Governor Pete Wilson appointed Roberta Mendonca, DIR's deputy director for legislative affairs since 1991, as State Labor Commissioner. She succeeds Victoria Bradshaw, who resigned last September.
As deputy director Mendonca represented the director and the department before legislative committees, in addition to serving as liaison with labor unions, representatives of the business community, workers and employers.
Before moving to the Department of Industrial Relations, Mendonca served for nearly two years as assistant director of legislation with the Department of Consumer Affairs. There she oversaw the analysis of legislation affecting consumers, was in charge of the department's 38 licensing agencies, and took the lead role in representing the department before the Legislature.
Mendonca began her legal career 20 years ago as a lawyer with the Yolo County Center for the Elderly in Woodland. She acted as a volunteer attorney who concentrated on legal problems of the elderly and indigent.
In her own legal service in Davis, she turned her attention to civil law and gained a reputation as an accomplished litigator.
Five years after opening her law practice, Mendonca was hired by the California Chamber of Commerce. Within a year she assumed the position of counsel for insurance and employee relations. Her efforts aided in establishing tort reform and changes in workers' compensation.
Mendonca earned her bachelor's degree in social science from California State University, Chico in 1963 and a juris doctorate degree from the McGeorge School of Law in 1976. She also received a secondary teaching certificate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. The appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.