Nonnie L. Shivers

Shareholder Phoenix

Nonnie partners with employers and managers in three primary ways: litigation avoidance through proactive counseling and training; investigations and resolutions when pre-litigation concerns arise; and litigating legally complex and factually challenging cases to defend employer’s actions.  

Nonnie advises and counsels private and public employers in all aspects of employment law, including an emphasis on complex but proactive compliance projects, such as 50-state compliant wage deductions and lawful parental leave programs. Nonnie regularly partners with clients to plan and implement reductions in force, severance plans and agreements, and pre-litigation disciplinary matters. Nonnie regularly conducts high-level internal investigations for clients, including at the executive level and within key departments, and assists in identifying and resolving potential areas of liability and exposure in a proactive but practical way. Nonnie’s unique practice also includes providing employment advice for employers doing business within the Navajo Nation's territorial jurisdiction and other tribal lands, including cultural and employment law training on unique tribal code requirements.  

Nonnie has successfully defended employers against allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination in state and federal court, as well as administrative forums. Nonnie has handled hundreds of charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division, as well as claims and appeals filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Nonnie has also litigated whistleblower claims against air carriers under AIR 21 and handled investigations and enforcement actions with numerous other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor and other employers under SOX.

Nonnie regularly speaks and trains on current and emerging employment law topics, including recent presentations to industry and trade groups on civility in the #MeToo era, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workplace issues, avoidance of retaliation claims, and political expression in the workplace. Nonnie’s advanced degree in education and years of experience as an instructor and student affairs professional at Arizona State University help make her training sessions and presentations simultaneously educational and entertaining. Nonnie has also published several scholarly articles focused on employment law, including a book chapter on the impact of reasonable workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities on employers and employees’ expectations of privacy for off-duty conduct.

Nonnie has received numerous accolades from clients and legal professionals for her dedicated client focus and problem-solving abilities. Southwest Super Lawyers named Nonnie a Rising Star in 2012-2014 and a Super Lawyer in 2016. Nonnie also obtained the recognition of the legal community by receiving an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell beginning in 2014 through today.  Chambers USA first ranked Nonnie as a Leading Individual in 2015 and Best Lawyers added Nonnie to its list of recognized practitioners in 2016.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Shivers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals.


Nonnie’s clients run the gamut from large, international companies to flourishing local businesses. Her personal clients include a Fortune 75 international air carrier, national banks, several regional and local law firms, title agencies, in-home care providers, physician practice groups, and numerous not-for-profits, including trade associations.

While Nonnie’s clients seek her out to resolve problems before litigation ensues and to prevent litigation by acting proactively, Nonnie’s litigation successes include:

  • Successfully defended one of the largest insurance companies in the world against breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference and myriad other claims in a two-week jury trial, including obtaining and recovering nearly $1 million dollars in sanctions, attorneys’ fees and costs after prevailing at trial.
  • Obtained complete summary judgment for international air carrier in disability discrimination case, in part based on the rare ruling by the court that the employee did not have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Obtained complete summary judgment and award of costs for a national trucking company in a gender discrimination case involving a long-term female employee in a male-dominated industry.
  • Obtained complete summary judgment in a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case involving a reduction-in-force due to changing business for an international technology and manufacturing company.
  • Obtained complete summary judgment for a retail company in a wrongful termination case in which the company allegedly blackballed and defamed a former employee.
  • Won a total defense judgment and an award of all attorneys’ fees incurred after a multi-day arbitration for a national bank in a wrongful termination case.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal of a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case filed in federal court for a large brokerage company, and prevailing after appeal taken to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Lambda Legal in Arizona - Event Co-Chair
  • American Bar Association (Employment Law Section)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Arizona State Bar, Labor & Employment Section Member
  • Chair and Member, Arizona State Bar Continuing Legal Education Committee (2009-2016)
  • Member, Arizona State Bar Board of Legal Specialization (2014-2016)
  • Member, Arizona State Bar Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Task Force (2011)
  • Instructor, Arizona State Bar Professionalism Course (2009-2016)
  • Member, City of Avondale Judicial Advisory Board (2014-2016)


