Todd A. Leeson: Lawyer with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP

Todd A. Leeson

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Todd Leeson

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Employment & Labor
  • Whistleblower Claims & Qui Tam
  • NLRB & Unions
  • Discrimination & Harassment Claims Federal Claims (DOL/EEOC/NLRB/OSHA/OFCCP)
  • Executive & Professional Contracts
  • Administrative & Regulatory Disputes
  • Affirmative Action & OFCCP Compliance
  • Commercial Torts
  • Director & Officer Liability
  • I.P. & Technology Litigation
  • Government Contracting
  • Counseling & Training
  • Drug Testing & DOT Compliance
  • Employment & Non-Compete Agreements
  • EPLI Defense
  • Handbooks & Employment Policies
  • Hiring & Background Checks
  • State Law Claims (Contracts/Torts)
  • Staffing & Contingent Workers
  • Restaurant Law Updates
  • Termination Issues (RIFs/WARN/Releases)
  • Trade Secret and Non-Compete Disputes
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Wage-Hour & FLSA
  • Workplace Privacy & Social Media
  • Employment Benefits & Executive Compensation
Contact InfoTelephone: 540.983.9437
Fax: 540.983.9400
Mailing AddressP.O. Box 40013, Roanoke, VA, 24022-0013
University College of William and Mary, B.A., 1986
Law SchoolUniversity of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1989
Admitted1989, Virginia, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia and U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; 1991, U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia


•Board of Directors, Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (2014-Present)
•Council member, Labor Relations & Employment Law Section of The Virginia Bar Association (2008-2013)
•Board member, Roanoke Valley SHRM (2007-2009); Legislative Chair (2012-2014); Past President (2000)
•Board of Trustees, Taubman Museum of Art (2007-2012)
•Board of Directors, Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce (2010-2012)
•Elder and Planning Committee Chair, Salem Presbyterian Church (2011-2013)
•Member, Federal Bar Association (2011-Present)
•Faculty Member, The Management Institute at Roanoke College (2011-Present)
•Associate member, National Association of College and University Attorneys (2014-Present)
•Past President, Downtown Roanoke Rotary Club (2004-2005)
•Chair, Virginia State SHRM Conference (2002)
•Member, Labor & Employment Section, American Bar Association (1989-Present)
•Member, Labor & Employment Section, Virginia Bar Association (1989-Present)
•Member and Past President, William & Mary Roanoke Alumni Association
•Graduate, Trial Advocacy Institute of UVA Law School (2000)
•Frequent speaker for SHRM and business groups in Virginia
•Author of dozens of employment law articles


Todd Leeson has over 25 years of experience representing and advising Virginia employers in employment and labor law matters and litigation. He regularly defends employment claims in Virginia courts and before agencies including the EEOC, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), DOL and OSHA (whistleblower and retaliation claims). His experience includes the defense of companies and their executives as to alleged violations of Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FLSA, FMLA and the NLRA. Todd regularly drafts, enforces, and/or litigates non-compete agreements or executive employment contracts. In addition, he has considerable experience representing management in labor union matters including union avoidance campaigns, unfair labor practice charges and labor arbitrations. He also represents Virginia colleges in various student conduct matters including Title IX and sexual misconduct complaints.

Todd is rated “AV/Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell, was selected a Virginia Super Lawyer for Employment & Labor Law, and is repeatedly named one of the Best Lawyers in America in Labor & Employment Law.

A quick handshake

•EEOC charges defended
•Miles daughter is from home at college
•Miles a week I spin cycle at YMCA
•Federal cases handled in W. District of Virginia
What might you be doing professionally if you were not a lawyer?

I grew up in Pittsburgh playing football, basketball and baseball, and then enjoyed much success playing football at William & Mary. My passion for sports continues. If I was not a lawyer, I would likely be an executive in the sports industry, a broadcaster or a coach.
Tell us about your latest fitness obsession.

I recently rejoined our local YMCA and discovered spin cycle classes. It is an intense and efficient workout.
What's the first thing you do in the morning?

While I have the latest devices and have entered the world of twitter for news updates, I still prefer starting my day reading a printed newspaper while drinking my first cup of coffee. I cannot start my day without them.
How would your friends and family describe you?

Relentlessly positive and energetic. I enjoy people and regularly engage persons in conversations whom I do not know. (My wife and kids think I am a little strange.) I think that they would also describe me as a person with high integrity.


