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House Counsel Program

​The California Department of Human Resources (CalHR) House Counsel service is offered by CalHR's Legal Division. It is designed to assist state departments and agencies navigate employment issues by providing cost-efficient, expert guidance and mentoring, training, investigative services, and legal representation.

House Counsel Personnel

House Counsel is comprised of a team of experienced labor and employment attorneys, personnel experts, seasoned investigators and expert trainers who provide support for departments to navigate and address employment issues in the state workplace. We also assist departments with succession planning by training and mentoring employees to develop their personnel knowledge and skills. The House Counsel team is available to assist departments address a wide range of matters presented at any stage.

​House Counsel Services


The House Counsel team provides advice and guidance for a wide range of issues including:

  • Protected-leave, including, but not limited to
    • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
    • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • Pregnancy Disability Leave Act (PDL)
    • American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Wage and hour practices
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Merit issue complaints
  • CEA/Exempt hiring and return rights
  • Workplace complaints, including but not limited to
    • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), such as discrimination and harassment
    • Whistleblower
    • Various other policy violations.


In addition to currently established trainings, House Counsel trainers provide customized personnel training tailored to individual department needs that can be presented at your work site.  We also offer one-on-one mentoring for supervisors and HR Staff. 

Find available courses and register to attend​​ on the CalLearns​ website.  

Among other subject areas, the classes include training on the following: 

  • Public Safety Officers' Procedural Bill of Rights (POBR)
  • FMLA/CFRA Updates​​

  • Understanding and Managing FMLA/CFRA Leave and Other Related Statutes
  • Skelly Rights and the Role of the Skelly Officer - Statewide
  • California Style Manual Training
  • The Reasonable Accommodation Process and Medical Actions
  • Public Sector Labor and Employment Legal Update
  • Drafting Personnel Actions
To view course details, click on: House Cou​nsel ​Course Descriptions.pdf​​​.​​​  


The House Counsel team is comprised of experienced attorneys and seasoned investigators who conduct thorough and impartial workplace investigations.  We assist departments by investigating a variety of workplace complaints involving:

  • Allegations of retaliation, harassment, and discrimination.
  • Violations of whistleblower protection laws, equal opportunity, and leave statutes.
  • Allegations of bullying or abusive conduct.
  • Allegations of workplace misconduct and violations of workplace policies.

​Legal Representation

The House Counsel service has a team of experienced attorneys who advise departments on a variety of employment issues such as:

  • Poor Performance
  • Tardiness/Absenteeism
  • Misconduct
  • Informal Discipline/Counseling
  • Formal Discipline
  • Medical/Leave issues
  • Whistleblower complaints

In addition to regularly representing departments before the State Personnel Board, House Counsel attorneys are available to represent your department in other forums including:

  • California Workers' Compensation Appeals Board
  • California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
  • CalHR's Statutory Appeals Unit
  • California State Courts
  • Federal Courts

To learn more about our services, contact the Legal Division at (916) 909-3706 or via email at​​.



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