M. Tae Phillips

Shareholder || Birmingham

Tae focuses his practice on assisting clients with the many labor and employment challenges they face on a daily basis. He has been recognized by his peers by receiving an “AV Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell and being selected as a “Rising Star” by Alabama and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

Aside from producing positive results, Tae maintains a client-centric approach to his practice and strives to provide exceptional and responsive client service. His primary goal in representing clients is to provide them with collaborative, efficient, and business-centered solutions to workplace disputes and issues.

A significant portion of Tae’s practice consists of employment litigation, and he regularly defends clients before federal and state courts and administrative agencies involving all types of employment claims, including collective action wage & hour cases. He also assists employers in traditional labor matters such as Union avoidance, election campaigns, collective bargaining, and labor arbitrations.

Tae is heavily involved in the firm’s Drug Testing Practice Group, where he advises clients on all aspects of drug and alcohol testing. Tae also has a particular expertise on marijuana issues in the workplace, and regularly assists clients in handling issues involving medical marijuana. He also advises clients on disputes involving disability access under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and non-compete agreements.

Prior to joining Ogletree, Tae practiced general civil litigation in Mobile, Alabama. He graduated cum laude from the University of Montevallo in 2006, and from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2009 where he served on the Alabama Law Review.

Tae is an active member of the American, National Asian-Pacific, and Birmingham Bar Associations. He is also a frequent speaker to groups across the country on a variety of labor and employment topics. Outside of work, Tae is proud to volunteer with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and serve on the Junior Board of Directors for the University of Montevallo and Hands On Birmingham. He enjoys the Chicago Cubs, University of Alabama athletics, golf, and traveling.

Learn more about M. Tae Phillips

Tae represents employers in federal and state courts across the country, before the American Arbitration Association, and before traditional labor arbitrators. His litigation experience includes representing clients in matters arising under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. He also has significant experience representing clients in Alabama state law retaliatory discharge cases.

In addition to formal litigation, Tae represents clients before administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, National Labor Relations Board, and the Alabama Department of Labor.

Highlights from the past few years of Tae’s practice include:

  • Obtaining a full summary judgment for an international manufacturing company in a five-count gender, age, and disability discrimination matter.
  • Obtaining a full summary judgment for a national manufacturing client in a six-plaintiff racial harassment matter.
  • Obtaining a Court dismissal on jurisdictional grounds for a federally recognized sovereign entity in a lawsuit brought by a former employee under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which was later affirmed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtaining a Court dismissal in a first-impression employment discrimination lawsuit involving interpretation of the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act.
  • Obtaining full summary judgment for a large manufacturing company in a matter involving claims of religious and national origin discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment.
  • Defending a large privately-held employer in a five-day federal jury trial in an Americans with Disabilities Act matter.

Reported Cases

  • Rebecca Robinson v. Michelin North America, Inc., No. 1:16-cv00656-SRW, 2018 WL 6331694 (M.D. Ala. Dec. 4, 2018)
  • Joseph Garrett, et al. v. Tyco Fire Products, LP, No. 2:16-cv-00372-SGC, 301 F. Supp. 3d 1099 (N.D. Ala. 2018)
  • Christine Williams v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, 839 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2016)
  • Bobby Ashford v. Danberry at Inverness, No. 2:15-CV-00291-RDP, 2016 WL 4615782 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 6, 2016)
  • Curtis Broom, Jr. v. AXA Advisors, LLC & AXA Network, LLC, No: 2:16-CV-0028-RDP (N.D. Ala. Aug. 15, 2016)
  • Ali Jamous v. Saint-Gobain Corporation, No. 5:14-CV-01517-JEO, 2016 WL 4206320 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 10, 2016)
  • Todd Pollard v. Drummond Company, Inc., No. 2:12-CV-03948-MHH, 2015 WL 5306084 (N.D. Ala. Sept. 10, 2015)
  • Annette Ross v. Fresh Market, Inc., No. 2:13-CV-1524-SLB, 2015 WL 4749201 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 11, 2015)
  • Christine Williams v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, No. 14-594-CG-M, 2015 WL 4104611 (S.D. Ala. July 8, 2015)
  • Samuel Calvin v. Michelin North America, Inc., No. 7:13-cv-0824-SLB, 2013 WL 4521975 (N.D. Ala. Aug. 26, 2013)
  • Cope v. Smith, No. 1:11cv192 LG-RHW, 2011 WL 4527414 (S.D. Miss. Sept. 23, 2011)
  • DocRX, Inc. v. DOX Consulting, LLC, 738 F. Supp. 2d 1234 (S.D. Ala. 2010)


  • J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 2009
  • B.S., cum laude, University of Montevallo, 2006

