University of San Francisco, J.D.
Lewis and Clark College, B.A.
Why I love what I do...
“I have always been a people person and employment law is about people and relationships. Each case involves the interweaving relationships of a cast of characters. Employment cases also often involve people facing situations they have never encountered. I appreciate guiding individuals through an unknown process and working with them to reach a resolution, be it through settlement, dismissal or verdict.”
Rachel Pusey is the Managing Partner of Villarreal Hutner PC. Rachel has extensive experience representing employers at all stages of litigation in state and federal court. In addition to state and federal lawsuits, arbitrations, and grievances, she regularly handles claims involving the DFEH, EEOC, DIR/DLSE, and other administrative agencies. She also represents employers in pre-litigation matters. Rachel works with employers in a wide range of disciplines including venture capital, technology, nonprofit, public entity, banking, entertainment, security, retirement communities, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores and wineries.
Rachel is experienced in handling an array of employment-related claims, including employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability accommodation, family medical leaves, whistleblower/wrongful discharge, breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, assault and battery, fraud, and Labor Code claims. She has litigated cases brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, and wage and hour laws. Rachel has resolved hundreds of disputes through administrative hearings, one-on-one negotiation, settlement conferences, mediation and dispositive motions.
Rachel enjoys counseling clients and helping them avoid potential litigation. Keeping clients up to date on the ever changing laws that impact the employment relationship is essential. Guiding a well-intentioned employer in avoiding pitfalls is immensely satisfying and saves her clients time, money and heartache. Rachel's clients appreciate her consistent responsiveness and willingness to explore creative resolution.
Rachel also conducts neutral attorney-investigator workplace investigations.
Professional Qualifications and Activities
Rachel is admitted to practice in all California courts and is a member of the State Bar of California. Prior to joining Villarreal Hutner, she was Senior Counsel with Gordon & Rees LLP where she also represented and counseled employers. Rachel is a member of the Labor and Employment Section of the State Bar, the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI), Queen's Bench Bar Association and the Hellenic Law Society. Rachel enjoys informally mentoring female attorneys and strives to help keep women as active members of the bar by exploring avenues of achieving work-life balance.
Rachel was selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star 2011-2014.
Before Law School...
Rachel knew before she went to college at Lewis and Clark that she wanted to be a lawyer as she viewed the law as a means to improving the lives of women. At Lewis and Clark she majored in History and took a number of political science and gender studies courses. As its name suggests, Lewis and Clark encouraged travel and exploration. During her junior year, Rachel lived and studied in Cuenca, Ecuador. Her beloved host mother did not speak a word of English and the experience was a crash course in the art of communication. The trip also launched Rachel's love of international travel.
Rachel cherishes time with her husband, son and dog. She volunteers with Moms Demand Action, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank and at her son's elementary school.