Overview

Tom Barton is an experienced business lawyer and litigator who, for the last 32 years, has helped clients successfully solve their workplace legal issues. Tom’s practice is focused on class action and individual employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, whistleblower, wage and hour, and noncompetition/trade secret litigation.

Employment Litigation

Tom has been lead trial counsel on numerous class action and individual employment claims in state and federal courts throughout the country. These cases have involved claims based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability, family leave, age, national origin, religion and reverse discrimination, as well as employee whistleblower, wage-and-hour, noncompetition, trade secret, defamation, privacy and public accommodation claims. Tom also litigates complex employment and business lawsuits, class actions, collective actions and other multiparty litigation.

Defending employment lawsuits requires true courtroom experience and excellent advocacy skills; a deep understanding of the particular employment laws, the courts, judges, juries and adversaries; an early, thorough and aggressive case assessment; timely communication of an effective strategy to the client that includes a realistic evaluation of the litigation, defense costs and likely outcomes; and an efficient and creative litigation plan formulated in partnership with the client. Tom has honed these skills over decades of labor-and-employment practice.

Employment Counseling

Tom takes a business-oriented approach to the unique legal issues that arise in the workplace to achieve solutions that avoid liability and minimize the ever-increasing costs of litigation. Bringing to bear over 30 years of experience, Tom regularly advises on the following issues:

  • Pay equity, hiring, compensation and termination practices
  • Proposed employee discipline and dismissal
  • Internal employee complaints and investigations
  • Executive employment hiring and separation
  • Noncompetition and trade secrets
  • Mergers, acquisitions and reductions in force
  • Union collective bargaining, arbitrations and unfair labor practices
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Tom represents a broad range of clients, including Fortune 500 employers in the retail, nonprofit, educational and health care industries, as well as insurance, pharmaceutical, health care and manufacturing institutions.

Representative Experience

  • Among the many wage and hour class action's Tom has litigated, he recently defeated class certification in an Illinois wage and hour lawsuit brought by marketing and sales employees against a national retailer who challenged their exempt administrative status
  • Advised a large nonprofit in a major reorganization that included drafting new by-laws, grant proposals, and employment policies
  • On behalf of a large staffing company, he brought non-competition and trade secret claims in New Jersey state court against fourteen former employees and their new employer and secured full relief for his client
  • Obtained a jury defense verdict for a Fortune 50 company in a hotly contested pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment case
  • Tried one of the first Sarbanes Oxley whistleblower cases before the Office of Administrative Law Judges in D.C., involving a former general counsel who claimed she complained about financial improprieties
  • Obtained over 25 summary judgment verdicts in the last five years in a variety of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation cases
  • Represented a hospital system in a high profile religious discrimination, harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by three medical professionals
  • Represented a major university in claims of sexual harassment and discrimination by a female public safety officer
  • Tried the first applicant drug testing unfair labor practice charge before the National Labor Relations Board
  • On behalf of a major insurance company, he convinced the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to apply a limited definition of similarly situated comparator employees in an age discrimination reduction-in-force case
  • Brought novel Lanham Act and RICO claims in the federal court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against two former employees who engaged in unfair competition and other anti-competitive behavior

Personal Interests

Tom enjoys hiking in national parks, fishing, tennis, cooking and gardening.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Education

Boston College Law School
J.D. magna cum laude, Boston College Law Review (1987)

College of William & Mary
B.A. (1984)

Insights & Events

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • South Jersey Foodbank — Active participant
  • Cure SPG-47, a rare childhood neurological disease — Steering Committee
  • St. Gregory’s Armenian Apostolic Church — Active member

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association — Labor Section, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • New Jersey Bar Association

Honors

  • Chambers USA — Pennsylvania, Labor & Employment, 2009, 2012-20
  • Best Lawyers® — Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor & Employment, 2020-21
  • New Jersey Law Journal and National Law Journal — Trailblazer, 2019

Awards Methodology

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