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Thomas A. Lemly

LemlyThomas
Partner
T206.757.8085
F206.757.7085
M206.849.3065
Tom Lemly has represented employers in complex employment matters for more than 30 years. He has had significant successful jury trial experience in state and federal courts and has tried more than three dozen cases. He counsels and trains employers in preventive labor and employment practices including union avoidance and labor relations management, wage and overtime compliance, disability, leave, and termination policies, and sexual harassment. Tom has assisted federal contractors dealing with affirmative action issues and AAP design and implementation and represented contractors during OFCCP audits throughout his practice. He also assists employers with union campaigns, collective bargaining, and grievance arbitration cases.

Tom is a frequent speaker on labor and employment law issues and is the editor or author of several major employment law texts, including Washington Employment Law, which he has written and edited for more than 20 years.

Tom’s clients include Amgen, Inc., Bank of America, Campbell Soup, Federal Express, Lowe’s Hardware, Russell Investments, Providence Health and Services, R.W. Beck, Seattle Opera and The Seattle Times.

Representative Experience

Labor relations counseling for Seattle Opera

Labor relations counseling and labor negotiations for major national opera company with eight bargaining units. (Ongoing)

McDonough v. Russell Investments

Defense of international investment company against claims of age discrimination, commission claims, and stock pricing claims. (Ongoing)

Newton v. R.W. Beck, Inc.

Defense of national engineering firm against claims of gender discrimination, harassment, and breach of contract asserted by former chief human resources officer. (Ongoing)

EEOC v. Lowe's HIW, Inc.

Represented national retailer in multi-plaintiff sexual harassment, retaliation, and termination case brought in federal court by EEOC and five intervenor plaintiffs. Resolved by settlement and Consent Decree. (2009)

Dent and Strathmann v. CombiMatrix

Represented biotech company in defense of claims brought by former vice president of research and development and vice president of marketing seeking multimillion-dollar damages for bonuses and commissions and also asserting patent and intellectual property claims. Claims dismissed following two-week trial. (2008)

OFCCP corporate review for health care organization

Representation of a 50,000-employee health care organization in response to OFCCP corporate audit focusing on glass ceiling and other potential gender discrimination issues. Developed and implemented strategy to deal with numerous complaints from female employees during audit about perceived gender discrimination, resulting in closure of the audit with no back pay or hiring requirements or other adverse findings. (2008)

Oki Data Americas v. Washington State and Capital Business Machines

Representation of high-tech manufacturing company in defense of trade secrets and other intellectual property; obtained injunction blocking state's release under public disclosure laws of confidential data to competitors. (2008)

Thompson v. Safety-Kleen

Resolved after summary judgment in federal court action on claims for national origin discrimination, retaliation, and unpaid overtime. (2008)

Chu v. Russell Investments

Summary judgment granted on federal court action for wrongful discharge, racial discrimination, and constitutional claims. (2006)

Brown v. Scott Paper

Defense verdict following two-week jury trial of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination claims. Upheld on appeal. (Wn. 2d 2003)

Mathes v. Ball-Foster

Defense verdict dismissing wrongful termination claims. (1999)

Mariano v. H&R Block

Defense summary judgment granted in national origin/wrongful termination claim in federal court. (1998)

Mok v. Parsons Corp.

Defense summary judgment dismissing national origin and wrongful termination claims. (1998)

Jones v. The Boeing Co.

Defense verdict following trial dismissing race discrimination claims. (1997)

Schumacher v. General Security Services

Defense summary judgment granted in wrongful termination case filed in federal court; affirmed. F.2d (9th Cir. 1997)

Scott/Ross v. Continental Grain

Successful resolution, on behalf of defendant, of class action lawsuit. (1997)

Web v. Puget Sound Broadcasting

Defense summary judgment dismissing wrongful termination/sexual orientation discrimination claims brought by gay radio announcer. Affirmed on appeal. (Wn. App. 1997)

Ebert v. Farmers Insurance Group

Defense summary judgment granted dismissing wrongful termination/sex discrimination claims. (Wn. App. 1996)

Grennels v. Farmers Insurance Co.

