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Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen, Pedersen Law APC
  • Employment Law
  • California
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Summary

Neil is a 30-year litigator who aggressively advocates employee rights against medium sized and large employers. Neil is also an adjunct professor of law, teaching employment law and law practice management. He is highly respected among his peers and by his former clients. He has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer and one of the Best Employers in Orange County several years running. He was named Attorney of the Year by the State Bar Solo and Small Firm Section in 2016. He has tried several significant matters to settlements and judgments in the high six-figure and the seven figure ranges.Neil's Orange County law firm represents employees in all Southern California courts, including the federal courts located therein. He is equally comfortable arbitrating disputes.

Practice Area
  • Employment Law
Fees
  • Free Consultation
  • Contingent Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    My firm advances all costs of litigation and seeks no fees or up front costs to handle your case. To determine if we can assist, we engage in substantial up-front analysis and investigation at no charge to you. To get started you need to contact the Intake Manager at the firm.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Senior Principal
Pedersen Law APC
- Current
Vice-President of Human Resources/General Counsel
QuantumLink Corporation, Torrance, CA
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Vice-President of Corporate Policy/General Counsel
QuantumLink Corporation, Torrance, CA
-
Principal
Pedersen & Black, a Professional Law Corporation, Newport Beach, CA
-
Senior Associate Attorney
Ford & Pedersen, Los Angeles, CA
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Associate Attorney
Walker, Kendrick & Jackson, Newport Beach, CA
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Education
Western State Univ
Undergraduate Degree
Western State Univ COL
Law Degree
Awards
Distinguished Alumni Award
Western State Law Review
Attorney of the Year
California State Bar Solo and Small Firm Section
Client's Choice Award
Avvo.com
Named a “Top 100 Employment Lawyer”
The National Advocates
Super Lawyer
Thompson Reuters publications
Awarded in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
“Wall of Justice” honoree
California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA)
Identified as one of the “Best Attorneys in Orange County” in employment law
Orange County Register’s OC Metro Magazine
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Southern California’s Top Rated Lawyers
Legal Leaders Publications
2013, 2016
Rated “Superb” and a perfect “10”
Avvo.com
Since 2012
Top Contributor distinction
Avvo.com
Since 2012
Identified as one of the “Best Attorneys in Southern California”
American Lawyer Media
Awarded from 2012 to present
Inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame
Western State School of Law
Special Appreciation Award for dedication and service to the section
Orange County Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Section
AV Rated continuously since 1995
Martindale Hubbell
Professional Associations
California State Bar # 139262
Member
- Current
Publications
Articles & Publications
Mandatory Harassment Training is Expanded to Include Small and Medium-Size Firms
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Beware Treating Disabled Employees the Same as Everyone Else
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
New Laws That Will Affect Law Office Employers
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Reducing Stress in the Practice of Law: Some Practical Tips – Part Three in a Recurring Series
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Reducing Stress in the Practice of Law: Some Practical Tips – Part Two in a Recurring Series
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Reducing Stress in the Practice of Law: Some Practical Tips – Part One in a Recurring Series
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Getting Paid: 20 Ways to Avoid Fee Disputes With Your Client
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Employment Law Changes That Affect Law Firms
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
The Wild, Wild West of PAGA Litigation
eNewsletter for the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Section of the State Bar of California
Risk Management for the Law Office Owner
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
There’s A Thief In Your Office: The Hidden Cost of Non-Business-Related Internet Use and Texting
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Going Paperless: The Nuts and Bolts of Converting Your Office to a Digital Environment
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Legal Marketing – Have your Elevator Speech Ready!
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Avoiding Exposure to Wage and Hour Claims by Interns and Externs
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Going Digital: Now is the Time to Convert Your Practice to a Paperless Environment
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Managing Client Expectation During the Attorney-Client Relationship
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Time Capture and Recordation
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Time Management Tips – Handling Predictable Interrupters
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Improving and Maintaining Cash Flow for the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner
Newsletter for the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Section of the State Bar of California
Time Management Tips – Enforcing No Interruption Times
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management Tips – Let Technology Work For You, Not Against You
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management Tips – Managing Your Phone To Make Yourself More Efficient
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management Tips – Handling Paper Efficiently
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management and Meetings
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management Tip: Efficient Use of Your Workspace to Save Time and Money
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
Time Management Tip: Make a List, Work the List
California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section’s E-News
MCLE Self-Study Article: The Attorney as Employer: The Law Regarding Employee Privacy in Social Media Posts
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
FEHA Red Flags: Common Employer Violations of California’s Disability Discrimination Laws
Workers Compensation Quarterly, official publication of the California State Bar Worker’s Compensation Section, vol. 26, no. 1
So You Don’t Want Your Employer To Be Your Friend?
