Was Work-Related And Limited In ScopeLabor & Employment Law Blog, 06.22.2010
- Court Holds Recently Promoted Probation Officer Who Did Not Pass Probation Was Not Entitled To An Administrative AppealLabor & Employment Law Blog, 05.25.2010
Community & Professional
Ms. Rodríguez Moisa has sat on boards of numerous organizations and foundations and has been a member of several associations. She most recently concluded terms with the Los Angeles County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Executive Committee and the Rio Hondo College Foundation. Ms. Moisa is also involved in the following organizations:
- Campaign for College Opportunity, Board Member
- MALDEF, President, Board of Directors
- Latina Lawyers Bar Association, Former Vice President, Board of Directors
- Berkeley Law Alumni Association, Board Member
J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law
M.P.P., Harvard University
B.S., University of California, Berkeley
- 1992, California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Courts, Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California