Nancy M. Barnes
Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment
Member, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative
Nancy is a litigator with first chair jury trial experience handling a broad range of business litigation and employment-related issues. Nancy has national experience defending companies and individuals in individual and class action consumer cases involving the TCPA ("junk fax" and telemarketing) and FACTA in many jurisdictions, including Ohio, Alabama, California, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Florida. Nancy has significant experience litigating and counseling clients on employment issues including Title VII, ADEA, FMLA, ADA, FLSA, WARN, ERISA and non-competition agreements, as well as related state law tort claims. She frequently assists clients who are planning reductions-in-force or early retirement incentive programs. She also represents clients in a wide variety of contract disputes, business torts, insurance coverage disputes and the enforcement of non-competition and confidentiality agreements. Nancy also frequently consults with companies and individuals in the drafting and negotiation of employment agreements, severance packages, and employment policies including those related to social media. She has second chair trial experience with a successful outcome for a client in an executive severance and retirement benefit dispute.
Prior to joining the firm, Nancy was a law clerk for Judge Patricia A. Seitz, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida and Magistrate Judge Barry L. Garber, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.
Nancy is admitted to practice in Ohio, the District of Columbia (inactive) and Pennsylvania (inactive). Nancy is admitted to practice in the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, the U.S. Court of Appeals for The Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. Nancy is an Ohio State Bar Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law.
- Successfully defended construction company in FLSA class action involving overtime wages and piecework claims.
- Negotiated favorable settlements of individual and putative class action FLSA claims involving misclassification, overtime and meal break issues.
- Obtained successful outcome in a bench trial for transportation communications corporation in a suit brought by former chief executive officer alleging contract and tort claims arising from his termination and alleged breach of executive compensation agreement.
- Successfully defended a workers' compensation retaliation claim filed by a former employee.
- First chair jury trial experience in a sex discrimination and retaliation case.
- Obtained directed verdict on an age discrimination claim asserted against a hospital by a former employee.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of a multi-count employment discrimination complaint filed against a client without filing answer or motion to dismiss.
- Prevailed at arbitration on behalf of an employer who sued a former employee for tortious interference.
- Regularly defend employers against claims of discrimination (sex, age, race, national origin), sexual harassment, retaliation and whistleblower claims.
- Represented a former general counsel in ADEA and ERISA suit against a union-employer and obtained favorable settlement and dismissal of counterclaims.
- Successfully negotiated favorable settlement of ERISA and ADEA claims alleged by a former Chief Executive Officer of a non-profit corporation.
- Defended a former employee and obtained denial of TRO in Action involving a non-compete agreement.
- Frequently advise clients, and draft or revise non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.
- Successfully represented numerous clients seeking enforcement of non-competition and confidentiality agreements against former employees.
TCPA and Consumer Class Action
- Defended Fortune 500 communications company in TCPA class action seeking over $100 million in damages.
- Negotiated favorable settlements in dozens of TCPA junk fax cases.
- Obtained dismissal of national retailer in purported class action asserting FACTA violations.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of fax broadcaster from TCPA class action without payment of any settlement funds.
- Regularly consult with companies and develop TCPA (junk fax and text) compliance programs.
- Regularly defend companies and individuals in consumer class actions brought for alleged violations of FACTA and TCPA.
- Obtained favorable settlement for former officers and directors in a fraudulent conveyance action.
- Obtained voluntary dismissal of fraud and RICO claims in a mortgage industry case.
- Prevailed on summary judgment in an environmental insurance coverage matter resulting in the dismissal of millions of dollars in claims against the insurer.
Employment Counseling, Training and Regulatory Practice
- Frequently represent clients in investigations, audits, and regulatory proceedings related to FLSA, Title VII and other statutes in proceedings involving the U.S. Department of Labor, the NLRB, the EEOC and state regulatory agencies.
