Because laws can change frequently--especially regarding employee issues (and ESPECIALLY in California, which has the reputation for being very worker-friendly), it's best to consult directly with a California attorney familiar with the employment laws. You have a very specific situation that requires direct legal advice.
Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.