•Represents employers in employment-related litigation in federal and state courts in Virginia
•Has been counsel of record in over 65 employment cases in the Western District of Virginia
•Successfully defended companies in over 200 EEOC charges alleging various forms of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation
•Attained early dismissal or resolution of several OSHA whistleblower complaints including MAP-21, AIR-21, STAA and the FSMA
•Prevailed in labor arbitration upholding management right to modify union employee's work schedule
•Successful defense of College in case in which student challenged suspension decision pursuant to College's Student Conduct Code
•Achieved favorable resolution of ADA termination lawsuit filed in Virginia Federal Court
•Prosecution of business competition, trade secret, and business conspiracy case filed against global corporation who hired executive with various restrictive covenants
•Obtained dismissal of FMLA claim investigated by DOL
•Favorable resolution of a non-compete and non-solicitation case filed against a corporation and a newly-hired employee
•Favorable early resolution of an ADA termination lawsuit filed against company by a senior executive
•Successful defense in labor arbitration of management's right to demote a union president
•Attained summary dismissal of race and age discrimination case
•Expediently resolved purported FLSA collective action case filed against a construction company
•Advised company to withdraw recognition of longstanding union and prevailed on union challenge before the NLRB
•Achieved early resolution of challenging federal whistleblower claim filed against corporation
•Obtained summary judgment for nation's largest retail pharmacy chain in ADA disability discrimination lawsuit
•Represented one of the world's leading wealth management companies that was sued in a non-compete case in Virginia
•Successfully prosecuted trade secrets case resulting in $245,000 settlement for local manufacturer
•Persuaded court to dismiss a noncompete and trade secret action filed against an employer that hired a key employee
•Obtained summary judgment in sex discrimination lawsuit filed against global retailer with operation in Virginia
•Procured summary judgment for Fortune 100 insurer in a race discrimination case filed in Roanoke
•Retained by Executive Officer of Fortune 500 retailer to negotiate his executive employment contract with the Company
•Successfully represented management in several Union labor arbitration cases involving discharge or contract interpretation issues
•Acquired summary judgment for local college in tenure denial case
•Litigated significant ULP case with NLRB involving potential back pay or reinstatement of 23 terminated employees; case resolved on favorable terms
•Obtained summary judgment in ADA disability discrimination case against national bank
•Achieved partial summary judgment for Fortune 500 automotive supplier in sexual harassment and retaliation case
•Obtained defense verdict for local sheriff in race discrimination lawsuit; defense verdict affirmed on appeal
•Procured dismissal of wrongful termination case filed against health care employer by terminated nurse
•Obtained summary judgment for Fortune 500 company in Title VII equal pay case
•Procured summary judgment for employer in FLSA overtime lawsuit
•Represented several local businesses faced with Union organizing efforts and/or campaigns.
•Successfully conciliated case against local construction company in which EEOC had found “cause” in support of EEOC charge
•Obtained preliminary injunction for local software company in trade secrets and business conspiracy case
•Successfully represented local utility company as to several unfair labor practice allegations filed against it with the National Labor Relations Board
•Mediated employment-related cases on behalf of local companies in this region
•Obtained dismissal of Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) case filed against one of the nation's largest food service distribution companies
•Achieved summary judgment in ADEA case arising out of reduction in force by local manufacturer
•Negotiated conciliation of EEOC religious discrimination charge on behalf of large fast food restaurant
•Successful defense of company in non-compete case in which company hired valuable executive from a competitor
•Favorable resolution of trade secrets and business competition case of behalf of a company who sued departing employees and their new employer
•Dismissal of ADA termination case filed against company by executive with alleged alcohol problems


•Named one of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Employment Law - Management (2011-2016) Labor & Employment Litigation (2011-2016)
•Designated a Virginia Super Lawyer in the area of Employment & Labor Law (2014-2015) and Super Lawyers Business Edition US in the area of Employment & Labor (2014)
•Named a “Legal Eagle” for Employment Law - Management and Litigation - Labor & Employment by Virginia Living magazine (2012)
•Named a Top Rated Lawyer for Labor and Employment law by American Lawyer Media (2013)
•VBA Community Servant with 50 hours or more of certified pro bono legal and nonlegal community service, The Virginia Bar Association (2004-2010)

Published Work

Five Steps Virginia Employers Should Take to Help Avoid Whistleblower or Retaliation Claims ; Virginia Human Resources Today; Winter/Spring 2014.
EEOC Seeks to Provide Job Protection for LGBT Employees; Virginia Human Resources Today; Summer/Fall 2013.
Policy Prohibiting Wage Discussion Found Unlawful; Virginia Human Resources Today; Winter/Spring 2013.
Employers Face Significant Challenges Complying with the ADA Amendments Act; Virginia Human Resources Today;Summer/Fall 2012.


•2016 Labor & Employment Law Symposium - March 17 and 24

Jan 2016
•Insubordination Horror Story (a/k/a NLRB PCA Initiative)

Jan 2016
•Prototype Event Test

Dec 2015
•October Business Briefings: New DOL Overtime/Pay Pronouncements

Sep 2015
•Labor Board's New “Joint Employer” Decision: More Bad News for Virginia Employers

Sep 2015
•23 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2016 “Best Lawyers in America”

Aug 2015
•Partner Todd Leeson Interviewed Regarding Grayson County School Board's Obligation to Pay Teachers

Jun 2015
•Leeson Educates Virginia College Administrators, HR and Title IX Personnel on Campus Sexual Assault Laws and Developments

Jun 2015
•Campus Sexual Assault: Legal Obligations and Practical Considerations

Jun 2015
•New Virginia Laws on Sexual Assault Applicable to Virginia Colleges & Universities

May 2015
•Legal Update with Focus on Campus Sexual Assault Developments

May 2015
•Gentry Locke Labor & Employment Law Symposia a Hit

Apr 2015
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers

Apr 2015
•2015 Labor & Employment Law Symposium

Apr 2015
•Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence Against College Students: Chronology of Selected Recent Pronouncements by the Federal Government

Feb 2015
•What Should Employers Do Following the NLRB's Decision Permitting Employees to Use the Company's Email to Communicate About Union Organizing or Their Work?

