Susan K. Chelsea


Susan K. Chelsea is a Shareholder with Klinedinst, and has almost three decades of employment law, business litigation, construction law and government contract experience. She is Co-Chair of the firm’s Employment and Labor Department, and maintains a complex employment law and general business practice.

Ms. Chelsea’s practice primarily focuses on employment law, but over the past 30 years she has handled matters involving general business litigation, general contract disputes, construction contract disputes, government contract claims, mechanic’s lien and stop notice claims, and general liability defense.

Ms. Chelsea’s employment practice includes both counseling and litigation work. Ms. Chelsea drafts and updates employee handbooks as well as other employer policies and procedures including employment agreements, severance agreements, nondisclosure agreements, commission agreements, and anti-harassment policies.

Ms. Chelsea conducts workplace investigations as an independent investigator. She also counsels employers through the investigation process when the investigation is handled in-house or by an independent third party investigator.

Ms. Chelsea has successfully tried and arbitrated cases involving wrongful termination, retaliation, wage and hour as well as real estate issues, business disputes, construction disputes, securities transactions and products liability. Ms. Chelsea has defended employers in over 40 wage claims before the California Labor Commissioner. She has also successfully defended employers subject to Labor Commissioner citations, eliminating or substantially reducing civil penalties assessed against employers.

Finally, Ms. Chelsea has defended businesses against ADA claims, both in the employment context and related to accessibility issues.

Ms. Chelsea frequently presents on topics related to employment law and provides training to employers on various topics including anti-harassment and bullying, how to conduct proper workplace investigations, and compliance with updated laws and regulations.

Ms. Chelsea is admitted to practice in California and in the U.S. District Courts, Southern, Central, and Northern Districts of California as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Chelsea is a leader in the legal community. She is currently the Chair of USLAW Network’s Employment & Labor Law Practice Group. Before assuming her role as Chair, Ms. Chelsea served as Vice Chair and Secretary. Ms. Chelsea was a faculty member of the University of San Diego Lawyer’s Assistant Program for nine years. Ms. Chelsea served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar Real Property Law Section and was the Co-Chair of the Litigation Subsection of the State Bar Real Property Law Section. She has also served as Co-Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Construction Law Section, and a barrister with the Inns of Court, Wallace Inn.



San Diego
619.238.8707 Fax


Susan K. Chelsea, Esq.


  • California (1988)
  • U.S. District Courts, Southern, Northern, and Central Districts of California
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims