Aretta K. Bernard

Shareholder, Practice Group Manager, Employment Litigation & Counseling
Akron
222 South Main Street
Suite 400
Akron, OH 44308
P 330.849.6630
F 330.376.4577
P 330.849.6630 | F 330.376.4577

Overview

Aretta has decades of experience in labor and employment litigation matters that run the gamut from equitable relief, non-compete and trade secret violations to complex, multi-party employment and public accommodation discrimination cases. Extensively experienced and knowledgeable in both state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, Aretta represents private and public employers and individuals accused of age, handicap, and race discrimination, sexual harassment and sex discrimination, housing discrimination, and public accommodation discrimination throughout the State of Ohio. She has extensive trial experience in individual and multi-party cases, trying many cases through to verdict. Her representation has included serving as lead counsel in numerous employment law and discrimination matters for local and national clients. She also represents clients in administrative actions before both the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).

In addition to her work as a litigator, Aretta counsels employers across a number of industries on employment-related matters, recognizing that prevention and compliance minimize the risk of future litigation. She also aids employers by conducting and/or supervising employee investigations when circumstances in the workplace warrant.

Aretta actively educates clients, human resource managers, and various trade and professional associations on numerous employment-related topics through in-person seminars, live webinars, and client alerts.

Experience
  • Served as lead counsel in numerous non-compete and trade secrets matters, including a jury trial victory resulting in a multi-million dollar verdict plus attorney fees and pre/post judgment interest
  • Served as lead counsel in multi-party racial discrimination/hostile environment trial
  • Served as lead counsel in multi-party practice and pattern sexual discrimination/sexual harassment housing discrimination trial
  • Served as lead counsel on behalf of a municipality in a housing discrimination matter
  • Served as lead counsel on behalf of a municipality in American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility matters
  • Served as lead counsel in numerous federal and state courts relating to employment law matters
  • Lead counsel in responding to administrative charges of discrimination in both the state (OCRC) and federal (EEOC) context
  • Provides counseling to employers on employment-related matters
  • Conducts employee investigations on behalf of employer as outside investigator
  • Conducts employer policy and procedure compliance investigation and review
  • Has over 20 years of experience in investigating sexual harassment claims.
  • Represented a public school board in Title IX litigation matter alleging a hostile work environment and sexual harassment.
Languages
  1. Greek
Services

Industries

Education

  1. The University of Akron School of Law, J.D.
  2. Kenyon College, B.A., Political Science

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  2. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  3. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation - Labor & Employment (2021, 2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee
  • Akron Bar Association

Insights

  1. Alerts
    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Will Hear the Court Challenge to OSHA’s Vax-or-Test Rule (Nov 17, 2021)
    OSHA Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Rule: What Employers Need to Know (Nov 5, 2021)
    Ohio Department of Health Issues New COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for Schools (Oct 26, 2021)
    Kentucky Federal Court Allows Hospital to Proceed with Vaccination Policy for Employees (Sep 29, 2021)
    President Biden Orders OSHA to Issue Rule Requiring Large Employers to Mandate That Employees Get Vaccinated For COVID-19 Or Undergo Weekly Testing (Sep 10, 2021)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking - Smart Business Akron/Canton (January 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices - Crain's Cleveland Business (July 10-16, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "Sexual Orientation/Transgender Legal Update" - Roetzel's Education Law Fall Forum (October 2021)
    "The Employment Discrimination Law Landscape in 2020" - Roetzel 2020 Employment Law Briefing Webinar (November 2020)
    "Ohio's Unique Anti-Discrimination Statutory Framework" - USLAW Network's Worldwide Virtual Retreat (Fall 2020)
    "2019 Employment Updates For Public Employers" - Northern Ohio Chapter of IPMA-HR Spring Conference (May 2019)
    "#Me, Too After One Year" - Roetzel's Executive & Corporate Counsel Forum (November 2018)
  4. Podcast
    Roetzel HealthLaw HotSpot: COVID-19 Vaccine Challenges in the Workplace (Feb 1, 2021)
  5. Firm News
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel’s Reopening America Readiness Team Formed to Help Businesses Reopen (May 5, 2020)

