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 (2011-2015) Labor & Employment Litigation (2011-2015)
•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.

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 CaseThe 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
Forward it is! Employment Law Developments that Virginia HR Professionals Need to Know - Spring 2013
Dec 2012
Confidentiality Policy that Would Prohibit Employees From Discussing Wages Found Unlawful
Nov 2012
Hiring New Employees: New FCRA Requirements & Important Reminders
Oct 2012
Alert: Employers Take Note: Employee Voting Rights in Virginia
Oct 2012
2013 Top Rated Lawyers at Gentry Locke
Oct 2012
Twenty-four Gentry Locke Attorneys Named Best Lawyers
Sep 2012

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


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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...

Sexual Assault/Sexual Violence Against College Students: Chronology of Selected Recent Pronouncements by the Federal Government
Todd A. Leeson, March 30, 2015
2014 was the year that sexual assaults of college students became an important part of our nation’s discourse. In the last year or two, there have been a flurry of new Federal laws, regulations, guidance documents, proposed laws, and initiatives on the topic. In my communications with College...

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?
Todd A. Leeson, March 30, 2015
On December 11, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its long-awaited decision in Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (Dec. 11, 2014). Purple Communications is a non-union company that had a computer and email policy that limited use of its email for...

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Office Information

Todd A. Leeson

10 Franklin Road SE, Suite 900
RoanokeVA 24011


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