Kevin S. Joyner

Shareholder || Raleigh

Mr. Joyner represents employers in a myriad of employment-related and complex commercial matters, including litigation involving discrimination, wage and hour, wrongful discharge and other claims, and matters in state and federal courts and administrative agencies.

Mr. Joyner has extensive experience representing employers in wage and hour class action and collective action defense, particularly involving alleged tip credit violations in the restaurant industry and misclassification of exemption from overtime status. He has represented employers in multiple lawsuits brought by the EEOC as well as EEOC pattern and practice class administrative investigations.  Mr. Joyner also has extensive experience in litigating high stakes matters in the context of motions seeking temporary restraining orders and other injunctive relief matters involving restrictive covenant (non-compete, non-solicit, no-raiding, confidentiality agreements), misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, unfair competition, and related cases.

Mr. Joyner enjoys providing thoughtful, creative counsel to employers seeking effective solutions on matters of wage and hour compliance, employee discipline and termination, enforcement and implementation of employment policies, workplace investigations and reductions in force. He also prepares and reviews policy and procedure manuals and employee handbooks, and drafts employment and executive agreements, covenants not to compete, severance agreements, and settlement agreements.

He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment since 2016, and he was named as a North Carolina Rising Star for 2009, 2010, and 2011, a distinction awarded to attorneys under the age of 40 based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Learn more about Kevin S. Joyner

Trial and Litigation Experience:

  • Mr. Joyner recently obtained a trial verdict representing a general contracting firm in a commercial contract dispute involving a temporary staffing agency.
  • Mr. Joyner has been lead counsel in obtaining temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions and obtained successful results for multiple clients in restrictive covenant (non-compete, non-solicit, no-raiding, confidentiality agreements), misappropriation of trade secret, tortious interference, unfair competition, and related cases.
  • Mr. Joyner has been lead counsel in obtaining emergency injunctive relief on multiple occasions for employers facing potential workplace violence situations.
  • Mr. Joyner has been lead counsel in multiple lawsuits brought by the EEOC alleging violations of Title VII.
  • Mr. Joyner obtained summary judgment and an appellate victory at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in a race discrimination and retaliation case brought by a former HR Manager against a national retail establishment.
  • Mr. Joyner successfully represented a national bookseller in a Department of Labor wage and hour audit regarding classification of managers.
  • Mr. Joyner has obtained summary judgment for several clients in various industries related to employment discrimination lawsuits.
  • Mr. Joyner obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, in a case on behalf of a temporary employment agency sued for negligence of its assigned employee.

Wage and Hour Class and Collective Actions:

Mr. Joyner has successfully represented clients in more than 10 class and collective action litigation involving wage and hour claims, His representation of restaurants in class and collective actions alleging tip credit violations for improper tip pooling includes serving as lead counsel in the following:

  • Defending a multi-state employer restaurant group with potentially more than 4,000 class members in an allegation of tip credit violation involving the use of tip pooling
  • Defending a national franchise restaurant group in an allegation of tip credit violation involving the use of tip pooling

Mr. Joyner has co-lead the defense of multiple class and collective action litigation involving other wage and hour claims. Some examples include:

  • Successfully representing Fortune 50 insurance company in nationwide collective action wage and hour litigation alleging misclassification of workers for overtime purposes and involving approximately $6 million in potential exposure. Obtained a federal court order denying class certification on two occasions.
  • Successfully representing Fortune 500 consumer goods company in class and collective action wage and hour litigation alleging off-the-clock work for time spent donning and doffing uniforms and involving approximately $20 million in potential exposure.

Mr. Joyner has also lead the defense of multiple putative Rule 23 class actions brought under the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act for alleging off-the-clock work and promised wages.


On a daily basis, Mr. Joyner provides counseling services to corporate counsel, HR professionals, and a wide-range of management with employees working all over the United States and internationally. This work includes virtually every area of employment-related matters, with a particular focus on managing both the legal and practical consequences of management actions. The counseling to employers includes litigation avoidance and implementing policies that are in conformance with the various federal and state employment laws, including the FLSA, FMLA, ADA, Title VII, and North Carolina Wage and Hour Act.

