Perla J. Duvel

Education

J.D., Western State University, College of Law, December, 1997

B.S. Political Science, University of California at Irvine, 1994

Work History

Prior to joining Geller | Conrad | Duvel, LLP, Perla was a Partner with Duvel & Duvel, Inc. Prior to launching her own practice, Ms. Duvel was an Associate and Senior Attorney with the Law Office of Robert D. Coviello – a firm which focused its practice on Labor & Employment law matters. She was employed with Mr. Coviello’s firm from 1996 to 2004.

In 2005, Ms. Duvel sat as Chair of the Labor & Employment Law section of the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA). In 2004, she sat as Vice Chair of the same OCBA section.
Experience

Ms. Duvel focuses her practice on Labor & Employment Law and has extensive civil litigation experience in both state and federal court as well as in administrative forums. She has represented an infinite number of California employees in independent wage and hour disputes, class actions and Bus. & Prof. Code§17200 matters alleging claims for unpaid wage, unpaid commissions, overtime, exempt vs. nonexempt issues, independent contractor issues, unlawful collection of tips, unpaid split-shift premiums, meal & rest breaks, a myriad of Labor Code penalties, as well as, claims for wrongful termination, whistle-blowing, and retaliation, breach of employment contracts, sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, other employment discrimination, and medical leave issues, among other employment-related matters. She has substantial court and jury trial experience in employment-related matters.

Ms. Duvel also devotes a portion of her practice to representing employers in civil actions and administrative actions alleging all types of employment-related claims. She frequently conducts neutral investigations of employee complaints, as well as, investigations in anticipation of litigation on behalf of employers. She also assists employers in generating appropriate written policies, manuals and other employment-related documents, as well as, developing appropriate personnel training to meet the requirements of California law.

Having represented both employees and employers during her career affords Ms. Duvel a unique perspective that has proven to be substantially beneficial to both employees and employers alike.

Published Cases

Jameson v. Five Feet Restaurant, et al . (2003). This case was filed as a quasi-class action under Bus. & Prof. Code §17200. Ms. Duvel represented the Jameson plaintiff and all those employees whom were similarly situated. The decision is significant and applicable to all industries where tips are customary. InJameson , the California Appellate Court held that a restaurant who required its servers to share a portion of their tips with its floor managers violated California Labor Code §351. The Appellate Court rested its decision on the fact that the managers in question had authority to hire, fire, supervise, direct or control other employees. Therefore, these employees were not qualified to share any portion of the tips left by patrons of the restaurant despite the employer’s policy. The employer was subject to a judgment and permanent injunction ordering it to cease and desist from continuing to engage in the unlawful practices and to reimburse all servers for any portion of their tips shared with floor managers within the statutory period. The employer was later ordered to pay attorneys’ fees and costs associated with litigating the action on behalf of the plaintiff and the quasi-class.

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

State Bar of California
Member Since: 1997

Orange County Bar Association
Member Since: 1997

Labor & Employment Law Section – OCBA
Member Since: 1997
2004 Vice Chair of Labor & Employment Section of the OCBA
2005 Chair of Labor & Employment Section of the OCBA

Administration of Justice Committee – OCBA
2004-2005, Member

California Employment Lawyer’s Association

National Employment Lawyers Association

Activities

Ms. Duvel has been married over 17 years, and has three children. She enjoys cooking, gardening, playing tennis and spending time with her family.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Duvel has been a seminar speaker and prepared written materials for distribution on the following employment law topics: How to Investigate the Sexual Harassment Complaint, Discrimination and Harassment Claims, the Attorney-Client Privilege During Investigations, Workplace Policies on Harassment & Discrimination, Conducting Job Interviews without Violating Law.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Training

Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Arbitrator Training for automotive warranty disputes, 2000 (BBB’s Arbitration Panel 2000-2002).

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