Aretta K. Bernard

Shareholder
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

Ms. Bernard 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, Ms. Bernard 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, Ms. Bernard 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.

Ms. Bernard 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
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
  • 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
    Are LGBTQ Workers Protected by Title VII’s Ban on Sex Discrimination? The Supreme Court Will Decide This Term (Sep 30, 2019)
    Department of Labor Announces Final Rule Increasing the Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exempt Status (Sep 26, 2019)
    Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana? (Aug 16, 2019)
    NLRB Proposes New Election Rules Un-Blocking Charges and Protecting Employee Rights After Voluntary Recognition (Aug 14, 2019)
    Attention Employers: EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data is Due September 30, 2019 (Apr 30, 2019)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking (Jan 1, 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices (Jul 10, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "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)
    "ADA Refresh and Recent Developments" - IPMA-HR Conference (May 2018)
    "Beyond #Me,Too: The Current Climate and its Impact on Employers" - Akron Area SHRM Half-Day Legislative Conference (May 2018)
    "Sexual Harassment Claims - Do I Need to be Worried?" - Roetzel Employment Services Webinar (2018)

Overview

Ms. Bernard 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, Ms. Bernard 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, Ms. Bernard 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.

Ms. Bernard 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
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
  • 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
    Are LGBTQ Workers Protected by Title VII’s Ban on Sex Discrimination? The Supreme Court Will Decide This Term (Sep 30, 2019)
    Department of Labor Announces Final Rule Increasing the Salary Thresholds for Overtime Exempt Status (Sep 26, 2019)
    Are Employers Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana? (Aug 16, 2019)
    NLRB Proposes New Election Rules Un-Blocking Charges and Protecting Employee Rights After Voluntary Recognition (Aug 14, 2019)
    Attention Employers: EEO-1 Component 2 Pay Data is Due September 30, 2019 (Apr 30, 2019)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking (Jan 1, 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices (Jul 10, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "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)
    "ADA Refresh and Recent Developments" - IPMA-HR Conference (May 2018)
    "Beyond #Me,Too: The Current Climate and its Impact on Employers" - Akron Area SHRM Half-Day Legislative Conference (May 2018)
    "Sexual Harassment Claims - Do I Need to be Worried?" - Roetzel Employment Services Webinar (2018)