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 for Colgate University, who serves on Colgate’s Board of Trustees. She previously served as President of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation, the organization that represents Colgate’s 32,000+ alumni, and as Chair of the Colgate Presidents’ Club. Ms. Egler also has provided pro bono legal services to non-profit corporations through the Pro Bono Partnership, and served on the Board of the New Jersey Make A Wish Foundation.

Learn more about Theresa Donahue Egler
  • Won motion to dismiss third party complaint in a sexual harassment case
  • 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


  • J.D., cum laude, Fordham University School of Law, 1983
  • B.A., Colgate University, 1977
  • Stirling University, Scotland and Queens College, Oxford University, England, 

Admittance to Practice

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Western and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third and Fourth Circuits

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)


  • Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "Stuck in the Middle With You: Managing C-Suite Investigations to Make Your Company Stronger" - La Quinta - November 8, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Panel Discussion: Sexual Harassment: What Should Employers Do Now?" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "You Make the Call: Ethical Dilemmas for In-House Counsel" - Boca Raton - November 10, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor & Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - "When the Whistleblower is in the C-Suite . . . or the Legal Department: Case Study of a Nightmare" - Colorado Springs - November 2016
  • BASF Legal Department Seminar - "LGBT Legal Issues in the Workplace" - Florham Park - June 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Breaking Developments in Compliance and Ethics: Is Your Company Prepared?" - Chicago - May 2016
  • National Association of Women Lawyers General Counsel Institute - "Breaking Developments in Whistleblower Enforcement" - New York City - November 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor & Employment Counsel Seminar - "Navigating the Landmines of Compliance & Ethics Investigations" - Phoenix - 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" - Dana Point - 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 8, 2011
  • SAI Global - "Corporate Compliance & Ethics Programs" - Princeton - July 21, 2010
  • Farleigh Dickinson University - "Corporate Compliance & Ethics Programs" - Florham Park - March 29, 2010
  • October 15, 2013 - - "N.J.: Based on Totality of Circumstances, No Hostile Work Environment Found"
  • Spring 1999 - Labor & Employment Law Quarterly - "Settlement of Employment Cases: To Withhold or Not to Withhold"
  • March 1997 - HR Magazine - "Your Hiring Practices Could Be Put To The Test"
  • May 1996 - HR Magazine - "A Manager’s Guide to Employment Contracts"
  • April 1996 - Nation’s Business - "Be Careful in Interviews with Job Candidates"
  • July 1995 - HR Magazine - "The Benefits and Burdens of Arbitration"
  • January 1995 - HR Magazine - "Five Myths about Sexual Harassment"
  • November 1994 - HR Magazine - "White Lies Limit Employee Recovery in Discrimination Lawsuits"
  • May 1994 - HR News (SHRM) - "Bestseller Explores Sexual Harassment Issues"
  • April/June 1994 - World Reports (Lex Mundi) - "Heavy Burden Placed on Employers Facing Whistleblower Claims"
  • February 1993 - Dividends (Morris County Chamber of Commerce) - "Employer Determines if Leave is Covered by Family Leave Act"
  • August 1992 - Risk Management - "Retaliating Against the Whistleblower"
  • May 11, 2018 - SHRM Online - "Leverage #MeToo Movement for Significant Change"
  • June 16, 2014 - New Jersey Law Journal - "Making a Smorgasbord Of Public Interest Work"
  • May 2014 - Legal Management - "Adapting to Alternative Work Options"
  • August 2002 - New Jersey Business - "Toeing the Line of Employment Law"
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge
  • Ranked in Chambers USA
  • The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers Logo
  • Selected as a Fellow, by the The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers*
  • Selected to the Best Lawyers list, issued by Best Lawyers, LLC* (2013-present)
  • Selected to the Chambers USA list, issued by Chambers & Partners* (2014-present)
  • Maroon Citation for exemplary volunteer service to Colgate University (2007)


*No aspect of this communication has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. For methodology for selection for one of the honors above, please click on the following link.

Insights by Theresa Donahue Egler