Photo of Ryan T. Smith

Ryan focuses his practice on employment litigation and labor relations. He represents management in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies in a wide range of matters, including employment discrimination, retaliation, and harassment, wage and hour disputes, including class and collective actions, and breaches of non-competition and other types of employment agreements. Ryan also represents employers in traditional labor matters, at arbitrations and before the National Labor Relations Board.

When not representing employers in active disputes, Ryan counsels them on key employment decisions such as wage and hour compliance, leave administration, and terminations, and on various aspects of the collective bargaining relationship. He also drafts employment agreements and policy manuals.

Governor DeWine recently signed into law Senate Bill 47 (SB 47), which primarily aims to clarify employers’ overtime-pay obligations under Ohio law. The Bill takes effect on July 6, 2022.

As discussed below, the Bill does some good – it expressly integrates the FLSA’s Portal-to-Portal Act exemptions into the Ohio statute; additionally, it limits a

With so many employees having contracted COVID-19, an important legal question for employers and employees alike is whether COVID-19 is a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). In other words, is COVID-19 the sort of condition for which employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations, such as extended leave, flexible work

On March 7, 2022 NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo asked the NLRB to overturn Board precedent related to employee handbook rules.

The case at issue is Stericycle, Inc., which examines whether certain workplace rules infringe upon or restrict employees’ rights under the NLRA. As part of the Board’s proceedings, the parties (and interested third

On September 29, 2021, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a Guidance Memorandum memorializing her position that student-athletes at private universities should be considered “employees” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The NLRB has never  directly answered the question of whether student-athletes are employees under the NLRA.  

NLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo followed up her 10(j)-warning shot with another admonition, this time encouraging regions to request the “full panoply of remedies available to ensure that victims of unlawful conduct are made whole for losses suffered as a result of unfair labor practices.”

General Counsel Abruzzo began her September 8, 2021, Memorandum

On August 12, 2021 NLRB General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo issued her “Mandatory Submissions to Advice” memorandum (Memorandum GC 21-04), outlining her agenda items and priority issues for NLRB Regional Directors, Officers-in-Charge, and Resident Officers. The memorandum offers a glimpse into a number of issues the new General Counsel believes need to be re-evaluated, largely

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection will open on Monday, April 26, 2021. As a reminder, private employers with 100 or more employees, as well as federal contractors with 50 or more employees, are required to submit EEO-1 Component 1 data, which

Earlier this week, a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated several key aspects of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) final rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). (For those who are unfamiliar with the FFCA, an overview can be found here.) The decision

Yesterday, in a long-awaited decision in General Motors LLC, 14-CA-197985 369 NLRB No. 127 (2020), the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or NLRB”) gave employers a clearer pathway to disciplining employees who engage in abusive workplace conduct — including profane, racist, and sexually harassing remarks — even when the conduct coincides with concerted activities

As we wrote about here, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued informal guidance to help employers understand their rights and obligations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). DOL has since updated that guidance to address topics such as the following:

  1. Whether employees are eligible for paid leave if they are unable