Gretchen W. Ewalt - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Gretchen W. Ewalt

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005
Phone: 919-787-9700

Ms. Ewalt is an advocate for employers. She counsels management on employee discipline and discharge decisions. Ms. Ewalt defends employers against allegations of race, age, gender, sexual harassment, national origin, and disability claims pending in state and federal courts. Ms. Ewalt also assists employers in preparing affirmative action plans and in complying with affirmative action regulations.Ms. Ewalt has successfully represented clients before various governmental agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the North Carolina and U.S. Departments of Labor, including the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

Virginia Commonwealth UniversityBA 1985University of VirginiaJ.D. 1988
North Carolina Bar Association

Case History

Ms. Ewalt's work includes:
  • Providing advice and guidance to employers on reductions-in-force (“RIF”), including developing RIF policies, making defensible employee RIF selection decisions, analyzing proposed RIF decisions from a statistical perspective, and drafting enforceable releases and Older Worker Benefit Protection Act disclosures
  • Obtaining summary dismissals in favor of employers in cases involving claims of employment discrimination, breach of employment contracts, and infliction of emotional distress
  • Drafting affirmative action plans and assisting employers during audits and on-site investigations by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
  • Assisting employers in drafting employee handbooks, with particular attention to policies prohibiting unlawful harassment, Family and Medical Leave Act policies, disciplinary procedure policies, and substance abuse policies
  • Providing straightforward advice to management in responding to the complexity of issues arising from the intersection between the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Training management on a wide variety of issues, including effective interviewing and hiring, employee evaluations and discipline, and employee discharges
  • Advising employers on how they can minimize their exposure to employment litigation

Client Comments

"I have worked with Gretchen for over 10 years. I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for good representation in employment law. She is knowledgeable, personable, and extremely responsive (she answers her own phone). She knows our company, our corporate culture, and our business practices very well. She represented us in litigation regarding the employer's right to require an employee to get a fitness for duty to perform the essential functions of the job and established case law. She is extremely professional and gives excellent advice. I feel extremely confident having her as our attorney. I find it an honor and a pleasure to work with her and to know her."

-Linda McLain
Vice President, CEO
Goodwill Industries of Eastern North Carolina, Inc.

"Ms. Ewalt has represented our company in several significant employment-law matters over the past eight years. Our diverse population is spread over 33 states and I know our company has presented her with challenges that have seemed insurmountable. However, she always pulls the rabbit out of the hat! She is very responsive and I know when I call her, I will receive a very timely return call. Gretchen knows our industry and is very sensitive to our needs and responds accordingly. Gretchen is one of the finest litigators in North Carolina and I would highly recommend her to any employer needing assistance with complex employee relations issues."

-Benita Meads
Director of Human Resources
FleetPride, Inc.

Office Location

4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 1100
Raleigh, NC 27609
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2014 Lawyer of the Year in Litigation - Labor and Employment of the Raleigh Metro Area
Gretchen W. Ewalt has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2014!

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management
Litigation - Labor and Employment