- Advised and counseled human resource professionals and in-house legal counsel on a wide variety of employment-related matters, including employee handbooks, social media policy, severance arrangements, executive employment agreements, non-competition agreements, EEO matters, FMLA compliance, employee discipline and discharge, affirmative action, hiring best practices, FLSA compliance and arbitration agreements.
- Counsel employers regarding implementation of reductions-in-force, downsizing efforts and early retirement incentives, including compliance with OWBPA and WARN.
- Frequently conduct training on employment issues, such as harassment, workplace investigations and ADA compliance.
- Developed a sexual harassment prevention policy for a paper manufacturer and presented training sessions at all corporate and manufacturing locations.
- “Illinois Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana Effective January 1, 2020,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, July 2019
- “DOL Issues New Opinion Letters Regarding FLSA Compliance,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, July 2019
- Thompson Hine Compliance Check 2020: Separation Agreements, May 2019
- “Severance Agreements: One Size Does Not Fit All,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Winter 2019
- “New York State Department of Labor Publishes Materials Necessary for Employers to Comply with New State Sexual Harassment Laws,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, October 2018
- “The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act: Considerations for Private Employers,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, June 2018
- “#MeToo Movement Highlights Importance of Employer Response to Sexual Harassment,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Spring 2018
- “California Departs from FLSA on Flat Sum Bonuses for Calculating Overtime Pay,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, March 2018
- “Biometric Data: Convenient or Cause for Concern?” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, March 2018
- “#MeToo Movement Highlights Importance of Employer Response to Sexual Harassment,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, January 2018
- “Rethinking Salary History Inquiries in New York City,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, October 2017
- “The Trump Administration: Predicting the Impact on Employment Law Issues,” Thompson Hine The Law@Work Newsletter, Spring 2017
- “Considerations When Managing Employees Who Work From Home,” Thompson Hine The Law@Work Newsletter, Winter 2017
- “Federal Judge Enjoins New FLSA Overtime Regulations.” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, November 2016
- “Reminder: FLSA Overtime Rule Effective December 1,” Thompson Hine Labor & Employment @lert, October 2016
- “How to Prepare for Potential Changes in the Overtime Regulations,” Thompson Hine The Law@Work Newsletter, Fall 2015
- "Safeguards for the Unwary: Understanding Employer Obligations under the ADAAA," Scrap magazine, November/December 2011
- "Implementing a Social Media Policy," Scrap magazine, July/August 2011
- "The Increasing Complexities of Crafting a Corporation's Social Media Policy: It's Getting Harder Not Easier – A Checklist of Things to Consider," Nymity Privacy Interviews with Experts, May 2011
- "Junk Fax Protection Act," The National Law Journal, July 2006 (with Michelle Cohen)
- "Top Ten Steps to Avoid Retaliation Claims," Employment Law 360, March 2011
- "The Three-Headed Monster: ADA, FMLA and Workers' Compensation: How Employers Can Ensure Compliance," Employee Relations Law Journal, Winter 2005 (with Jonathon Good)
- "FMLA: 10 Common Mistakes," Benefits & Compensation Solutions, September 2003
- "FMLA: The Ten Most Common Mistakes Employers Make," HRSolutions, June 2003
- "Avoid Mistakes Regarding Employee Leave Law," Crain's Cleveland Business, January 2003
- "Does #MeToo Include You, Too?" HR Collaborative, March 8, 2018
- “The Trump Impact: Employees and the Trump Administration,” Thompson Hine Seminar, March 2017
- “2016: Employment Year in Review,” Thompson Hine Seminar, October 2016
- "Telecommuting: The Legal Implications of Working from Home,” Thompson Hine Seminar, October 2016
- “Overtime Overhaul and The DOL’s New Rule on Exempt Classifications Special Issues for Non-Profits,“ Licking County Foundation, September 2016
- “Overtime Overhaul and The DOL’s New Rule on Exempt Classifications,” Thompson Hine Webinar, June 2016
