Stephen R. Woods

Shareholder Greenville

Stephen Woods represents and counsels companies on a wide range of labor and employment law issues—though a significant focus of his practice is on background checks (counseling and litigation) and RIFs (including the ADEA/OWBPA, WARN, and state mini-WARNs). He assists national, regional, and local clients on preventive analysis and advice, class and single-plaintiff employment litigation, and EEOC and state agency charges. He is the chair of both the firm's O-D Comply compliance solutions group and the Background Checks Practice Group and the shareholder-author of the O-D Comply: Background Checks subscription and the O-D Comply: E-Signatures materials.

Stephen lives by a client-centric mantra that combines prevention and practicality to create innovative, business-centered, legally-compliant solutions. Making national clients happy takes a unique skill set, which Stephen has developed and honed during his 20+ years with the firm. Some of the national employer-clients with whom Stephen has the pleasure of working as the firm's relationship shareholder are McKesson Corporation, Michaels Stores, AutoZone, Michelin North America, Raycom Media, and Snagajob (formerly PeopleMatter).

Before becoming a lawyer, Stephen served as the Manager of Administrative Services at The Greenville News (Greenville, SC), where he managed the HR function of this 500-employee newspaper publishing company.


Experience

Stephen is a practical, plain-English counselor on a variety of subjects, including the following:

  • The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and related state and local background check law (including employee background check contracts, forms, processes, and issues); and
  • The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and state mini-WARN Acts (including, in response to corporate right-sizing and downsizing, assistance to hundreds of employer-clients in conducting lawful reductions in force); and
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (including enforceable, compliant severance agreements and the creation of successful voluntary retirement programs).

On the litigation front, Stephen represents employers on a variety of labor & employment issues, including national background check class actions.  Recently, he successfully settled a background check class action with one of the largest classes and lowest per-member payouts in history.  He also has successfully opposed the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's attempts to enforce an overly broad subpoena seeking national information from a client with operations in all 50 states.

Stephen is a top-rated, repeat speaker to groups and companies throughout the country on labor & employment topics.  He can make even the driest legal topic (think: the Fair Credit Reporting Act, FMLA, etc.) relatable and relevant to an employer’s current workplace and employment situations.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • South Carolina Bar Association (Labor & Employment section)
  • Greenville (SC) Bar Association
  • National LGBT Bar Association
  • National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS)

Speeches:

  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''The Dizzying Array of State and Local Employment Laws: Round 4— Background Checks and Guns in the Workplace'' - Boca Raton - November 10, 2017
  • Performance Driven Forum - ''Making The Tough Call: Real World Ethical Dilemmas For In-House Counsel'' - Greer - June 22, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Ban the Box, Ban the Background Check? Dos and Don’ts for Employers'' - May 04, 2017
  • Human Technologies, Inc. (HTI) webcast - ''How the Trump Presidency Will Affect HR in 2017'' - February 03, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Damned If You Do or If You Don't? The Latest on Background Checks'' - Colorado Springs - September 29, 2016
  • Greenville Society for Human Resources Management - ''How the Fair Credit Report Act Impacts HR'' - Greenville - June 07, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Background Checks Spawn a New Wave of Class Action Lawsuits'' - Chicago - May 05, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - ''To Background Check, or Not to Background Check? That Is the Question!'' - San Antonio - May 14, 2015
  • Human Resources Law Update 2015 - ''Top Legal Issues Facing HR Department Head'' - Greenville - March 03, 2015
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - ''The Role of Criminal Background Checks in Today’s Employment Landscape'' - November 18, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''The FCRA: Labor and Employment's Newest Four-Letter Word'' - Dana Point - September 18 - September 20, 2014
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - ''The Role of Criminal Background Checks in Today's Employment Landscape'' - July 30, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Background Checks: How to Avoid Hiring an Ax Murderer Without Buying a Lawsuit'' - Las Vegas - May 09, 2014
  • Human Resources Law Update 2014 - ''Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Termination Do's and Don'ts'' - Greenville - February 25, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''The Role of Criminal Background Checks in Today’s Employment Landscape'' - Charleston - November 7 - November 9, 2013
  • Denver Client Office Seminar - ''Background Checks: How to Keep the EEOC Happy and Avoid Hiring an Ax Murderer'' - Englewood - October 25, 2013
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - ''The Role of Criminal Background Checks in Today's Employment Landscape'' - August 15, 2013
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - ''Background Checks in 2013: How to Strike the Right Balance Between Not Hiring an Axe Murderer, Not Becoming Big Brother, and Not Running Afoul of the EEOC'' - August 15, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - ''How to Keep the EEOC Happy and Avoid Hiring an Ax Murderer: Best Practices for Background Checks'' - New Orleans - May 10, 2013
  • Business Management Daily Webinar - ''Background Checks in 2013: How to Strike the Right Balance Between Not Hiring an Axe Murderer, Not Becoming Big Brother, and Not Running Afoul of the EEOC'' - March 12, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - ''Background Checks in 2012: The New EEOC Guidance'' - Phoenix - May 11, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Conference - ''The Four-Headed Hydra: Adding GINA to the ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation Triangle'' - Chicago - May 2011
  • Human Resources Law Update - ''From "Just Say No" to "Here's My Medical Marijuana Card": Substance Abuse and Drug Testing in the 2010's'' - Greenville - March 08, 2011
  • American Foundry Society - ''Labor Relations & HR Conference - Annual Update on Significant Cases, Statutes, and Regulations'' - Naples - February 11, 2011
  • Spartanburg Development Association - ''FMLA Comprehensive Review'' - Greenville - January 25, 2011
  • BLR National Employment Law Update - ''Annual Update of Significant Cases, Statutes, and Regulations'' - Las Vegas - October 28, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Conference - ''Risky Business: The Legal Risks of a Workplace Romance'' - Las Vegas - May 2010
  • Spartanburg Development Association - ''Everything You Need to Know About the FMLA, But Don't'' - Greenville - March 17, 2010
  • Human Resources Law Update - ''How to Avoid Becoming a Target for Plaintiff's Attorneys and Regulators'' - Greenville - February 23, 2010
  • Spartanburg Development Association - ''Pandemic Planning: Are You Prepared?'' - Greenville - October 2009
  • BLR National Employment Law Update - ''Terminations: Handling Layoffs and RIFs the Smart Way in a Troubled Economy'' - Las Vegas - October 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Conference - ''Workforce Reduction Techniques That Lessen Your Litigation Risks'' - Miami - May 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Conference - ''Pandemic Planning'' - Miami - May 2009

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

December 20, 2016 - People Matter - "Top 3 Labor and Employment Law Trends for 2017"

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