N. Renee Hughes

N. Renee Hughes

Labor and Employment,  Litigation


Contact Essex Richards704.377.4300 Contact Essex Richards704.372.1357 Contact Essex Richards
rhughes@essexrichards.com



How I Can Help

Wage and Hour Compliance, Including Overtime Issues
Non-Competition Agreements
Non-Solicitation Agreements
Non-Disclosure Agreements
Trade Secrets
Employee Handbooks
Employment and Severance Contracts
Employee Discipline, Termination, and Other Personnel Matters
Title VII, ADEA, FMLA, ADA, NLRA, ERISA, OSHA Compliance
Representation Before the EEOC, DOL, OSHA, NLRB, and Other Government Agencies

Biography

Renee brings extensive proficiency and skill to her practice as an employment attorney and litigator. She was named as one of the Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law – Management for 2013 and 2014, and in two practice areas for both 2015 and 2016: Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment. In addition, Renee was recently selected to be a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, which is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars who have been elected by their peers to become members of The Fellows, and who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.

In 2012 Renee was named by Business North Carolina magazine as the best employment lawyer in North Carolina by a vote of attorneys statewide. As a result, Ms. Hughes has been named to Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame in Employment Law. She has also been listed in North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine and was named in 2015 one of its Top 50 Women Lawyers in North Carolina.

Renee’s legal career began in 2002 as a litigator with Moore and Van Allen’s Charlotte office, focusing on labor and employment and business litigation. Whether litigating a non-compete or wage dispute in her employment practice, or advising an employer on personnel issues, Renee commits her legal skills to delivering high quality representation. She represents and advises employers on matters involving breach of contract, wage and hour, hiring, termination, non-compete agreements, trade secrets, and discrimination. She routinely represents employers in investigating and responding to complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Labor, OSHA, and other state and federal agencies. Renee also conducts employment training for employers and their employees.

Renee also represents executives and professionals on various matters, including contract and severance negotiations, trade secret concerns, payment of commissions and other owed wages, and various litigation matters. She also represents clients in commercial litigation matters involving claims such as breach of contract, truth in lending violations, fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, tortious interference with contract, and various other claims.

Renee’s interest in the law began prior to law school, when she served as the Court Advocate for battered women for the Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc. in Wilmington, N.C. She continues to serve her community through various organizations, including volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte and serving on the Board of her homeowners’ association.

In her spare time, Renee enjoys domestic and international travel, yoga, spending time with friends and family, spending time at the beach, and watching ACC basketball and college and professional football games (go Deacs!).

Education

  • NCCU School of Law, Valedictorian, Summa Cum Laude, 2002
    • Academic Achievement Award
    • Executive Editor – Law Journal
    • Teaching Assistant to Contracts and Evidence law professors
  • Wake Forest University, Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, 1991
  • Cape Fear Academy, Salutatorian, 1987

Thought Leadership

  • Co-author with Randel Phillips, Esq. of the North Carolina chapter of Wage and Hour Laws, a State by State Survey, published by the Bureau of National Affairs
  • Frequent speaker on a variety of employment related topics. Presentations include lecturing at various Continuing Legal Education seminars on employment matters and other CLEs of interest to attorneys.

Representative Work

  • Premier Resources of North Carolina, Inc. v.  Kelly, 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 1411 (2014). Obtained preliminary injunction for employer-client enjoining former employee and anyone acting in concert with her from breaching a non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreement. Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Pharr v. DesignLine USA, LLC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38828 (W.D.N.C. March 22, 2012). Obtained summary judgment for employer on former employee’s claim of race discrimination. Court dismissed employee’s complaint with prejudice.
  • Barcomb v. CBS Radio Holdings, Inc., Civil Action No. 3:10-CV-353 (W.D.N.C Jan. 6, 2011). Represented a radio personality in his claims against his former employer, Defendant CBS Radio Holdings, Inc. Successfully defended against CBS’ motion to compel arbitration or in the alternative, to dismiss the litigation. After preparing and submitting a memorandum in opposition to CBS’s motion and presenting oral arguments before the Court, the Court found in our favor, declared the contested arbitration agreement unconscionable and denied CBS’ motion.
  • Barrow v. First Legacy Community Credit Union, et al., Case No. 09-CVS-19823 (Mecklenburg County, NC, December 2010). Obtained summary judgment in favor of First Legacy Community Credit Union. Court dismissed all claims against client with prejudice.
  • Magic One, LLC, et al. v. Davis, Case No. 10-CVS-16842 (Mecklenburg County, NC, August 2010). Obtained injunctive relief on behalf of client against former employee for breach of covenant not to compete.
  • Ameritruck, LLC v. Andreotti, et al., Case No. 10-CVS-17912 (Mecklenburg County, NC, August 2010). Successfully defended against enforcement of a covenant not to compete and covenant not to disclose, preventing injunctive relief against client.

Professional Recognition

Associations & Admissions

Professional Associations

  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Small Firm and Solo Practitioner Section, Chairperson, 2009-2013.
  • N.C. Association of Women Attorneys, Judicial Endorsements Committee, Member, 2008-2009.
  • Charlotte Women Attorneys, Board of Directors, Programs Committee Co-Chair, 2013-present.
  • Mecklenburg County Bar Association’s Bar Leadership Institute, Class of 2006.