John Rodgers helps employers solve their employment-related problems. His practice is three-fold. First, he counsels clients on the numerous situations that can arise related to their employees, including termination and disciplinary decisions, reasonable accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), wage-and-hour issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) problems. His goal is to work with clients in a practical, problem solving way.
Second, John helps clients in the transactional setting with their employees by drafting and negotiating employment agreements, including non-competition, non-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements.
Third, John represents public and private employers in employment-related litigation. 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 (including claims for allegedly unpaid contributions to various plans) and representing individuals and businesses in conservatorship matters in probate court.
Obtained summary judgment in FLSA collective action case brought by more than three dozen plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claimed they worked off the clock and were not paid minimum wage and overtime. The federal court agreed with our clients’ argument that even assuming all potential hours were hours worked, the employees had always been paid the required minimum wage and that our clients could not be liable for unpaid overtime because our clients had paid overtime properly for all hours that the employees had reported.
Represented a federal contractor with employees overseas that was sued in the U.S. for alleged harassment and retaliation that allegedly occurred in foreign countries. Two different courts dismissed these lawsuits because the client was not subject to the personal jurisdiction of the courts.
Obtained summary judgment for personnel supplier in automotive industry cases involving allegations of violations of the FMLA and the ADA, including allegations of failing to provide a reasonable accommodation.
Helped clients obtain multiple wins involving cases concerning positive drug tests and supposed “false positives.” Two different federal courts granted motions for summary judgment based in part on the fact that even if the tests were somehow incorrect, our clients were entitled to rely on the results of a drug test that a medical review officer certified was correct.
Helped client obtain summary judgment in a Title VII hostile work environment/retaliation case that the Sixth Circuit affirmed on appeal. The district court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment in a case involving allegations of sexual and religious harassment and retaliation. The court ruled our client responded reasonably to allegations that coworkers were harassing the plaintiff. The plaintiff appealed but the Sixth Circuit affirmed (2017 WL 5466657, 6th Cir. Oct. 31, 2017).
Listed in Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, 2020-2023 Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2021-2024 Labor Law – Management, 2023-2024 Won summary judgment in ADA and wrongful termination case against a city involving the plaintiff’s CBD usage and a failed drug test for marijuana. The plaintiff, a city employee, claimed that her usage of legal CBD had a permitted amount of THC that caused her to fail a drug test. Our client argued that regardless of whether the plaintiff only used legal CBD products or illegal marijuana, the result of the drug test as verified by the medical review officer was positive for marijuana as the test could not tell the difference between THC consumed via legal CBD usage and THC consumed via illegal marijuana. Our client argued that it was entitled to rely on the result of the verified drug test and that there was no evidence the city was aware of the plaintiff’s alleged disability. The federal court agreed with our client’s arguments and granted the motion for summary judgment in full, dismissing the plaintiff’s lawsuit in its entirety (2020 WL 5424104 (M.D. Tenn. Sept. 10, 2020)). Won summary judgment in an ADA and workers’ comp retaliation case filed against automotive personnel supplier. Federal court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment, adopting our client’s arguments that the Defendant did not fail to accommodate the plaintiff and did not retaliate against him for requesting workers’ comp benefits (2019 WL 3288462, M.D. Tenn. July 22, 2019; 2019 WL 3294805, M.D. Tenn., May 31, 2019). Won summary judgment in ADA and Title VII case. Federal court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment in case brought against public employer (2019 WL 109370, M.D. Tenn., Jan. 3, 2019). Won summary judgment in ADA and FMLA case. Federal court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment in case against personnel supplier in automotive industry. In granting our client’s motion for summary judgment, the court held that client was entitled to rely on an FMLA certification showing the plaintiff was not legally entitled to leave, that plaintiff did not make a request for a reasonable accommodation as a matter of law, and that the plaintiff could not show that our client’s legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reason for terminating him was pre-textual (2018 WL 4494839, M.D. Tenn., Sept. 19, 2018). Successfully defended major Southeastern convenience store chain in 2017 against claims that store’s parking lot and restrooms were not compliant with Title III of the ADA. Represented client and worked with ADA compliance expert in addressing the store’s ADA compliance issues to prevent subsequent litigation and negotiated successful settlement with plaintiff to resolve dispute. Won summary judgment for hospital in ADA case involving drug testing and allegations of disability discrimination. The 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 a medical review officer certified as correct (219 F. Supp. 3d 738, W.D. Tenn., 2016). Won summary judgment in ADA and FMLA case against credit union client. In September 2016, the court granted client’s motion for summary judgment in an ADA and FMLA case and denied the plaintiff’s motion to set aside the judgment (U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Case No. 3:15-cv-805, Sept. 28, 2016). Won dismissal of ADA claims based on statute of limitations and failure to state claim grounds. The U.S. 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 and failure to state a claim grounds (2012 WL 6021435, M.D. Tenn., Dec. 4, 2012). Assisted in obtaining summary judgment for employer in ADA discrimination and retaliation 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 (2012 WL 4484939, M.D. Tenn., Sept. 27, 2012).