Defense of wrongful-termination claim affirmed on appeal. (Wn. App. 1996)

Owens v. Farmers Insurance Group

Defense of major national insurer against disability discrimination/termination claims following two-week jury trial. (Wn. App. 1996)

Rao v. Midcom Communications

Defense verdict following week-long trial dismissing claims of wrongful termination brought by former CEO. (1996)

Thompson v. Continental Grain

Defense summary judgment dismissing wrongful termination claims. (1996)

Todd v. Continental Baking

Defense summary judgment granted in race discrimination/wrongful termination claim. (1996)

Anderson v. Scott Paper

Defense summary judgment granted dismissing age discrimination claims in federal court. (1995)

Higdon v. General Security Services

Defense summary judgment granted in wrongful termination claim in federal court; affirmed on appeal. F.2d (9th Cir. 1995)

Houck v. Farmers Insurance Group

Defense of major national insurance company against claims brought by former lawyer alleging wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and retaliation. Wn. App. (1995)

Ross v. Ivar's, Inc.

Defense summary judgment granted in race/wrongful termination claim. (1995)

Wallett v. Columbia Foods

Defense summary judgment dismissing wrongful termination/age discrimination claims. (1995)

McCoy v. Reliance Insurance Co.

Defense summary judgment dismissing wrongful termination claims upheld on appeal. (Wn. App. 1994)

Simuel v. Mutual of Omaha

Defense summary judgment dismissing race claims brought in federal court. (1994)

Hill v. JCPenney, Inc.

Defense of race discrimination claims dismissed following 10-day jury trial. Affirmed on appeal. 70 Wn. App. 225 (1993)

Hardesty v. Scott Paper Co.

Defense summary judgment dismissing race discrimination/wrongful termination claims. (1992)

Deak v. FlightSafety International

Defense summary judgment granted dismissing age discrimination/termination claims in federal court. (1991)

Foster v. Barnes Group

Defense verdict following trial of allegations of sex discrimination. (1991)

Tobin v. ELDEC Corp.

Defense verdict following two-week jury trial dismissing age and wrongful termination claims. (1991)

D'Angelo v. ELDEC Corp.

Defense verdict following jury trial dismissing age and wrongful termination claims. (1988)

De la Rosa v. Raleigh Bicycle Co.

Defense summary judgment dismissing sex and wrongful termination claims. (1987)

Hatfield v. Columbia Federal Savings Bank

Defense verdict following trial dismissing age and wrongful termination claims. Upheld on appeal. (Wn. App. 1987)

Ness v. Multicare Health Systems

Defense verdict following two-week trial dismissing race and wrongful termination claims. (1987)

Edelman v. Western Airlines

Defense summary judgment dismissing wrongful termination claims; upheld on appeal. F.2d (9th Cir. 1985)

Aaron v. General Security Services

Defense summary judgment granted in wrongful termination claim in federal court. (C.D. Cal.)

Brown v. Westin Hotel

Defense verdict on sex discrimination claims following jury trial.

Cox v. FlightSafety International

Defense summary judgment granted dismissing claims of wrongful termination filed by pilot in federal court; upheld on appeal. F.2d (9th Cir.)

Eley v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc.

Defense of age and wrongful discharge claims brought in federal court; successful resolution following two-week jury trial.

Garver v. FlightSafety International

Defense summary judgment granted dismissing wrongful termination claims filed in federal court.

McBride v. Midcom Communications

Defense summary judgment granted on wrongful termination claims.

Additional Qualifications

  • 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 1966-69

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Employment Law Council, 1993-present
  • Chair, Board of Directors, 2004-05; Chair, Human Resources Council, 1987-2001; Executive Committee, 2001-present – Association of Washington Business (AWB)
  • Board Member, Seattle Opera Association
  • Chair, Labor Law Section, Seattle/King County Bar Association, 1983-84
  • Member; former Subcommittee Chair, EEO, and Liaison Committees – American Bar Association
  • Chair, Pacific Coast Labor Law Conference, 1983
  • Member, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Labor Law Committee 

Professional Recognition

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Named as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Labor and Employment (Washington) by Chambers USA, 2003-2006, 2009-2014
  • Named as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Labor and Employment Law by Best Lawyers, 1987 and 1989-present
  • Selected to "Washington Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2006-2014
  • Listed in "Who's Who in American Law"
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