Don Benson is a partner in the Atlanta office of Hall Booth Smith. Mr. Benson is a senior litigator with over twenty years experience in labor and employment law representing management clients in the avoidance, resolution and litigation of employment disputes. He has frequently appeared before federal and state courts across the country and before federal and state investigative agencies including: OSHA, the EEOC and the Department of Labor. Mr. Benson also has extensive experience in mediation and arbitration and is available as a trained mediator.
Mr. Benson graduated from Henderson High School in Atlanta, Georgia; Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia; and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. He worked as a judicial clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee under the Honorable James H. Jarvis and the Honorable Robert L. Taylor.
Mr. Benson represents employers in the full range of labor and employment law issues including: race, sex, age, national origin, religion, disability and sexual orientation discrimination, harassment and retaliation; federal and state wage and hour law compliance including miss-classification, off the clock work, regular rate calculation, and meal break and rest periods; Equal Pay under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act; USERRA; FMLA; the Americans With Disabilities Act; the Fair Credit Reporting Act, HIPAA and privacy protections; DOT Drug Testing; layoffs and reductions in force; severance agreements and releases; OSHA; ERISA benefit claims; union avoidance; mediation and arbitrations in both unionized and union free environments; NLRA 301; diversity and affirmative action initiatives; breach of contract and franchise agreements; state torts including invasion of privacy, fraud, assault and battery, false imprisonment, defamation, negligent hiring and retention; worker's compensation, drafting and litigation of restrictive covenant agreements including non-competes, non-solicitation of customers and confidential information protections; executive contract drafting and negotiation; due diligence review of Collective Bargaining Agreements, restrictive covenants and employment litigation.
Mr. Benson is a frequent speaker and trainer on a wide variety of employment law topics including: wage and hour compliance, enforcement of restrictive covenants including non-competes, RICO/Immigration class actions, and FMLA compliance.
He is a prolific author and consulted as a national expert on the subject of pandemic preparation and communicable diseases in the workplace, focusing on how and when employers may aggressively manage attendance and prevention issues as part of their over-all crisis and natural disaster plans. Mr. Benson helps company management plan to maintain efficient operations during a health emergency in light of numerous, often conflicting legal demands on employers to protect the workforce from the spread of disease while also respecting employee privacy and the myriad complexities of leave, benefit, insurance and accommodation concerns that can arise in such a fluid crisis environment.
University of Utah, J.D., 1984
University of Utah, Ph.D., Candidate in Philosophy, 1984
University of Georgia, M.A., Philosophy, 1978
Davidson College, B.A., 1976
The ADA and Job Transfers, December 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Injunction Stops New DOL Rule Increasing Salary Level Test: Now What?, November 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Do Employees Get Time Off to Vote?, November 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Congressional Move to Delay DOL’s Overtime Rules, September 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
OSHA’s New Rule On Post-Injury Drug Testing, June 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Co-Authored New Guidelines For Treatment of Transgender Students, May 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
New Federal Trade Secrets Law Almost Here, May 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Five Employment Law Issues for Risk Managers Throughout 2016, April 2016, HBS Employmemt Law Blog
Assisted Living Facility Miss-Classifies Employees As Independent Contractors: Owes $56,000.00 To Nine Employees, March 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Co-Authored New EEOC Lawsuits Seek to Expand Title VII to Protect Sexual Orientation, March 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
New EEOC Procedure Suggests Caution In Drafting Position Statements, March 2016, HBS Employement Law Blog
Co-Authored Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Standard for Mixed-Motive Discrimination Cases, February 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Co-Authored New OSHA Rule On Respirable Crystalline Silica will Affect Construction Employers, February 2016, HBS Employment Law Blog
Failure to Pay for Water, Bathroom and Rest Breaks: $1.75 Million, January 2016, HBS Workers' Compensation Blog
"New Supreme Court Ruling: Who is a "Supervisor" in Harassment Cases?", July 2013, HBS Workers' Compensation Blog
Kiplinger Business Resource Center, "Antiviral Drug Stockpiling for Pandemic Planning," August 15, 2008. Click to read article
North Carolina State Bar Journal, "Pandemic- Is Your Workplace Prepared for Disaster?" Donald W. Benson and Julie Adams, Summer 2008, Volume 13, Number 2. Click to read article
Littler Mendelson, P.C. editors, "Wage and Hour Answer Book," 2008 Edition, Donald W. Benson, editor, Chapter 1 "Introducing and Overview of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Amendments," and Chapter 5 "Exemptions from Minimum Wage, Overtime Pay, Child Labor and Recordkeeping Obligations."
Georgia Bar Journal, "Pandemic Preparation in The Workplace," October 2006, vol. 12, no. 2, pp.14-21. Click to read article
Executive Counsel, "RICO Charges Are Newest Wrinkle in Immigration Labor Issue," July/August 2006, vol. 3, num. 4, pp. 13-14. Click to read article
Bloomberg Corporate Law Journal, "National Forum Shopping over Restrictive Covenants," Volume 1, Winter 2006, Issue 1, pp.91-97. Click to read article
Tennessee Bar Journal, "New Race to Tennessee and Georgia Courthouses over Non-Competition Agreements," October, 2005. Click to read article
American Bar Association
Georgia Bar Association
Tennessee Bar Association