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Rosemary Gill Kenyon

Attorney
AA Contact Info

Cheryl Baber
Phone: 919.838.2023
cbaber@smithlaw.com

Overview

Rose Kenyon’s practice involves all aspects of employment and labor law in a wide variety of industries for both private and public companies, including investigations, corporate governance matters, advising boards of directors and special committees and assisting companies on employment matters in mergers and acquisitions. She has extensive experience drafting complex employment agreements and separation agreements on behalf of both companies and executives.

Rose is a trusted advisor to employers on their most strategic and high risk employment issues, and clients describe Rose as a "…very talented lawyer" (Chambers USA). She is a frequent speaker on emerging employment and labor law trends and regularly conducts training for human resources professionals and managers.

Prior to joining Smith Anderson, Rose served for 13 years as in-house counsel for Carolina Power & Light Company (now known as Duke Energy), having served as Deputy General Counsel.

Rose serves as Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Early in her career, Rose practiced with a civil practice firm in Richmond, Virginia.

  • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Board of Governors (2005-2008)
    • Chair, Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee (2008-2011)
    • Chair, Women in the Profession Committee (2001-2004)
    • Chair, Dispute Resolution Section (1995-1996)
    • Council Member, Corporate Counsel Section (1989-1997)
    • Sections of Labor and Employment, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • American Bar Association
    • Sections of Labor and Employment, Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Wake County Bar Association and Tenth Judicial District Bar
    • Grievance Committee (2013-2016)
    • Strategic Planning Committee (2015-2016)
  • North Carolina Symphony, Board of Trustees (2021-present)
  • Saint Mary’s College Alumnae Association, Board of Directors (Notre Dame, IN) (2015-2021) 
    • Committee Chair and Member of Executive Committee  
  • Community Music School of Wake County, Board of Directors (2014-present)
    • President (2019-present)
    • Secretary (2017-2019)
    • Member of Executive Committee (2016-present)
    • Chair of Search Committee for Executive Director (2018)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Wake County
    • Board Chair (2011-2013)
    • Board of Directors (2005-2013)
    • Honorary Co-Chair, Women’s Build (2014)
    • Honorary Chair, 17th Annual Holiday Home Tour & Party (2017)
  • Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council
    • President (1992-1995)
    • Board of Directors (1986-1995)
  • Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers, Labor & Employment (2008-2021)
  • Best Lawyers®, Employment Law - Management (2016-2022)
  • Women of Justice Award, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly (2012, 2019)
  • North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers (2012-2021)
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women (2014)
  • Academy of Women of the YWCA of the Greater Triangle, Inducted 2004
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Experience

Experience

  • Served as lead in-house employment and labor counsel to a Fortune 500 company for 13 years, during a period of rapid change that included major workforce restructurings, union organizational activity, numerous employment based lawsuits and claims (including several multiple plaintiff suits and systemic claims), multiple OFCCP audits (including corporate headquarters and glass ceiling), among other things.
  • Lead employment lawyer in numerous merger and acquisition transactions in a wide range of industries that included the resolution of significant transition issues regarding the misclassifications of workers (e.g., wage and hour, independent contractor), leased employee arrangements, liability for significant paid-time-off balances, professional employer organization arrangements, non-competition agreements, executive employment agreements, and cross-border issues, among other things.
  • Conducted internal investigations into misconduct, embezzlement, harassment, threats of workplace violence and other wrongdoing, for both publicly-traded and private companies.
  • Represented employers in the development of employment agreements, severance and non-competition agreements for senior level officers of both private and publicly-traded companies and private institutions of higher education.
  • Represented CEOs and senior level officers of both private and publicly-traded companies, and private institutions of higher education, in connection with their employment agreements in a wide range of industries, including the institutional health care, pharmaceutical, banking, technology and manufacturing industries, and in higher education.
  • Represented national and global companies in major reorganizations and downsizings of their workforces, including the relocation of offices, in a wide-variety of industries including the pharmaceutical, hospitality, technology, utility and manufacturing industries.
  • Provided strategic and risk management advice on sensitive and high-risk employment decisions and processes, corporate governance and the development of system-wide policies and handbooks.
  • Successfully defended employers in federal and state court and before administrative agencies against whistleblower claims under federal and state laws, systemic and individual claims of race discrimination, and sensitive harassment and gender discrimination claims, employment contract claims, wage and hour claims, classification issues, and in government audits. 