Overview

Aretta has decades of experience in labor and employment litigation matters that run the gamut from equitable relief, non-compete and trade secret violations to complex, multi-party employment and public accommodation discrimination cases. Extensively experienced and knowledgeable in both state and federal laws prohibiting discrimination and harassment, Aretta represents private and public employers and individuals accused of age, handicap, and race discrimination, sexual harassment and sex discrimination, housing discrimination, and public accommodation discrimination throughout the State of Ohio. She has extensive trial experience in individual and multi-party cases, trying many cases through to verdict. Her representation has included serving as lead counsel in numerous employment law and discrimination matters for local and national clients. She also represents clients in administrative actions before both the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).

In addition to her work as a litigator, Aretta counsels employers across a number of industries on employment-related matters, recognizing that prevention and compliance minimize the risk of future litigation. She also aids employers by conducting and/or supervising employee investigations when circumstances in the workplace warrant.

Aretta actively educates clients, human resource managers, and various trade and professional associations on numerous employment-related topics through in-person seminars, live webinars, and client alerts.

Experience
  • Served as lead counsel in numerous non-compete and trade secrets matters, including a jury trial victory resulting in a multi-million dollar verdict plus attorney fees and pre/post judgment interest
  • Served as lead counsel in multi-party racial discrimination/hostile environment trial
  • Served as lead counsel in multi-party practice and pattern sexual discrimination/sexual harassment housing discrimination trial
  • Served as lead counsel on behalf of a municipality in a housing discrimination matter
  • Served as lead counsel on behalf of a municipality in American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility matters
  • Served as lead counsel in numerous federal and state courts relating to employment law matters
  • Lead counsel in responding to administrative charges of discrimination in both the state (OCRC) and federal (EEOC) context
  • Provides counseling to employers on employment-related matters
  • Conducts employee investigations on behalf of employer as outside investigator
  • Conducts employer policy and procedure compliance investigation and review
  • Has over 20 years of experience in investigating sexual harassment claims.
  • Represented a public school board in Title IX litigation matter alleging a hostile work environment and sexual harassment.
Languages
  1. Greek

Education

  1. The University of Akron School of Law, J.D.
  2. Kenyon College, B.A., Political Science

Credentials

Bar Admissions
  1. Ohio
Court Admissions
  1. U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  2. U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  3. U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio

Recognitions

  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation - Labor & Employment (2021, 2022)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine

Affiliations

Professional Affiliations
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Committee
  • Akron Bar Association

Insights

  1. Alerts
    The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Will Hear the Court Challenge to OSHA’s Vax-or-Test Rule (Nov 17, 2021)
    OSHA Issues COVID-19 Vaccination Rule: What Employers Need to Know (Nov 5, 2021)
    Ohio Department of Health Issues New COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance for Schools (Oct 26, 2021)
    Kentucky Federal Court Allows Hospital to Proceed with Vaccination Policy for Employees (Sep 29, 2021)
    President Biden Orders OSHA to Issue Rule Requiring Large Employers to Mandate That Employees Get Vaccinated For COVID-19 Or Undergo Weekly Testing (Sep 10, 2021)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking - Smart Business Akron/Canton (January 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices - Crain's Cleveland Business (July 10-16, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "Sexual Orientation/Transgender Legal Update" - Roetzel's Education Law Fall Forum (October 2021)
    "The Employment Discrimination Law Landscape in 2020" - Roetzel 2020 Employment Law Briefing Webinar (November 2020)
    "Ohio's Unique Anti-Discrimination Statutory Framework" - USLAW Network's Worldwide Virtual Retreat (Fall 2020)
    "2019 Employment Updates For Public Employers" - Northern Ohio Chapter of IPMA-HR Spring Conference (May 2019)
    "#Me, Too After One Year" - Roetzel's Executive & Corporate Counsel Forum (November 2018)
  4. Podcast
    Roetzel HealthLaw HotSpot: COVID-19 Vaccine Challenges in the Workplace (Feb 1, 2021)
  5. Firm News
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (Aug 19, 2021)
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” (Aug 20, 2020)
    Roetzel’s Reopening America Readiness Team Formed to Help Businesses Reopen (May 5, 2020)