Helen A. Palladeno

Shareholder Tampa

Helen Palladeno is an experienced litigator in both federal and state courts, practicing exclusively labor and employment law. She has defended individual, collective, and class action claims involving allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation in virtually every protected category, such as sex/gender, age, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race, and religion. She also has litigated claims involving wage and hour, leave of absence, reduction in force, and whistleblower allegations. Additionally, Ms. Palladeno defends employers in employment-related torts such as breach of contract, tortious interference with a contract or business relationship, civil theft, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, negligent hiring/supervision/retention, malicious prosecution, infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, and fraud.

Ms. Palladeno has also defended management before numerous government administrative agencies, including the Florida Commission on Human Relations, the EEOC, OSHA, and the NLRB and has represented employers in audits performed by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and OSHA.

On a daily basis, Ms. Palladeno counsels and engages in problem solving with employers concerning their rights and responsibilities with respect to essentially all employment laws. She estimates she spends half her time advising employers on how to avoid litigation at the outset of an issue. Clients report they appreciate Ms. Palladeno's direct approach and practical advice. Ms. Palladeno also conducts on-site training for human resource professionals and supervisors, specializing in harassment and discrimination compliance training.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Palladeno managed and performed the human resource function for several offices of a large Tampa travel agency (18 years). This gives her valuable insight into her clients' concerns and she understands their perspectives. It also prepared her for the Managing Shareholder duties she performs for the Tampa Ogletree Deakins office. While obtaining her law degree, Ms. Palladeno clerked for the Honorable Florence Foster and the Honorable Rex Barbas of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Hillsborough County, Florida.


Ms. Palladeno’s defense of employers includes:

  • After a five day federal trial, obtained a complete jury verdict in favor of a large pharmaceutical company accused by a former pharmaceutical representative of promoting off-label selling techniques brought pursuant to Florida's private Whistleblower Act
  • Obtained dismissal for a national hotel chain against the EEOC in a race discrimination claim filed by guests who claimed the hotel's policy requiring them to wear wristbands during busy, student-heavy times of the year was discriminatory
  • On behalf of a large home security company, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order within 24 hours of filing, and without the need for a bond, against an employee who misappropriated client's trade secrets and opened a competing business
  • In a potentially high profile sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the EEOC against a hospital client, was able to negotiate complete dismissal of hospital as a party without the need for consent decree and before any publicity
  • Convinced several plaintiffs who filed discrimination claims against their former employers to voluntarily dismiss lawsuits with prejudice based upon showing they did not disclose potential claims to bankruptcy court
  • Represented a hospital several times before the NLRB in unfair labor practice proceedings and successfully convinced the NLRB to not issue complaints
  • Successfully litigated (reduced number of locations and issues) and settled very economically, several lawsuits filed by disabled patrons under the ADA public accessibility and accommodation (Title III) statute against several large restaurant chains and retail establishments
  • Achieved summary judgment against plaintiff asserting claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, and violation of Florida's private Whistle-blower against a medical company
  • Drafted drug-free workplace policies for a national fast food restaurant chain applicable to all 50 states
  • Have settled numerous Charges of Discrimination for less than $3,000 and before the need to draft position statement or respond to EEOC or Florida Commission on Human Relations

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association (past Chairperson of the Employment and Labor Law Section)
  • Suncoast Human Resources Management Association
  • Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce


  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Firing Without Fear'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing Your Workforce in 2015 - ''Bulletproofing Your Pre-Employment Process: An Overview of Criminal Background Checks, Credit Checks, and Drug Testing'' - Tampa - September 14, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing Your Workforce in 2015 - ''Can't You Hear the Whistle Blowing? Ethics Compliance Programs, Best Practices, and Managing Investigations'' - Tampa - September 14, 2014
  • OD Works! - ''Two Pre- and Post-Employment Pitfalls: Background Checks and Drug Testing in 2014'' - Tampa - June 01, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''A New Day: The Challenges of Litigating Against Today's EEOC'' - Las Vegas - May 12, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing Your Workforce in 2013 - ''Employment Law Jeopardy'' - Tampa - October 01, 2013
  • OD Works! - ''Difficult Terminations: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished'' - Tampa - June 10, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing Your Workforce in 2013 - ''Your Federal Government is Here to Help (DOL Audits)'' - Tampa - October 05, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''TMI: Everything You (Never) Wanted to Know About Social Media & The Workplace'' - Tampa - October 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Yours, Mine or Ours – Employee Use of Personal Tech Devices, Email and Social Networking Accounts'' - Chicago - May 13, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Florida Employment Law Update Seminar - ''Evaluating Employee Performance Without Creating Legal Liability'' - Tampa - October 21, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Florida Employment Law Update Seminar - ''Conducting Successful Workplace Investigations'' - Tampa - October 13, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Florida Employment Law Update Seminar - ''Family and Medical Leaves: Clarity or More Confusion?'' - Tampa - October 15, 2009

Published Works


Our Insights


Media Quotes

January 2012 - XpertHR.com - "Reed Business Information – “Mediation”, “Negotiation Strategies”, “The EEOC and Pre-Investigation Mediation” and “Court Ordered Mediation"