  • Prescott Area Human Resources Association - ''Workplaces in Transition: What HR Professionals Need to Know Today about Emerging Protected Classes'' - Prescott - July 11, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Beyond Maternity Leave: Cutting-Edge Approaches to Lawful Parental Leave Programs'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • ABA National Conference on Equal Employment Opportunity Law - ''The Rapid Pace of Change in the Law Impacting LGBTQ Employees Continues'' - San Diego - March 15, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Understanding ADA Obligations with Invisible Disabilities'' - Las Vegas - March 09, 2018
  • Private Client Training For Leaders - ''RESPECT: Creating and Maintaining a Professional, Harassment-Free Workplace Today'' - Dallas - February 02, 2018
  • Arizona SHRM Labor and Legislative Conference - ''Top Ten FMLA Mistakes And How To Avoid Them'' - Phoenix - January 26, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Key Labor and Employment Law Trends for 2018'' - Phoenix - January 25, 2018
  • CoBiz C-Suite Collaborative - ''The Weinstein Effect: What Executives Should Anticipate In The #MeToo Era'' - Phoenix - January 23, 2018
  • 11th Annual ABA Labor and Employment Law Conference - ''A Gender Transition Primer'' - Washington, D.C. - November 09, 2017
  • 2017 Community College Risk Management Summit - ''Preventative Maintenance: ADA Title II and Title III Obligations in and around the Classroom'' - Phoenix - November 02, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Sick Leave and Paid Time Off In A Prop 206 World - Are Your PTO Policies Compliant Yet?'' - Scottsdale - October 20, 2017
  • Society for Human Resource Management Arizona State Conference - ''Workplaces in Transitions: LGBTQIA Employees and Other Protected Classes'' - Phoenix - August 30, 2017
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter - ''Top Ten FMLA Mistakes And How To Avoid Them'' - Phoenix - August 24, 2017
  • Prescott Area Human Resources Association - ''How to Conduct a Workplace Investigation'' - Prescott - July 20, 2017
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter - ''ACC Reel Ethics'' - Phoenix - June 29, 2017
  • Arizona Small Business Association - ''Stop. Think. Comply. Proposition 206 – Paid Sick Leave'' - Phoenix - June 28, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Transgender Issues in the Workplace—Confronting New Challenges'' - San Diego - May 04, 2017
  • Society for Human Resource Management North Phoenix - ''What HR Professionals Need to Know Today About LGBT Employees And Other Emerging Protected Classes'' - Phoenix - May 03, 2017
  • Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Phoenix - ''Hot Off The Press: The Latest On Paid Sick Leave And New EEOC Initiatives'' - Phoenix - April 12, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Proposition 206: Understanding Arizona’s New Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Law'' - January 10, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Top 10 FMLA Mistakes and How To Avoid Them'' - Phoenix - October 04, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Feeling the B(u)rn: Dealing with Politics in the Workplace'' - Phoenix - October 04, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Flag): LGBT Legal Issues Update'' - Colorado Springs - September 30, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Employers Feeling the B(u)rn: Dealing with Politics in the Workplace'' - September 14, 2016
  • Arizona Society for Human Resources Management State Conference - ''Why, When, Where and How to Lawfully Use Personality Assessments'' - Phoenix - August 31, 2016
  • Arizona Medical Group Management Association - ''Hottest Legal Topics in Health Care HR'' - Phoenix - August 19, 2016
  • Central Arizona Chapter Community Associations Institute - ''Your Biggest HR Questions You Were Too Afraid To Ask'' - Phoenix - July 12, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins' Continuing Legal Education Seminar - '''Reel' Ethics'' - Phoenix - June 24, 2016
  • State Bar of Arizona Annual Convention - ''The Crossroads of Religious Freedom and Civil Liberties'' - Phoenix - June 15, 2016
  • Arizona Society of Association Executives - ''Avoiding HR Landmines: How to Hire and Fire without Getting Burned'' - Phoenix - June 02, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - '''TED Talks' – Managing Change in the Workplace'' - Chicago - May 05, 2016
  • Diversity & Inclusion Convention, State Bar of Arizona - ''The Impact of Windsor and Obergefell on Employee Benefit Plans and Employment Laws'' - Phoenix - April 01, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Navigating California Employment Law Seminar - ''When Bruce Becomes Caitlyn at Work: Transgender Issues in the Workplace'' - Napa - February 2016
  • Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law - ''Transitioning at Work: A Guide to Transgender Employees'' - Chicago - January 21, 2016
  • Arizona Industrial Liaison Group - ''Employment Law Update 2016'' - Phoenix - January 12, 2016
  • State of Arizona, Department of Administration HR Professional Development - ''Bundles of Joy: Pregnancy and Reproductive Issues in the Workplace'' - Phoenix - October 22, 2015
  • Clear Law Institute Webinar - ''Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Law and Benefits: New Legal Developments'' - October 05, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable Series - ''Gender Expression in the Workplace'' - Pittsburgh - October 01, 2015
  • Northwest Arizona Human Resource Association - ''What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting: The Post-Young v. UPS World'' - Kingman - September 10, 2015
  • Arizona Self Insurers Association - ''The Bermuda Triangle of Employment Law: The Intersection of ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation (And Now the PDA)'' - Phoenix - September 2015
  • Commercial Law Continuing Legal Education Webinar - ''Legal Landscape for LGBT Employees and Their Employers: Current Protections and Avoiding Claims'' - September 2015
  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''Hot Topics in Federal and State Wage and Hour Litigation'' - Santa Fe - July 2015
