Devon D. Williams

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

Devon is one of the firm's Managing Directors. Her practice encompasses a wide range of labor and employment issues, including wage and hour matters, federal contractor compliance, employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, employee discipline and termination decisions, personnel policies and practices, restrictive covenants, and background checks.  Devon regularly counsels HR executives and C-suite officers, navigating them through the many state and federal requirements for employers with the aim of helping clients avoid costly litigation and improve workplace relations.  In addition to offering clients proactive solutions to avoid costly litigation, Devon routinely dives in to handle complex employment litigation matters, including defending FLSA Collective Actions, wage and hour class actions, Medicare Secondary Payer Act claims, discrimination and harassment lawsuits, breach of contract, and other legal matters arising out of the employment or quasi-employment relationship.   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 of 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.

Devon is also a member of the firm's E-Discovery, Employee Benefits, Employment Litigation, Health Care, In-House Counsel, LGBTQ+ and EEO Handbook Policies Review, Litigation, Outdoor Sports and Recreation, and Workplace Safety and Health practice groups.

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*

  • "Power List 2021," Business North Carolina
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Young Guns, 2019, 2020-2021
  • "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Employment, 2020
  • "Rising Star," North Carolina Super Lawyers, 2019-2021
  • "40 and Under Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2018-2020
  • "Labor and Employment Star," Benchmark Litigation, 20182019, 2020

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.

An attorney‑client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement. The content of any unsolicited email sent to Ward and Smith, P.A., or to any of its attorneys at an email address available on this website, will not create an attorney‑client relationship and the contents of such unsolicited email shall not be considered confidential. Therefore, do not use this website or the email addresses available on this website to provide confidential information about yourself or a legal matter to Ward and Smith or any of its attorneys.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • Legal Elite Business North Carolina 2021
  • Super Lawyers 2021
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers 2022
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers 2022

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