Admittance to Practice

  • Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section Young Lawyers Division Fellow – Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee; Young Lawyers Division – Labor and Employment Committee Chair)
  • National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association (Labor and Employment Committee; Young Lawyers Network)
  • Alabama State Bar Association (Federal Court Practice Section; Labor and Employment Section; Young Lawyers Section)
  • Birmingham Bar Association (Federal Practice Section; Young Lawyers Section; Future Leaders Forum Committee)
  • Mobile Bar Association (Young Lawyers Section – Executive Committee)
  • University of Montevallo (Junior Board Member)
  • Hands On Birmingham (Junior Board Member)
  • Legal Leaders of Greater Birmingham – Muscular Dystrophy Association (2013)


  • Mobile Society for Human Resources Management Gulf Coast HR Conference - "Top 10 Hiring Mistakes" - Mobile - November 2, 2018
  • Gulf Coast Human Resources Association Employment Symposium - "Top 10 Hiring Mistakes" - Biloxi - September 12, 2018
  • ABA YLD Labor and Employment Committee Teleconference - "Insights and Perspectives on Navigating the Relationship Between In-House and Outside Counsel" - Birmingham - August 1, 2018
  • Gulf Coast Human Resources Association - "Detecting the Truth in Workplace Investigations" - Gulfport - July 12, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Invisible Workforce: Managing ADA and FMLA Leave" - Pensacola - June 15, 2018
  • Birmingham Society for Human Resources Management - "How to Deal with Difficult Employees" - Birmingham - April 11, 2018
  • Calhoun County, Alabama Society for Human Resources Management - "#MeToo, #OhNo, #WhatDoWeDoNow - Handling the New Wave of Sexual Harassment Claims" - Anniston - February 13, 2018
  • Cullman, Alabama Area Society for Human Resources Management - "Sexual Harassment in 2018" - Cullman - January 10, 2018
  • CLE Alabama - "Drug Testing" - Birmingham - December 1, 2017
  • Wiregrass Human Resource Management Association - "The Best Ways to Handle Difficult Employees" - Dothan - November 15, 2017
  • ABA Section of Labor & Employment Webinar - "It’s a Crying Shame (not to think about emotional distress damages in employment cases)" - October 18, 2017
  • Gulf Coast Human Resources Association Employment Symposium - "Dealing with Difficult Employees" - Biloxi - September 15, 2017
  • ABA Annual Meeting - "Marijuana: Legal Issues at Work" - New York City - August 11, 2017
  • ABA YLD Spring Conference - "Insights and Perspectives from In-House Counsel on Working with Outside Counsel and Developing Business" - Montreal - May 6, 2017
  • ABA YLD Labor and Employment Committee Teleconference - "Marijuana in the Workplace: When the Rules Go Up in Smoke" - March 2, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Investigations Seminar - "To Background Check, or Not to Background Check: That is the Question" - Auburn - January 26, 2017
  • Alabama Chapter of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources - "The New Overtime Regulations" - Birmingham - November 7, 2016
  • ABA YLD Labor and Employment Committee Teleconference - "Workplace Investigations: The Good, The Bad, The Why Would Ya" - November 1, 2016
  • Cullman, Alabama Area Society for Human Resources Management - "He's not Here: Deciding Whether to Reinstate, Replace, Accommodate, or Terminate Absent Employees" - Hanceville - October 12, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Expansion of Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADA" - Huntsville - August 11, 2016
  • Cullman, Alabama Area Society for Human Resources Management - "Transgender Employees" - Cullman - January 13, 2016
  • Gulf Coast Human Resources Association - "The Skinny on Background Checks" - Biloxi - December 9, 2015
  • ARC of Alabama - "EEOC Charges" - Montgomery - July 14, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Pre-Employment Testing – Conditional Offers, Background Checks, and Prescription Drugs in the Workplace" - Tupelo - April 17, 2015
  • Cullman, Alabama Area Society for Human Resources Management - "Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations" - Cullman - March 11, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Investigations Seminar - "To Background Check, or Not to Background Check: That is the Question" - Mobile and Huntsville - 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Who Done It? Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations" - Birmingham - November 7, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Americans with Disabilities Act and Prescription Medications" - Huntsville - August 21, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Americans with Disabilities Act and Pre-Employment Testing" - Orange Beach - June 27, 2014
  • August 21, 2017 - SHRM Online - "An Employee Failed a Drug Test. Now What?"
  • November 8, 2016 - Law360 - "11th Circ. Asked To Rethink Tribe's Immunity To Age Bias Suit"
  • September 27, 2013 - Birmingham Business Journal - "What Is a Key Issue, Change or New Regulation Employers Should Be Aware Of As They Plan for 2014?"
  • Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition
  • AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Alabama and Mid-South Super Lawyers Rising Star (2015-present)
  • Notes Editor, Alabama Law Review
  • Bench & Bar Legal Honor Society
  • B-Metro Magazine Top Flight Attorney (2016-present)

Insights by M. Tae Phillips