Orange County Lawyer Magazine, vol. 55, no. 3
“A Message from the Guest Editor” for “The Attorney as Employer” edition of The Bottom Line
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Plugging the Leak: Employing Efficient Intake Practices to Avoid the Loss of Valuable Time
The Bottom Line, official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Section
Maximizing Mediated Settlements
Big Meeting Magazine, periodical publication of the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Section of the State Bar of California
Attorney Fee Awards in FEHA Claims: The Lodestar Analysis
The Gavel, vol. 15, no. 3
Attorney Fee Awards in FEHA Claims: The Lodestar Analysis,
Western State Law Review, vol. 39, no. 2
Authored a chapter entitled “Operating Successfully in a Solo or Small Firm Environment: What Lawyers Need to Know Before Striking Out on their Own.”
“Inside the Minds: Establishing a Successful Solo Practice” published by Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business
Behind the Scenes: Solo & Small Firm Section
Orange County Lawyer, vol. 51, no.5
Staying Competitive for the Solo and Small Firm: The Paperless Law Office
Orange County Lawyer, vol. 50, no. 7
Representing an Insured: Avoiding Insurer Reimbursement Actions
Orange County Lawyer, vol. 36, no. 10
Effective Closing Argument
Western State University Law Review, vol. 17, no. 1
Speaking Engagements
Ethical Issues Presented by the Cyber-Security Threat to the Small Firm or Solo Practitioner, A one-hour presentation to the Los Angeles County Bar Association Intellectual Property Section
Los Angeles County Bar Association Intellectual Property Section
The Prospective Client and Beyond, Client Interviews to Identify Problem Clients and Avoid Potential Pitfalls During the Representation, A one-hour presentation to the Peter M. Elliott American Inn of Court
Time Management and Proper Delegation, “Jump Start Your Law Practice,” a three-day conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana
Money, Fees, and Pricing (Making Your Money Work for You), “Start Your Law Practice,” a three-day conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana
Employee Hiring, Firing, and Management, A one-hour presentation at “Start Your Law Practice,” a three-day conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana
It’s Time to Close Up Your Legal Practice for Good, A two-hour presentation sponsored by the Orange County Bar Association
Orange County Bar Association
Hit the Floor Running: Practical Advice for the Novice Attorney, Seminar sponsored by Western State College of Law
Western State College of Law
Employment Law, One hour segment of day-long Bridging the Gap program sponsored by the Orange County Bar Association
Orange County Bar Association
The Attorney-Client Contract, 1.25 hour video MCLE recorded by the National Law Foundation
National Law Foundation
Client Intake Procedures and Considerations, 1.25 hour video MCLE recorded by the National Law Foundation
National Law Foundation
Converting your Law Office to a Digital Environment, 1.25 hour video MCLE recorded by the National Law Foundation
National Law Foundation
The Attorney-Client Contract, Balancing Ethics with Risk Management, California Lawyers Association Annual Conference in San Diego
California Lawyers Association
The Importance of Good Legal Writing in the Practice of Law, Two 1.5 hour presentations to the first year class at Western State College of Law
Western State College of Law
Inherent Bias in the Arbitration Process, Workplace Perspective Podcast
Saffire Legal
Creating a Discovery Plan – Using Discovery Mechanisms Effectively, National Law Foundation Video Presentation
National Law Foundation
Identifying and Dealing with Defense Dirty Tricks in Employment Litigation, Orange County Bar Association Last Dash event
Orange County Plaintiffs Employment Lawyer Group
Surviving and Thriving in the Practice of Law, Orange County Bar Association Last Dash event
Fowler School of Law at Chapman University
Hit the Floor Running: Practical Advice for the Novice Attorney
Western State College of Law
Employment Law, Bridging the Gap
Orange County Bar Association
Being Salt and Light as a Lawyer Christian, Daniel’s Inn Annual Meeting
Daniel's Inn
Websites & Blogs
Website
Firm Website
Legal Answers
95 Questions Answered

Q. How do I answer have you ever been terminated on a teaching application? After being let-go.
A: If you do not truthfully answer yes, you set yourself up for bad consequences. A no fault termination is still a termination, so answering no to the question would be a lie. Be prepared to provide a good explanation for the termination when asked about it. Good luck to you.
Q. Labor law question: Can I pay an employee only for "productive time" delivering counseling services, instead of hourly?
A: If the employee is hourly non-exempt, you must pay the employee for all time the employee is required to spend at your service, whether it is productive time or otherwise. If the employee is salaried exempt you have to pay for the whole day when they work even a small part of the day. You may have options such as a split shift available to you, but it would be wise for you to discuss those options confidentially with an employer-side employment attorney. Good luck to you.
Q. Can my employer withhold travel time pay ?
A: An employer must pay an employee for all time incurred associated with their duties for the employer. The employer may not withhold pay as a disciplinary measure. It can suspend you and even fire you, but it must pay you for the time you spend. As such this employer has likely violated the law by refusing to pay you to return to the area. Good luck to you.
Q. I was told recently that my position is no longer available after signing my contract
A: Likely no. As long as you are paid the full amount you were contracted to receive, you cannot sue for messing up your budget. Good luck to you.
