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Kelly D. Gemelli

San Diego

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


Kelly D. Gemelli


Kelly (Wood) Gemelli is a Principal in the San Diego, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She is a certified leave of absence specialist and holds a certificate from the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI). She is active member of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. For 20 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

Ms. Gemelli 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 regularly conducts and supervises workplace investigations. 

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 Endorsements and Nominations Committee, past Co-Chair of the Professional Advancement Committee, the Mentorship 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


  • “Avoiding Costly Mistakes in Public Agency Hiring and Drug Testing,” State Bar of California (San Diego, CA, September 2016) (presenter)
  • “Disability, Leave, and Lactation Accommodation Requests: Your Duties and Rights Under the ADA/FEHA, FMLA/CFRA, AB 1976, and Other Applicable Laws,” HR Comply California Summit (Los Angeles, CA, October 2019)(presenter)
  • “Disciplining and Firing Employees,” National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, October 2016) (presenter)
  • "Employee Handbook, Best Practices” National Business Institute (San Diego, CA, June 2018) (presenter)
  • “Opioids, Workers’ Comp, and Return to Work: Best Practices for Staying Compliant under ADA’s/FEHA’s 'Reasonable Accommodation' Provisions While Maintaining a Safe Working Environment,” CAL/OSHA Summit (Los Angeles, CA, October 2019) (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)