  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''LGBT Issues in the Workplace'' - Santa Fe - July 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege-I'm Covered, Right?'' - Phoenix - June 19, 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Television Legal Ethics'' - Phoenix - May 2015
  • Private client presentation for franchise owners - ''Hot Employment Law Topics'' - Phoenix - April 2015
  • Day of Focus with Talent Wise - ''Workplace Crises & Scandal'' - Phoenix - April 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Arizona: Now What? Part Three: Labor and Employment'' - Phoenix - January 13, 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter - ''Legal Compliance Issues for Managing Complex Leaves Under the FMLA, ADA and Local Laws'' - Phoenix - January 08, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Out at Work, Equal at Work: What Employers Should Know about LGBT Issues and the Law'' - October 23, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Whose Employees are they Anyway? Perils, Pitfalls, and Pointers on Contingent and Temporary Workers'' - Scottsdale - October 03, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Devil’s In The Details: Everything You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Employment Law'' - Scottsdale - October 03, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Impact of Windsor and Hobby Lobby on Employers'' - Denver - September 26, 2014
  • Human Rights Campaign and One Community - ''LGBT Workplace Inclusion Conference Panelist'' - Tempe - September 15, 2014
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (Arizona Chapter) CLE Program - ''Out and Equal at Work: LGBT Workplace Issues'' - Phoenix - September 04, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Program - ''Expanding Protections for LGBT Employees: The Impact of Executive Order 13672'' - Phoenix - August 13, 2014
  • Arizona Fire District Association Annual Conference - ''Ripped from the Headlines! Crisis Avoidance and Management'' - Tucson - June 28, 2014
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Employment Law Concerns When Lawyers or Staff Have Substance, Alcohol, or Mental Health Concerns'' - Phoenix - June 24, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona 2014 Convention - ''Top 5 Lessons for Employment Attorneys on LGBT Workplace Issues'' - Tucson - June 13, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Crisis & Scandal - What Companies Can Learn From Today's Headlines'' - Las Vegas - May 7 - May 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know About LGBT Issues'' - Tucson - April 10, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination - Are You One Sick Child Away from Losing Your Job?'' - Las Vegas - February 28, 2014
  • AZSHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference - ''The Devil's In the Details: Everything You Didn't Know About Unemployment Compensation Changes, Garnishments, Subpoenas for Information and Other Necessary Nitty Gritty Details'' - Phoenix - February 26, 2014
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association 2013 Conference - ''LGBT Employment Issues in Education'' - Prescott - November 21, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes New Paperwork and Insurance Carriers: Post-DOMA Changes in the Workplace'' - November 05, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce 2014 - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know'' - Scottsdale - October 04, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''How to Conduct an Effective Workplace Investigation'' - Phoenix - September 26, 2013
  • Arizona Industry Liaison Group - ''Managing Leaves of Absence to Comply with the FMLA, ADA and Other Legal Requirements'' - Glendale - September 17, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Annual State Conference - ''Top 10 Lessons for Employers from the Rutgers/Mike Rice Scandal'' - Phoenix - August 28, 2013
  • Strafford Webinar - ''Litigating Damages in Discrimination and Retaliation Cases: Employer Strategies for Mitigating and Defending Damage Awards'' - June 26, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Road to Stonewall: LGBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - New Orleans - May 10, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''The Road Through Selma and Stonewall: GLBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - Phoenix - March 22, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Regulating Public Employees’ Conduct On (And Off?) The Job'' - Phoenix - September 27, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2012 Annual State Conference - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August 29, 2012
  • Arizona Industrial Compensation Association - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August 16, 2012
  • AZSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''When LameBook Backfires: Protecting Yourself from the Social Media 'Police''' - Phoenix - March 09, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2011 Annual State Conference - ''You're Not the Boss of Me - Regulating Employee Conduct On and Off the Job'' - Phoenix - September 01, 2011
  • AZSHRM 2011 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''All Atwitter About Social 'Notworking''' - Phoenix - March 02, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''You’ve Got “Friends” In Low Places: Cautionary Tales From The Digital Age'' - Scottsdale - September 24, 2010
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association - ''All ‘Atwitter’ About Social Networking: Employment Law Pitfalls'' - Phoenix - April 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Blogs, Social Networking & Virtual Worlds – A Brave New Workplace Indeed'' - Paradise Valley - October 15, 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Retaliation – Employers’ Greatest Liability Risk'' - Paradise Valley - November 13, 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Sexual Harassment – The Bare Essentials'' - Phoenix - October 03, 2007
  • Private Client Training - ''Workplace (Mis)Conduct Training'' - Phoenix - April 2007
  • Lorman Seminar - ''Human Resources Fundamentals Course'' - Phoenix - December 2006
  • Arizona Healthcare Human Resources Association - ''Law and Order At Work'' - Phoenix - December 2005
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Clarification or Confusion? Lessons From Employee Leave Litigation'' - Phoenix - September 15, 2005

