John E. Thomas Jr. Associate

John represents businesses in matters across the spectrum of employment law. He is a first-chair trial lawyer who has successfully argued employment issues before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

His practice includes representing employers in disputes involving misappropriation of trade secrets, covenants not to compete, breaches of contract, and defamation as well as the host of employment statutes such as wage-and-hour laws (the FLSA and state laws), leave laws (the FMLA and state laws), and discrimination statutes (like Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, and state laws). Representative clients include those in defense, banking, healthcare, community property management, wastewater management, and legal industries.

In addition to resolving disputes through litigation, arbitration, and mediation, John's practice includes counseling HR professionals and in-house counsel through difficult employment-related issues, including terminations, severance agreements, employment contracts, and lay-offs. He offers a practical eye toward revising policies and handbooks and messaging difficult decisions to employees. John is the author of An Employer’s Guide to D.C. Employment Statutes, a comprehensive online guide to help companies navigate Washington, D.C.’s complex employment laws.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, John held the role of special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. His experience also includes serving as pro se law clerk for the Honorable M. Hannah Lauck of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, judicial intern for the Honorable Michael F. Urbanski of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, and law clerk in the U.S. Department of Justice.

John is an active member of his community. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Tysons Corner Children's Center, a local nonprofit, and is the past Secretary for the Board of Trustees for the Kiwanis Foundation of Tysons Corner/McLean. He is a recipient of the McGuireWoods Excellence Award for his pro bono contributions and the National Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Service Award.

  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, JD, cum laude, Lead Articles Editor, Washington and Lee Law Review, 2010
  • Middle Tennessee State University, BS, magna cum laude, 2006

Member, Virginia Bar Association

Member, D.C. Bar Association

Member, Fairfax Bar Association

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • 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
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • Speaker, "Advanced Employment Law Topics," Northern Virginia Chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), January 25, 2019
  • Presenter, "Employee Mobility," Northern Virginia SHRM Legal Academy, March 23, 2017
  • Guest, "New Overtime Regulations to Affect Millions of Workers," In the Workplace, Wharton Business Radio, Sirius XM, May 19, 2016
  • Guest, "FMLA Updates Regulations to Include Same-Sex Spouses Regardless of Employee’s Residency," In the Workplace, Wharton Business Radio, Sirius XM, March 12, 2015
  • Presenter, 2014 Employment Law Update, October 17, 2014
  • Guest, "Re-Thinking Criminal Background Checks," In the Workplace, Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM, September 11, 2014
  • Guest, "EEOC Enforcement Guidance Regarding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act," In the Workplace, Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM, July 24, 2014
  • Speaker, Confronting Ethical Issues in the Criminal Justice System, George Mason University, November 18, 2013
  • Speaker, Facing Ethical Dilemmas as an Attorney, Washington & Lee University School of Law, February 28, 2013
  • Speaker, “Banning the Box”: How Your Company’s Job Application is Catching the EEOC’s Attention, Tysons Labor & Employment Law Group Luncheon, December 5, 2012
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