IR #2004-7
Friday, August 13, 2004

Dean Fryer
Susan Gard

Department of Industrial Relations acting director inducted as fellow into College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

San Francisco
- John Rea, acting director of the California Department of Industrial Relations, has been inducted as a fellow into the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia. Election as a fellow is the highest recognition by legal colleagues for sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence.

The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers was founded in 1995 to further establish the unique importance of the field of labor and employment law. The college operates as a free standing organization recognizing those who have distinguished themselves as leaders in the field. Rea was honored Aug. 8, 2004 at the ninth installation of fellows.

As acting director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), Rea oversees the state's occupational safety and health, workers' compensation, wage and hour, apprenticeship, and other programs, as well as 2,600 personnel. Rea also manages the DIR budget, its policies, legislation and administrative appointments.

Rea previously served as the department's chief legal counsel for 22 years, representing DIR in labor litigation before state and federal courts. He began his career as chief counsel under the Deukmejian administration and worked for five DIR directors before becoming acting director.

As chief counsel, Rea argued notable 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. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board and Uninsured Employers Fund (1993); and California Hospital Assn. et al, v. Patrick Henning, Labor Commissioner (1987).

Rea, who graduated from New York University School of Law in 1971, 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, where he won two nationwide certifications.

Find the Department of Industrial Relations on the Web at