Thomas A. Bright

Shareholder Greenville

Thomas (“Tom”) Bright has spent his entire legal career practicing labor and employment law representing management. As a litigator, Tom has handled cases ranging from sexual harassment matters, to wage payment matters, to all nature of employment discrimination matters. He has handled cases for clients in his home state of South Carolina, throughout the southeast, and in states like New York, Minnesota, California, Utah, Missouri and Texas.  Tom has also advised clients through administrative audits conducted by state and federal Departments of Labor, issues related to affirmative action, overtime pay, and payment of wages issues. Tom’s practice includes handling matters for public sector employers on employment issues that are unique to them, including due process and free speech issues. Thus, he has represented numerous counties, municipalities, and state institutions on matters ranging from discipline, to grievance matters, to litigation. Tom regularly speaks to local, regional, and national human resource organizations on the pressing topics of the day, and he works with many employers doing training for supervisors and management on how to effectively manage employees in a legal environment that is constantly changing.

Community involvement has also been a trademark of Tom’s career as an attorney. He has served as a member of the local YMCA board and the board of the local Red Cross. He has volunteered his time as a coach in baseball, basketball, and football for local youth sports teams. Professionally, Tom has served in various positions in the Labor and Employment Law Section of the South Carolina Bar Association, serving as publications chair, co-chair of the Annual North Carolina/South Carolina joint employment law CLE program, and Chairman of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the South Carolina bar.


Experience

As a litigator, Tom has been involved in handling over 100 cases in both state and federal court. In addition to handling single plaintiff cases, Tom has been involved in a number of class action lawsuits alleging race discrimination (hiring and promotions) and sex discrimination (management training program and promotions). He also assisted in the defense of a national collective/class action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and Employee Retirement Income Security Act for a large poultry processing company.

Preventive maintenance is also an element of Tom’s practice. He participated as a team member in a nationwide review of the exempt/nonexempt status of employees of a large national telecommunications company. This project included interviewing supervisors/managers about the duties of the employees they supervised and then recommending exempt/nonexempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the state laws of numerous states.

Tom has also incorporated supervisor/management training into his core practice. He has developed and delivered mock trials for clients and their supervisors in an attempt to demonstrate for them the reality of employment litigation and jury trials. Tom has collaborated with clients in developing “game shows” premised on labor and employment topics in an attempt to find fresh and innovative ways to deliver management training to supervisors and managers.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • South Carolina Bar Association (Former Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • American Bar Association
  • Greenville Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Guest Lecturer, Clemson University – Department of Management

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Media Quotes

May 23, 2011 - New Jersey Law Journal - "Way is Smoothed for Disability Claims Under New Rules for ADA Amendments"
May 18, 2011 - Daily Report - "Employment Lawyers Brace for ADA Changes"

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