Mr. Joyner has effectively represented employers in over 200 administrative agency matters such as complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Labor, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and similar state administrative agencies in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.

Policies, Agreements, and Training:

Mr. Joyner regularly prepares and reviews employee handbooks, personnel policies, compensation plans, and employment agreements.  He also develops and provides legal education and training to management and employees of various small business and corporate level clients involving topics ranging from legal specific anti-harassment awareness training and managing leaves of absences and disabilities under the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act to interviewing guidelines, how to manage employees, and strategies for avoiding retaliation and lawsuits in general.


  • J.D., Campbell University School of Law, 1998
  • M.B.A., East Carolina University, 1994
  • B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, East Carolina University, 1993

Admittance to Practice

  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Professional Activities

  • North Carolina Bar Association (Labor & Employment and Litigation Sections)
  • Wake County Bar Association
  • Triangle SHRM Chapter
  • Shiloh Presbyterian Church (Raleigh, NC)
  • Little League baseball coach, Fuquay-Varina Parks and Recreation (2015-present)


  • CAI Annual Conference - "Workplace Detox: 10 Strategies for Managing Malcontents and Toxic Employees" - Raleigh - May 24, 2018
  • North Carolina Bar Association’s 2018 Government and Public Sector CLE - "The Front Page – Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace" - Cary - April 12, 2018
  • Capital Associated Industries - "Preparing for (and Hopefully Avoiding) a Class Action Before It Is Filed" - Raleigh - May 23, 2017
  • Ultimate Software HR Workshop - "Wage and Hour: Commonly Misunderstood Areas" - Cary - May 9, 2017
  • Rockingham County Human Resources Association - "New Overtime Regulations" - Eden - October 13, 2016
  • Triangle ACC Chapter - "Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Update" - Raleigh - October 12, 2016
  • Ultimate Software Client Briefing - "New FLSA Overtime Regulations" - Cary - October 6, 2016
  • Ultimate Software Client Briefing - "New FLSA Overtime Regulations" - Greensboro - August 25, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "New FLSA Overtime Regulations" - Raleigh - July 13, 2016
  • Capital Associated Industries - "Hands in the Cookie Jar: Investigating Employee Theft, Embezzlement, and Other Criminal Conduct" - Raleigh - May 18, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "DOL Update: Proposed New FLSA Overtime Regulations and Independent Contractor Guidance" - Raleigh - August 20, 2015
  • Capital Associated Industries - "Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Law" - Raleigh - May 11, 2015
  • Triangle ACC Chapter - "'Strategies for Defending EEOC Systemic and Complex Charges of Discrimination" - Raleigh - February 4, 2015
  • NC SHRM State Conference - "Labor and Employment Law Update" - Raleigh - September 18, 2014
  • Capital Associated Industries - "Wage and Hour: Commonly Misunderstood Areas" - Raleigh - May 15, 2014
  • Wake SHRM - "Immigration and EEO Laws – Managing the Crossover Issues" - Raleigh - February 27, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire: Lessons to be Learned From the Paula Dean Scandal" - Raleigh - January 28, 2014
  • Capital Associated Industries - "Common Mistakes With White Collar Exemptions" - Raleigh - May 12, 2012
  • North Carolina Bar Association - "Progressive Discipline/Hiring and Firing of Employees in Law Firms" - Raleigh - March 22, 2012
  • September 14, 2018 - - "Whether Employee Repayment Agreements Pass Muster Under The FLSA"
  • 2016 - North Carolina Bar Association - "North Carolina Lawyers as Employers"
  • 2016 - North Carolina Bar Association Foundation Book (Co-Editor) - "North Carolina Lawyers as Employers"
  • 2009 - 2017 - Capital Associated Industries (CAI) (General Editor) - "North Carolina Employment Law Desk Manual"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge



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