Shalanna Pirtle has been a practicing employment law litigator since 2007, evaluating all types of employment claims, including, but not limited to racial, religious, color, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, national origin, sexual and other unlawful harassment and discrimination, as well as employment contract disputes, wrongful discharge claims, and wage and hour issues, and a wide variety of tort claims. She is well-versed in the ADA, FLSA, ADEA, Title VII, Section 1981, and numerous other employment-related statutes, and she also has extensive experience with proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the North Carolina Departments of Labor and Commerce. Shalanna advises clients daily regarding employee discipline, disability and religious accommodations issues, and wage and hour matters, and has experience handling business litigation, contract disputes, and disputes over non-competition agreements. She also routinely conducts workplace investigations and diversity and inclusion training for employers.

Prior to attending law school, Shalanna worked for several years as a server and corporate trainer for one of the largest international dining restaurant companies. She also worked as an assignment desk editor and producer for a community affairs show at a news station in a top 10 television market. Shalanna has substantial experience in helping business clients navigate workplace and cultural sensitivity issues. The daughter of a school teacher and steel mill worker, with humble mid-western blue-collar roots, Shalanna draws on all these experiences to give her a unique approach to understanding the concerns of employees and employers alike.

Shalanna is an insightful counselor and communicator with an innate ability to help individuals work through conflict. She understands the pressure points critical to decision-making and the assessment of risk for both employees and employers. Shalanna is highly regarded for her intuitive problem-solving skills that she uses to help parties craft solutions tailored to the nuances of their specific disputes.

Shalanna began her legal career at Parker Poe in Charlotte where she maintains a legal practice, but she is passionate about conflict resolution and mediation work. Shalanna is also certified by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission as a mediator.

