Direct: (919) 510-9243
Phone: (919) 787-8880
Fax: (919) 325-4613
3605 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27612
Kristen G. Lingo practices exclusively in the area of employment law, serving as outside general employment counsel to employers of all sizes throughout North Carolina.
In a legal and regulatory climate where an honest mistake can lead to potentially devastating liability, Kristen believes the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has special meaning for employers. That’s why she focuses on helping employers avoid employment-related problems and disputes with legally sound policies and procedures. She conducts compliance audits and handbook reviews to spot potential problems, and then works with clients to resolve them by developing and implementing customized policies that not only comply with the law, but also address any specific challenges posed by the client’s workforce or industry, but also respect and preserve the company’s history and culture as much as possible. These policies address topics such as:
- Payment of wages and overtime
- Equal employment opportunity
- Verifying authorization to work in the United States
- Workplace harassment
- Reasonable accommodations for disabled workers
- Accommodating employees’ religious practices;
- FMLA leave for new parents or employees with serious health problems
- FMLA or USERRA leave for military personnel and their families;
- Drug and alcohol prevention and testing programs;
- Employee privacy and monitoring of electronic communications; and
- Employees’ use of social media
- Workplace violence
Employers rely on Kristen to provide guidance and assistance in the day-to-day administration of these policies. She conducts on-site training for managers and employees. In addition, she provides telephone, email and in-person consultations to answer questions or help employers make tough decisions in specific situations, like how to handle an under-performing employee with health problems, or what remedial action to take after a harassment claim has been substantiated.
Kristen understands that employers have a great deal invested in their employees, as well as their proprietary information, trade secrets and customer relationships. She helps her clients protect those investments by negotiating and drafting employment, nondisclosure, non-competition, non-solicitation, and severance agreements. She also works with employers to reduce the risks of using contingent workers like independent contractors, temps, and leased employees by helping them negotiate and draft their agreements with contractors, staffing agencies and other service providers.
Kristen also helps employers anticipate and deal with employment-related issues in corporate transactions, including conducting employment-related due diligence, advising employers on potential successor liability risks, negotiating executive employment and noncompetition agreements, advising employers on WARN and other obligations, and assisting with post-closing workforce integration.
When employment-related problems and disputes do arise, Kristen helps her clients resolve them as efficiently – and economically – as possible. She advises clients on conducting internal harassment and discrimination investigations. She works with employers facing audits or investigations by administrative agencies such as the EEOC, the OFCCP, and both the state and federal Department of Labor. She has successfully defended or resolved state and federal court lawsuits involving alleged discrimination, harassment, retaliation, ERISA violations, negligent hiring and supervision, and wrongful discharge, as well as both individual and class actions involving compensability of travel time, “donning and doffing” time, and other “off the clock” work.
Kristen’s employer clients are typically closely-held or family-owned businesses, ranging from start-ups and mom-and-pop businesses with fewer than ten employees up to large multi-state and multi-national companies with 500 or more employees. They include medical practices, engineering and professional services firms, retail and wholesale sales organizations, manufacturers, technology companies, religious organizations, poultry and pork processors, hotels, restaurants, property management and development companies and even a few other law firms.
In addition to her work with employers, Kristen also works with executives in negotiating and drafting employment, severance and consulting agreements, advising them on the legal (non-tax) aspects of issues such as equity, incentive and deferred compensation; severance benefits; change-in-control protection; and covenants not to compete/covenants not to solicit.
She is listed among Business North Carolina magazine's Legal Elite in the area of employment law (2006, 2009-2013) and The Best Lawyers in America® (2013) in the area of Employment Law - Management.
- University of North Carolina, J.D., with honors, 1993
- University of North Carolina, B.A., 1989, Morehead Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa
Admitted to Practice
- State of North Carolina, 1993
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
- American Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Section
- North Carolina Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Law Section
- Labor and Employment Law Section Council
- Labor and Employment Law Section Secretary
- Young Lawyers Division, Division Director
- Convention Planning Advisory Committee
- Labor and Employment Law Section
- Wake County Bar Association
- St. Michael's Episcopal Church