Laura Thalacker is a founding Member of Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd., a Las Vegas-based employment law and business litigation firm. Ms. Thalacker's legal career spans over 23 years in Nevada, representing employers (management) in employment and labor law matters. For three consecutive years, Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. has been recognized as a "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News and World Report and Best Lawyers. In 2016, Hartwell Thalacker, Ltd. was named Las Vegas "Law Firm of the Year' by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association.
As a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR and SHRM-SCP), Ms. Thalacker is uniquely capable of viewing her clients' problems from a strategic business standpoint, as well as from a legal perspective. By emphasizing a proactive approach to human resources compliance, Ms. Thalacker assists clients in avoiding time-consuming and expensive litigation so they can stay focused on building and growing their businesses. Her human resources compliance practice includes drafting employment policies, contracts, and handbooks and advising employers located in Nevada, throughout the U.S. and worldwide on such matters as employee discipline and termination, severance agreements, reductions in force, workplace investigations, social media, wage and hour compliance, leaves of absence, the WARN Act, and enforcement of non-competes and non-disclosure agreements. Ms. Thalacker also conducts workplace investigations and provides training for managers and employees on a variety of human resources issues including social media, harassment prevention, ADA and FMLA compliance.
When employment-related litigation arises, Ms. Thalacker vigorously defends her clients, while also striving to achieve excellent results in a cost-effective manner. Listening to the client and understanding the client's goals are paramount. Ms. Thalacker has represented employers in a wide range of cases before Nevada state and federal courts and before administrative agencies, including in cases alleging breach of contract, employment-related torts, violation of trade secret laws and non-competition agreements, and violations of federal and state statutes such as the FLSA, Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA and other employment laws.
Ms. Thalacker has been recognized by her peers for her work in employment and labor law, including being listed in Best Lawyers in America from 2010-2018. Ms. Thalacker received Las Vegas "Lawyer of the Year" honors from Best Lawyers in 2018 (Labor and Employment - Management, 2016 (Litigation - Labor and Employment) and 2015 (Labor and Employment - Management). Ms. Thalacker has been named by Chambers USA as a notable practitioner in the field of Labor and Employment Law. In 2013, Mountain States Super Lawyers honored Ms. Thalacker as one of its Top 50 Women Lawyers. Vegas, Inc. selected Ms. Thalacker in 2012 as the Las Vegas "Top Lawyer" for Employment Law (Management), and she is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.
In recent years, Ms. Thalacker has spoken and written frequently on the topic of employee use of social media, as well as other Nevada employment law topics. She is a Professional Member of the Society for Human Resources Management, and a former Chairperson of the State Bar of Nevada's Labor and Employment Section, as well as the State Bar of Nevada's Publications Committee. Ms. Thalacker is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. She currently serves on the Employment Law Steering Committee of IR Global, a leading international network of legal, accounting and financial advisers.
Ms. Thalacker graduated summa cum laude from Wartburg College in 1991, with a B.A. in Political Science and Women's Studies. While at Wartburg College, she spent time studying abroad in London and Tanzania, where she taught middle school and directed a play. Born and raised in Iowa, Ms. Thalacker graduated with High Distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1994. She served as the Senior Note and Comment Editor of the Iowa Law Review and was a member of the Iowa Law School Chicago Moot Court Team.