Rebecca J. Bennett

Shareholder || Cleveland

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.  As a trial lawyer, 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.  She has advised clients regarding the formation and maintenance of disadvantaged, minority and female business enterprises and voluntary supplier diversity issues. 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 laws, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act, among other laws and regulations
  • Unfair competition litigation and advice, including trade secret, restrictive covenant, non-compete, confidentiality, and non-solicitation litigation
  • Title IX compliance, training, and litigation
  • Class and collective action defense
  • Wage and hour litigation and compliance
  • Personnel policies
  • State and federal human resources legal compliance
  • Discipline and discharge counseling
  • Negotiation of collective bargaining agreements
  • Traditional labor relations issues, including grievances, unfair labor practice charges, mediation and arbitrations;
  • Union avoidance, 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
  • OSHA litigation
  • Data breach and privacy, including compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation
  • Affirmative action

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 current member of the Board of Directors of Saint Joseph Academy, the only all-girls Catholic high school in the City of Cleveland.  She is the President of the Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter.  She is the 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 the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cleveland.

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 Lawyers, Best Lawyers, and Chambers USA rankings.  In 2018, Rebecca was recognized as one of the top 25 female lawyers in Cleveland and in the top 50 female lawyers in Ohio by Super Lawyers.

Learn more about Rebecca J. Bennett

Education

Admittance to Practice

Professional Activities

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Women In Law Section (Vice Chair)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District
  • Federal Bar Association, Northern District of Ohio Chapter (Vice President)
  • Cleveland Employment Inns of Court
  • Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA)
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Berea’s Animal Rescue Fund, Inc. (Member, Board of Directors)
  • Saint Joseph Academy (Member, Board of Directors)
  • The Gathering Place (Member, Board of Directors)

Speeches

Insights by Rebecca J. Bennett