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Christie M. Hayes

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Christie Hayes, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Tri-Cities, Tennessee/Virginia office, represents employers and management in a broad range of employment law issues, partnering with clients to defend cases under a multitude of federal and state discrimination and harassment laws, workers' compensation, OSHA, and the Defense Base Act. 

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OSHA Compliance in the COVID-19 Era June 29, 2021

Featured Experience


Successfully defended numerous employers in workers' compensation cases involving causation, apportionment issues, and other defenses, resulting in the denial of all benefits for claimant employees.

Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of all claims for a worldwide retailer in a premises liability case.

Handled a jury trial for a client wherein the jury verdict was less than half the amount of a prior settlement offer by the client in a premises liability matter.

2013

Professional Biography


Ms. Hayes routinely provides practical and business-oriented advice to clients facing complex employment law issues involving discipline and terminations, leave, disability accommodation, policy creation and enforcement, drug-free workplace, and similar matters. She is licensed in both Tennessee and North Carolina and regularly assists clients with internal and state/federal investigations involving harassment and discrimination and pro-active training and policy development. Ms. Hayes excels at providing savvy and practical advice to clients about the risks and benefits associated with the everyday handling of employment law issues, including FMLA, ADA, FLSA, ERISA, OSHA, Title VII, unemployment compensation, and the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, as extended by the Defense Base Act.

As a litigator, Ms. Hayes has significant experience before various administrative agencies, including the Department of Labor, Tennessee Court of Workers' Compensation, North Carolina Industrial Commission, EEOC, and THRC. She is a regular practitioner in the Court of Workers' Compensation and her skill set expands beyond the routine defense of workers' compensation claims. She handles high-exposure complex occupational exposure and death cases and routinely advises clients on the interaction between workers' compensation, FMLA, and ADA.

She defends employers in a multiple of state and federal courts throughout the country. In addition to her labor and employment practice, Ms. Hayes is a skilled litigator involved in the extensive representation of real estate companies in the defense of breach of contract and misrepresentation cases. Further, she works with financial and credit institutions, banks, and commercial equipment creditors with loan recovery matters, including collection actions and workout strategies.

  • The United States Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the defendant employer in a Defense Base Act case involving the successful application of a legal defense barring the claim of the employee.

  • Successfully defended numerous employers in workers' compensation cases involving causation, apportionment issues, and other defenses, resulting in the denial of all benefits for claimant employees.

  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal of all claims for a worldwide retailer in a premises liability case.
  • Handled a jury trial for a client wherein the jury verdict was less than half the amount of a prior settlement offer by the client in a premises liability matter.

  • Defeated claims for breach of contract against a real estate company client, resulting in no recovery for purchasers.

  • Representation of various financial institutions in commercial loan litigation involving novel issues of law, including complex statute of limitations and default issues.

  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a major bank, whereby a borrower who had refused to offer any payment agreed to make a lump sum payment of $120,000.

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Workers' Compensation Law - Employers (2018 – 2021)
  • Listed in Mid-South Rising Stars (2013 – 2019)
  • Member – American, Tennessee and Washington County Bar Associations
  • Named "Top 40 Under 40," Tri-Cities Business Journal (2012)
  • Legal Aid of East Tennessee – Honor Roll Recipient on various occasions
  • Recipient – Baker Donelson Tri-Cities (Tennessee) Pro Bono Attorney of the Year (2020)
  • Recipient – Baker Donelson Johnson City Pro Bono Award (2011)
  • Recipient – Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, Legal Aid of East Tennessee (2011)

Education

  • Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 2004
  • Vanderbilt University, B.A., 2001

Admissions

  • Tennessee, 2004
  • North Carolina, 2010
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 2006
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, 2012
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina, 2017

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