IR #2005-2
Friday, January 21, 2005

Dean Fryer
Renee Bacchini

Governor Appoints John Rea Chief Deputy Director of DIR

SAN FRANCISCO - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Jan. 19, 2005, announced the appointment of John Rea as chief deputy director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). DIR is a core part of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

Mr. Rea's duties will include the oversight of the operations of DIR, which has state wide jurisdiction for labor standards enforcement (minimum wage, hour and labor standards), occupational safety and health, workers' compensation, apprenticeship standards, labor statistics and research, and state mediation and conciliation services. In addition, Mr. Rea will continue to serve as an ex-officio member of the State Compensation Insurance Fund Board of Directors and as the administrator of apprenticeship, as well as other duties, until a director is appointed.

Since Jan. 7, 2004, Mr. Rea has served as acting director and brings extensive knowledge of DIR and its programs to the position. He previously served as the department's chief legal counsel for 22 years, representing DIR in litigation before state and federal courts. He began his career as chief counsel during the Brown administration and worked for five DIR directors before becoming acting director.

As chief counsel, Mr. Rea argued and won notable Supreme Court cases including: Dillingham Construction, Sound Systems Inc. v. Curry, et. al. (1995), which resulted in the unanimous decision to reject the literal test of preemption of state law and ended a steady line of cases finding apprenticeship laws preempted; So. Cal. ABC v. California Apprenticeship Council, et al. (1993); Scott Russell DuBois v. WCAB and Uninsured Employers Fund (1993). In another case, later followed by the Supreme Court, his win was for his now-colleague, EDD Acting Director Patrick Henning, California Hospital Assn. et al, v. Patrick Henning, Labor Commissioner (1987).

Mr. Rea was inducted as a fellow into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia in 2004. Election as a fellow is the highest recognition by legal colleagues for sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence.

New York University School of Law gave Mr. Rea a Root Tilden Public Service Fellowship leading to his JD in 1969 and a master's in 1971. He spent eight years prior to his work at DIR as a senior trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in San Francisco.