Brian D. Barger Partner

Brian has practiced management labor and employment law for over 30 years, with extensive experience representing public and private employers with local, national and multinational operations and a practice focused on:

  • Federal Contractor Defense and Compliance.  Brian’s primary focus is defending clients in affirmative action class systemic discrimination enforcement litigation, compliance audits and complaint investigations brought throughout the country by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP).  He regularly works on preparing and updating annual affirmative action plans and counseling clients regarding compensation analyses, hiring and promotion systems, and federal record keeping requirements.  He has also worked with national and international clients on electronic database, applicant tracking and selection system design and reporting.

  • Corporate Employment Counseling / Risk Management.   Brian regularly counsels employers regarding general personnel matters and corporate employment risk management.  Such counseling includes advice during corporate transactions, restructuring efforts and reductions in force; regarding hiring and pay practices, employee leave policies and related laws; and involving matters related to hiring and firing employees, covenants not to complete, employment testing and privacy.  Brian regularly counsels clients and their boards in executive compensation matters, contracts and other strategic negotiations.  Brian is also co-author of the North Carolina chapters of the Annual Survey on Employment Libel and Privacy Law (1999 to present), and he is a former editor of and regular contributor to McGuireWoods’ Work Cite employer legal update.

  • Governmental Investigations and Claim Defense.  Brian has extensive experience representing public and private employers with local, national and multinational operations in Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, Section 1983, wrongful discharge, unfair labor practice litigation, and FLSA wage and hour disputes, audits, claims and related internal and external investigations.  Brian also investigates complaints regarding workplace discrimination, harassment, regulatory violations, and other misconduct.

Brian frequently lectures and provides training on affirmative action, discrimination law, hiring and firing employees, sexual harassment, workplace violence, FLSA compliance, and employee testing/privacy.

While earning his law degree at the University of Virginia, he was recipient of the prestigious Earl K. Shawe Labor Relations Award. 


Defense of clients in OFCCP compliance reviews and resolutions of E.O. 11246, VEVRRA and Rehabilitation Act issues with OFCCP District and Regions nationally.

Representation of multi-national clients in federal contractor affirmative action compliance efforts, including development of affirmative action plan templates and forms, selection system review and analytics, annual HR team and recruiter training, and internal compliance reviews and reporting at targeted locations.

Representation of clients regarding the design and structure of global online applicant tracking, selection and reporting systems used for U.S. affirmative action reporting.

Defense of national client in one of the largest OFCCP multi-site compliance audits in the past 10 years and its related resolution, involving 5 years of alleged class activity, 20,000+ applicants and underlying federal contracts worth more than $1.4 billion.  

National outside employment “triage” counsel for public and private companies, providing advice and support to HR teams and in-house counsel in connection with internal employee investigations, covenant not to compete development and enforcement, employee leave and other disputes, EEOC/DOL charges and related litigation, employee restructuring and facility closings, corporate acquisitions and transactions, data privacy, and strategic HR risk analysis.

Representation of corporate boards in senior executive contract development, tax analysis, negotiation and implementation.

Representation of employers in multi-unit reorganizations, structural realignments and WARN reductions in force.

Representation and defense of clients in senior executive-level investigations, governmental reporting and related discipline / separations.

  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, with Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif, 1990
  • University of Virginia, BA, with High Distinction, 1987

Member, North Carolina Bar Association

Member, 26th Judicial District Bar Candidates Committee

Member, Employment Libel and Privacy Law Committee, National Media Law Resource Center, 2009-present

Chair, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) North Chapter, 2019-2021

Chair, Board of Directors, Siskey Family YMCA, 2012-2013

Coordinator, Roof Above / Room In The Inn homeless ministry, 2004-present

Pro Bono Representation: Roof Above, Charlotte Rescue Mission, Girls on the Run International, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Charlotte Ballet, Thompson Child & Family Focus

  • North Carolina
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina

The rules of professional conduct in some jurisdictions require disclosure of selection methodology for certain public accolades and recognitions. Click here to view available selection methodologies.

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment, Woodward/White, Inc., 2013, 2015-2024

Labor & Employment - North Carolina, Band 4, 2021; Band 3, 2022, 2023, Chambers USA

North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2018-2023

Roz Greenspon Award for Community Service, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, North Carolina Chapter, 2021

Earl K. Shawe Labor Relations Award, University of Virginia School of Law

Order of the Coif, University of Virginia School of Law

Phi Beta Kappa, University of Virginia

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment, North Carolina, Chambers USA, 2020 

George Williams Award for Volunteer Service, YMCA of Greater Charlotte

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