Stephanie M. White

Senior Counsel | Walnut Creek

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Tel: 925.953.1620
Fax: 925.953.1625
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Stephanie White is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Walnut Creek Office and co-chair of the firm's Community College practice area. Ms. White represents California public school districts, county offices of education and community college districts in all aspects of education law. She specializes in Labor and Employment and student issues.


Ms. White has extensive experience advising and representing clients with regard to certificated and classified discipline and dismissal proceedings. She also has experience in advising clients on FERPA and student confidentiality issues, student discipline and expulsion proceedings, the Public Records Act, and the Americans with Disability Act. Ms. White's practice includes investigating and responding to unlawful discrimination complaints filed against employers with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Fair Employment and Housing. She also routinely conducts complex, internal investigations on behalf of school districts and community colleges relating to claims of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation.

Ms. White has additional experience defending school districts against unfair practice charges brought before the Public Employment Relations Board. She also provides training to school district employees in the areas of sexual harassment (AB 1825), Title IX and employee leaves.


Ms. White received her Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. While in law school, Ms. White taught practical legal classes to inner-city high school students in San Francisco.

Significant New Title IX Guidance on Handling Sexual Misconduct: What Schools Need to Know

By: Michelle CannonTrevin SimsStephanie White-

October 2017 Number 56 New guidance on schools' responsibilities for addressing claims of sexual misconduct under Title IX places greater emphasis on the rights of those accused of sexual misconduct. The new guidance marks a significant departure from prior guidance but lacks details, creating the potential for many issues requiring legal consultation. On September 22, the United States Department of Education issued interim guidance on schools' responsibilities in addressing sexual mi...

California Travel Ban Does Not Apply to Local Agencies

By: Thomas GauthierStephanie White-

July 2017 Number 41 A California law that bars state agencies from funding travel, and from requiring employees to travel, to states that permit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression - and Attorney General Xavier Becerra's recent expansion of the list of states covered by the ban - have raised questions regarding whether the law applies to cities, counties, school districts and community college districts. While there is no definitive l...

DFEH Releases Guidelines on Anti-Harassment Policies, Training and Notice Regulations

By: Marisa LincolnStephanie White-

June 2017 Number 33 The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) recently released a Workplace Harassment Guide that includes recommended practices to enable employers to comply with California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) regulations aimed at preventing, investigating and addressing workplace harassment. DFEH also issued guidance and a poster related to identifying and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Effective April 1, 2016, California employers becam...

Employer’s Mistaken Belief Is No Defense to an Employee’s First Amendment Challenge to Discipline for His Off-Duty Political Activity

By: Darren KameyaStephanie White-

May 2016 Number 32 Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Heffernan v. City of Paterson (April 26, 2016, No. 14-1280) 578 U.S. __ [2016 U.S. LEXIS 2924] that an employee may challenge an employer’s adverse action under the First Amendment even if the employer’s action was based on a mistaken perception that an employee engaged in political activity. The decision impacts government employers, including school districts, county offices of education, and local governments by giving g...

A Recent Federal Court Ruling Clarifies that Discrimination Claims Based on Sexual Orientation Are Covered Under Title IX as Sex Discrimination Claims

By: Michelle CannonStephanie White-

February 2016 Number 7 The United States District Court in Videckis v. Pepperdine University, (C.D. Cal, December 15, 2015) 2015 U.S. Dist. Lexis 167672, recently addressed the question of whether discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is actionable under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). In its decision, the court denounced any distinction prior courts have made between "sex discrimination" and "sexual orientation discrimination," and ruled that such a dist...