Photo of John R. Richards

John Richards is a Shareholder in Greenberg Traurig’s Labor & Employment and Retail Industry Practices. John is GT’s Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Retail Industry practice—ranked Band 1 by Chambers USA Nationwide for 15 consecutive years.

John is an established player in the Retail Industry and represents the full range of companies in the retail supply chain. From manufacturers and wholesalers to sellers of everyday consumer products and fashion apparel, companies turn to John and his industry knowledge to efficiently and seamlessly manage their legal needs leveraging GT’s wide-ranging industry experience and platform.

Within GT’s Labor & Employment Practice, John Co-Chairs the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) group and the Workplace Compliance & Counseling group. He drives partnerships with clients to audit employment/HR compliance and the strength of DE&I practices through virtually every aspect of the employment relationship. John then helps design, strengthen, and implement workplace compliance and DE&I programs and policy to practice job-aides and resources.

He delivers highly-tailored, dynamic training sessions to virtually every type of employer audience. From the executive and leadership level to rank and file employees, John’s DE&I and workplace compliance trainings consistently receive outstanding reviews.

John also plays an invaluable leadership role in furthering the visibility, voice, and advancement of LGBTQ+ lawyers within GT and the LGBTQ+ business community, including serving on the Out Leadership Council and for six years on the National Board of Directors for Lambda Legal. As a recognized thought leader, John is often entrusted to handle highly sensitive internal complaints and investigations involving LGBTQ+ issues. Companies and/or LGBTQ+ national and global organizations regularly enlist John as a panelist to make the legal and economic case for LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion at every level of the business community.

What do a gay child-welfare advocate from Georgia, a transgender funeral home employee from Michigan, and a gay skydiving instructor from New York have in common? According to the Supreme
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Title VII protects LGBT+ Employees from Workplace Discrimination: Practical Implications for Employers

On Nov. 22, 2016, a Texas federal court stayed implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule amendment which would have roughly doubled the minimum salary threshold for many
Continue Reading Court Invalidates DOL Overtime Rule, Holds Increased Salary Test is Contrary to Congressional Intent and Exceeds DOL Authority

The proposed overtime rules will not go into effect on Dec. 1. In a closely-watched case brought by 21 states (and joined by numerous business organizations) challenging the Department of
Continue Reading Court Stays DOL Overtime Rule, Holds Increased Salary Test Impermissibly ‘Supplants’ Duties Tests

shutterstock_45046111_SupremeCourtUnder Title VII, if the EEOC issues a cause finding, it must then try to remedy the alleged unlawful employment practice through “informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion.”  42 U. S. C. §2000e–5(b).  If, and only if, it is unable to obtain a conciliation agreement that is “acceptable to the commission,” may the agency then file suit. Until now, courts were divided on whether this statutorily-required duty was subject to judicial review.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, the U.S Supreme Court ruled that courts do have authority to review whether the EEOC has fulfilled its conciliation duties and thereby unanimously vacated the Seventh Circuit’s ruling that EEOC’s conciliation efforts were unreviewable.  Mach Mining LLC v. EEOC, Case No. 13-1019, 575 U. S. ____ (2015).   “We hold that a court may review whether the EEOC satisfied its statutory obligation to attempt conciliation before filing suit . . . recognizing the EEOC’s extensive discretion to determine the kind and amount of communication with an employer that is appropriate in any given case.”  The Court also found that “the scope of that review is narrow, enforcing only the EEOC’s statutory obligation to give the employer notice of the claim and an opportunity to discuss the matter.”  Specifically, the EEOC must notify the employer by describing the employer’s allegedly discriminatory practice and which employees (or class of employees) have allegedly suffered.  Further, the EEOC must try to engage the employer in a discussion in order to give the employer a chance to remedy the allegation.
Continue Reading Supreme Court OKs Review of EEOC Conciliation: Practical Implications for Employers