John W. Simmons represents management clients in all aspects of employment litigation, advises clients on employment law and labor relations and represents clients in administrative proceedings such as those before the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Occupational Safety & Health (TOSHA). Mr. Simmons was admitted to practice law in Tennessee in 1986 and in Mississippi in 1988.
Mr. Simmons is a past chair on the Employment Law Committee of the Section of International Law and Practice of the American Bar Association. Mr. Simmons authored the following: Plan of Attack: Evaluating the Litigating Non-Compete Cases, Employment & Labor Relations Law (ABA Section of Litigation, Spring 2007, Vol. 5, No. 3); and the international employment 2001 and 2002 year-in-review articles for the Section of International Law and Practice’s quarterly publication, The International Lawyer (Summer 2002, Vol. 36, No. 2; Summer 2003, Vol. 37, No. 2). Mr. Simmons was past editorial board member of The Mississippi Labor Letter (1995-2000). Mr. Simmons is a member of the board of directors of the Tennessee Chapter of Turnaround Management Association, and is also the current President of the Tennessee Chapter of the TMA.
Mr. Simmons has participated in presentations on the prevention of workplace harassment; the prevention of sexual abuse of children in churches, schools, and other similar organizations; best practices for the hiring process; defending workers’ compensation claims; current topics in employment law (including social media issues) and the enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality agreements.
Mr. Simmons carries the highest peer rating of “AV” as reflected in Martindale-Hubbell.
- The Hiring Process: Best Practices for Managing Risk and Maximizing Success in a Constantly Changing Legal Environment (August 10, 2011)
- Defending Workers' Compensation Claims under Tennessee Law (June 8, 2011)
- Current Topics in Human Resources and Employment Law (October 13, 2011)
- Employment Law and Social Media (April 23, 2012)
- Contingent Workforce Issues (April 24, 2012)
- Religious Discrimination and Harassment (May 15, 2012)
- OSHA Compliance Programs and Ethics (November 16, 2012)
- Restructuring: What Every HR Professional Needs to Know (May 2, 2013)
- FLSA Overtime Claims and Collective Actions - Strategies for Prevention and Defense (June 26, 2013)
- FLSA Overtime Claims and Collective Actions - Strategies for Prevention and Defense (Golden Triangle HR Association, May 2014)
- Investment Advisors at Risk in Unfair Labor Practices Disputes (Journal of Corporate Renewal, January, 2012)
- Restructuring: What Every HR Professional Needs to Know (HR Professionals Magazine, June, 2013)
Regions Bank, Inc. v. Thomas J. Richgels — This non-jury case was pending before the Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. The temporary restraining order granted by the Court was replaced with an injunction in favor of the former employer. (John Simmons, first chair)
Wagner v. Austin Truck & Trailer Repair, LLC, Merit Distribution, Inc., et al. — This jury trial of claims for a racially hostile work environment and a retaliatory discharge under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 was tried before the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Western Division. At the close of proof, two defendants were dismissed on motion, and the jury returned a verdict for the remaining defendants on all remaining claims. (Jury trial, John Simmons, first chair)
Hawks v. Hon Industries d/b/a Allsteel, Inc. — This jury trial of an age discrimination claim under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act was tried before the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Eastern Division. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant-employer on all claims. (Jury trial, John Simmons first chair)
Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics East, Inc. v. William Kitchens and Choice Medical, Inc. — This non-jury case was pending before the Chancery Court of Knox County, Tennessee. In three separate trials the Court granted a preliminary injunction enforcing a non-compete agreement in favor of the former employer, made a finding of liability on an inducement of breach of contract claim against the new employer and granted a judgment awarding damages. (Trial 1, John Simmons second chair; Trials 2 and 3, John Simmons first chair)
Motley et al v. W. M. Barr & Company, Inc. — John Simmons was the first chair for the defense. This case involved a collective action before the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee in which plaintiff asserted for himself and others claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other state law claims. The case was vigorously defended and after a period of discovery was resolved and settled.