Theresa Donahue Egler

Shareholder Morristown

Theresa Donahue Egler has more than 25 years of experience representing management in employment and ERISA litigation, including claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge, retaliation, violation of family and medical leave laws, whistleblower claims, independent contractor misclassifications, wage and hour violations, wrongful denial of benefits, breach of fiduciary duty and restrictive covenant violations. She has represented employers in class and collective actions, as well as multi and single plaintiff cases, before federal and state trial and appellate courts, the EEOC, state fair employment agencies and the Department of Labor.

Ms. Egler serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Whistleblower Practice Group and has a particular expertise in the design and management of corporate compliance and ethics programs, internal investigations, corporate Hotlines, "speaking up" campaigns, initiatives to foster a culture of legal compliance and ethical conduct, and the development of broad-based, as well as specialized senior executive, compliance and ethics training programs.

Ms. Egler also has extensive experience in providing preventative and corrective counseling on all human resource management issues, including workforce reductions and reorganizations, plant closings, threat assessments, crisis management, employment policies and employee discipline and discharge matters. She has developed and conducted training on a broad range of employment issues, designed to minimize risk and to avoid costly and divisive disputes.

Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Egler served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at BASF Corporation where she was responsible for providing legal services to the Human Resources and Benefits Departments, employment and ERISA litigation and managing the Compliance & Ethics Program. She currently serves as BASF's national employment and benefits counsel.

Ms. Egler is an active volunteer, having served on the Board of the Make a Wish Foundation of New Jersey and having provided pro bono legal services to non-profit corporations through the Pro Bono Partnership. She also served as President of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015.


Experience

  • Won dismissal of a workers' compensation retaliation claim in hearing before Workers' Compensation Judge.
  • Won dismissal of a workers’ compensation retaliation claim in hearing before Workers’ Compensation Law Judge, affirmed by Board Panel, affirmed on appeal.
  • Won motion to dismiss suit for post-termination commissions under New York Labor Law.

  • Won summary judgment on whistleblower claim under Louisiana anti-reprisal statute.

  • Won summary judgment on age discrimination and retaliation claims under ADEA.
  • Won summary judgment on claims of race and national original discrimination under Title VII, affirmed on appeal

  • Won summary judgment on disability discrimination claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

  • Won summary judgement on sex discrimination and whistleblower claims.

  • Won jury verdict for a large technology company in an age discrimination case
  • Won jury verdict for a large technology company in a breach of contract case brought by a former executive of the company, following an earlier trial which resulted in a hung jury
  • Obtained directed verdict at the close of plaintiffs’ case for an industrial gases company in a six plaintiff age discrimination case
  • Won federal bench trial in an FMLA case for a large chemical company
  • Won federal bench trial in an ERISA case with respect to 3 of 4 plaintiffs; obtained favorable settlement with remaining plaintiff
  • Won substantial federal court arbitration in an ERISA case for a large aerospace company
  • Defeated collective action motion in an FLSA case alleging misclassification of employees under the administrative exemption for a large energy company
  • Defeated FLSA collective action and state class action motion in a case alleging misclassification of field service technicians under the administrative exemption for a large technology company
  • Won dismissal of numerous cases involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful discharge & related tort claims on summary judgment for a variety of companies
  • Substantial appellate advocacy experience on behalf of employers
  • Developed and managed a corporate compliance and ethics program for a large chemical company
  • Designed and implemented workforce reductions and provided counsel for compliance with federal and state plant closing laws for numerous companies
  • Provided legal counsel to the crisis management team of a large chemical company
  • Substantial experience in handling threat assessments to diffuse and avoid workplace violence
  • Conducted sexual harassment training nationwide for employees of a large shipping company
  • Conducted training programs on a variety of employment law issues for numerous companies
  • Substantial experience in conducting workplace investigations on behalf of employers
  • Successfully defended numerous EEOC charges and State Fair Employment Agency complaints
  • Substantial experience in counseling employers on disciplinary actions, including terminations
  • Developed and implemented Small Employer Advisory Program to ensure compliance with employment laws and avoid/reduce risk
  • Substantial experience as a member of a corporate Diversity Team; founded women leadership programs at a large law firm and a large chemical company
  • Participated on a global Corporate Social Responsibility team for a multi-national chemical company

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • New Jersey Bar Association (2012-present)
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (2003-2010)
  • New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association (2003-2010)
  • Compliance & Ethics Leadership Counsel (2005-2010)
  • Pro Bono Partnership (2007 - present)
  • Editor - New Jersey Employment Law Letter (1992-2002)
  • Sydney Reitman Employment Law American Inn of Court (1995-97)
  • Colgate Alumni Corporation Board, President

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor & Employment Counsel Seminar - ''Navigating the Landmines of Compliance & Ethics Investigations'' - Phoenix - November 2015
  • National Association of Women Lawyers General Counsel Institute - ''Breaking Developments in Whistleblower Enforcement'' - New York City - November 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Breaking Developments in Whistleblower Enforcement'' - San Antonio - May 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''Leave Me Alone! Understanding New Jersey and Federal Leave Laws'' - April 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - ''Critical Issues in Compliance and Enforcement'' - Dora Points - September 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Can't You Hear the Whistleblowing'' - Las Vegas - May 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''When Harry Sued Sally . . . Or Sam: Non-Traditional Workplace Harassment Suits'' - Florham Park - September 13, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Attorney-Client Privilege-How To Protect It . . . And How To Lose It'' - Phoenix - May 10, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Disasters Happen – Is your Workplace Prepared?'' - Chicago - May 12, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - ''An Effective Communications Policy is a Must for Employers'' - Morristown - March 24, 2011
  • Human Resources Law Update - ''What can be expected from Congress, the agencies and the Supreme Court in 2011'' - Greenville - March 08, 2011
  • SAI Global - ''Corporate Compliance & Ethics Programs'' - Princeton - July 21, 2010
  • Farleigh Dickinson University - ''Corporate Compliance & Ethics Programs'' - Florham Park - March 29, 2010

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

August 2002 - New Jersey Business - "Toeing the Line of Employment Law"

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