John P. Rodgers

Associate

John Rodgers represents public and private employers in employment-related litigation and assists them with employment policies, employee handbooks, workplace investigations, disciplinary actions, and terminations. He actively litigates employment disputes on behalf of employers and has handled discrimination and retaliation, wage and hour, FMLA, and non-compete cases in both state and federal court. He also devotes substantial attention to ERISA litigation and representing individuals and businesses in conservatorship matters.

Notable Matters
  • Successfully Defended Hospital in Title VII Hostile Work Environment Case (M.D. Tenn. 2016): The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s Title VII hostile work environment lawsuit. The plaintiff (white male) contended that he was exposed to a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII for associating with two African-American co-workers and because his ex-spouse was African-American. Our client successfully argued to the Court that even assuming the plaintiff’s allegations of harassment were true for purposes of the Motion for Summary Judgment, they were not severe or pervasive enough to alter the conditions of his employment. The Court agreed with our client’s argument and dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety.
  • Bess v. Yates Services, LLC, Rutherford County Circuit Court, No. 67234: The state trial court granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s workers’ comp retaliatory discharge lawsuit. Yates terminated the plaintiff, a former production worker, after 5 months of employment due to her inability to get certified on all four required production positions. The plaintiff claimed that since she could not perform her regular job duties due to varying work restrictions associated with her injury, Yates was not permitted to terminate her for being unable to meet the job’s requirements. The court granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety, holding that the plaintiff’s inability to meet the job requirements due to her work related injury and restrictions was not retaliation.  
  • Successfully Defended Hospital in USERRA Action Filed by Hospital’s Former Doctor (E.D. Tenn. 2014; 6th Cir. Ct. App. 2015; cert denied U.S. Sup. Ct. 2016): In a case of first impression under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), the Sixth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to our clients. The plaintiff, an orthopedic surgeon, argued that he was entitled to reemployment under USERRA upon his return from deployment, but our clients successfully proved an affirmative defense that the plaintiff was not entitled to reemployment rights because his employment was for a brief, non-recurrent period of time and plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of continued employment for a significant period. The decision regarding this affirmative defense under USERRA was the first of its kind in a federal appellate court. The Sixth Circuit also affirmed the grant of summary judgment to our clients regarding the plaintiff’s USERRA discrimination claim, his wrongful discharge claim, and his breach of contract claim. Plaintiff sought to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Court chose not to take the case, leaving the Sixth Circuit’s decision undisturbed.
  • Jenkins v. Davidson Transit Organization, 2016 WL 2939910 (M.D. Tenn. April 13, 2016): In an age and disability discrimination case, the Court granted our client’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s case in its entirety. Our client asserted the affirmative defense of judicial estoppel because the plaintiff failed to disclose the existence of his potential lawsuit on his bankruptcy filings and therefore he was barred from bringing his claims. The Court agreed with our client’s argument and dismissed the plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety. 
  • Obtained summary judgment in January 2015 from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee for a hospital in an interference and retaliation case brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by a former employee of the hospital. The Motion for Summary Judgment analyzed several specific days and explained to the Court why the plaintiff was ineligible for FMLA leave on each day at issue. The Motion also persuaded the Court that the plaintiff could not show that our client’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reason was pretext for retaliation.
  • Internal Data Resources v. Briggs, Davidson County Chancery Court, Case No. 14-1064-IV: Successfully defended an individual against a former employer’s attempts to obtain a preliminary injunction regarding a non-competition covenant.
  • Successfully enforced a non-competition covenant against a former sales representative of a food service client, in Shelby County (Tennessee) Chancery Court.
  • DeSoto v. Board of Parks and Recreation et al.64 F. Supp. 3d 1070 (M.D. Tenn. Nov. 25, 2014): Our client, a police officer and one of multiple defendants in the matter, was accused of violating the plaintiff’s constitutional rights, discriminating against plaintiff on the basis of age, gender, race, and sexual orientation, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Tennessee Personal and Commercial Computer Act, among other allegations. Before the case was settled, we successfully moved the Middle District of Tennessee to dismiss 19 causes of action against our client.
  • Nicholson v. City of Clarksville, 530 F. App'x 434 (6th Cir. 2013). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of municipality in race discrimination, hostile work environment, and failure-to-promote case.
  • Troxler v. MAPCO Express, Inc, Inc ., 2012 WL 4484939 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 27, 2012). Assisted in obtaining summary judgment for employer in Americans with Disabilities Act case on the basis that each time the employee complained it attempted to accommodate her condition and that it did not know of the EEOC charge at the time of discharge.
  • Durham v. City of Clarksville , 2012 WL 6021435 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 4, 2012). United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed all of Plaintiff’s employee’s claims in disability discrimination case based on motion to dismiss on statute of limitations, failure to state a claim grounds.
  • Durham v. City of Clarksville , 2014 WL 4347617 (M.D. Tenn. Sep. 2, 2014). United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed Plaintiff’s lawsuit for failure for insufficient service of process.
  • Bryan, Ward & Elmore, Inc. v. Rothberg , Davidson County Circuit Court (2014): Obtained summary judgment concerning religious discrimination and harassment claims under the Tennessee Human Rights Act based on the argument that Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff, an insurance salesman, was an independent contractor and not an employee and thus his claims failed as a matter of law.
  • Obtained summary judgment in United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in favor of registered nurse in Section 1983 civil rights and Americans with Disabilities Act case.
  • Obtained summary judgment in United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in favor of registered nurse in Section 1983 civil rights case.