Chuck counsels and defends employers across the country, including, of course, Alabama and Tennessee. The types of actions successfully defended have included class actions alleging illegal, nationwide and broad-based discrimination, and collective actions alleging various FLSA violations. He has also successfully defended against claims and charges brought in various administrative agencies at both the federal and state levels, including NLRA and OSHA matters. Chuck has extensive, but unique, experience handling both disciplinary and contract interpretation charges and claims under both the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act, including the rather unique arbitrations that arise when a pilot is discharged for failing to meet or maintain minimum competencies.
Experience
  • General Experience
    • Obtained summary judgment in FLSA collective action case (2018 WL 3318961 (W.D. Tenn. July 5, 2018))
      In an FLSA collective action case brought by about three dozen plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, the court granted client’s motion for summary Judgment in full. The collective’s claims were brought on behalf of a group of paramedics and EMTs who claimed to be owed minimum wage and overtime payments under the FLSA for a three-year period. The primary issue was whether paramedics scheduled for 24-hour shifts with an eight-hour designated sleep time period should have been compensated for the full 24 hours at their regular rate, plus overtime if applicable. Successfully argued that even assuming all 24 hours constituted compensable work time, plaintiffs had already been paid the minimum wage for all hours worked. Also successfully argued that plaintiffs’ overtime claims were foreclosed under the FLSA because it was undisputed that plaintiffs were properly paid for all hours they reported as having worked. An FLSA retaliation claim by the named plaintiff was also defeated at summary judgment.

      Puckett v. Yates Services, LLC, United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, No. 3:15-cv-83 (June 2016)
      Obtained defense verdict in an FMLA interference and retaliation case. Participated in jury trial that resulted in a complete defense verdict for personnel supplier client to automotive industry. Plaintiff was terminated for excessive absenteeism, and argued that her absences should have been excused under the FMLA. Our client argued that FMLA leave was properly denied and that plaintiff was not retaliated against for requesting FMLA leave. Jury found for our client on both counts.

      Successfully defended hospital in workers’ comp retaliatory discharge, FMLA retaliation case involving failed drug test (2018 WL 3673169 (E.D. Tenn. August 2, 2018))
      In workers’ compensation retaliatory discharge and FMLA retaliation case, obtained summary judgment on behalf of hospital client. Plaintiff claimed she was terminated in retaliation for requesting workers’ compensation benefits and for taking FMLA leave. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted our client’s motion for summary judgment, holding that “no reasonable jury” could return a verdict in her favor because she could not establish a causal connection between her request for workers’ compensation benefits or her request for FMLA and her termination.

      Obtained summary judgment in ADA case involving drug testing on behalf of hospital (219 F. Supp. 3d 738, (W.D. Tenn. 2016))
      In an ADA case involving drug testing and allegations of disability discrimination, the court granted client’s motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff claimed that she had a “false positive” drug test, and her resulting termination was in violation of the ADA. The court granted client’s motion for summary judgment as the plaintiff had no evidence that our client had any knowledge of her disability, and even if plaintiff’s drug testing results were incorrect, client was entitled to rely on the results of a drug test that were certified as correct by a medical review officer.

      Mencarelli v. Alfred Williams & Company, 656 F. App'x 80 (6th Cir. July 27, 2016)
      Obtained affirmance of dismissal from Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in age discrimination case. Client successfully argued to the appellate court that the plaintiff had no evidence that client’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for terminating her was pretext for age discrimination. The fact that the same person who hired the plaintiff also fired her supported the appellate court’s decision.

      Successfully defended hospital in Title VII hostile work environment case, 2016 WL 2942303 (M.D. Tenn. May 20, 2016)
      The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee granted client’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s Title VII hostile work environment lawsuit. Plaintiff (a 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. 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.

      Mencarelli v. Alfred Williams & Company, 2015 WL 6618635 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 30, 2015)
      Summary judgment granted in age discrimination case. The Middle District of Tennessee granted client’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s age discrimination lawsuit. The district court agreed with client’s position that the plaintiff was not discriminated against based on her age and had no evidence that our client’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for terminating her employment was pretext for age discrimination.

