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Kimberly J. Korando

Attorney
AA Contact Info

Simone Faircloth
Phone: 919.838.2157
sfaircloth@smithlaw.com

Overview

Kim Korando is recognized as one of North Carolina’s leading employment lawyers by Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Law and Politics North Carolina Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers® and Business North Carolina Legal Elite. She founded the firm’s Employment, Labor and Human Resources practice group and served as its inaugural leader.

For more than 30 years, Kim has served as a trusted advisor to public and private companies throughout the U.S. in matters of financial, reputational and operational significance. Her work has led to ChambersUSA client reviews describing her as “simply outstanding on employment law,” “a diligent top tier attorney,” who does “a first class job” and “has a way of looking at several different sides of a situation to evaluate it clearly,” and “is exceedingly bright, capable and practical, and gives current pragmatic advice.”

Kim serves as general outside employment and labor and human resources counsel to public and private companies in a wide variety of industries including utilities, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, hospitals and healthcare, automotive, semiconductor, paper/cellulose and furniture manufacturers, insurance, banking, retail, hospitality, and food and beverage distribution, as well as municipalities and law firms.

Kim is retained as special counsel to conduct independent internal investigations, workplace compliance audits and workplace culture assessments, including those arising from #Me-Too and Social Justice movements and allegations of hostile and toxic work environments.

Kim is a thought leader who frequently speaks and writes on human resources compliance and risk management issues in the business and legal community. She regularly collaborates with companies developing in-house training programs and has trained thousands of supervisors, managers and Human Resources professionals in legally compliant employment practices, as well as investigators for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She serves on the Board of Editors for the nation’s leading employment discrimination treatise, and authors a leading North Carolina workplace policies and forms guidebook that is updated annually through the North Carolina Chamber.

  • ABA Equal Employment Opportunity Committee 
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • American Employment Law Council
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • North Carolina Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management (2007-2021)
  • Best Lawyers®, “Lawyer of the Year,” Raleigh Labor Law - Management (2013, 2021)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Labor & Employment (2005-2020)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated since 1999
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2020)
  • Oklahoma Law Review, Note Editor

Experience

Experience

Crossborder

  • Regularly advises global companies based outside the U.S. (Japan, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, France, U.K. and Canada) and outside North Carolina with regard to establishing North Carolina workforces and associated compliance with U.S. and North Carolina laws.

Compensation and FLSA

  • Conducted enterprise-wide compensation analyses focusing on identifying and correcting pay equity issues.
  • Developed discretionary and “unlimited” paid time off programs implemented to replace accrued leave programs.
  • Conducted enterprise-wide audits of worker classification and developed strategies for reclassifying misclassified workers and practical solutions for time recording practices (including donning/doffing, automatic clocking/deductions and use of remote devices for work) for manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, distribution, technology and other industry employers.

Affirmative Action, Diversity Initiatives and EEO

  • Developed and presented briefings for boards and other governing bodies addressing institutional leadership on these initiatives.
  • Successful defense of EEOC investigations and OFCCP compliance audits focusing on allegations of class-wide race, gender and disability discrimination in hiring, promotion, compensation and terminations, including challenges to criminal history, testing and other employee selection criteria.
  • Successfully resolved (pre-litigation) allegations of systemic race and gender discrimination, including those made by current employees and supported by national and local civil rights groups, and allegations of harassment against executives and high ranking officials.
  • Regularly establishes and annually updates affirmative action plans for defense and other federal contractors (financial, healthcare, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, consulting, distribution, hospitality) with special emphasis on risk management regarding analysis of employment activity, compensation, recruiting and selection procedures.

Whistleblowing/Retaliation

  • Strategic advice on managing whistleblowing employees.
  • Successfully defended whistleblower and retaliation complaints before the U.S. Department of Labor, EEOC and other agencies, including environmental and financial fraud complaints.

Internal Investigations

  • Retained as special counsel to conduct internal investigations into allegations of harassment, discrimination, code of conduct violations, embezzlement and root cause of management failures.

Restructuring and Organizational Changes

  • Designed RIFs, lay-offs, furloughs and recovery programs.
  • Designed comprehensive workforce restructuring programs, including voluntary separation programs and employee selection and staffing processes that have been successfully defended before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

WorkHealth Initiatives and Risk Management

  • Developed and integrated corporate policies for hospitals, banks and pharmaceutical, manufacturing and technology companies to manage leave (FMLA/STD/ADA reasonable accommodation leave/workers’ compensation leave) and mandatory paid sick leave obligations. Developed fitness for duty programs including functional capacity testing for manufacturing, healthcare and distribution worksites.
  • Developed mandatory vaccine policies designed to maximize herd immunity while minimizing liability for ADA and Title VII reasonable accommodation violations and served as reviewer of exemption requests.
  • Developed drug-testing programs, including random testing programs and programs in medicinal and recreational marijuana and CBD jurisdictions.
  • Led interdisciplinary publicly-traded Fortune 500 corporate ADA task force charged with: identifying Title I and Title III compliance issues; reviewing and modifying corporate policies, procedures and practices including medical testing, qualification standards and test administration accommodation.

