Ryan A. Cates

Associate

Columbus
T +1.614.462.4757
F +1.614.462.2616

Overview

Ryan Cates is an employment litigator with a focus on management-side employment litigation, counseling and traditional labor law. With an attentive and personable demeanor, Ryan is able to ease his clients’ worries in even the most trying and potentially damaging of situations.

Select Experience

  • Assisted major rail carriers, air carriers and other clients in the defense of 100+ employee whistleblower matters filed under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), and other federal and state law whistleblower protection statutes. Regularly provides advice and counseling, investigates complaint allegations, analyzes relevant documentation, interviews key witnesses, and drafts dispositive motions. Has obtained significant success for clients in dozens of cases across multiple industries.
  • Assisted in the defense of a company in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 denial of benefits action. The employee’s benefits payments were terminated when the client discovered he was employed elsewhere while on medical leave. Investigated and confirmed factual circumstances of the situation, analyzed applicable law and drafted a brief in support of the client’s decision to terminate benefits. Written decision was favorable to the client.
  • Defended a large automobile manufacturer in its refusal to pay a recruiter’s fee due to the absence of a signed contract. Interviewed key witnesses, assessed risk of liability to the company and negotiated a settlement of the case, which was favorable to the client.
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Experience

  • Assisted major rail carriers, air carriers and other clients in the defense of 100+ employee whistleblower matters filed under the Federal Railroad Safety Act, Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR21), and other federal and state law whistleblower protection statutes. Regularly provides advice and counseling, investigates complaint allegations, analyzes relevant documentation, interviews key witnesses, and drafts dispositive motions. Has obtained significant success for clients in dozens of cases across multiple industries.
  • Assisted in the defense of a company in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 denial of benefits action. The employee’s benefits payments were terminated when the client discovered he was employed elsewhere while on medical leave. Investigated and confirmed factual circumstances of the situation, analyzed applicable law and drafted a brief in support of the client’s decision to terminate benefits. Written decision was favorable to the client.
  • Defended a large automobile manufacturer in its refusal to pay a recruiter’s fee due to the absence of a signed contract. Interviewed key witnesses, assessed risk of liability to the company and negotiated a settlement of the case, which was favorable to the client.
  • Defended a large automobile manufacturer in a disability discrimination matter. A former employee had attempted to return to work after a lengthy medical leave of absence but was denied reinstatement due to loss of seniority. Investigated the complaint, interviewed witnesses involved with the refusal to reinstate the employee and drafted a motion for summary judgment. The court awarded summary judgment in a favorable written opinion.
  • Defended a public transit authority from an unfair labor practice charge alleging unilateral implementation of policy by an employer. Investigated factual circumstances of the union’s allegations and drafted an administrative position statement, resulting in a dismissal of charge.
  • Represented Class I rail carrier in settlement discussions with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to successfully resolve hundreds of alleged violations of federal regulations relating to railroad safety.

Recognitions and Memberships

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association

Prior Positions

  • Civil litigation firm in Toledo, Ohio: Associate Attorney
  • Boutique plaintiff-side civil litigation firm in Cleveland, Ohio: Summer Associate

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2012
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 2009
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 2009, cum laude
  • B.A., History, Kenyon College, 2006, cum laude