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Chelsea N. Hayes


Chelsea Hayes is a litigation associate in Baker Donelson's Johnson City office.

Professional Biography

Ms. Hayes regularly represents corporations and employers focusing on the areas of employment law, business litigation, financial services litigation, health care litigation, and insurance defense at both the court and administrative levels in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Maryland.

Ms. Hayes counsels employers regarding compliance with state and federal laws as well as contractual covenants and non-disclosure agreements involving employer-employee relations. She regularly defends employers in administrative, state, and federal courts in wide-ranging employment litigation, including, but not limited to, actions brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical leave Act, state law, and restrictive covenant agreements. Ms. Hayes also works extensively in the area of complex workers' compensation, both defending claims and advising employers on injuries, compliance with state-specific laws, and the interaction between injuries and leave laws. She successfully manages a multi-state workers' compensation practice for a national client.

Ms. Hayes also concentrates her practice on business and financial services litigation. She has successfully defended businesses in claims alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation, and fraud as well as evictions and foreclosures. Ms. Hayes' personal injury experience includes defending against claims involving negligence, wrongful death, and premises liability. Ms. Hayes uses her knowledge of contractual matters to regularly defend creditors and advise on timely and practical solutions on defaulted loans and business strategy.

  • Obtained dismissal of all claims involving the Federal and Tennessee False Claims Acts against a large corporate client filed by a qui tam plaintiff with favorable appellate ruling.

  • Obtained order granting preliminary injunction in favor of employer against previous employee subject to restrictive covenants.

  • Obtained a renewed temporary restraining order against previous employees enjoining them from breaking restrictive covenants.

  • Named a Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch" in Commercial Litigation (2022)
  • Member – Fayette County Bar Association, 2015 – present
  • Member – Kentucky Bar Association, 2015 – present
  • Member – University of Kentucky Law Alumni, 2015 – present
  • Board of Directors – Southern Appalachian Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, J.D., 2015, cum laude
    • Kentucky Law Journal – Online Content Committee Editor
  • Duke University, B.A., 2012


  • Tennessee, 2017
  • Kentucky, 2015
  • Maryland, 2020
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 2017
  • United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, 2015

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