About the Law Office of Annie M. Ellis

The Law Office of Annie M. Ellis, A.P.C. provides businesses with skilled counsel that can eliminate the bureaucracy often associated with larger firms while minimizing the risk of litigation. Our diverse practice areas include legal assistance with employees, Human Resources, COVID-19 compliance, A.B. 5, hiring and onboarding, employee agreements, compensation plans, terminations and layoffs, and employment litigation.

Practice Areas

COVID-19 Compliance
  • Written Policies and Procedures
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Social Distancing Compliance
  • Leave Pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Act

Hiring and Onboarding Processes and Documents
  • New Hire Checklists
  • Offer Letters
  • Agreements
  • Meal/Rest Period and Timekeeping Documents
  • Government Forms and Notices
  • Electronic Onboarding
  • Background Checks
  • Alternative Work Schedules

  • Employment Agreements
  • Arbitration Agreements
  • Release or Separation Agreements

Compensation Plans
  • Commission Agreements
  • Bonus Plans
  • Incentive Pay
  • Calculation of the Regular Rate of Pay

Employment Handbooks and Related Policies
Medical Leaves
  • Leave of Absence Letters and Forms
  • Interplay of Leave Laws

Workplace Investigations
Employee Trainings
  • Harassment (S.B. 1343)
  • Wage and Hour
  • Supervisors

Discipline, Terminations, and Layoffs
Wage and Hour Audits
Classifications (Exempt, Independent Contractor)
  • Reclassifications
  • Independent Contractor Agreements

Workplace Violence Restraining Orders (WVRO)
Defense of Employment Litigation (Federal, State, Agency)
  • Wage and Hour Class Actions
  • Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) Actions
  • Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Wrongful Termination
  • Violation of Leave of Absence Laws
  • Violation of the California Labor Code
  • Superior Court
  • Federal Court

Annie M. Ellis Bio

I practiced employment law for businesses in San Diego, California for over a decade at large firms before starting my own practice, with an ongoing focus on COVID-19 compliance. To better represent businesses, I felt that it was important to know what it means to run a business. The intersection of California employment law and business operations should be as practical as possible.


  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D.
    San Diego Law Review, Editor-in-Chief
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A.

Recognitions and Affiliations

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, 2022 (Litigation – Labor and Employment).
  • LA Times B2B Nomination: Inspirational Women Forum and Awards, 2021.
  • San Diego Super Lawyers®, Rising Stars, 2021 (Class Actions).
  • San Diego Super Lawyers®, Rising Stars, 2018-2020 (Employment & Labor).
  • La Jolla Playhouse, Board of Trustees, 2019-present.
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Leadership Development Committee, Co-Chair, 2018.
  • San Diego Young Attorneys Nominee, San Diego Daily Transcript, 2014.

Rick Waltman Bio

Rick Waltman serves as Of Counsel for The Law Office of Annie M. Ellis, A.P.C. Rick represents clients through all stages of litigation through trial in employment, labor, and commercial disputes. He has represented businesses in high value lawsuits involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, wrongful termination, discrimination, misappropriation of trade secrets, unpaid wages, and other claims. He recently served on a trial team that obtained a unanimous defense verdict against claims of fraudulent misrepresentation.

Rick also provides counseling services on a variety of employment-related issues, including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the California Labor Code, the California Health and Safety Code, California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), other leave laws, and laws pertaining to employee pay and wage statements. He also counsels clients in developing policies and contracts to protect their trade secrets and other intellectual property, non-disclosure agreements, independent contractor agreements, employee handbooks, and other protocols and policies. Rick litigates disputes on such issues in single plaintiff suits, class actions, and representative actions pursuant to the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”).


Rick earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota (2010), and his J.D. from the University of San Diego (2015), graduating with honors. During law school, Rick served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Rick previously practiced at the Am Law 200 law firms of Buchalter, APC and Gordon, Rees, Scully, Mansukhani, LLP.

