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Lonnie D. Giamela

Partner, Los Angeles
Los Angeles
t: 213.330.4454
f: 213.330.4501
t: 949.798.2142
f: 949.851.0152


Lonnie Giamela is a member of the firm’s COVID-19 Taskforce, a cross-disciplinary team of attorneys dedicated to advising employers on the many workplace law aspects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Lonnie Giamela is a partner in both the Los Angeles and Irvine offices. He represents a broad range of clients, from small businesses to national companies, in all sectors of manufacturing, retail, wholesale distribution, hospitality, education and the automotive industries.

Lonnie has handled a full range of labor and employment matters, from single plaintiff to multi-plaintiff, in both federal and state courts in California, the California Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Lonnie has also handled arbitrations venued at the National Labor Relations Board, payroll tax audits before the Employment Development Department, unemployment insurance eligibility claims in the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, administrative hearings before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission and multiple hearings at the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Lonnie also has extensive experience representing local, regional and national clients in class action wage-hour lawsuits as well as representative lawsuits brought under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), having handled more than 100 such matters. 

Additionally, Lonnie counsels employers on preventative measures to prevent litigation from arising on various issues including wage and hour compliance, independent contractor classification, mass layoff strategy, and management training.   He has assisted in the preparation of more than 500 handbooks for clients and has developed policies and procedures manuals for both small businesses and national companies with multi-state operations.

Utilizing experiences from his family's restaurants in the San Fernando Valley, Lonnie prides himself on providing advice to the companies he represents. His prior business experience enables him to find practical, compliant legal solutions to clients’ everyday employee relations issues.

Lonnie is a frequent lecturer on employment law topics and has presented over 300 seminars to management, executives, human resources professionals and employer groups on topics including fair employment, medical leaves, mass layoffs, FMLA/CFRA compliance, independent contractor classification matters, preparation of handbooks, emerging legal issues and wage and hour compliance.

Lonnie has an "AV" Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is their highest peer review survey rating for legal abilities and ethical standards. Lonnie was nominated by the Los Angeles Business Journal for the “Leaders in Law” awards in 2019.  He has also been named as one of the Top 100 Up and Coming lawyers in Southern California by Super Lawyers in 2015 and 2016. He was also selected as a Client Service All-Star for 2016, an elite group of attorneys nominated by in-house counsel for their outstanding client service. BTI Consulting Group conducted the survey.



  • Full defense arbitration award in disability discrimination/unpaid wages suit brought against dealership.
  • Full defense arbitration award in single plaintiff disability discrimination suit brought against collision center.
  • Full defense arbitration award in sexual orientation discrimination and breach of contract case brought by a plaintiff seeking in excess of $10,000,000 in damages.
  • Full Defense Verdict in Dealership Breach of Contract Case
  • Successful defense of client at trial in case involving claims of retaliation, constructive discharge, failure to accommodate and failure to engage in the interactive process.
  • Obtained favorable decisions in California Court of Appeal and United States District Court matters involving the enforceability of pre-dispute arbitration agreements.
  • Handling of matters before National Labor Relations Board and 9th Circuit involving legality of class action waiver in pre-dispute arbitration agreements.
  • Representation of clients before governmental agencies including, but not limited to, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, California Employment Development Department and United States Department of Labor Wage-Hour and VETS division.
  • Representation of clients before superior court, California Courts of Appeal, California Supreme Court, various federal district courts and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Representation of clients in payroll tax audits conducted by California Employment Development Department.
  • Representation of clients in payroll audits conducted by City of San Francisco.

Reported Cases

  • Lucas v. Gund, Inc., 450 F. Supp. 2d. 1125 (C.D. Cal. 2006)

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • Los Angeles Business Journal's "Leaders in Law" Award Nominee (2019)
  • Named “Client Service All-Star” by BTI Consulting Group - 2016
  • Named Up and Coming Top 100 Southern California Rising Stars by Los Angeles Magazine - (2015-2016)
  • Named Super Lawyer- Rising Star by Los Angeles Magazine - (2013 - 2016)
  • Rated AV by Martindale Hubbell

Professional Activities

  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Littlest Angel Guild
  • Member, Orange County Bar Association
  • Member, Los Angeles Bar Association
  • Member, Armenian Bar Association
  • Member, Burbank Chamber of Commerce

Community Activities

  • National Italian American Foundation
  • San Gennaro Foundation
  • Burbank Chamber of Commerce



Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • “Minimizing Employment Law Liability”
    West Ventura County Employers’ Advisory Council 
    February 2016
  • “2016 Employment Law Update”
    San Fernando Valley Employers’ Advisory Council 
    February 2016
  • “An Ounce of Prevention Saves A Ton of Liability”
    PIHRA California Legislative Update
    January 2016
  • Express Employment Professionals Legislative and Caselaw Update
    January 2016
  • “Employees’ New Tactic to Challenge Arbitration Agreements – A Trip to the NLRB"
    December 2015
  • “How To Conduct A Proper Workplace Investigation” 
    October 2015
  • California Unemployment Insurance Council “A Primer on Medical Leave Laws” 
    September 2015
  • “A Class On How To Avoid Wage Hour Class Actions
    PIHRA California Legislative Update
    January 2015
  • "The Intersection of Social Networking And Employment Law"
    Orange County Private School Association  - Yorba Linda, CA 
    August 2012
  • "Top Ten Legal Landmines in Wage Hour Law and Medical Leaves"
    San Fernando Valley Employers Advisory Council - Van Nuys, CA 
    November 2011
  • "Handling Medical Leaves of Absence"
    California Unemployment Insurance Council - Long Beach, CA 
    May 2011
  • "Beyond the Basics in Employment Law"
    Sterling Education - Pasadena, CA 
    November 2012
  • "Drafting Employee Handbooks"
    PMAA - Los Angeles, CA 
    May 2010
  • "The Intersection Of Social Networking And Employment Law"
    Employer Advisory Council  of Ventura County - Oxnard, CA 
    April 2010
  • "Legislative Update"
    California Staffing Professionials Conference 
    City of Industry, CA 
    April 2010
  • "The Intersection Of Social Networking And Employment Law"
    PIHRA District 10 Ontario, CA 
    October 2009
  • "Quarterly Legislative Updates"
    Pacific Coast Association of Health Care Recruiters 
    2011 through 2012
  • "Annual Employment Law Update"
    PIHRA District 15
    2011 through 2012


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