News & Publications

News

Publications

  • Author, ADR is Good News for Corporate Counsel, Corporate Counsel Section Newsletter, (North Carolina Bar Association 1995)
  • Contributing Author, Mini-Trial Overview, Desk Book on Dispute Resolution in North Carolina, (North Carolina Bar Association 1991)

Speaking Engagements

Events

  • Presenter, "COVID: Vaccination, Protocols and Returning to Work," Triangle Chief Human Resources Officers Association, Virtual
    09.22.2021
  • Co-Presenter, "Employment Issues in the COVID-19 Era," NCBA 2021 Corporate Counsel Section Annual CLE Live Webcast
    01.21.2021
  • Presenter, "Employee Health in the Workplace: Challenges During and After COVID-19," Smith Anderson 28th Annual Employment Law Update, Virtual
    10.13.2020
  • 04.07.2020
  • Presenter, "When Work and Employee Health Intersect: Key Issues under Federal and State Disability and Leave Laws," Smith Anderson 27th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2019
  • Co-Panelist, "Panel Discussion - Hot Topics in Employment Law," Smith Anderson 27th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2019
  • Co-Presenter, "A Case Study: Navigating Performance Issues in Light of the Minefield of Overlapping Laws on Mandatory Leave, Disability and Discrimination,” Smith Anderson 26th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.14.2018
  • Co-Presenter, "Evolving Leave Trends: Employer Challenges with Unlimited or Discretionary Leave, Paid Parental Leave and Mandatory Paid Sick Leave,” Smith Anderson 26th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.14.2018
  • Presenter, "Employee Medical Issues in the Workplace: Update on the ADA, FMLA and More," Smith Anderson’s 23rd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2015
  • Co-Presenter, "Background Checks: Managing the Risks," Smith Anderson’s 23rd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2015
  • Presenter, "Employment Claims and Litigation: Trends and Risks," Eastern North Carolina Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Association
    11.2014
  • Presenter, "Health Issues in the Workplace: Understanding and Managing the Expanding Reach of the ADA and FMLA," Smith Anderson's 22nd Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2014
  • Presenter, "Key Employment Law Issues for a Business Owner," Women Presidents Organization, Greensboro, N.C.
    06.2014
  • Presenter, "Selling a Business," Women Presidents Organization, Greensboro, N.C.
    04.2014
  • Presenter, "Health in the Workplace: What's Hot under the ADA, the FMLA and More," Smith Anderson’s 21st Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2013
  • Presenter, "Myths and Truths of Employment Law," Eastern North Carolina Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Association
    02.2013
  • Presenter, "Applying the ADA, FMLA and GINA to Employee Health Issues: Navigation Tips for Smooth Sailing," Smith Anderson’s 20th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2012
  • Presenter, "More on Health in the Workplace: A Workshop on Tackling the Most Common HR Problems," Smith Anderson’s 19th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2011
  • Presenter, "Health in the Workplace: Key Trends under the ADA, FMLA and GINA," Smith Anderson’s 19th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    11.2011
  • Presenter, "Health in the Workplace: Key Issues for Employers Under the ADA, FMLA and Other Laws," Smith Anderson’s 18th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2010
  • Presenter, "Something for Everyone: Retooling the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act," Smith Anderson’s 17th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2009
  • Presenter, "The Employment Law and ESOP Implications of Reductions in Force and Multiple Layoffs," Carolinas Chapter of The ESOP Association 2nd Annual Conference, Pinehurst, N.C.
    2009
  • Presenter, "Medical Workplace Issues: Getting a Handle on the Major Developments under the ADA, the FMLA and Related Laws," Smith Anderson’s 16th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2008
  • Moderator, "Tough Employment Law Questions," Smith Anderson’s 16th Annual Employment Law Update, Cary, N.C.
    10.2008

Bar & Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
  • North Carolina, 1986
  • Virginia, 1980
  • Michigan, 1979

Education

University of Notre Dame, J.D., 1979

Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN), B.A., magna cum laude, 1976

Clerkships

  • Volunteer Clerk for the Honorable W. Earl Britt, District Court Judge for the Eastern District of North Carolina
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