Crisis Management

  • Regularly develops and executes strategies and plans for minimizing liability in high risk terminations.
  • Coordinated and managed regulatory, communication and risk management response to high profile workplace crises, including those arising from #Me-Too and Social Justice movements and employee and community social media postings, and industrial accidents.

Labor

  • Coordinated responses to union organization campaigns and collective bargaining with USW and IBEW.

Training

  • Develops customized content for training programs on establishing and maintaining respectful workplaces (including diversity, inclusion and microaggressions), interviewing and selection, performance management and legal aspects of managing people.
  • Developed highly participatory mock trial training experience in which supervisors experience first-hand how their decisions play out in front of a jury which has been customized for employers in a wide range of industries and delivered across the country.
  • Developed highly participatory mock trial training experience in which human resources professionals and internal company investigators experience first-hand how their decisions in conducting an investigation play out in front of a jury which has been customized for employers in a wide range of industries and delivered across the country.

Technology and Related Policies

  • Assisted companies with development of BYOD, remote work, social media and departing employees procedures designed to protect company reputation and assets.

News & Publications

News

Publications

Speaking Engagements

Events

  • Co-Presenter, "Getting Practices Back to "Normal": HR Best Practices and Legal Compliance Issues," Live Webinar hosted by Virginia MGMA
    06.2020
  • Presenter, "When Employees Go Rogue: How to React and Prepare for the Worst," NCBA Corporate Counsel Section Annual Meeting, NC Bar Center, Cary, N.C.
    01.31.2020
  • Co-Presenter, "Boomers, Bots and Gen Z," Smith Anderson 27th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.06.2019
  • Presenter, "HR Legal Eagle Top 10 List," CED Accelerate Series, Research Triangle Park, N.C.
    06.26.2019
  • Presenter, "Sex, Money, Religion and More: Latest Word from the Federal Courts," UNC School of Government Public Employment Law Update
    05.10.2019
  • Co-Presenter, "The Future of Work 2019: 2 Challenges HR Cannot Ignore,” Smith Anderson 26th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.14.2018
  • Co-Presenter, "The Post-#MeToo Era: Emerging Trends & Best Practices,” Smith Anderson 26th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.14.2018
  • "The Post-#MeToo Era: Emerging Trends, Best Practices," Deloitte Smith Anderson 2018 Technical Update
    11.2018
  • Moderator, "Emerging Legal Trends: Current Legal Landscape and Organization Liability," Sentinel Risk Advisors
    05.2018
  • Moderator, "Protecting Your Business - Sexual Harassment & Discrimination," Association for Corporate Growth Meeting, Durham, N.C.
    02.2018
  • Presenter, "Employee Handbooks & Policies—Recent Developments, Common Mistakes, & Best Practices,” NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2017
  • Presenter, "Being Social—The Changing Face of Employer Social Media Policies,” NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2017
  • Presenter, “Recruiting to Onboarding: Leveraging Technology, Minding the Law,” Smith Anderson 25th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2017
  • Guest Speaker, "Contracts: Negotiating with a Group or Hospital," The Carolinas Anesthesiology 2017, Annual Meeting, Asheville, N.C
    09.2017
  • Presenter, “Fitness for Duty Exams: What Are They and When Does the Law Allow Them?” UNC School of Government Public Employment Law Update, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    05.2017
  • Presenter, "LGBTQ and You: Important Information for Secular and Faith-Based Schools," North Carolina Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, Pinehurst, N.C.
    01.2017
  • Presenter, "Gender Fluidity, Millennials and the Workplace," Smith Anderson 24th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2016
  • Guest Speaker, "Contracts: Negotiating with a Group or Hospital," The Carolinas Anesthesiology 2016, Annual Meeting, Charleston, S.C.
    09.2016
  • Moderator and Panelist, "eCommerce and Public Agency Transactions: Don’t Get Left Behind," NCBA Government and Public Sector Section Annual Meeting
    05.2016
  • Panelist, "Today's Top Five Employer Mistakes (and Answers to Questions on Your Mind...)," Smith Anderson's 23rd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2015
  • Presenter, "Paperless HR: Best Practices, Costly Mistakes," Smith Anderson’s 23rd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2015
  • Presenter, "Recent Workplace Developments: Latest Word from the Fourth Circuit on Employer Obligations," NCBA Government and Public Sector Annual Meeting
    05.2015
  • Presenter, "HR Update--Rethinking Key Employee Policies and Practices," NC Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA) 2015 Not-for-Profit Conference
    05.2015
  • Presenter, "Employee Personal Devices: Employer Monitoring and Access Rights and Limitations," NCBA What Happens When I Click This Red Button? Hot Topics and the Law
