Jessica Villaescusa
Jessica Villaescusa
Associate, San Diego, CA
  • B.A., Sociology/Law and Society, University of California, Riverside;
  • J.D., Labor and Employment, California Western School of Law, San Diego.

My first interest in the law began after taking a legal course in college. After graduating with a degree in Sociology and concentration Law & Society, I continued my interest in the legal field into my first legal job. I dedicated six years to helping clients understand their legal rights. It was assisting one of those clients that really advanced my passion for the law and led me to attend law school. I am really interested in Labor and Employment law and graduated with a concentration in the field. I was also a member of the Employment and Labor Law Society at my law school.

Throughout my legal career, I have learned to be an advocate for my clients, and to really listen to their needs. I joined Stokes Wagner for their dedication to helping clients in all aspects of Labor and Employment and for the team environment. I enjoy learning all about the hospitality field and using my legal knowledge to help employers.

I am a San Diego native and a Latina. When I am not working, I enjoy traveling. I have had the opportunity to travel to many countries around the world. I love exploring new places, learning about new cultures, and trying new cuisines. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends.

The U.S Supreme Court issued an opinion in Groff v. DeJoy redefining an employer’s obligations for religious accommodations under Title VII. The Court strayed away from the almost five-decade standard previously used and redefined “undue hardship” stating that it requires employers, when denying a religious accommodation, to show that the burden of granting an accommodation would result in “substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.” The Court effectively disavowed the long-standing “de minimis” standard placing a higher burden on employers when determining whether a religious accommodation can be denied for an undue hardship. The Court held that courts must apply this new standard and take into account all relevant factors in the case at hand, including particular accommodation at issue, and the practical impact in light of the nature, size, and operating cost to the employer. The Court remanded the case back to the lower court to apply the new redefined standard.