- “FMLA, ADA and Workers’ Compensation: The Three-Headed Monster,” Thompson Hine Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, November 2015
- “2015: The Year In Review,” Thompson Hine Annual Labor and Employment Seminar, November 2015
- "Building an Effective and High Performance Employee Team," Ohio Grantmakers Forum, February 2012
- "2011: Caselaw Update," Thompson Hine Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Cleveland, December 2011
- "Social Media and the Workplace: Best Practices, Policies & Pitfalls," HR Star Conference, July 2011
- "Employers and the Web 2.0: How to Address the Use of Social Media in the Workplace," Thompson Hine Breakfast Briefing, May-June 2011
- "Social Media: Policies and Pitfalls for Employers and Employees," International Association of Privacy Professionals, Cleveland KnowledgeNet Program, March 2011
- "Top 10 Practical Steps to Avoid Retaliation Claims," Strafford webinar: Employee Retaliation Claims on the Rise, February 2011
- "2010: Employment Law Cases in Review," Thompson Hine's Employment Law Briefing: Helping You Plan for 2011, December 2010
- "Get Connected: Social Media and Your Career," Key Executive Women's Network and Thompson Hine's Spotlight on Women, September 2009
- "Considerations in Drafting an On-line Social Networking Policy," Thompson Hine webinar: Online Social Networking: Risks, Benefits and Practical Considerations, September 2009
- "Don't Leave Me This Way," Cleveland Labor & Employment Seminar, September 2007
- Panelist, "How to be a Lawyer and Still Have a Life...The Successes and Struggles of Female Attorneys," 90.3 WCPN, The Sound of Ideas, August 2007
- "Are Medical Absences Making You Sick?", Cleveland Labor & Employment Seminar, June 2006
- "Crafting Effective Non-Compete Agreements," Cleveland Labor & Employment Seminar, June 2006
- "Harassment: Policies, Investigation and Training," Thompson Hine Annual Employment Law Update, June 2005
- "Employment Law Update," Thompson Hine Annual Employment Law Update, July 2005
- "Protecting Your Company: Are Your Employees AWOL? Dealing With Issues of Employee Leave," Thompson Hine's Spotlight on Women Seminar, April 2005
- Panelist, "The Art of Persuasion in Settlement Negotiations," Anthony J. Celebrezze Inn of Court, November 2004
- Panelist, "Outsourcing: A Strategic Overview," The Turnaround Management Association Conference, November 2004
- "FMLA and ADA: A Practical Guide for Employers," HR Star Conference, July 2004
- "Leave Issues Under FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation," Thompson Hine Annual Employment Law Update, June 2004
- "The Bermuda Triangle: FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation," NLRB, Section 8 Annual Meeting, September 2003
- "Interplay of the FMLA, ADA and Workers' Compensation in Ohio," Thompson Hine Annual Employment Law Update, June 2003
- "Top Ten Mistakes that Employers Make with FMLA and How to Avoid Them," Thompson Hine Annual Employment Law Update, July 2002
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, 2018, 2019 and 2020
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law
- Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2019
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2011 to 2020
- Selected for inclusion in Rising Stars by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2006 and 2007
- YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence Award, 2006
- Practical Law, Author and Contributor (Ohio Employment Law Topics)
- Master of the Bench, Employment Lawyers Inn of Court
- Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
- John Manos Inn of Court, Barrister
- Federal Bar Association (N.D. Ohio Chapter)
- Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), member
- Steering Committee Member, HR Collaborative for Nonprofit HR Professionals
- Board Member, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP)
- Chair, Nominating Committee and Recording Secretary, Pioneer Women’s Association, Western Reserve Academy
- Former Secretary, Executive Board Member, Seton Athletic Association
- Partner in Justice, Cleveland Legal Aid Society
- College of William and Mary Alumni Association, Class of 1991 Alumni Ambassador
- University of Pennsylvania Law Alumni Network
- College of William and Mary, Order of the White Jacket
- Volunteer, Cleveland Foodbank
- Lector, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Hudson, Ohio
- Coach, Seton Catholic School Science Olympiad Team
- Service Coordinator, Boy Scout Troop 321