Susan Waag is a seasoned employment law attorney who works exclusively with businesses and non-profits to prevent and resolve personnel issues. Susan has provided representation and advice to Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses, including proactive counseling and in-house training. Susan enjoys the rating of “AV® Preeminent” from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest peer review level given to attorneys, based on her level of legal performance and ethical standards.
Susan’s practice is based in San Luis Obispo. She focuses on litigation avoidance and helping employers understand and comply with the myriad of employment laws affecting them. This ranges from assisting with day-to-day employment matters to successfully navigating high-risk personnel issues, plus development of problem prevention strategies and litigation avoidance. Susan has provided strategic advice to over one-third of the 75 largest employers in San Luis Obispo County.
In the Central Coast region between Santa Maria and Paso Robles, Susan is in high demand as a speaker and trainer with business, legal and civic groups. Her presentations focus on ensuring that employers understand how to protect their businesses in a potentially confusing and complex legal environment.
Susan assists employers in developing high quality, realistic personnel practices, and is known for her effective investigations into various types of alleged employee misconduct and workplace issues. She also represents employers before numerous government administrative and enforcement agencies. Susan frequently provides in-house management and employee training on a variety of subjects related to quality management practices and litigation avoidance. She has also trained many of her clients’ HR staff.
She has spent her entire legal career as a labor and employment law attorney, providing advice and counsel to employers, as well as litigating cases. She began as an associate labor attorney with a Los Angeles area firm, and later joined defense contractor TRW Inc. (now part of Northrop Grumman) as in-house employment counsel with responsibility for compliance and litigation management at its 25,000 employee Space & Defense Sector. Upon moving to San Luis Obispo, Susan became partner in a regional business firm, with her time there highlighted by her role as employment counsel for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA. Finally, she established a boutique employment law firm where she provided advice and counsel to more than 500 employers. Also, for more than a decade, Susan taught Labor and Employment Law courses at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo.
Susan has been extensively involved in the greater San Luis Obispo community through a variety of charitable organizations and groups promoting local business. She is also an active advocate for increased workforce housing and reducing homelessness. Susan has served many Central Coast organizations, including:
- Human Resources Association of the Central Coast: President, Vice President and Program Chair
- San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors and Board Attorney, plus various committees (Tourism Council, Diversity Committee, Legislative Committee, Economic Action Committee)
- Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo: Ambassador for Higher Education
- Tranz Central Coast (supporting inclusiveness for the transgender community): Education Committee
- San Luis Obispo County YMCA: Finance Committee and Board Member
- Task force for establishing a research park and business incubator in San Luis Obispo
- San Luis Obispo Human Relations Commission: Sub-committee for Disabled Access
- Access for All (promoting disabled access in San Luis Obispo County)
- San Luis Obispo County’s task force on sexual harassment prevention
- Women Lawyer’s Association of San Luis Obispo County
- San Luis Obispo County Bar Association: Labor & Employment Law Section
- Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Susan is a cum laude graduate of UCLA with a BA in Political Science. She received her law degree from University of Southern California (USC), where she was a member of the Law Review.
Susan resides in San Luis Obispo with her husband, where they raised their two sons. She’s an "outdoor girl" and enjoys everything that San Luis Obispo has to offer: hiking and biking, boating, camping, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, kayaking, 4-wheeling and wilderness exploration, historical research, and fun with family and friends.