      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.

      Investigation related to claims of mismanagement

      Assisted client against assertion by their client of mismanagement across several properties with potential seven-figure exposures. Organized and conducted investigation of all claims and made presentation that convinced their client its claims were groundless.

      Defeated class certification in discrimination case

      Successfully defeated motion for class certification in race discrimination case brought by eight individual plaintiffs.

      Chaophrasy v. DMIS, Inc. , No. 3:00-1272 (M.D. Tenn.)

      Acted as lead counsel in defense against alleged nation-wide class action alleging race discrimination against employees of Asian heritage in promotion and discharge decisions against the employer. Class action certification was defeated and the case settled on nominal, although confidential, terms.

      Johnson, et al., v. America Service Group Inc. and Prison Health Services, Inc., Civ. Action No. 3-03-0164 (M.D. Tenn.)
      Acted as lead counsel in defense against alleged nation-wide class action alleging gender and hostile workplace discrimination, and Equal Pay Act claims, including allegations of the denial of promotions, wage increases, and discharge decisions. Class action certification was defeated and the case settled on nominal, although confidential, terms.

      Moorman, et al., v. DMIS, Inc. d/b/a Fluor Daniel Construction Co., Civ. Action No. 3:00-0627 (M.D. Tenn.)

      Acted as lead counsel in defense against alleged nation-wide class action alleging race discrimination against African American employees in promotion and discharge decisions against the employer. Class action certification was defeated and the case settled on nominal, although confidential, terms.

      Air Wisconsin Airlines (AWAC)
      Represented management in relations with several unions at the airline, including the Airline Pilots Association, the Flight Attendants’ union, and the Airline Mechanics union. This representation was not limited geographically, but most occurred in Wisconsin.

      American Airlines (AMR)
      Represented management in relations with several unions at both American Airlines and its then-regional airlines. These unions included the Airline Pilots Association, the Flight Attendants’ union, and the Airline Mechanics union. This representation was not limited geographically, and it included the arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity under the Railway Labor Act, and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts (principally in Nashville).

      Lead counsel in arbitrations defending airlines' discharge of pilots
      Multiple Air Wisconsin, Inc., and American Airlines, Inc., arbitrations in various locations around the country against both the Airline Pilots Association (APA) and the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) in which firm acted as lead counsel in defending the company’s discharge of pilots for not meeting training and or continuing competency standards. These cases involve unique issues and, historically, are frequently lost by the company involved.

      New York Daily News
      Represented management in relations with several unions at the newspaper, including the Newspaper guild, the Pressmen, and the Mail Deliverers. This representation included all matters related to a lengthy, multi-year strike, including the arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity, defending against unfair labor practice charges, NLRB contests and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts, including several federal appellate matters.

      Quebecorp, Inc.
      Represented management in relations with several unions in the State of Tennessee and Maryland, principally. These included the Offset Printers Union, the Pressmen’s Union, and the Mail-Deliverers’ union. The representation included arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity, defending against unfair labor practice charges, NLRB contests, and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts.

      R D Herbert and Sons Company

      Represented management in relations with the Sheetmetal and Roofers’ unions in the State of Tennessee. This representation included the arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity, defending against unfair labor practice charges, NLRB contests and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts. We successfully decertified both unions over a three year period.

      Roadway Express, Inc.
      Represented management in relations with the Teamsters union in the State of Tennessee. This representation included the arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity, defending against unfair labor practice charges, NLRB contests, and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts.

      The Kroger Company
      Represented management in relations with several unions across the State of Tennessee, including the Teamsters, Meat-cutters, and United Food and Commercial Workers. This included arbitration of discharge and contractual issues, contingency planning for strike activity, defending against unfair labor practice charges, NLRB contests, and strike related litigation in both federal and state courts.