Summer L. Speight Associate

Summer counsels and represents employers in all aspects of employment-related litigation, traditional labor law, and ERISA litigation.

Summer’s employment-related litigation experience includes state and federal litigation of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, Family Medical Leave Act, Equal Pay Act, trade secret claims, and wage and hour class, collective and representative actions. She regularly provides advice to employers on employment issues, including discipline, discharge, reduction in force, and leave and accommodation issues, and on drafting or revising employee handbooks, policies, and agreements. Summer also conducts management and employee training on the prevention of unlawful employment practices.

Summer regularly represents unionized employers. This experience includes defending unfair labor practice charges and arbitrations. Summer also advises employers on how to remain union-free and represents employers in NLRB-sponsored elections.

Summer defends employers in ERISA litigation, including claims arising under multi-employer plans and claims for pension benefits, severance benefits, and disability and health benefits. She also counsels employers on implementing, revising, and administering ERISA plans.

She served as law clerk to the Honorable M. Hannah Lauck of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2010 to 2012 and the U.S. Attorneys Office in 2009.

Experience

ERISA Litigation

Representation of a global company in connection with its employee benefits and executive compensation matters, including defending the company in litigation involving various top hat plans and corporate spin-offs.

Defense of an international manufacturing company in employee benefit lawsuits under ERISA brought by senior executives alleging breach of change in control severance plan.

Defense of a company assessed withdrawal liability in connection with a multi-employer plan.

Representation of utility company in an interpleader action regarding the validity of a qualified domestic relations order and its impact on benefits owed under a tax-qualified employee pension benefit plan.

Representation of corporation in connection with designing, implementing, and administering an ERISA severance plan and defending against claims brought under the same.

Litigating throughout the United States, including in California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and Virginia.

Labor Law

Successfully represented employer in pre-election hearing before the National Labor Relations Board and obtained favorable ruling limiting the scope of the bargaining unit.

Assisted in campaigns for international manufacturers and defeated Union petitions seeking to represent employees at large manufacturing facilities.

Assisted in hearing before National Labor Relations Board and successfully defeated a union attempt to organize a micro-unit.

Represents clients in labor arbitrations regarding contract disputes and employee discipline.

Conducts positive employee relations training and union awareness training for numerous clients.

Assists employers in negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Employment Law

Obtained dismissal of claim seeking to declare collective action waiver in separation agreement unenforceable.

Represents clients in wage and hour collective actions and class actions.

Represents clients in responding to wage and hour audits or inquiries from federal, state, and local government agencies.

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Employment and Labor, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2015-2020

Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2021

  • University of Richmond School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Executive Editor, Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest, Senior Staff, University of Richmond Law Review, 2010
  • James Madison University, BA, Political Science, BM, Music Performance, magna cum laude, 2006
Member, John Marshall American Inn of Court
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