Leslie Sanders

Leslie’s practice focuses on labor and employment law as well as executive compensation. She has litigation experience in the areas of —

  • Sexual harassment
  • Wage and hour
  • FMLA
  • Workers compensation
  • Discrimination
  • Non-competition and employment agreements
  • Retaliation and whistleblower claims
  • Misrepresentation and fraud
  • Breach of contract

Labor and Employment

Leslie Sanders has defended companies in a number of lawsuits. Some representative matters include the following:

  • Jury verdict in favor of a publicly traded restaurant chain in a gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation claim in Tennessee;
  • Jury verdict in favor of a healthcare company in a race discrimination and retaliation claim in U.S. District Court in New Orleans;
  • Favorable summary judgment decisions for a university in Tennessee involving national origin discrimination, FMLA retaliation, disability discrimination under the ADA and ERISA discrimination;
  • Favorable summary judgment decisions in race, gender and national origin claims in U.S. District Courts in Alabama, Nevada and New York for a healthcare company;
  • Obtained injunctive relief for employers against employees who violated non-competition agreements in Tennessee;
  • Favorable summary judgment decision in a claim by a former executive against his employer, an Internet company, for fraud, misrepresentation and breach of an employment agreement;
  • Motion to Dismiss granted in an FMLA retaliation and ADA discrimination claim;
  • Representation of clients at the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Tennessee Court of Appeals, Tennessee Supreme Court and Kentucky Supreme Court;
  • Bench verdict in favor of a company in a jury service discrimination claim;
  • Favorable summary judgment decision in a race discrimination claim for a manufacturing plant.

In addition to her extensive employment litigation experience, Leslie’s experience includes drafting agreements (employment, non-competition and severance), reviewing and drafting employee handbooks and policies, training the workforce, assisting clients with layoffs and plant closures, organizing campaigns for union elections, and assisting with internal wage and hour audits for clients. Leslie has represented clients before several regulatory agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additionally, Leslie has represented management in a variety of union related issues.

Executive Compensation

Leslie has represented both companies and executives in negotiating executive employment agreements and severance packages. She has drafted term sheets, employment agreements, and severance agreements for both employees and employers. Her experience includes both public and private companies. Leslie has advised clients with respect to compliance with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, severance packages in connection with reductions in force, change in control provisions, non-competition covenants and equity agreements.

Work Experience

Leslie was an attorney at Bass, Berry & Sims in Nashville, Tennessee for over 11 years in the Labor and Employment section. Leslie spent 1.5 years as the General Counsel to PIC USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Genus, which is a publicly traded company in the United Kingdom.


  • University of Kentucky, J.D., 1997
  • Georgetown College, B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1992

Court Admissions

  • All Tennessee State Courts
  • All Kentucky State Courts
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 2000
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Eastern Districts of Tennessee, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit, 1998

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1997
  • Kentucky, 1997

Honors and Publications

  • Named as 200 Most Powerful Employment Attorneys in the nation by Human Resource Executive and Lawdragon, 2012
  • “Unions in the Healthcare Industry,” Labor Law Journal (Fall 2010).
  • “The Revised FMLA: OPM’s Counterpart to the DOL Regulations” Government Employee Relations (January 5, 2010)
  • “The Revised FMLA Regulations: Quagmire or Roadmap?” Workplace Law Report (August 28, 2009)
  • “Executive Compensation: The Rules and their Effect on Executive Compensation Agreements” Emerging Trends in Executive Compensation (March 2008)