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 Chambers’ USA 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.
Professional & Community Affiliations
- 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
Honors & Awards
- Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management (2007-2022)
- Best Lawyers®, “Lawyer of the Year,” Raleigh Labor Law - Management (2013, 2021)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Labor & Employment (2005-2021)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated since 1999
- North Carolina Super Lawyers (2006-2021)
- Oklahoma Law Review, Note Editor
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coordinated responses to union organization campaigns and collective bargaining with USW and IBEW.
- 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.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Advised an international research-oriented healthcare group on employment-related matters in its acquisition of worldwide product rights to a rare disease therapy.
News & Publications
- Hitting a New Milestone - 100 Members of Smith Anderson’s Legal Team Recognized by Best Lawyers® and Best Lawyers: Ones to WatchBest Lawyers, 08.19.2021
- Smith Anderson Shines in 2021 Chambers USA with Most Band 1 Practice Rankings of Any NC-Based Law FirmChambers USA, 05.21.2021
- 2021 Best Lawyers® and The Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch Recognize Largest Group of Smith Anderson Lawyers in Firm’s HistoryThe 2021 Best Lawyers®, 08.20.2020
- Chambers USA, 04.23.2020
- North Carolina Super Lawyers® Selects 24 Smith Anderson Lawyers as 2020 Super Lawyers and Nine Additional Lawyers as Rising StarsSuper Lawyers, 01.22.2020
- Smith Anderson Leads “Best Lawyers®” Rankings with 71 Recognized Lawyers and 11 “Lawyers of the Year” - Most of Any Raleigh Law FirmThe Best Lawyers in America©, 08.20.2019
- Chambers USA, 04.29.2019
- North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in 2019Super Lawyers, 01.24.2019
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2018
- Chambers USA, 05.03.2018
- 2018 North Carolina Super Lawyers Recognizes Forty-three Smith Anderson Lawyers as Super Lawyers and Rising StarsSuper Lawyers, 01.25.2018
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.15.2017
- Chambers USA, 05.30.2017
- Super Lawyers, 01.20.2017
- 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Recognizes 62 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.15.2016
- Chambers USA, 06.01.2016
- Kim Korando and Travis Hockaday Author the 2015 North Carolina Human Resources Manual and Model Policies and Forms for North Carolina Employers08.24.2015
- 2016 The Best Lawyers in America© Guide Lists 60 Smith Anderson Lawyers – Most in the Firm’s History08.17.2015
- From Pre-Hire through Post-Termination, the North Carolina Human Resources Manual Outlines the Employment Cycle06.12.2014
- Kim Korando Serves as Panelist on ADA Reasonable Accommodation at Annual Public Employment Conference06.26.2013
- Smith Anderson Announces 49 of its Firm Lawyers are Named a “Best Lawyer” by The Best Lawyers in America® 201308.29.2012
- Chambers USA 2012 Distinguishes Twelve Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.07.2012
- Kim Korando Presents Top Workplace Compliance Issues to Triangle Society of Human Resource Management05.24.2012
- Kim Korando Presents Webinar for North Carolina Medical Group Managers and North Carolina Medical Society Foundation06.24.2011
- Chambers USA 2011 Recognizes Eleven Smith Anderson Partners Among America’s Leading Lawyers for Business06.15.2011
- Kim Korando and Sean Timmons Participate in North Carolina Medical Group Managers’ 2010 Spring Conference05.24.2010
- Kim Korando, a Smith Anderson partner, presented Employment Litigation in the Fourth Circuit: Current Issues and Trends02.06.2009
- Kim Korando, a Smith Anderson partner, addresses labor initiatives at NC Chamber Board of Directors Meeting12.03.2008
- North Carolina Human Resources Manual, 11th EditionPublished in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- Employment Discrimination Law (6th Ed. BNA)2020ABA Labor & Employment Section
- North Carolina Human Resources Manual, 10th EditionPublished in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- Employee Privacy Laws: North Carolina03.18.2020Practical Law™ Labor & Employment
- North Carolina Human Resources Manual, 9th EditionPublished in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- North Carolina Human Resources Manual, 8th Edition10.2017Published in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- 11.07.2016Published in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- 2015Published in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- 2015Published in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber and HRSimple.com
- 05.31.2015Practical Law™ Labor & Employment
- Is Your Computer Use Policy Legal? NLRB Finds a Presumptive Right for Employees to Use Employer’s Email System for Protected Activity03.06.2015
- Employment Discrimination Law (5th Ed. BNA)2014
- Surviving the Reshaping of America’s Workplaces: Challenges for Companies and Corporate CounselInside the Minds: Complying with Employment Regulations (Aspatore 2010 Ed.)
