Employers across numerous industries rely on attorney Jim Petrie to represent them in employment-related disputes and litigation, including allegations of discrimination or harassment and wrongful termination.
Jim mediates and negotiates settlements of claims against employers of all sizes, from small businesses to national corporations, and provides regular training on how to maintain compliance and avoid costly litigation.
Jim has extensive experience counseling clients on leave and accommodation issues, taking an approach to ensure employers remain compliant with the regulations governing leave and accommodation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act, while being able to meet staffing and operational needs.
Clients look to Jim for advice on the full gamut of labor and employment issues arising under federal and state laws, such as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the National Labor Relations Act. Jim is experienced in drafting employment agreements, separation agreements, independent contractor agreements, releases, non-compete/non-solicitation agreements, affirmative action plans, and employee handbooks, policies and procedures.
Jim regularly represents clients in federal and state courts and courts of appeals and before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and the State Personnel Board of Review. He is approved as defense counsel by Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Directors and Officers Liability Insurance carriers.
Before joining Epstein Becker Green, Jim was the chair of the Employment & Labor group of a law firm in Ohio. Earlier in his career, he was Assistant Attorney General of the Employment Law Section in the Ohio Attorney General's Office. Jim sits on the board of Habitat for Humanity – MidOhio.
- Helped clients understand their legal obligations under new labor and employment laws passed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jim drafted work-from-home, leave, and reopening policies; advised on mass layoff and WARN Act obligations, terminations, furloughs, unemployment issues, and alternative work arrangements; and recommended best practices for essential workers, safe reopening, employee testing and health assessments, employee travel, and face covering requirements.
- Defended a health care system against claims of disability discrimination and harassment and FMLA interference lodged by a 10-year employee against two members of the system’s human resources department and the employee’s former manager. Through extensive negotiations, Jim resolved the matter for a fraction of the employee’s initial demand.
- Conducted a full analysis of a health care client’s multifaceted bonus programs to determine compliance with state and federal wage and hour laws. Jim developed options for changing the criteria of several bonus programs and pay calculations to avoid possible wage law violations regarding the calculation of overtime. He also created a plan for correcting possible improper overtime calculations for a two-year look-back period.
- Managed the employment law aspects of a merger effort between a major health system and eastern Ohio hospital system with several unions. Jim counseled the health system on the risks of proceeding with the acquisition and on options for complying with the existing labor contracts. The hospital was able to successfully merge and close an inpatient unit that was unprofitable for the health system without union intervention.
- Advised higher learning institution’s leadership and a board chairperson regarding the investigation and ultimate resolution of Title VII and IX harassment and retaliation claims made against multiple board members. Jim negotiated a favorable settlement and withdrawal of the claims through mediation prior to litigation.
- Advised a hospital board of trustees regarding an investigation into the CEO’s handling of an employee’s sexual harassment and retaliation claims against a supervising physician. Jim negotiated transition package for the CEO and the removal of the accused physician from the hospital.
- Represented a regional health system in a harassment lawsuit following the termination of an employee related to her affair with a coworker. She had claimed that 10 other influential employees were engaged in consensual affairs with coworkers. Jim successfully negotiated a settlement on behalf of the health system and avoided depositions and cross-examinations of other employees in court.
- Chambers USA: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business, Ohio—Labor & Employment (2022 to 2023)
- Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Litigation—Labor and Employment (2012 to 2024); Columbus Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law—Individuals (2015)
- Ohio Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor: Employer (2009 to 2023), Top 50 Columbus (2015, 2017 to 2018)
- The International Law Office and Lexology, Client Choice Award (2013)
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D.)
- Miami University (B.A., with honors)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
Professional & Community Involvement
- Columbus Bar Association
- Habitat for Humanity – MidOhio, Board of Directors
- Ohio Management Lawyers Association
- Ohio State Bar Association
- June 12-14, 2023
- June 13-15, 2022
- Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting: Common Pay Issues Facing Hospitals, Including Pay Codes and BonusesJune 2021
- Ohio Society of Health Care Human Resources Administrators Fall Conference: Impact of COVID on Hospitals as EmployersOctober 2020
- Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting: Revisiting #MeToo Movement's Impact on HospitalsJune 2019
- Hot Topics in Employment Law Seminar – Getting practical: Tips for managing difficult ADA issues in the workplaceNovember 2018
- Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting – #MeToo: Preventing Harassment and Investigating Harassment ComplaintsJune 2018