Katherine Dudley Helms

Office Managing Shareholder || Columbia

Ms. Helms has extensive experience representing clients in employment matters as varied as the practice offers.  She has represented companies and individuals in both the private and public sectors ranging from production line supervisors to company executives.  Having represented clients in forums from mediation to the United State Supreme Court allows Ms. Helms the perspective and knowledge to work closely with her clients to offer creative solutions to age old problems.  Ms. Helms frequently guides clients to take what is learned through administrative complaints and/litigation to address and correct systemic problems that may have resulted in the allegations.  Her intent is to use the experience to better help the client avoid repeated problems.  Partnering with her clients to understand their business better enables Ms. Helms to address their legal needs, keeping in mind the realities of the client’s business demands.  Ms. Helms represents her clients not only in litigation but in active preventative maintenance, interaction, and intervention designed to create a workplace in which litigation is the exception, rather than the rule.

Although Ms. Helms represents a wide spectrum of employers, she has a particular emphasis in the health care industry including employment matters involving medical residents, physicians, and the range of health care and particularly hospital employees.

Ms. Helms is also a frequent speaker and provides training on a wide range of employment related issues including FMLA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, Social Media, retaliation, discipline, and hiring and firing.

Ms. Helms had the honor of serving as an intern to the late Justice Charles Weltner of the Georgia Supreme Court.

She is active in her community and a co-founder of Children’s Chance—a non-profit organization that supports children with cancer and their families.

Learn more about Katherine Dudley Helms
  • A complex claim of religious discrimination in which a professor claimed that he was not hired into a tenure track position at a university because he was a Christian.  The plaintiff appealed this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Defendant was awarded fees and costs
  • A claim against a major retailer in which the plaintiff alleged gender and age bias
  • Defended allegations of discrimination in physician residency programs with a large teaching hospital
  • Helped structure a major reduction in force in a multi-facility hospital group
  • Handled a claim of discrimination complicated by a contractual relationship between a university and a health care facility
  • Claims of gender discrimination and assault and battery against a manufacturing entity
  • Mediating cases to settlement to obtain the optimal resolution for the client
  • Actively partnering with clients – counseling on employment matters and advising clients in administrative disputes in order to minimize the likelihood of litigation
  • A claim of disability discrimination in which the manufacturing entity had an excellent legal position of facts that could have resulted in very bad public relations
  • Represented a small employer in both the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division and OSHA audits based on complaints filed by a disgruntled employee
  • Pro active internal Wage and Hour audits as well as state and federal wage and hour investigation and defending wage and hour issues with the Department of Labor and/or the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Georgia State University College of Law, 1985
  • B.A., University of Arkansas, 1979

Admittance to Practice

  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • Arkansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Activities

  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • Georgia Bar Association
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • ASHHRA/SHRM (serving on national education committee for ASHHRA)
  • National Association of Women Lawyers
  • South Carolina Association of Women Lawyers
  • Women Lawyers Alliance
  • Litigation Counsel of America