Q. as a salaried employee based in SF, can my employer forcibly change my days off after having the same schedule for 12 ye
A: No, sorry. Unless you have an express contract provision guaranteeing you set hours, your employer has the right the change the terms and conditions of your employment, including the days and hours you must work, at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. There is no mechanism in the law that creates a legal right to a particular schedule based on the fact you have had that schedule for a long time. Your options are limited. You can appeal to the company to give you the same schedule and if they refuse, you either have to work the new schedule, refuse and likely be fired, or quit and find a new employer. Good luck to you.
Q. Hi, I got fired for introducing a six pack of beers into the restaurant that I worked, I drank two and the owner
A: You may have a meritorious claim for unpaid meal and rest periods and for the failure to pay overtime. It is also possible you will have some claim for the sick pay issue. Of course, far more would need to be known about your situation to know for sure. As to the termination, you are likely not going to have a meritorious legal claim. Assuming you were a non-exempt employee, your employer was required to provide you with a reasonable opportunity to take a 10-minute uninterrupted and duty free rest period on the clock for every 4 hours you worked, and a 30-minute uninterrupted and duty free meal period off the clock whenever you worked more than 5 hours in a shift. If you were not give the reasonable opportunity to take at least one rest period in a shift, you would be entitled to one hour of pay as a wage penalty. You would be entitled to another one hour of pay for each day you were denied a proper meal period. Regarding overtime, you would have been entitled to be paid time-and-a-half overtime any time you worked more than 8 hours in a workday, or more than 40 hours in a workweek, or for the first 8 hours of the seventh consecutive day of a workweek. You would have been entitled to double time overtime if you worked more than 12 hours in a workday, or after the first 8 hours of the seventh consecutive working day of the workweek. As to sick pay, the right to paid sick leave only started a couple of years ago, but if you were denied sick pay since that new law was enacted and you had accrued sick pay under that law, you would be entitled to now recover that pay that should have been paid to you. As to the termination, you are considered to be an at will employee unless you had an agreement to the contrary with your employer. That means you can be terminated at any time and for any reason or even no reason at all. You are not entitled to any warnings or notice that what you did was disfavored by the boss. There does not seem to be any unlawful motive in terminating you for bringing alcohol into the restaurant. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an employment law attorney to talk about your rights and your options. Most attorneys will give you a free or low cost consultation and then handle the case for you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not have to pay for the attorney unless and until there is a recovery for you. Good luck to you.
Q. My ex employer misclassified me and all employees as independent contractors . Repeatedly would not pay on schedule.
A: You should quickly find an employment law attorney to discuss these issues. You may well have a valuable claim, depending on what kind of employee rights were denied you as a result of the misclassification. You may also have a claim that would allow you to raise the misclassification and other issues for other employees. But do not try to do this by yourself. For instance, it would be a huge mistake to take this issue to the tax board. You need expert guidance to be sure you do not make a serious mistake. The good news is that attorneys in this area will usually provide free or low cost consultations and if there is merit and value to the case they handle it on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless and until there is a recovery in the case. Good luck to you.
Q. Can a family owned business wave your right to a work-break? Even if theres Documention. Thank you.
A: There are no special rules for small or family-fun businesses. There is no provision in the law that allows an employer to ask their employees for a waiver that takes away their right to a rest period. There is a provision in the law related to waving a meal period, but there are very narrow circumstances where that is legally acceptable. First, if you work more than 5 hours and less than 6 hours you and your employer can mutually waive the meal period. If you work more than 6 hours the meal waiver is not legally valid. Second, if it is virtually impossible for you to take a meal period due to the unique circumstances of your job you can be asked to take a working meal period and you should be paid an additional hour of pay. Absent one of these exceptions a blanket waiver signed by an employee about breaks is unenforceable and the employees are entitled to their meal and rest periods, and if they do not get a reasonable opportunity to take those meal and rest periods there are wage penalties that are due to the employee. It would be wise for you to locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers. Most employment attorneys who practice this area of law work offer a free or low cost consultation in the beginning and then, if the matter has merit and value, will usually agree to work on a contingency basis, meaning you can hire an attorney without paying any money until the matter results in a positive outcome for you. Many advance all the costs of the litigation as well. Do not let fear of fees and costs keep you from finding a good attorney. Good luck to you.
Q. If I'm currently making 16$ on promotion, should my wage increase if the cities min. wage now surpasses my pay?
A: Sorry but no. The minimum wage law is just that, a law that dictates the lowest hourly wage that can be paid in the jurisdiction, subject to some narrow exceptions. The minimum wage law does not legally dictate how an employer must pay those making more than the minimum wage. As long as you are being paid at least the minimum wage, it is acceptable for an employer to give you no pay raises ever. If you cannot convince your employer to keep up with your relative wage, you have the right as an at will employee to leave that job at any time and find other employment where you can be paid a better living wage. Good luck to you.
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Pedersen Law, APC
17910 Sky Park Cir Ste 105
Irvine, CA 92614
USA
Telephone: (949) 260-1181
Fax: (949) 260-1185