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Rebecca J. Bennett

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There is a story behind every employment discrimination claim.  Rebecca is skilled at telling your side of the story.  She unravels allegations, sifts through facts, and marshals evidence to build a defense.  Rebecca is a trial lawyer.  Through experience and intuition, she is good at evaluating risks and drawing up a winning strategy, whether that means early resolution or preparing for a jury trial.  Clients appreciate Rebecca’s cool-headed counsel in times of workplace trouble and uncertainty.

Rebecca has spent her career representing and counseling employers nationally in all aspects of labor and employment law, litigation, and compliance.  She has achieved successful results for employers through defense verdicts, arbitration awards, dismissals, appeals, and negotiated settlements, in hundreds of matters for employers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care, technology, professional services, higher and secondary education, retail, non-profit, transportation, retail, hospitality, and construction. .

Much of her work includes advising and representing clients through workplace crises, such as data breach, criminal activity, abuse, fraud, workplace violence, accidents, and other crises requiring swift, thorough, and coordinated action.

Clients served range from Fortune 100 to closely-held start-ups.

Her specific experience includes:

  • Complex employment litigation defense of claims under federal and state anti-discrimination, Civil Rights , whistleblower, and wrongful discharge laws, including Title VII, Sections 1981 and 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Uniformed Services Rights and Reemployment Act (USERRA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Equal Pay Act, among other federal laws and regulations and similar state laws and regulation
  • Unfair competition litigation and advice, including trade secrets, restrictive covenants, non-compete, confidentiality, anti-trust, defamation and invasion of privacy, and non-solicitation litigation
  • Workplace privacy, data security, data privacy, and data breach, including compliance with the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), compliance the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), website privacy policies, review of privacy-related contract terms and conditions, notice and consent forms, biometrics laws, state and federal wiretapping and eavesdropping laws, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), state biometrics laws, surveillance, geotracking and geolocation privacy, and privacy of medical information under the ADA and Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GINA)
  • Class and collective action defense, including wage and hour litigation and compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law
  • Higher education law, including Title IX compliance, training, and litigation
  • Employment advice and counseling, including personnel policies, state and federal human resources legal compliance, discipline and discharge counseling, COVID-19,
  • Traditional labor relations issues, including grievances, unfair labor practice charges, mediation and arbitrations; negotiation of collective bargaining agreements; union avoidance and positive employee relations training, strike planning, and union elections
  • Prevailing wage and other government contracting requirements.
  • Employment contracts, including executive employment agreements, non-compete, trade secret, and confidentiality agreements
  • Formation, maintenance, and defense of disadvantaged, minority and female business enterprises (DBE, MBE, and FBE programs), government set-aside programs, voluntary supplier diversity issues, affirmative action programs, and private sector diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives

Rebecca provides customized training programs to employers for labor and employment compliance.  She is a frequent presenter, having given over 100 presentations, speeches, webinars, podcasts, and training sessions for employers.

Rebecca earned her law degree from Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, magna cum laude, in 1998, where she was the Business Editor of the Cleveland Marshall Law Review and a member of the award-winning Moot Court team.  She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree with distinction in journalism, summa cum laude, from The Ohio State University.  She is a proud alumnae of Saint Joseph Academy in Cleveland, Ohio.

She serves in leadership roles in her community, with clients, and with the firm.  She is the past chairperson and member of the Board of Directors of Saint Joseph Academy, the only all-girls Catholic high school in the City of Cleveland.  She is a past President of the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter.  She is a past Chair of the Women in the Law Section of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.  She has served on the Board of Directors of The Gathering Place and Berea’s Animal Rescue Fund.  She regularly volunteers for and supports the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.  She serves on the Board of the firm’s business resource group for women attorneys (ODWIN), and she has served as a coach in the firm’s inaugural trial university program.

Through her professional and volunteer activities, Rebecca is deeply committed to the causes of empowering girls and women, as well as diversity and inclusion in the business community, workplace, and legal profession.

Rebecca has been recognized for her work in Super LawyersBest Lawyers, and Chambers USA rankings.  From 2018 to present, Rebecca has been annually recognized as one of the top 25 female lawyers in Cleveland and in the top 50 female lawyers in Ohio by Super Lawyers.

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