Expertise Areas
  • B.A. Indiana University, 2002
  • J.D. University of Georgia, 2007
  • Court Admissions
  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • Representative Experience
  • Represented employers in issues arising under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, FLSA, FMLA, USERRA, and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act.
  • Counseled clients on wrongful discharge, retaliation, violation of state public policy, breach of contract, breach of covenants not to compete, infliction of emotional distress, and other claims arising out of the employment relationship.
  • Advised clients on sexual harassment claims.
  • Conducted workplace and higher education institution investigations in response to claims of hostile environment, harassment, discrimination, and unfair treatment.
  • Defended clients involved in multi-plaintiff and multi-defendant litigation and complex business/commercial contract litigation.
  • Counseled employers on reductions in force and compliance with the OWBPA and the WARN Act.
  • Drafted and reviewed covenants not to compete, confidentiality agreements, and protection of trade secrets and other proprietary information.
  • Drafted and reviewed employment agreements.
  • Advised employers on day-to-day personnel actions such as hiring, evaluations, discipline, and termination.
  • Counseled clients on human resources management training and various employer policies, including preparing and revising employee handbooks.
  • Conducted training on equal employment law concepts, implicit bias, diversity and inclusion, wage and hour issues, and leadership best practices.
  • Legal Employment
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP - Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2017 – Present
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP - Partner, 2017 – Present
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP - Attorney, 2007 – Jan 2017
  • Olive Garden Italian Restaurant, Corporate Trainer, 2003 – 2005
  • WSB-TV, Assignment Desk Editor/Field Producer, 2003 – 2004
  • Affiliations
    American Bar Association - Women in Dispute Resolution Section
    Georgia Bar
    Leary Bar Association
    Mecklenburg County Bar Association
    North Carolina Bar
    North Carolina Bar Association - Dispute Resolution Section
    Membership & Community Involvement
  • Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Diversity Committee Chair
  • Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Charlotte Chapter, Legislative Committee, Chair, 2016—present, Member, 2013—present
  • Arrowood Business Association, 2016
  • Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Public Policy Committee, 2014—present
  • Mecklenburg County Bar, Board of Directors, 2015—2018; Diversity and Inclusion Committee, 2012—2015; Co-chair, Bench Bar and Community Sub-Committee, 2014—2015
  • Leadership Charlotte Class 33, Alumni Committee, 2014—2015
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Coordinator, Law Week Western Regional Moot Court Competition, 2008—2012
  • KIPP Charlotte Charter School, Board of Directors, 2008—2012; Vice-Chair, 2010—2011; Chair, Human Resources Committee, 2009-2011; Chair, Grievance Committee, 2008—2011
  • Stratford-Richardson YMCA, Secretary, Financial Outreach Action Development Team, 2010—2011
  • John S. Leary Association of Black Attorneys, 2007—present
  • Publications & Speaking Engagements
  • In the Weeds With a New Noncompete Strategy: Garden Leave Columbia Business Monthly, Greenville Business Magazine, and Charleston Business Magazine - January 06, 2021
  • Why Some Businesses—but Not Law Firms—Have Begun Adopting a New Noncompete Strategy, The Daily Report - December 29, 2020
  • Standing Out in the Crowd – Building Your Client Base August 01, 2013
  • Unconscious Bias and How It May Affect You As a Neutral, N.C. Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section - March 12, 2021
  • Recruiting to Retention: Maneuvering the Legal Risks of Diversity & Inclusion, Charlotte Area Society for Human Resources Management (CASHRM) - March 08, 2021
  • The Employer Response: Dealing With Race in Today's Climate, Parker Poe Webinar - June 25, 2020
  • Dealing With Employee Off-Duty Conduct When 'Vegas Rules' Just Don't Work, Parker Poe Webinar - July 16, 2019
  • Managing Workplace Violence While Minimizing Legal Risk, Charlotte Area Society for Human Resource Management (CASHRM) - March 11, 2019
  • Employment Law Update, Cabarrus Regional Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) - November 13, 2018
  • Succeeding in a Male-Dominated Environment, The Women, Diversity & Change Summit, Atlanta - November 01, 2018
  • Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Age: Conducting an Effective Investigation, Charlotte Area Society for Human Resource Management - March 12, 2018
  • The Impact of Tax Reform on Employers, Charlotte Area Society for Human Resource Management - March 12, 2018
  • Panelist at THRIVE Program for Minority Students, Parker Poe's Raleigh Office - January 20, 2018
  • Annual Federal, North Carolina and South Carolina Employment Update, York County Society for Human Resource Management
  • Employer Obligations Under FACTA Red Flags Rule & North Carolina Identity Theft Protection Act, The Employers Association - July 2010
  • Employer Responses to Employee Blogging Activity, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein Seminar
  • Employment Law Roundtable Forum – Best Practices for Pre-employment Arrest and Conviction Screening, Social Media Concerns, Managing Employee Illness, NAAAHR - May 2013
  • FLSA Tips & Traps, Carolinas Chapter Society for Human Resources Managers - May 2011
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law, U.S. Green Building Council - November 2014
  • I Didn't Realize She Was a REAL Employee!, Carolinas Chapter Society for Human Resources Professionals - May 2010
  • Pre-Employment Background Screening After EEOC Guidance - September 2012
  • Strategies for Effective Record Keeping, Carolinas Chapter Society for Human Resource Management - May 2010
  • Surviving the Regulation and Enforcement Action Avalanche: FLSA & EEO Compliance, HR Checkup Seminar - November 2010
  • The Latest Trends in Employment Practices Liability, People's First Insurance - September 2012
  • Use of Social Media in the Real World/Strategies for Effective Record-Keeping, HRS&S Consulting, Inc. - January 2014
  • Utilizing Diversity Statistics To Increase Cultural Competency and Awareness, ACC – Charlotte Chapter Diversity CLE
  • Awards & Rankings
  • The Best Lawyers in America in Labor and Employment Litigation and Employment Law, 2021
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2014-2017
  • The Mecklenburg Times 50 Most Influential Women, 2017
  • Charlotte ATHENA Leadership Award Honoree, 2017
  • experience

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