    02.2015
  • Presenter, "When IT Meets HR: Four Policies Every Workplace Needs," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2014
  • Presenter, "In Pursuit of Relevance: Continued Attack on Common Practices and Policies," Smith Anderson’s 22nd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2014
  • Presenter, "Carolina In My Mind: Not So Much, Multi-State Employers," Smith Anderson’s 22nd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2014
  • Presenter, "Family and Medical Leave Act," Introduction to Public Employment Law, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    09.2014
  • Presenter, "Employer Monitoring of Employee Devices," Mobile Device Security, NC Technology Association
    09.2014
  • Presenter, "Legal Stuff: Today's Challenges, Tomorrow's Forecast," Raleigh-Wake SHRM
    06.2014
  • Presenter, "OFCCP Final Vets and Rehab Rules Compliance Checklist Part II: Data Collection and Analysis, Hiring Benchmarks and Utilization Goals," Live Webinar
    01.2014
  • Presenter, "OFCCP Final Vets and Rehab Rules Compliance Checklist Part I: Compliance Timeline, Narrative Obligations and Outreach Requirements," Live Webinar
    01.2014
  • Presenter, "Diversity, Inclusion and Employee Engagement: Two Birds, One Stone," Smith Anderson’s 21st Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2013
  • Presenter, "OFCCP's Final Rules for VEVRAA and Section 503," Smith Anderson’s 21st Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2013
  • Keynote Speaker, "Diversity and Inclusion: What's In It For Me?," U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission TAPs, Charlotte, N.C.
    09.2013
  • Keynote Speaker, "Diversity and Inclusion: What's In It For Me?," U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission TAPs, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    08.2013
  • Presenter, "Nuts and Bolts of Unemployment Insurance Law Changes: A Primer for Managers and Human Resources Professionals," Part 2 of a two-part webinar co-hosted by the North Carolina Chamber and Smith Anderson
    06.2013
  • Presenter, "From Unemployment to Reemployment: Preparing Your Business for HB4," Smith Anderson and N.C. Chamber Live Webinar
    06.2013
  • Presenter, "View from the Top: A Primer on NC Unemployment Insurance Reform for the C-Suite," Part 1 of a two-part webinar co-hosted by the North Carolina Chamber and Smith Anderson
    06.2013
  • Panelist, "Expert Panel on Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA," UNC Friday Center, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    05.2013
  • Presenter, "Employment Litigation in the Fourth Circuit: Current Issues and Trends," University of North Carolina Festival of Legal Learning, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    02.2013
  • Presenter, "Non-Union Workplaces: New Attacks on Common Practices and Policies," Smith Anderson's 20th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2012
  • Presenter, "Top Workplace Compliance Issues for 2013 and Beyond," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2012
  • Presenter, "OFCCP Initiatives: A Post-Election 2012 Conversation," Smith Anderson's 20th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2012
  • Presenter, "Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Workplaces: Dealing with the Inevitable," Smith Anderson’s 20th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2012
  • Presenter, "Federal Legislation and Regulatory Update," Triangle Society for Human Resources Management, Research Triangle Park, Durham, N.C.
    05.2012
  • Presenter, "Federal Labor Initiatives," NC Chamber Human Resources Conference, Charlotte, N.C.
    05.2012
  • Presenter, "ADAA: Retooling Your Practices for Compliance," UNC School of Government, Public Employment Law Update, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    04.2012
  • Presenter, "Employment Litigation in the Fourth Circuit: Current Issues and Trends," University of North Carolina Festival of Legal Learning, Chapel Hill, N.C.
    02.2012
  • Presenter, "Federal Legislation and Regulatory Update," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.
    11.2011
  • Presenter, "Latest Word from Washington: New NLRB and OFCCP Initiatives and Proposed Legislation," Smith Anderson's 19th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2011
  • Presenter, "When Technology Meets the Law: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times," Smith Anderson's 19th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2011
  • Presenter, "HR War Stories," ESOP Association Conference, Pinehurst, N.C.
    08.2011
  • Presenter, "Hot Topics," International Public Management Association, Charlotte, N.C.
    03.2011
  • Moderator/Panelist, "Expanding Concepts of Sex Discrimination," ABA 2nd Annual National CLE Conference, Denver, Colo.
    09.2008
  • Presenter, "Selection Interviewing: The Legal Aspects," Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Durham, N.C.
    06.2008

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • All North Carolina State Courts

Education

University of Oklahoma, J.D., with honors, 1986

University of Oklahoma, B.S., in psychology, 1980

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