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 150 such matters across the country. Lonnie also has experience as lead counsel in two wage-hour class actions that have gone to trial.
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 350 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. He was acclaimed by peers as a “Labor & Employment Star” in Benchmark Litigation (2023), recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2022 and was named a Super Lawyer from 2021-2023. 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.
In 2022, Lonnie completed the Mediating the Litigated Case Program at Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution.