John W. Simmons

John W. Simmons


Simmons Law Firm, PLLC

Recognized since 2013

Memphis, Tennessee

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management

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John W. Simmons represents management clients in all aspects of employment litigation in federal and state courts in Tennessee and Mississippi, advises clients on employment law and labor relations matters and represents clients in administrative proceedings such as those before the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with the U. S. Department of Labor, and the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Occupational Safety & Health (TOSHA), as well as other federal and state agencies. 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 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), how to implement a reduction in the workforce and the enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality agreements.

Mr. Simmons carries the peer rating of “AV” as reflected in Martindale-Hubbell.

Recent presentations:

  • 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)
  • It’s a Labor of Love: Littler Lawyers Answer Your Most Burning Labor & Employment Questions (Memphis, TN February 8, 2018)
  • Workforce Management: Compliance Trends and Strategies ADP/HR Professionals Magazine Breakfast Briefing (Memphis, TN April 20, 2017)
  • Accommodating Leave SHRM-Memphis (2017 Half-Day Legal Seminar March 21, 2017)
  • The Election Is Over: What's Next (Memphis, TN December 1, 2016)
  • Best Practices in Correcting FLSA Compliance Problems – Both Out of Court and In Litigation (Memphis, TN February 4, 2015)
  • How to Keep Your CEO Out of Jail (Memphis, TN November 20, 2013)

Published articles:

  • 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)
  • Plan of Attack: Evaluating and Litigating Non-Compete Cases (Employment & Labor Relations Law, Vol. 5, No. 3 Spring 2007)
  • Employee Whistleblower Protections and Recent Developments for Public Companies (HR Professionals Magazine, April 2018)
  • Customer's Conduct Arguably Created Hostile Work Environment (SHRM® Employment Law, April 13, 2021)
  • Title VII Required Temporary Duty and Time to Express Breast Milk (SHRM® Employment Law, October 13, 2021).

Contact & Links

Location

  • 50 North Front Street, Suite 850
    Memphis, TN 38103

Languages

  • English

Education

  • University of Mississippi , J.D., graduated 1986
  • Mississippi State University, BBA, graduated 1983

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, Tennessee Bar Association
  • Mississippi, The Mississippi Bar

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 for work in:

  • Employment Law - Management

Special Focus

  • EPLI
  • Noncompete
  • Trade Secrets

Non-Compete Case in Chancery Court

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)

Jury Trial of Hostile Work Environment and Retaliation Claim

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)

Jury Trial of Age Discrimination Claim

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)

Non-Compete and Inducement of Breach of Contract Case in Chancery Court Knox County, Tennessee

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)

FLSA Collective Action

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 claims under state law as well. The case was eventually resolved and settled.

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