Dena H. Sokolow has more than 20 years of experience counseling and defending employers and management on a wide range of labor and employment matters. Her litigation experience includes arbitrations, class/collective actions, single and multiple plaintiff lawsuits, administrative proceedings involving employment discrimination and harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, state whistleblower claims and common law claims. With a practice spanning Florida, Georgia, Alabama and beyond, Dena has handled virtually every type of discrimination case at either the federal, state or agency level, including sexual harassment, race, sex, pregnancy, disability, religion, age, national origin and retaliation. Dena's clients range from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies.
Dena partners with her clients to best position them to avoid employment law claims or, at a minimum, put the company in the strongest position to defend such claims. She regularly conducts customized audits to ensure compliance with federal and state employment legal requirements such as wage and hour, record retention, hiring and termination practices, FMLA leave practices, job descriptions and personnel policies and procedures. She also conducts management and employee training on a variety of topics that are specifically tailored to each employer's policies, practices and particular needs.
A unique aspect of Dena's practice is her work as employment counsel leading up to corporate mergers, acquisitions and sales. In this role, Dena acts as an auditor for the buyer or seller, and conducts due diligence of a company's HR policies, agreements, staffing issues, and all other employment-related issues. Her advice allows companies to better position themselves throughout the buying or selling process.
Dena has spent her entire career working in, with or for human resources. Before entering law school, Dena was an HR generalist at a staffing company, and during her legal career she owned and ran an HR consulting business.
- Granted attorneys' fees in a Title VII race discrimination case after prevailing on a Motion for Summary Judgment and subsequent appeal to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.
- Represented title company in a Department of Labor wage and hour audit where the DOL was alleging the company owed in excess of $120,000 in unpaid overtime. Negotiated with DOL and assisted in recalculation of DOL's figures. Company paid less than $15,000.
- Effectively defended a national supplier of soft drinks and chips in a national origin discrimination case where the former employee appealed a "No Cause" determination from the Florida Commission on Human Relations to an administrative hearing and then an appellate court.
- Successfully argued new interpretation of Florida Public Employees' Relations Act before Florida's First District Court of Appeal.
- Author – "Newly Revised Model FMLA Forms Are Now Available," Baker Donelson Labor and Employment News (June 15, 2015)
- Author – "Ah, Social Media: Blurring the Lines Between Work Life and Personal Life," Baker Donelson Labor and Employment News (May 19, 2015)
- Presenter – "The Inside Scoop - Top 10 Employer Mistakes According to the Solicitor of Labor," Baker Donelson Webinar (May 12, 2015)
- Co-author – "The Inside Scoop: Top 10 Employer Mistakes According to the Solicitor of Labor," Baker Donelson Labor and Employment Alert (May 7, 2015)
- Presenter – "Beyond the Water Cooler: Social Media Overload in the Workplace," Baker Donelson Webinar (April 14, 2015)
- Presenter – "The Sky is Falling! Chicken Little and Florida's Whistle-blower's Act," Baker Donelson Webinar (February 10, 2015)
- Quoted – "Pregnancy Discrimination: What ACSs Need to Know," ACS Focus magazine (January 2015)
- Presenter – "Baby Bump Blunders! Avoiding Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace," Baker Donelson L&E Breakfast Briefing (October 16, 2014)
- Co-author – "Baby Bump in the Road: The EEOC's Recently Published Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination Create More Confusion than Clarity," Complying With Employment Regulations (2014 Edition)
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Member – State Bar of Georgia
- Member – The Florida Bar
- Member – Alabama State Bar
- Member – American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
- Member – Society for Human Resource Managers
- Florida Trend Magazine "Legal Elite" in Labor & Employment Law (2013)
- Georgia, 1994
- Florida, 1994
- Alabama, 2006
- U.S. District Court Northern and Middle Districts of Alabama
- U.S. District Court Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
- Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M. (Labor and Employment), with Distinction, 1995
- Florida State University, College of Law, J.D., with Honors, 1994
- Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, B.A., cum laude, 1990