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Jenna M. Bedsole

Shareholder

Jenna Bedsole, managing shareholder of Baker Donelson's Birmingham office, represents employers in a broad range of employment matters, including the defense of cases under federal and state discrimination laws, and the enforcement of non-compete agreements.

Featured Experience


Successfully negotiated resolution of an individual wage and hour law claim when an employer failed to appropriately classify the employee.

Successfully defended an employer in a RICO and collective action case.

Defeated the EEOC in a same-sex harassment and retaliation case for a petroleum recycling company on a motion for summary judgment, the EEOC withdrew its appeal.

Professional Biography


Ms. Bedsole is a shareholder in the Birmingham office and former chair of the Firm's Labor & Employment Group. She has litigated collective and class action wage and hour cases throughout the Southeast, as well as successfully compelling these cases to arbitration on individual bases.

Ms. Bedsole often guides employers in drafting and enforcing employment agreements. She has litigated trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty cases in multi-state jurisdictions. In those cases, she has gained significant experience retrieving company assets using forensic experts. She regularly moves to enforce non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality provisions.

Originally from Montreal, Ms. Bedsole advises U.S. companies with U.S. workers in foreign jurisdictions about the effect of U.S. law on those workers, and advises foreign companies in the U.S. on compliance with U.S. labor and employment laws.

In addition, she conducts management and employee training relating to employment issues in the workplace, drafts handbooks, provides policy review and regularly counsels employers to ensure compliance with applicable employment and labor laws.

Ms. Bedsole is also a registered mediator with the Alabama Center for Dispute Resolution.

  • Served as lead counsel in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary duty claim against a former employee of a major regional petroleum products distributor. Successfully argued to temporarily restrain and then preliminarily enjoin the former employee from soliciting the client's customers. Obtained civil contempt sanctions against the former employee for violating the temporary restraining order. Negotiated settlement in favor of the client against the employee and his subsequent employer to compensate the employer for theft of its trade secrets.

  • Served as co-counsel in a trade secret and breach of fiduciary duty claim representing a heavy machinery distributor. Successfully obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the rogue former vice president of sales and his competing company, who conspired with a Chinese-based manufacturer to steal trade secrets. On the eve of trial, the rogue former employee and his company declared bankruptcy. Ultimately, due to the successful litigation, the court entered a $13.1 million default judgment against the Chinese-based manufacturer.

  • Successfully negotiated resolution of an individual wage and hour law claim when an employer failed to appropriately classify the employee.

  • Successfully defended an employer in a RICO and collective action case.

  • Defeated the EEOC in a same-sex harassment and retaliation case for a petroleum recycling company on a motion for summary judgment, the EEOC withdrew its appeal.

  • After employees left and began their own defense contracting company, successfully represented the new entity against a multi-billion dollar former defense contractor-employer who was intent on crushing the small business. 

  • Won a jury trial in an age discrimination case on behalf of a media company. 

  • Won a jury trial in a race discrimination case for a national movie theater company.

  • Won a jury trial in an age discrimination claim for a computer software company, including successfully demonstrating after-acquired evidence.

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a publicly traded energy company regarding allegations of sexual harassment, race discrimination and retaliation.

  • Served as lead counsel in a multi-state restrictive covenant and Defend Trade Secrets Act case to recover assets taken by former executives and successfully negotiated settlement against a competitor and former executives.

  • Obtained a temporary restraining order against two former employees of an insurance broker after they left to work for a competitor in violation of a non-compete agreement and after former employees violated their non-solicitation agreements.

  • Successfully moved to dismiss class allegations of systemic race discrimination in hiring and promotion filed against a government contractor and defeated plaintiffs' efforts to obtain Rule 23(f) review of the decision.