- eTrends - OFCCP Issues Final Rules on Affirmative Action Obligations for Veterans and Persons with Disabilities12.06.2013
- eTrends - Department of Labor Publishes Final Rule Requiring Government Contractors to Post Notices Regarding Organizing Rights of Employees07.16.2010
- eTrends - Defense Contractors and Subs Barred From Mandatory Arbitration of Certain Employment Claims06.24.2010
- Creating Respectful Workplaces in a #MeToo WorldNorth Carolina Center for Nonprofits, 05.2018
- Presenter, "Good Trouble: Making It Good, Avoiding the Trouble," Catawba County Chamber's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Virtual Summit05.19.2021
- Co-Presenter, "Restoring the Workplace: Implications and Considerations for Returning to the Office or Continuing Work from Home," NC Bar Association Government and Public Sector 2021 Annual (Virtual) Meeting04.22.2021
- Co-Presenter, "2020 OFCCP Developments: What Federal Contractors Need to Know For 2021 AAP Compliance," webinar in partnership with Ellen Shong & Associates, LLC12.09.2020
- Panel Member, "Hot Topics in Employment Law,” Smith Anderson 28th Annual Employment Law Update, Virtual10.13.2020
- Co-Presenter, "Good Trouble: Making It Good, Avoiding the Trouble," Smith Anderson 28th Annual Employment Law Update10.13.2020
- Co-Presenter, "Getting Practices Back to "Normal": HR Best Practices and Legal Compliance Issues," Live Webinar hosted by Virginia MGMA06.2020
- Co-Presenter, "Getting Practices Back to "Normal: HR Best Practices and Legal Compliance Issues," Live Webinar hosted by Virginia MGMA06.2020
- 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 Update05.10.2019
- Co-Presenter, "The Post-#MeToo Era: Emerging Trends & Best Practices,” Smith Anderson 26th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.11.14.2018
- 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
- "The Post-#MeToo Era: Emerging Trends, Best Practices," Deloitte Smith Anderson 2018 Technical Update11.2018
- Moderator, "Emerging Legal Trends: Current Legal Landscape and Organization Liability," Sentinel Risk Advisors05.2018
- Moderator, "Protecting Your Business - Sexual Harassment & Discrimination," Association for Corporate Growth Meeting, Durham, N.C.02.2018
- Presenter, "Being Social—The Changing Face of Employer Social Media Policies,” NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.11.2017
- Presenter, "Employee Handbooks & Policies—Recent Developments, Common Mistakes, & Best Practices,” 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.C09.2017
- 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 Meeting05.2016
- 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, "HR Update--Rethinking Key Employee Policies and Practices," NC Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA) 2015 Not-for-Profit Conference05.2015
- Presenter, "Recent Workplace Developments: Latest Word from the Fourth Circuit on Employer Obligations," NCBA Government and Public Sector Annual Meeting05.2015
- Presenter, "Employee Personal Devices: Employer Monitoring and Access Rights and Limitations," NCBA What Happens When I Click This Red Button? Hot Topics and the Law02.2015
- Presenter, "When IT Meets HR: Four Policies Every Workplace Needs," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.11.2014
- 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, "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, "Employer Monitoring of Employee Devices," Mobile Device Security, NC Technology Association09.2014
- Presenter, "Family and Medical Leave Act," Introduction to Public Employment Law, UNC School of Government, Chapel Hill, N.C.09.2014
- Presenter, "Legal Stuff: Today's Challenges, Tomorrow's Forecast," Raleigh-Wake SHRM06.2014
- Presenter, "OFCCP Final Vets and Rehab Rules Compliance Checklist Part I: Compliance Timeline, Narrative Obligations and Outreach Requirements," Live Webinar01.2014
- Presenter, "OFCCP Final Vets and Rehab Rules Compliance Checklist Part II: Data Collection and Analysis, Hiring Benchmarks and Utilization Goals," Live Webinar01.2014
- Presenter, "OFCCP's Final Rules for VEVRAA and Section 503," Smith Anderson’s 21st Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.11.2013
- Presenter, "Diversity, Inclusion and Employee Engagement: Two Birds, One Stone," 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, "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 Anderson06.2013
- 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 Anderson06.2013
- Presenter, "From Unemployment to Reemployment: Preparing Your Business for HB4," Smith Anderson and N.C. Chamber Live Webinar06.2013
- 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, "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, "Top Workplace Compliance Issues for 2013 and Beyond," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, N.C.11.2012
- 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, "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, "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, "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, "Federal Legislation and Regulatory Update," NCACPA Annual Symposium, Greensboro, 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
University of Oklahoma, J.D., with honors, 1986
University of Oklahoma, B.S., in psychology, 1980