Kevin W. Shaughnessy

Partner

Orlando
T +1.407.649.4014
F +1.407.841.0168

Kevin Shaughnessy "is the lawyer you go to with your 'bet the company' case," according to one client.

— Chambers USA 2016

Overview

Kevin Shaughnessy is a class action litigator who provides high-level consultation to employers on sensitive internal matters and corporate compliance issues. Working primarily with general counsel, C-level executives and human resources professionals, he helps clients avoid the potential negative impact of bet-the-company litigation while concomitantly helping to create and preserve productive working environments. Kevin focuses on each client's specific needs and develops unique strategies to place his clients in the best light, legally and publicly, while handling litigation and non-litigation matters efficiently and effectively. Clients seek Kevin's counsel on business and legal issues due to his understanding of corporate missions and operations, and his appreciation of the personal and professional challenges clients face every day.

Kevin is board certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Florida Bar. He is ranked by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, is named in The Best Lawyers in America© and was recently named by Best Lawyers in America as 2017 Lawyer of the Year Orlando, Litigation – Labor and Employment, and is also ranked by The Legal 500 in Labor and Employment Law.  

Select Experience

  • Kevin handled the first historic lawsuit in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sought to apply Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination to claims of sexual orientation discrimination. Due in large part to Kevin's reputation for effecting partnership settlements with federal agencies, along with the client's long-term demonstrated good faith efforts to prevent sexual orientation discrimination, the EEOC agreed to stay the litigation while the parties discussed settlement. Without filing a single court pleading, Kevin's team convinced the EEOC to accept a settlement proposal that specifically acknowledged the client's forward-thinking policies and created an unprecedented partnership between the client and the EEOC to develop a training module on LGBTQ workplace issues that the EEOC could provide to employers throughout the United States. The EEOC's press release commended the client for its long-standing policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and praised the "landmark settlement." More than 130 media outlets around the world covered the settlement.
  • Kevin defended the first claim brought under Florida's "Guns at Work Law." An employee was terminated after bringing a gun into the parking lot of his place of employment and he filed an injunction action against his employer, claiming he was allowed to do so under the new law. Kevin effectively argued that the law did not apply to his client and that the employee had no standing to bring an injunction action. The case was covered nationally by several news services and was, for a time, covered almost daily by the local media.
  • Kevin represented two of the world's foremost telecommunication technology experts who were wrongly accused of misappropriating trade secrets and misusing patents. Working closely with counsel representing his clients' employer, Kevin developed a strategy to preserve his clients' use of the highly specialized technology that was critical to their employer's success. The case lasted for almost three years and involved depositions throughout the United States and in parts of Europe. The case ultimately settled favorably, his clients' use of the technology was preserved, and no injunctive relief or damages were imposed against his clients.
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Experience

  • Kevin handled the first historic lawsuit in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sought to apply Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination to claims of sexual orientation discrimination. Due in large part to Kevin's reputation for effecting partnership settlements with federal agencies, along with the client's long-term demonstrated good faith efforts to prevent sexual orientation discrimination, the EEOC agreed to stay the litigation while the parties discussed settlement. Without filing a single court pleading, Kevin's team convinced the EEOC to accept a settlement proposal that specifically acknowledged the client's forward-thinking policies and created an unprecedented partnership between the client and the EEOC to develop a training module on LGBTQ workplace issues that the EEOC could provide to employers throughout the United States. The EEOC's press release commended the client for its long-standing policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and praised the "landmark settlement." More than 130 media outlets around the world covered the settlement.
  • Kevin defended the first claim brought under Florida's "Guns at Work Law." An employee was terminated after bringing a gun into the parking lot of his place of employment and he filed an injunction action against his employer, claiming he was allowed to do so under the new law. Kevin effectively argued that the law did not apply to his client and that the employee had no standing to bring an injunction action. The case was covered nationally by several news services and was, for a time, covered almost daily by the local media.
  • Kevin represented two of the world's foremost telecommunication technology experts who were wrongly accused of misappropriating trade secrets and misusing patents. Working closely with counsel representing his clients' employer, Kevin developed a strategy to preserve his clients' use of the highly specialized technology that was critical to their employer's success. The case lasted for almost three years and involved depositions throughout the United States and in parts of Europe. The case ultimately settled favorably, his clients' use of the technology was preserved, and no injunctive relief or damages were imposed against his clients.
  • When whistleblower claims made against one of the country's largest agricultural interests threatened to jeopardize the client's highly valued relationship with its largest retailer, Kevin rapidly resolved the claims. Kevin and his client were transparent in dealing with the retailer and conducted an immediate investigation into all of the whistleblower's claims. The retailer was kept fully informed about the investigation's scope and results. The investigation established that there was no merit to any of the whistleblower's allegations and the client's business relationship was preserved.
  • Kevin helped numerous companies avoid class certification in both FLSA and Title VII cases, including several high-profile tip-pooling cases for national employers, several financial industry off-the-clock and misclassification cases filed by some of the largest plaintiff firms in the country, and a Commissioner's Charge filed by the chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In the latter purported class action involving more than 10,000 potential claimants, Kevin negotiated a settlement that did not involve any monetary payment or admission of liability, and which resulted in a joint press release by the EEOC and the client in which the EEOC complimented the client's diversity efforts and hiring programs.
  • In a union election, Kevin prevailed for his client, Florida's largest private transportation company, using a multimedia campaign that included social media, video presentations and multifaceted campaign literature. The company's campaign resulted in an election turnout of more than 90 percent, and 68 percent of the employees rejected the union.
  • Kevin Shaughnessy has represented employers from a range of industries in OSHA investigations, safety training and safety program development. His OSHA investigation experience includes, among other claims, bloodborne pathogen contamination, several employee death cases, and chemical contamination cases. The industries include transportation, construction, automobile parts manufacturing, educational institutions, and construction and electrical equipment manufacturing.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • Chambers USA: Labor and Employment in Florida (2004 to 2017)
  • The Legal 500 United States (2015 to 2017)
    • Recommended in Labor and Employment: Labor and employment disputes (including collective actions) – defense
  • The Best Lawyers in America©
    • Orlando: Employment Law – Management (2006 to 2018)
    • Orlando: Labor Law – Management (2006 to 2018)
    • Orlando: Litigation – Labor & Employment (2016 to 2018)
      • Best Lawyers® 2017 "Lawyer of the Year"
    • Orlando: Qui Tam Law (2017, 2018)
  • Orlando Magazine: Best Lawyers (2016)
  • Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Florida Bar
  • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional by the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics
  • The International Who’s Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers (2007, 2009, 2013, 2014)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent
  • Florida Trend "Legal Elite"
  • Florida "Super Lawyer" (2006 to 2017)

Memberships

  • Orange County Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Committee, Past Chair
  • Ninth Circuit Grievance Committee
    • Past Chair

Publications

Alerts

Community

  • Orlando Area Trust for the Homeless
    • Director (2008 to 2011)
  • Bishop Grady Villas
    • Chair (2008)
    • Board of Directors (2005 to 2008)
  • Bishop Moore High School
    • Board of Directors (1990 to 1993)
    • Chair (1993)
  • Coalition for the Homeless
    • Board of Directors (1998 to 2007)
    • Chair (2000 to 2001)
  • Urban League
    • Board of Directors (1996)

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1984
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1984
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989
  • Florida, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1983

Education

  • J.D., Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, 1983
  • B.B.A., University of Notre Dame, 1980, Accounting, cum laude