Annie M. Ellis Presentations and Publications


  • “Mandatory Employee Breaks: What to Do When Employees Are Not Taking Their Breaks, Lorman Webinar, October 22, 2021.
  • “Applying AB5 and AB2257 to Contractor Classifications in California,” Lorman Webinar, July 30, 2021.
  • “Mandatory* Employee Breaks: What to Do When Employees Are Not Taking Their Breaks,” LawPractice CLE Webinar, November 9, 2020.
  • “HR in the Virtual Workplace & Other COVID-19-Related Employment Issues,” League of Resident Theatres (Virtual) Conference, October 29, 2020
  • “Legal Solutions for Hospitality & Retail Industry Operations,” co-presenter, ACC Roundtable, April 15, 2020.
  • “More Answers to the Questions Employers Should Be Asking Regarding COVID-19,” co-presenter, webinar, March 26, 2020.
  • “Answers to the Questions Employers Should Be Asking Regarding COVID-19,” co-presenter, webinar, March 19, 2020.
  • “Harassment and Investigation Issues in the #MeToo Era,” co-presenter, December 12, 2019.
  • “Understand the Eligibility or Leave Determinations,” Lorman Webinar, December 6, 2019.
  • “Advanced Internal Investigations Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations in the #MeToo Era,” co-presenter, SHRM, October 24, 2019.
  • “Responding to Negative Employee Comments on the Web,” Lorman Webinar, June 21, 2019.
  • “Learn How to Avoid a Lawsuit,” co-presenter, April 24, 2019.
  • “Mandatory Employee Breaks: What to Do When Employees Are Not Taking Their Breaks,” Lorman Webinar, February 1, 2019.
  • “#Times Up: Managing and Minimizing Liability in the #MeToo Era,” co-presenter, November 8, 2018.
  • “Top Wage and Hour Liabilities for Theatre Employers,” League of Resident Theatres Conference, October 19, 2018.
  • “Deciphering the Dynamex Decision: How Will It Affect Your Business and Independent Contractors?” co-presenter, September 18, 2018.
  • “#TimesUp: What Employers Need to Know in the #MeToo Era for Preserving Their Work Environment,” League of Resident Theatres Conference, May 3, 2018.
  • “Does Prop 64 Change Employment Law in CA?,” April 20, 2018. ·“Job Postings and Notifications: What Are Your Liabilities?” Lorman Webinar, November 17, 2017.
  • “Navigating Transgender Rights, Marijuana Legalization, and Electronic Issues in California,” co-presenter, November 16, 2017.
  • “Temperature Check: The Latest on Paid Sick Leave and Medical Issues in California,” co-presenter, November 15, 2016.
  • “Behind the Curtain: Top Things Theatre Employers Must Know About Employment Law,” League of Resident Theatres Conference, October 21, 2016.
  • “Let’s Get Real: Practical Solutions for Complicated Wage & Hour Issues,” co-presenter, May 19, 2016.
  • “Managing the Medical Minefield at Work (Paid Sick Leave, Reasonable Accommodations, Leaves of Absences, and More!),” co-presenter, November 4, 2015.
  • “Quirky California Employment Law Rules You May Not Know,” co-presenter, San Diego SHRM, March 18, 2015.


  • “Governor Sounds Death Knell to Most Independent Contractors: The ‘ABC’ Test Is Official,” co-author, e-update, September 19, 2019.
  • “The New ‘ABC’ Test for Independent Contractors Spells Serious Trouble for California Businesses,” co-author, e-update, May 2, 2018.
  • “Recreational Marijuana Use Is Now Legal in California: How Does that Impact Employers?,” e-update, January 29, 2018.
  • “Effective TODAY! Revised San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance,” e-update, September 2, 2016.
  • “San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective July 11: Employers Need to Act Quickly!,” e-update, July 12, 2016.
  • “Sick of Sick Leave? Employers in City of San Diego Now Subjected to New and Confusing Paid Sick Leave Requirements,” e-update, June 28, 2016.
  • “Don’t Be Fooled! Employers Need to Update Their Policies and Practices by April 1!,” co-author, e-update, March 23, 2016.
  • “Is Your Company Ready? California’s Minimum Wage Increases Today!,” co-author, e-update, July 1, 2014.
  • “California’s Stepped Increase in Minimum Wage Affects More Than Just Nonexempt Employees,” co-author, e-update, October 15, 2013.
  • “California Employers Must Comply with New, Confusing, and Stricter Pregnancy Disability Leave Regulations,” e-update, February 12, 2013.
  • “The Conflict over Meal Breaks in the Workplace Continues”, co-author, THE DAILY JOURNAL, April 14, 2011.