Shannon D. Farmer

Partner

farmers@ballardspahr.com
Tel 215.864.8221
Fax 215.864.8999
Philadelphia

Shannon D. Farmer represents public and private employers in a broad range of labor and employment matters. She conducts collective bargaining negotiations and interest arbitrations, defends employers in all types of employment and civil rights claims, and provides advice and training related to employment policies and other HR needs.

Representative Matters

Labor/Union Matters

  • Represents employers in organizing campaigns in front of state and federal labor boards and under private election agreements; cases include representation petitions involving graduate students, faculty, police officers, truck drivers, manufacturing employees, personal care workers for individuals with disabilities, and health care workers
  • Handles collective bargaining negotiations and interest arbitrations for health care professionals, school employees, personal care workers, and contracts covering more than 10,000 public safety employees of a large municipality
  • Defends companies before state and federal labor boards against unfair labor practice charges in a wide variety of contexts; cases include allegations employees were fired in retaliation for union activities, allegations that work was unilaterally moved out of a bargaining unit, allegations of changes in employment terms, and allegations of failure to implement an arbitration award
  • Represents companies in an array of grievance arbitrations involving discipline and contract interpretation matters
  • Appeals awards of labor arbitrators who have exceeded their authority or imposed awards in violation of public policy

Wage and Hour Matters

  • Defends employers against a wide variety of wage and hour claims, including claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, state minimum wage laws and state wage payment and collection laws, before the Department of Labor, state administrative agencies and federal courts; recent cases include a federal collective action for a large municipality challenging untimely payment of overtime, a federal collective action claiming improper calculation of overtime pay, and a Department of Labor investigation involving calculation of overtime based on annual bonuses
  • Assists companies in conducting their own compliance audits and taking proactive steps to avoid litigation and limit liability
    Employment Discrimination and Civil Rights Matters
  • Defends companies and their employees against all forms of employment claims, including all forms of employment discrimination, civil rights violations, and defamation claims in state and federal courts; recent cases include a a race and gender discrimination suit by a property manager, a race and religious discrimination suit by an employee fired for displaying offensive material in the workplace, race discrimination claims by employees fired for misconduct, and a FMLA and disability discrimination suit by an employee terminated for unauthorized leave

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Assists employers in navigating the labor and employment aspects of corporate transactions including due diligence, compliance with WARN Act and similar laws, negotiating labor and employment portions of purchase agreements and transition services agreements and managing obligations related to unionized workforces; recent matters include transactions in the aerospace manufacturing industry, staffing industry, and health care industry

Advice, Agreements, Policies, and Training

  • Assists employers with all of their human resources, advice ,and training needs, including FMLA policies, electronic use policies, drug and alcohol use and testing and other needs
  • Advises on questions about the FMLA, wage and hour, employee terminations, harassment investigations, and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Drafts agreements, including employment agreements, separation agreements, and confidentiality and/or noncompete agreements
  • Trains human resources staff, supervisors and employees on the FMLA, employment discrimination and harassment, good employment practices, and wage and hour compliance

Pro Bono Experience

Since 2004, Shannon serves as a child advocate for children who have been adjudicated dependent through the Philadelphia Family Court. In addition, she has represented parents and other caregivers in child custody matters.

Shannon serves on the team representing Daniel Dougherty, a former death-row inmate, since 2004. The team obtained a new trial in 2013 and another new trial in 2018.

Shannon assists several nonprofit organizations with their employment needs on a pro bono basis, including drafting employment policies, drafting agreements, providing training, and providing advice and support.

Judicial Clerkships

Hon. Raymond J. Broderick, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1998-2000

Recognition & Accomplishments

The Best Lawyers in America, employment law - management, 2012-2020

Chambers USA, labor and employment law (Pennsylvania), 2009-2020

Benchmark Litigation, "Labor & Employment Star," Labor and Employment, 2019

Distinguished Advocate, Support Center for Child Advocates, 2017

Winner, 2013 International Law Office/Lexology Client Choice Award, for labor and employment in Pennsylvania, in recognition of law firm partners worldwide who provide excellent client care and quality of service

Recipient, Ballard Spahr's 2012 Alan J. Davis Award, for her pro bono work as leader of the Daniel Dougherty Capital Defense team

Recent Publications

Co-author, "DOL Opinion Letter Expands Exemption for Journalists and Media Personnel," Ballard Spahr alert, January 21, 2021 

Co-author, "DOL Publishes Final Rule on Independent Contractor Classification," Ballard Spahr alert, January 11, 2021

Co-author, "Payroll Protection Program: Practical Advice for Completing Your Loan Necessity Questionnaire," Ballard Spahr alert, December 16, 2020

Co-author, "Passage of California's Prop 22 Provides Relief for Ridesharing Companies; Could Ripple to Other State and Federal Law," Ballard Spahr alert, November 9, 2020

Co-author, "PA’s Long-Awaited Overtime Rule Change Takes Effect," Ballard Spahr alert, October 12, 2020

Co-author, "Philadelphia Workers Now Entitled to Public Health Emergency Leave," Ballard Spahr alert, September 25, 2020

Co-author, "DOL Publishes Proposed ‘Independent Contractor’ Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, September 23, 2020

Co-author, "Federal Judge Blocks Portions of DOL’s Joint Employer Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, September 10, 2020

Co-author, "Treasury Issues Guidance Implementing Memorandum on Social Security Tax Deferral," Ballard Spahr alert, August 31, 2020

Co-author, "NLRB General Counsel Releases Slew of Advice Supporting Employers on Pandemic-Related Actions," Ballard Spahr alert, August 17, 2020

