Ellen Toth

Shareholder || Cleveland

Ellen Toth resides in the Cleveland office where she defends employment discrimination lawsuits for clients in the private and public sector. Ellen also defends charges brought before the EEOC, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and other state and federal agencies. She provides counseling and training on a wide variety of employment issues.

Prior to joining Ogletree, Ellen worked in-house as labor and employment counsel for YRC Worldwide Inc., a Kansas City-based international transportation company. At YRC, she partnered with operations and human resource personnel to reduce legal spend and integrated legal strategies between various subsidiaries and a newly acquired business. Also, she was responsible for supervising outside counsel, managing internal investigations, handling administrative proceedings and providing training and litigation avoidance counseling to human resources and operations executives and managers.

Learn more about Ellen Toth

Ellen is an employment litigator who has a knack for understanding her clients’ interests and helping them successfully execute their company’s litigation goals. Her in-house experience helps her take a pragmatic view of litigation and work with clients to accomplish their internal, as well as external, goals and objectives.

Employment Litigation

  • Corroborating with other members of a litigation team to help clients prevail on summary judgment motions in a variety of types of cases in both federal and state court. For example:
    • An age, gender and national discrimination lawsuit brought by a former female expatriate, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
    • A sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the department’s only female security officer against a public employer, which was affirmed by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
    • An age and disability discrimination case brought by a former service technician laid off during a reduction-in-force.
    • A sexual harassment and retaliation case brought by the only female carpenter on a large construction project.
    • Participated as part of the management team negotiating contracts with two unions on behalf of a public employer
    • Serving as co-counsel representing a federal agency that prevailed at an administrative adjudication of an age and gender discrimination and retaliation case, which was tried before the Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals


  • J.D., with honors, Ohio State University, 1991
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Journalism, Kent State University, 1980

Admittance to Practice

  • Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities

  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter – Board of Directors (2001 to present); Chapter President (2008-2009); Diversity Committee Chair
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Pro Bono Mediator (2008 to present)
  • Cleveland Employment Inn of Court – Master of the Bench (2008 to present)
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio – Advisory Committee, Appointed Member (2008-2010) and (2014-2017)
  • Judicial Conference of the Eighth Judicial District, Cuyahoga County, Ohio – Life Delegate (2005 to present)

Diversity-Related Activities

  • Volunteer Instructor, Association of Corporate Counsel/Street Law Diversity Pipeline Program in conjunction with The Sherwin-Williams Company – April 2013 and May 2014
  • Women of Color Foundation’s 8th Annual Leadership Development and Training Institute  — “Women in the Workplace: Our Rights and Responsibilities” – November 7, 2013
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, Seminar Co-Chair, “Jury Perceptions of Diverse Lawyers in the Courtroom” — October 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins, Cleveland Office, Annual Diversity& Inclusion Event Co-Chair, “A Historical Perspective of Cleveland School Desegregation 40 years after Reed v. Rhodes” – March 2013
  • Eaton Corporation Law Department’s Supplier Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award – October 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins, Cleveland Office, Annual Diversity & Inclusion Event Chair, “Remembrances of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” – March 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins, Cleveland Office, Annual Diversity & Inclusion Event Chair, Maltz Museum of Jewish History – March 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Cleveland Office, Annual Diversity & Inclusion Event Chair, “The History of African-American Lawyers in Cleveland, Ohio” – March 2010


  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Complex Leave Challenges: Round 1 - ADA Accommodations" - La Quinta - November 8, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Bundles of Joy: Pregnancy and Postpartum Issues" - Columbus and Cleveland - August 20 - 21, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Ethics of Workplace Investigations" - Las Vegas - May 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Selection Criteria, Documentation and Communication to Employees during a Reduction in Force/Layoff" - Cleveland - November 21, 2013
  • Employment American Inn of Court - "An Insider’s View on Effectively Communicating Employment Issues with In-House Counsel" - Cleveland - September 12, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Poking Your Nose Into Your Employee's Off-Duty Conduct: How Far Is Too Far?" - Cleveland - August 30, 2012
  • Western Reserve Chapter of SHRM HR Training Series - "Social Networking in the Workplace" - Youngstown - October 19, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Accommodating Disabilities in the Workplace" - Cleveland - August 12, 2010
  • Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association Management Training Series - "Social Networking in the Dealership: Gold Mine or Mine Field?" - Cleveland - July 8, 2010
  • Western Reserve Chapter of SHRM HR Training Series - "Discrimination Trends" - Youngstown - May 25, 2010
  • August 26, 2013 - SHRM.org - "Firefighters Who Alleged Exam Had Adverse Impact Were Properly Promoted"
  • October 5, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Texas Roadhouse Ends Sexual Harassment Suit for $1.4M"
  • June 5, 2014 - SHRM.org - "No 'Smoking Gun' Needed in Discrimination Claims"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Woman in Law Making a Difference Honoree, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Women in Law Section (November 2014)
  • Fellow, Federal Bar Association Foundation
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers USA (2014-2017)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers (2018-present)
  • Acritas Star (2018-present)

Insights by Ellen Toth