I started my career as an assistant field scientist in several wildlife biology labs. I went to law school so that I could be more engaged with problem-solving in my community. I have always felt an urgent need to understand the nature of things—to cut to the heart of the issue—and law school equipped me with the analytical skills to do that for my community.
My career as an attorney began at a small law firm in Tennessee, where I represented employees in matters against their employers. That position taught me the ins and outs of employment law. Most importantly, I learned what mistakes a business could make to expose itself to liability.
Now, I’m proud to bring that knowledge and skillset to advise and defend employers. I believe in Stokes Wagner’s client-oriented, collaborative, and proactive approach to employment law. My clients’ issues are my issues. I believe in working tirelessly and performing excellently. This pursuit of excellence gets me out of bed in the morning, and I try to apply it to everything that I do.
Outside of the office, I enjoy sculpting, wildlife photography, and watching the Criterion Channel with my cats.
The SECURE 2.0 Act was signed into law on December 29, 2022, and contains several provisions that dictate how employers must offer and administer retirement plans. While Secure 2.0’s provisions are expansive and have different effective dates ranging into 2025, there are some major changes that are worth considering:
November 3, 2022
Category: Legal Updates
Passed in 2018, the District of Columbia’s Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act’s (TWWFA) mandatory sexual harassment training provisions are now in effect. Employers with workers for whom an employer takes a tip credit must take several steps related to sexual harassment policies and training. Employers must ensure that they:
In December of 2020, the D.C. City Council passed the Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020, which would have added D.C. to a growing list of states and localities that either completely ban or severely limit the enforcement of non-compete agreements by completely banning non-compete agreements within the District. However, after numerous delays and challenges from the public, the Council followed up with the Non-Compete Clarification Amendment Act of 2022 on July 12, 2022.
New York will likely become the latest state to enact a “pay transparency” law, which, if passed as written, would require New York employers with four or more employees to include wage scales or salary ranges on any job postings for positions within the state. The bill, Senate Bill S9427, passed the New York State Legislature on June 3, 2022, and now awaits the approval of Governor Kathy Hochul. Senate Bill S9427 follows the passage of a similar New York City law that is set to take effect on November 1, 2022.
Historically, employers have used noncompete agreements to prevent competition or dissemination of confidential information when an employee leaves a company. However, the last few years has seen the erosion of their enforceability across the country. Frequent readers of our legal updates will recall that on July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission “to curtail the unfair use of noncompete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” (See our legal update here.) State legislators and courts have begun restricting the noncompete before the federal government has had time to act.
Employers who use biometric technology in the workplace should be aware of the developing trend towards legislation targeting the misuse of biometric information. Biometric technology, which is used to identify individuals by the measurement and analysis of their unique physical characteristics, including fingerprints and facial features, can be used for a variety of activities ranging from timekeeping to controlling and monitoring access to information and worksites. However, the increasing legislation around the collection and use of this information is creating a legal minefield for unwary employers.
October 5, 2021
Category: Legal Updates
At the September 15 meeting, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a new policy that will affect hospitality businesses operating on Los Angeles County property. Policy 5.290 was recommended to the Board in a letter from the office of the County’s Chief Executive Officer. The Policy affects how labor disputes are handled at “hospitality operations” on County-owned or operated properties. “Hospitality operators” is defined in the Policy to include hotels, restaurants, and hospitality/food concessionaires. The Policy will apply regardless of whether or not the entity conducting such operations has leased directly with the County or with the County’s “lessee, licensee, or concessionaire.” It also applies to subleases, sublicenses, assignments, and transfers.
August 26, 2021
Category: Legal Updates
Florida Governor Rick DeSantis has issued a statement that the State of Florida will appeal a recent preliminary injunction granted by US District Judge Kathleen Williams blocking the State from enforcing a recent law banning “vaccine passports” against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
August 12, 2021
The Affordable Care Act requires covered employers to report that they offered minimum essential coverage to their employees by filing IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Until recently, the IRS offered “good-faith transition relief,” which allowed businesses to avoid penalties related to the submission of incorrect or incomplete information in Form 1094-C and 1095-C filings, including missing or incorrect Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TINs), dates of birth, and other vital information. Under that policy, a business that submitted forms containing any incorrect or incomplete information could avoid penalties simply by demonstrating to the IRS that it had made a “good-faith” effort to comply with ACA regulations when furnishing the forms to individuals and filing with the IRS.