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Kelly D. Gemelli

Of Counsel
San Diego

P 619-573-4916
F 619-573-4901


Kelly (Wood) Gemelli is Of Counsel with the San Diego, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Ms. Gemelli represents employers in all areas of employment law and has litigated a broad range of employment matters.

Ms. Gemelli's experience includes:

Discrimination and harassment suits on the basis of age, race, national origin, gender, and disability

  • Leave issues
  • Retaliation claims
  • Wage and Hour claims

She is well-versed in matters that arise under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Paid Family Leave, Family and Medical Leave, Pregnancy Disability Leave, and various California state employment-related laws. She regularly appears in state and federal courts and has handled administrative charges before state and federal administrative agencies. Additionally, she has defended numerous wage and hour claims and has conducted wage and hour audits for clients.

Ms. Gemelli counsels employers on strategies for minimizing potential litigation and provides advice on the practical and legal implications of everyday employment decisions. She specializes with clients in the following industries:

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Technology
  • Healthcare

Ms. Gemelli has successfully handled numerous appeals including:

  • Eleventh Circuit appeal (affirming summary judgment) (2015, 2013):  In an age discrimination and retaliation case in federal court, obtained summary judgment for the defendant on all claims (2013), which was upheld on appeal in its entirety (2015), resulting in no trial in a heavily-litigated case on behalf of a large healthcare provider.
  • Eleventh Circuit appeal (affirming summary judgment) (2015, 2013):  In a gender discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment case in federal court, obtained summary judgment for the defendant on all claims, which was affirmed in its entirety on appeal, avoiding trial in a heavily-litigated case on behalf of a large healthcare provider.

Ms. Gemelli provides training seminars on a variety of employment topics. She has presented and trained professional groups in specialized areas of employment law, including: workplace investigations, workplace violence, workplace accommodations, leaves, wage and hour, e-discovery, sexual harassment, effective management and anti-harassment and sensitivity in the workplace.

Ms. Gemelli previously worked in-house for a leading Lloyd’s Insurance Company, providing in-house legal advice on a broad mixture of contracts, insurance policies and programs placed largely throughout North America. She analyzed complex legal claims, investigated and evaluated coverage issues, assessed exposure risks and managed multifaceted litigation.

She attended the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Barcelona, Spain, completing graduate work in International Negotiations and Contracts. She also completed course work in International Law and Contracts at Leiden University in Leiden, Netherlands. Additionally, she has completed mediation training and has successfully mediated a number of claims in small claims court.

Ms. Gemelli resides in San Diego with her husband and their two sons.

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Lawyers Club of San Diego, Co-Chair of the Work/Life Management Committee
  • San Diego County Bar Association
  • Society for Human Resource Management

Pro Bono and Community Involvement

  • Professional Alliance for Children
  • Wounded Warriors

Speeches and Presentations

  • “Workplace Behavioral Issues: Appropriately Handling Thorny Situations,” National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, October 2016) (presenter)
  • “Disciplining and Firing Employees,” National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, October 2016) (presenter)
  • “Avoiding Costly Mistakes in Public Agency Hiring and Drug Testing,” State Bar of California (San Diego, CA, September 2016) (presenter)

See AllKelly D. Gemelli in the News

October 13, 2015

Kelly Gemelli Discusses ADA Accommodations in the Workplace

October 13, 2015

Kelly Gemelli discusses workplace ADA accommodations in's "Reasonable accommodations: 8 mistakes that can cripple you in court." Subscription may be required to view article   Read More

September 16, 2015
Real Talk San Diego

Kelly Gemelli Discusses Hot Topics in California Workplace Law

September 16, 2015

Kelly Gemelli appears on Real Talk San Diego to discuss hot topics in California workplace law.   Read More

See AllBlog Posts by Kelly D. Gemelli

Employees in California? If so, these are the Employment Bills to Watch
September 21, 2017

With the flurry of action by California lawmakers in the final weeks of the legislative session, there are approximately 640 bills waiting for action by California Governor, Jerry Brown.  Here is a list of legislation which California employers should be watching. Read More

10 Strategies for Limiting FMLA/CFRA Abuse
March 30, 2017

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) provides for overlapping, as well as separate leaves of absences. Read More

Avoid These Common Mistakes in Classifying Workers
September 19, 2016

The Department of Labor (DOL) has made it clear. Read More