Devon D. Williams

Labor and Employment Counselor and Litigator
Ward and Smith, P.A.
919.277.9132 Fax 919.277.9177
Email ddwilliams@wardandsmith.com
Post Office Box 33009, Raleigh, NC 27636-3009

Devon leads the Labor and Employment practice. Her practice focuses on a wide range of labor and employment issues, including wage and hour matters, federal contractor compliance, employment discrimination and harassment, employee discipline and termination, personnel policies, and background checks.  In matters relating to employee benefits, she concentrates on issues confronting welfare benefit plans (such as medical, dental, and other plans) and their sponsors, including the provisions and impact of the Affordable Care Act.

As a member for the firm's Hemp Law practice group, Devon regularly assists clients in the agribusiness, hemp and CBD industries navigate the complexities of ever-changing labor and employment laws impacting their business, including helping clients ensure proper protection for their confidential and proprietary information.  She also advises clients in other industries on the novel issues triggered by the legalization of hemp and CBD, particularly as it relates to traditional forms of drug testing and compliance with various state and federal drug testing requirements.   

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Campbell Law School, 2012
  • B.S., University of Maryland, 2009

Representative Experience

  • Successfully defending government agency investigations, including before the EEOC, NCDOL, and USDOL
  • Representing companies in complex wage and hour disputes involving Davis-Bacon Act, McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act, and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act
  • Advising employers on proper structuring of employee benefit plans for compliance with ERISA, ACA, and HIPAA requirements
  • Secured the removal of an anonymous defamatory post on the internet regarding employer's business
  • Drafting and negotiating of various agreements in the employment context, including non-competition agreements, employment agreements, severance packages, and executive compensation arrangements.
  • Drafting and creating of necessary plan documents for employee benefit plans, including Cafeteria Plans
  • Successfully defended a contentious, complex Medicare Secondary Payer Act case in federal court by obtaining a full dismissal of all claims on summary judgment (including state law claims for unfair, deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and similar claims)
  • Successfully defended a declaratory judgment action in federal court regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants.  The Court granted our Motion for Summary Judgment, declaring the restrictive covenants at issue in the case were enforceable. This was a case of first impression for our jurisdiction regarding the applicability of the "sale of business" standard for restrictive covenants where only a portion of the business is sold.
  • Successfully mediated a multi-million dollar FLSA collective action lawsuit in federal court for a reasonable settlement amount, which was substantially lower than the alleged value of the case. 

Honors and Distinctions*

  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2019
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, 2019
  • "Labor and Employment Star," Benchmark Litigation, 2018
  • "40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (member, Young Professionals Network)
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys
  • North Carolina Bar Association — Division: Young Lawyers
  • North Carolina Bar Association (chair, Career Services Task Force)
  • Ronald McDonald House of Durham (member, Development Committee)
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Triangle Benefits Forum

Admitted to Practice

  • North Carolina, 2012
  • United States District Court for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of North Carolina

* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.

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