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Nancy M.Barnes

PartnerPractice Group Leader, Labor & EmploymentMember, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiativemoc.eniHnospmohT@senraB.ycnaN

O 216.566.5578


O 312.998.4240

Nancy M.Barnes

Practice Group Leader, Labor & EmploymentMember, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiativemoc.eniHnospmohT@senraB.ycnaN

O 216.566.5578


O 312.998.4240

Focus Areas

Employment Litigation

  • 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 sex discrimination, retaliation, breach of contract and misappropriation cases.
  • 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, disability, 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.

Non-Compete/Trade Secrets

  • Defended a former employee and obtained denial of TRO in Action involving a non-compete agreement.
  • Obtained temporary restraining order against former employee who breached restrictive covenants and misappropriated trade secrets.
  • 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.

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, ADA accommodations, 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, diversity and inclusion, 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.

TCPA, ADA 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 and texting 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.
  • Advise clients on ADA website accessibility and compliance issues and defend businesses in related individual and class action claims.
  • 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.

Commercial Litigation

  • 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.
  • “Landmark Ruling Overturns Abortion Rights – Examining the Decision’s Employee Implications,” Thompson Hine Webinar, July 2022
  • “Returning to the Workplace: What Does Employment Look Like Post-Pandemic?” Thompson Hine Webinar, June 2021
  • “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 to Law360’s Employment Authority Discrimination Editorial Board, 2022-2024
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment, Ohio, 2021 to 2023
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018-2024 for Employment Law-Management and Litigation-Labor and Employment
  • Named a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA)
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law
  • Listed as a Labor and Employment Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2019-2022, 2024
  • Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list, 2012-2024
  • Selected to the Ohio Rising Stars list, 2006-2007
  • YWCA Woman of Professional Excellence Award, 2006
  • Practical Law, Author and Contributor (Ohio Employment Law Topics)

Professional Associations

  • 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

Community Activities

  • Executive Board Member, Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging; Member, Strategic Planning Committee and Compliance Committee
  • Board Member, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP)
  • Chair of Board, Branches Realty
  • 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


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1994,
    summa cum laude

    Order of the Coif, Comparative Labor Law Journal, article editor and associate editor

  • College of William and Mary, B.A., 1991,
    summa cum laude

    Phi Beta Kappa, presidential scholar

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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