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Kelly D. Gemelli

San Diego

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


Kelly (Wood) Gemelli is a Principal in the San Diego, California office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She provides advice and counsel to management on a wide range of employment issues.  She is a certified leave of absence specialist, and is an active member of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. For nearly twenty years, she has litigated a broad range of employment matters including:

  • Discrimination and harassment suits on the basis of age, race, national origin, gender, pregnancy, and disability
  • Leave issues
  • Retaliation claims
  • Wage and Hour claims, including class actions, and PAGA representative actions

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. Ms. Gemelli conducts workplace investigations, and counsels employers on strategies for minimizing potential litigation.  She provides advice on the practical and legal implications of everyday employment decisions. 

Ms. Gemelli also routinely provides training seminars on a wide variety of employment topics. She has presented and trained professional groups in specialized areas of employment law, including: preventing sexual harassment, workplace investigations, anti-harassment/sensitivity in the workplace, unconscious bias, managing leaves of absence under FMLA and California state leave laws, workplace accommodations, wage and hour, and effective management/prevention of claims.  

Previously, Ms. Gemelli 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 throughout North America. She analyzed complex legal claims, investigated and evaluated coverage issues, assessed exposure risks and managed multifaceted litigation.

Ms. Gemelli resides in San Diego with her husband and their two young sons. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, going to the beach, camping, and hiking.  She has been to over 42 countries, and has lived in England, Netherlands, and Spain. 

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Lawyers Club of San Diego, Co-Chair of the Mentorship Committee, past Co-Chair of the Professional Advancement Committee, the Work Life Management Committee, and the Red, White & Brew 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

  • “Employee Handbook, Best Practices” National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, June 2018)(presenter)
  • “Using Alternative Dispute Resolution Tactics in Employment Matters”, National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, June 2018)(presenter)
  • “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

January 4, 2019
Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis Announces 17 Newly Elevated Principals

January 4, 2019

WHITE PLAINS, NY (January 4, 2019) Jackson Lewis P.C., one of the country’s preeminent workplace law firms, is pleased to announce the firm has recently elevated 17 attorneys to Principal status. “Our newest Principals — a diverse group of attorneys who represent a variety of practice areas and geographic regions — are all... Read More

January 4, 2019

Kelly Gemelli Comments on Implications of California's Law Requiring Women on Corporate Boards

January 4, 2019

Kelly Gemelli comments on the implications of a new California law mandating that companies have female representation on public company boards in "6 California HR Issues to Watch in 2019," published in SHRM. Subscription may be required to view article  Read More

See All Webinars


Watch Now

Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training in the #MeToo Era: Will Your State Require It?

March 6, 2019 - 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST

Credits: Continuing education credit was offered for the live broadcast of this seminar.
You cannot earn credit for watching the archived webinar.

Watch Now

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