• vcard
404.253.6002
  • Education
    • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Georgia School of Law, 1991, Order of the Coif; Georgia Law Review, Notes Editor
    • B.B.A., cum laude, University of Georgia, 1988, Finance
  • Court Admissions
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 1991
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia, 1993
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2007
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 2004
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1995
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1997
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1994
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1999
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1992
    • Supreme Court of Georgia, 1991
    • United States Supreme Court, 2007
Nancy Rafuse represents and advises employers on the full range of employment law and litigation issues in today’s business environment. She has served as lead trial counsel in all areas of employment litigation, including cases filed under the anti-discrimination statutes (Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act) as well as other employment-related statutes (the FMLA, FLSA, OSHA, ERISA). Nancy serves as lead counsel defending companies in response to alleged Rule 23 class actions, as well as alleged FLSA collective actions. She has developed a national reputation over her 25 plus years of practice as an “expert on experts,” working with and cross-examining statisticians, labor economists and industrial and organizational psychologists. Nancy is also called upon by clients to assist with the review of employment tests and hiring and promotional assessments.  She is regularly invited to speak to national bar associations, industry groups, and management and human resources groups on employment and labor related issues, and also regularly presents to industry and expert groups on the subjects of statistics and labor economics.

Nancy is frequently called upon to advise clients concerning high-level, executive employment-related issues, including drafting and interpreting executive contracts and compensation agreements, enforcing restrictive covenants and advising clients with respect to confidential executive placements, investigations and departures.
Selected Class/Collective Actions
  • Co-counsel defending systemic EEOC investigation into hiring practices of largest casino owner in Nevada in response to allegations of disparate impact related to background checks.
  • Counsel to national food distribution company defending alleged collective action challenging exempt status of managers.  Also provided annual training, assistance with EEOC investigation and defense of individual matters.
  • Represented California teacher licensing commission in defense of statewide class action challenging use of California Basic Educational Skills Tests under Titles VI and VII. Obtained complete defense verdict for client with Court upholding validity of test after one month trial, which was affirmed on appeal en banc by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Retained as lead counsel to defend defense contractor/manufacturer after class action was certified in an action by African-American and female employees claiming discrimination in employment under Title VII. Obtained highly favorable resolution for Company. 
  • Defended consolidated race and gender class actions asserted across multiple operating divisions of retail grocery store chain. Lead all discovery efforts and worked with retained experts to analyze workforce data and Company’s registration of interest database. Obtained highly favorable resolution for Company. 
  • Co-counsel on behalf of nationwide pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturer. Defeated class certification in an action by African-American and Hispanic managers and executives claiming discrimination in employment on basis of race under Title VII and Section 1981. 
  • Retained as lead counsel on behalf of nationwide retailer in action by current and former store managers and assistant store managers challenging exempt status; defeated motion for conditional certification. 
  • As lead counsel, obtained decertification of FLSA collective action of pharmacy techs on behalf of nationwide retailer in an action brought by hourly employees claiming they were owed for uncompensated time worked. 
  • Co-counsel retained after class of former and current managers of company was certified in action by African-American managers claiming discrimination in employment on basis of race under Title VII and Section 1981. Prepared company experts, deposed opposing experts and prepared case for trial. 
  • Co-counsel with team defending against alleged race class action against retail grocery chain. Lead counsel on all expert witness issues, workforce data analyses and depositions. 
  • Represented California Board of Bar Examiners in putative class action challenging method for reviewing requests under ADA for accommodations on California Bar Exam. Assisted client with re-design of application process.
  • Represented nationwide retailer in eleven FLSA collective and class actions filed in multiple courts around the country challenging the exempt status of assistant store managers. Obtained favorable consolidated result for client. 
  • Defeated attempt by group of members of class action to “opt-out” and challenge Company’s policies in different forum as impermissible collateral attack on consent decree.
  • Defeated class certification on behalf of defense contractor/manufacturer in action by African-American management employees alleging discrimination in employment on basis of race under Title VII and Section 1981. 
  • Defeated class certification on behalf of nationwide restaurant/retailer brought by African-American employees claiming discrimination in employment on basis of race under Title VII and Section 1981. 
  • Defeated class certification on behalf of nationwide restaurant/retailer in action brought by African-American customers claiming denial of service on basis of race under 42 USC §§ 2000a and 1981.
  • Defeated class certification on behalf of defense contractor/manufacturer in an action by African-American hourly employees claiming discrimination in employment on basis of race under Title VII and Section 1981. 

Selected Trials/Summary Judgments
  • Co-counsel defending and ultimately obtaining dismissal of action filed by employees working in facility who asserted state and federal claims stemming from workplace shooting. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for nationwide retailer in action by former employee claiming retaliation and religious discrimination under Title VII. 
  • Co-counsel defending and ultimately obtaining summary judgment in action filed by employees working in facility who asserted state and federal claims stemming from workplace violence. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for retailer in action by former employee alleging discrimination and retaliation under Title VII and ADEA.
  • Successfully tried to jury verdict for national restaurant chain action in which plaintiffs/customers claimed they were denied service because of their race under 42 USC §§ 2000a and 1981.
  • Obtained summary judgment in ERISA action by former executive seeking long-term disability and pension benefits.
  • Obtained summary judgment for national restaurant chain action in which plaintiffs/customers claimed they were denied service because of their race under 42 USC §§ 2000a and 1981. 
  • Obtained voluntary dismissal in favor of consumer products company in action filed by former employee terminated for violation of integrity policy after obtaining admissions during plaintiff’s deposition of untruths. 
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice in an alleged sexual harassment claim during discovery when plaintiff refused to provide documents and otherwise participate in discovery process. 
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in action by former employee claiming reference provided by former employer to State Bar was allegedly retaliatory.
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in alleged ADEA case brought by former salesman. 
  • Successfully represented client at trial in business divorce for state law claims for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion of equity stake in business.
text icon Publications & Presentations
False Claims Act for Labor and Employment and Health Care Practitioners
Panelist
Atlanta, GA
April 29, 2016
text icon Publications & Presentations
Panelist
Austin, TX
March 30 - April 2, 2016
podcast icon Podcasts
December 7, 2015
text icon Publications & Presentations
PolsinelliAtWork.com Blog
May 1, 2015
text icon Publications & Presentations
PolsinelliAtWork.com Blog
April 27, 2015
eAlerts Alerts
July 10, 2014
text icon Publications & Presentations
Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: Managing Through the EEOC's Strategic Priorities
Corporate Counsel Institute, State Bar of Georgia
December 2013
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Advanced Class Action Topics
American Bar Association, Equal Opportunity Committee, 2013 National Conference on Equal Opportunity Law
April 2013
text icon Publications & Presentations
Presenting Statistical Evidence in Disparate Treatment Cases
American Bar Association Labor Employment Law Section 6th Annual Conference
November 2012
text icon Publications & Presentations
Problems at the Top: Strategies and Best Practices for Handling the Executive Debacle and Board Judgment Error
The American Employment Law Council
October 2012
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