Published Works


Our Insights

SCOTUS Rules Colorado Agency Violated Free Speech Rights in Wedding Cake Case

June 04, 2018

Contacting Employees on FMLA Leave: Answers to 4 Inevitable Questions

September 25, 2017

The Top Employment Cases of 2017 and a Sneak Peek at 2018

August 23, 2017

ICA Issues 18 New Pages of Paid Sick Leave FAQs: The Top 10 Highlights for Employers

July 03, 2017

Need Your Own Sick Leave Yet? ICA Issues Supplemental Draft Regulations on Arizona Paid Sick Leave

June 28, 2017

Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Part III: Record-Keeping, Shifting Employment Relationships, and Tips for Drafting Policies

June 14, 2017

Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Part II: The “Same Hourly Rate,” Attendance, and Coverage Questions

June 13, 2017

Arizona’s Paid Sick Leave Law, Part I: Accrual and Usage Issues

June 12, 2017

Arizona Industrial Commission Issues Proposed Rules for Paid Sick Time

May 05, 2017

Seventh Circuit Finds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII, SCOTUS Review Likely

April 05, 2017

Overview and Guidance on Final Joint Standards on Diversity and Inclusion

December 08, 2015

Transgender Issues in the Workplace: Navigating a Changing Legal Landscape

November 09, 2015

The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Key Employment Law Take-Aways

June 26, 2015

Arizona Minimum Wage to Increase on January 1, 2015

October 29, 2014

Supreme Court Passively Clears the Way for Same-Sex Marriage

October 07, 2014

DOL’s Proposed Rule Redefines FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse” to Recognize “Place of Celebration”

June 23, 2014

Tempe City Council Broadens Anti-Discrimination Ordinance to Encompass Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Individuals

February 28, 2014

Should Who You Love Be A Terminable Offense? Senate Says “No” And Passes ENDA

November 08, 2013

FMLA Policy Changes Employers Should Make in Light of Windsor and the DOL’s New Guidance

August 18, 2013

Phoenix City Council Votes in Favor of Expansion of Anti-Discrimination Ordinance to Include Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Residents

February 28, 2013

Ninth Circuit Holds Medical Marijuana Use Not Protected Under the ADA

May 24, 2012


Media Quotes

July 19, 2018 - Law360 - "11th Circ. Dissent Seeks Clarity On Title VII And Gay Workers"
June 22, 2018 - Law360 - "3 Tips For Employers Looking To Back Worker Affinity Groups"
May 28, 2018 - Law360 - "What Does Gender Parity In The Legal Industry Look Like?"