Speeches

  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ""Unreel" Ethics" - Boca Raton - November 11, 2017
  • AHLA Webinar - "Bundles of Joy, Bushels of Paperwork: Pregnancy and Postpartum Issues in the Workplace" - July 31, 2014
  • Midlands Tech - Employee Relations Law Series - "Employer's Responsibilities Under the ADA and FMLA" - Columbia - June 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Managing Leaves of Absence: Complex Compliance Issues" - New Orleans - May 2013
  • SC Chamber - "Employees We Fear" - Myrtle Beach - May 2013
  • AHLA Webinar - "Patients Care v. Nurse Prerogative - the Evolving Legal Conflict on Mandatory Employee Flu Shots" - April 2013
  • ACC Presentations - "Common Mistakes in FMLA Administration" - Columbia - February 2013
  • BHSA Board Seminar - "The Responsibilities (And Liabilities) of Being a Board Member" - Myrtle Beach - January 2013
  • Electric-Coop Presentation - "FMLA/ADAAA Training" - Columbia - September 2012
  • SC Bankers Association - "SC Bankers School Labor and Employment Law" - Greenwood - July 2012
  • Midlands Tech - Employee Relations Law Series - "Employer's Responsibilities Under the ADA and FMLA" - Columbia - June 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Physician's Gone Wild" - Phoenix - May 2012
  • SCHA Management Academy - "Workplace Issues & the Law" - Columbia - May 2012
  • SCHHRA & SHDP Conference - "Fair Labor Standards Act Pitfalls in 2012: Help Your Organization Avoid Them" - Hilton Head - April 2012
  • National Association of Women Lawyers - "Maximizing Your Communications with Clients and Colleagues" - Webinar - December 13, 2011
  • HR Update - "Most Common FMLA Mistakes" - Greenville - March 8, 2011
  • Palmetto Health HR Focus Day - "The True Cost of Litigation" - Columbia - February 11, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins webinar - "Social Media in the Workplace" - February 9, 2011
  • Palmetto Health HR Focus Day - "Let’s Face it – Social Networking is in Your Workplace" - Columbia - February 2, 2011
  • CHPRMS Annual Conference - "Let’s Face it – Social Networking is in Your Workplace" - Charleston - December 2, 2010
  • SCHHRA Conference - "Let’s Face it – Social Networking is in Your Workplace" - Columbia - October 26, 2010
  • 16th Annual SC SHRM State HR Conference - "FMLA and ADA Update" - Myrtle Beach - September 30, 2010
  • ASHHRA 46th Annual Conference and Exposition - "Let’s Face it – Social Networking is in Your Workplace" - Tampa - September 25 - 28, 2010
  • SC Manufacturing Alliance Human Resources Meeting - "EEO Litigation" - Myrtle Beach - September 9, 2010
  • Certificate in Employee Relations Law Series, presented by Midlands Technical College Corporate and Continuing Education and the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - "FMLA and ADAAA Issues" - Columbia - June 6, 2010
  • SC Hospital Association Management Academy - "Workplace Issues and the Law" - Columbia - May 21, 2010
  • UNUM presentation for law team - "All ‘A Twitter’ About Social Networking – Employment Law Pitfalls" - Chattanooga - May 3, 2010
  • SCHHRA Conference - "Are We Having Fun Yet? Human Resources 2010" - Columbia - February 25, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins webinar - "Pandemic Planning – Answering Questions and Concerns" - October 27, 2009
  • May 1, 2018 - Business Insurance - "Disability accommodations prevail"
  • December 12, 2017 - SHRM Online - "New Bill Would Ban Mandatory Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims"
  • October 26, 2017 - Bloomberg BNA - "Patient Beds and Casting Couches: Hospitals Take Lessons from Hollywood"
  • February 6, 2017 - Business Insurance - "Ruling may send ADA fight to Supreme Court"
  • October 20, 2016 - Law360 - "6 Traps To Avoid During Your First Few Years Of Law"
  • August 24, 2016 - Law360 - "How To Bill More Hours And Get A Bigger Bonus"
  • August 8, 2016 - SHRM Online - "Is That Time-Off Request Because You’re Sick—or to Watch the Olympics?"
  • August 3, 2016 - Law360 - "How To Snuff Out The Lone Wolf Law Firm Culture"
  • April 27, 2016 - Law360 - "5 Ways Firms Can Add Value Without Increasing Costs"
  • April 11, 2016 - Columbia Regional Business Report - "First Base Building view promises to be a hit"
  • February 22, 2016 - XpertHR - "What the Zika Virus Means for Employers"
  • February 8, 2016 - Reuters - "Lawyers see limited legal options for workers sent in Zika's way"
  • January 19, 2016 - Law360 - "4 New Year's Resolutions For Employers"
  • August 16, 2015 - Business Insurance - "Employers still grappling with disability law after 25 years"
  • March 11, 2014 - Workforce - "The Dangers of Being Obtuse About Obesity"
  • February 10, 2014 - Workforce - "The Expanded Definition of Disability"
  • December 11, 2013 - Human Resource Executive - "Still Unclear on ADA Accommodations"
  • December 17, 2010 - SHRM.org - "Employers Grapple with Stressed Out Workforce"
  • October 11, 2010 - Law360 - "Bias Suits Rise As Employment Litigation Levels Off"
  • October 20, 2009 - South Carolina Lawyers Weekly - "Firms in S.C. Offer Legal Remedies for the Flu: Employment Lawyers Discuss Ways Companies Can Prepare for Outbreaks"
  • October 12, 2009 - South Carolina Lawyers Weekly - "A Q&A Interview with Columbia Lawyer Kathy Dudley Helms"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition
  • Notes & Comments Editor, Georgia State Law Review
  • AV rated in Martindale Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers (2001 to present)
  • Best Lawyers 2019 Columbia, SC Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year”
  • Chambers USA (2009 to present)
  • South Carolina Super Lawyers (2008 to present)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Graduate of The Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Academy
  • Graduate of Leadership America
  • Graduate of Leadership Columbia

Insights by Katherine Dudley Helms