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. 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
    New Year, New Minimum Wage (Jan 7, 2019)
    How Much is a Good Name Worth? Ohio Supreme Court Says Damages for Defamation are Capped (Dec 12, 2018)
    It's Unanimous: Federal Age Discrimination Law Applies to Public Employers Regardless of Size (Nov 8, 2018)
    Competing in the Commonwealth: New Non-Compete Law Brings Big Changes to Massachusetts (Sep 10, 2018)
    Start that FMLA Clock Running: How to Run FMLA Leave Concurrently with Time Off due to a Work-Related Injury (Sep 4, 2018)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking (Jan 1, 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices (Jul 10, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "#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)
    “2017 Roetzel Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefing” (August 2017)

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. 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
    New Year, New Minimum Wage (Jan 7, 2019)
    How Much is a Good Name Worth? Ohio Supreme Court Says Damages for Defamation are Capped (Dec 12, 2018)
    It's Unanimous: Federal Age Discrimination Law Applies to Public Employers Regardless of Size (Nov 8, 2018)
    Competing in the Commonwealth: New Non-Compete Law Brings Big Changes to Massachusetts (Sep 10, 2018)
    Start that FMLA Clock Running: How to Run FMLA Leave Concurrently with Time Off due to a Work-Related Injury (Sep 4, 2018)
  2. Articles
    No Smoking (Jan 1, 2007)
    Caution Key to Avoiding Trouble with Competitors' Employees, Practices (Jul 10, 2006)
  3. Presentations
    "#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)
    “2017 Roetzel Labor & Employment Law Breakfast Briefing” (August 2017)