Jan 2015
•2015 Labor & Employment Law Symposium - Lynchburg

Jan 2015
•What Can Employers Learn from the Triple Play Facebook Termination Case?

Jan 2015
•13 Gentry Locke Attorneys Featured in 2014 Super Lawyers US Business Edition

Nov 2014
•Fall Employment Law Webinar Series #1: The NLRB

Aug 2014
•Twenty-One Gentry Locke Attorneys Earn Best Lawyers Designations and One Lawyer of the Year

Aug 2014
•Attorney Leeson Quoted as Employer Advocate in SHRM Ban the Box Article

Aug 2014
•Virginia Employers Should Keep the Box

Jul 2014
•Leeson Editorial in The Roanoke Times: Virginia Employers Should Keep the Box

Jul 2014
•27 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Lists of 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Jun 2014
•Virginia Company Prevails in Hard-Fought Labor Arbitration Case The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.

Case Results
May 2014
•Leeson Educates HR Professionals on Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims at 2014 Virginia SHRM Conference

Apr 2014
•Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims: Legal Risks and Strategic Solutions for Employers

Mar 2014
•Managing Your Human Capital and Developing Your Workforce (Employment Law Trends and Update)

Feb 2014
•Five Steps Virginia Employers Should Take to Help Avoid Whistleblower or Retaliation Claims

Jan 2014
•Hot Topics in Employment Law: What HR Professionals Need to Know for 2014

Dec 2013
•Leeson Speaks to Three HR Groups Across Region, Moderates VBA Conference Panel

Oct 2013
•Protecting Company Assets: The Price of a Dance Ticket Just Went Up

Oct 2013
•Guess Who Is Coming to Inspect Your Worksite?

Oct 2013
•Moderator, Retaliation Under Title VII and Other Federal Employment Laws

Sep 2013
•Recent Employment Law Trends and Advice for HR Professionals

Sep 2013
•Legal Issues Arising Out of Social Media Use by Employees

Aug 2013
•Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex - In the Workplace

Aug 2013
•ADA and FMLA Update: Key Issues for HR Professionals

Aug 2013
•Twenty-two Attorneys named to 2014 Best Lawyers in America list; Firm Ranked in Tier 1 for Best Law Firms

Aug 2013
•What Should an Employer Say (If Anything) in a Termination Letter?

Aug 2013
•EEOC Seeks to Provide Job Protection for LGBT Employees

Jul 2013
•Supreme Court Adopts Narrow Definition of Supervisor Under Title VII

Jun 2013
•HR Professionals Hear From EEOC Director During Gentry Locke Webinar

May 2013
•Leeson Presents Session on Working Smarter with your Employment Lawyer at VA SHRM Conference

Apr 2013
•Leeson Editorial Supports Virginia Employers and their HR Professionals

Apr 2013
•Working Smarter with Your Employment Lawyer

Mar 2013
•Alert: New FMLA Notice Must Be Posted by March 8, 2013

Mar 2013
•Managing Your Human Capital and Developing Your Workforce

Feb 2013
•Common Handbook Policies at Risk from Emboldened NLRB

Jan 2013


Case Results

The results of client matters depend on a variety of factors unique to each matter. Past successes do not predict or guarantee future successes.
•May 16, 2014 - Virginia Company Prevails in Hard-Fought Labor Arbitration Case


Documents by this lawyer on

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Insubordination Horror Story (a/k/a NLRB PCA Initiative)
Todd A. Leeson, January 19, 2016
A supervisor and HR director met with an employee to provide him with a first-level attendance counseling. The employee became quite angry and refused to sign the counseling document. He then told the supervisor that he was incompetent (and repeated this comment over and over). He stated (and...

Labor Board’s New “Joint Employer” Decision: More Bad News for Virginia Employers
Todd A. Leeson, September 10, 2015
The pro-union NLRB has struck again! In a high-profile case that had been pending before the Board for over two years, the Board, in a 3-2 decision, overruled 30 years of settled precedent and announced a new test to determine whether two entities could be considered “joint employers”...

New Virginia Laws on Sexual Assault Applicable to Virginia Colleges & Universities
Todd A. Leeson, May 13, 2015
As the Virginia General Assembly convened in early 2015, there were high profile tragedies and stories regarding the important topic of protecting our college students from sexual assaults. Hannah Graham, a 19 year old student at UVA was murdered in the fall of 2014 after disappearing from the...

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Office Information

Todd A. Leeson

10 Franklin Road SE, Suite 900
RoanokeVA 24011


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