  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2015 in Labor and Employment Litigation; Employment Law - Management
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Trade Secrets Law (2023)
  • Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers as a leading Labor and Employment lawyer in Alabama (2021, 2022)
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Labor & Employment (2014 – 2021); listed as one of the top 50 female attorneys (2016 – 2021)
  • Listed in Birmingham Business Journal's 2022 Who's Who in Law
  • Named by B-Metro Magazine as one of "Birmingham's Top Women Lawyers" (2015 – 2018, 2020, 2022)
  • Listed in Birmingham Business Journal's "Best of the Bar" (2019)
  • Named by Birmingham magazine as one of the "Women Who Shape the State" (2019)
  • Recipient – Alabama State Bar's Edward M. Patterson Servant Leadership Award (2018)
  • Named by B-Metro Magazine as a "Top Flight Attorney" (2018)
  • Recipient – Birmingham Business Journal's 2015 Women to Watch Award
  • Named by Birmingham magazine as one of "Birmingham's Top Attorneys" in Employment Law (2014 – 2015)
  • Listed in Alabama Rising Stars, Labor & Employment (2011)
  • Honoree – GirlSpring Winter Party (2022)
  • Recipient – Susan E. Rich Women's Initiative Award (2015)
  • Named by National Diversity Council as one of the "Top 15 Business Women in Alabama" (2015)
  • Chairwoman – Women's Business Council
  • Member – Alabama Bar Association
    • 19th Amendment Centennial Celebration Task Force (2018 – 2019)
    • Leadership Forum (inaugural class)
    • Former Member – MCLE Committee
    • Former Member – Mentoring Task Force
  • Member – Birmingham Bar Association
    • Women's Section
    • Long Range Planning Committee
    • Federal Court Practice Task Force
    • Board of Directors – Birmingham Bar Foundation
  • Member – Economic Development Association of Alabama
  • "COVID-19 and Employment Law: Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes," Cumberland School of Law CLE (December 2020)
  • "Small Business COVID-19 Roundtable: Part 3," Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (April 2020)
  • "Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Non-profits" (April 2020)
  • "Top Seven Questions Answered: COVID-19 and How It's Affecting the Workplace," American Bar Association (March 2020)
  • "Small Business COVID-19 Roundtable: Part 1," Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce (March 2020)
  • "Handling Workplace Bullies w/Jenna Bedsole," The HR Risk Podcast (April 2019)
  • "Diversity and Inclusion in the Birmingham Business World," Birmingham Business Journal's Executives of Influence Event (March 2019)
  • "The Government Shutdown and Employment Law: How It's Affecting Employers" (February 2019)
  • "How the #MeToo Movement Affects Employment Law," Employment Law Update program, Cumberland School of Law (December 2018)
  • Moderator – "#MeToo in Long Term Care – When Resident Rights and Employee Rights Clash," 2018 Baker Donelson Long Term Care Symposium (November 2018)
  • "Vegas, Baby! When Off-Duty Conduct Needs Correction" (August 2018)
  • "Sexual Harassment and Internal Investigation Best Practices: Lessons from the Fox News Scandals" (November 2017)
  • "Cultivating an Enviable Workplace Culture," Birmingham Regional Enterprise Council (June 2016)
  • "The New Age of Department of Labor FMLA Audits," IACP 2015 Conference (October 2015)
  • Co-presenter – "Independent Contractors vs. Employees: Avoiding Costly Myths and Mistakes," Birmingham Business Alliance (August 2014)
  • "Wage and Hour Laws for the Urgent Care Industry," Urgent Care Association of America webinar (December 2013)
  • Panelist – "Affirmative Action and OFCCP Regulations and Audits: When and How They Apply to Your Business," Employment Law Alliance webinar (June 2013)
  • "Navigating the Challenges of Same-Sex Marriages, Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions," Alabama State SHRM Conference (May 2013)
  • "Wage and Hour Law Update," Birmingham Society for Human Resources Management seminar (April 2013)
  • "Workplace Violence: Identification, Prevention and If the Worst Happens, Evaluating Exposure," HR.com webinar (October 2012)

Education

  • University of Alabama School of Law, J.D., 1997
  • University of Alabama, B.A., 1993, magna cum laude

Admissions

  • Alabama, 1997
  • Alabama State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts for Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama
  • U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Jenna is very thoughtful, practical, calm, cool, collected and a very good lawyer.


[Jenna Bedsole] is very active in representing high-profile clients in serious litigation.


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