Co-author, "Trump Signs Memoranda and Executive Order: Enhanced Unemployment Benefits, Deferred Payroll Taxes, Student Loan Relief, and Halted Residential Evictions . . . Maybe," Ballard Spahr alert, August 13, 2020

Co-author, "DOL Hits Pause on Collecting Liquidated Damages" Ballard Spahr alert, June 26, 2020

Co-author, "NY Court of Appeals Grapples With Classifying Gig Workers and the Modern Economy," Ballard Spahr alert, May 18, 2020

Co-author, "Payroll Protection Program May Provide Relief to Eligible Small Businesses – If You Can Navigate the Workforce Issues," Ballard Spahr alert, April 13, 2020

Co-author, "CARES Act Provides Enhanced Unemployment Compensation Benefits," Ballard Spahr alert, March 27, 2020

Co-author, "Piecing Together the Gig Economy Puzzle," Bloomberg Law, February 2020

Co-author, "Interesting Times in Glass Houses: Internal Investigations for the Media Employer," Media Law Resource Center, Committee Report, December 2019

Co-author, "Union Dues Deductions Not Required After Contract Expiration," Ballard Spahr alert, December 18, 2019

Co-author, "NLRB Scales Back ‘Ambush Election’ Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, December 18, 2019

Co-author, "NLRB Continues Shift Toward Employer-Friendly Workplace Standards," Ballard Spahr alert, September 12, 2019

Co-author, "Full Speed Ahead for DOL on Wage-and-Hour Guidance and Rule Changes," Ballard Spahr alert, April 16, 2019

Co-author, "DOL Releases New Proposed Overtime Threshold: Time to Review FLSA Classifications," Ballard Spahr alert, March 8, 2019

Co-author, "INSIGHT: The Labor Flexibility and Legal Flux of the Gig Economy," Bloomberg Daily Labor Report, October 12, 2018

Co-author, "Contingent Workers and Independent Contractors: Legal Risks in the Health Care Industry," ASHHRA/IRI 49th Labor Activity in Health Care Report, September 2018

Co-author, "NLRB Decision Serves as Reminder of Weingarten Requirements," Ballard Spahr alert, July 19, 2018

Co-author, "Labor Classification in the Home Health Care Industry: A Sign of What's to Come?," Ballard Spahr alert, July 16, 2018 

Co-author, "PA DOL Proposes Significant Changes to Overtime Exemptions," Ballard Spahr alert, June 29, 2018 

Co-author, "Supreme Court Axes Mandatory Agency Fees for Public Sector Employees," Ballard Spahr alert, June 27, 2018 

Co-author, "Third Circuit Rejects Challenge to School District's Bathroom Policy for Transgender Students," Ballard Spahr alert, June 21, 2018

Co-author, "Fate of Public Union Agency Fees In Hands of High Court," Law360, March 6, 2018 

Co-author, "The Definition of a Whistleblower Under the Dodd-Frank Act is Shrinking," Ballard Spahr alert, March 1, 2018

Co-author, "Pennsylvania Plans New Overtime Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, January 19, 2018 

Co-author, "Title VII Protects Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, 7th Circuit Holds," Ballard Spahr alert, April 6, 2017 

Co-author, "New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees," Ballard Spahr alert, January 19, 2017

Co-author, "Student Athletes Are Not Employees Under FLSA, Circuit Court Affirms," Ballard Spahr alert, December 7, 2016

Co-author, "U.S. District Court Enters Injunction Preventing Enforcement of New FLSA Rules," Ballard Spahr alert, November 23, 2016

Co-author, "DOL Issues Final Rule on Federal Contractors Requiring Paid Sick Leave," Ballard Spahr alert, September 30, 2016

Co-author, "NLRB Instructs Regional Offices To Report Complaints Issued against Federal Contractors," Ballard Spahr alert, July 12, 2016

Co-author, "Judge Issues Nationwide Injunction on DOL Persuader Rule," Ballard Spahr alert, June 30, 2016

Co-author, "Philadelphia Limits Employer Use of Credit Information," Ballard Spahr alert, June 21, 2016

Co-author, "The FLSA’s New Overtime Rule Is Here," Ballard Spahr alert, May 18, 2016

Co-author, "Top 5 Provisions for Your Staffing Contracts," Ballard Spahr alert, April 6, 2016

Co-author, "EEOC Proposes to Require Employers to Submit Pay Data," Ballard Spahr alert, February 1, 2016

Co-author, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court Delivers Clear Message to Employers Regarding Restrictive Covenants in Employment Agreements," Ballard Spahr alert, November 23, 2015

Q&A: Don’t Quarantine Yourself From Employment Law During an Ebola Outbreak," Bloomberg BNA, December 2014

Co-author, "Employee Benefits and the Unionized Workforce," chapter in ERISA: A Comprehensive Guide, 2011-2018 editions

Recent Speaking Engagements

"Scaling a Workforce and Company Culture: Being a Boss," BASE presentation, December 18, 2020

"Vaccines in the Workplace: To Mandate or Not to Mandate," Ballard Spahr podcast, December 4, 2020

"Operation Healthy Office: Return to Work and COVID-19," SLSA Annual Meeting, November 17, 2020

"Future of Work Webinar Series: Managing Employee Relations in Challenging Times," Pennsylvania State University, November 17, 2020

"Future of Work Webinar Series: Best Practices in Employment Law for the COVID-19 Workplace," Pennsylvania State University, October 23, 2020

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," National Employment Law Institute, November 12, 2020

"Life in Pandemic Times: How COVID-19 Has (and Has Not) Changed HR’s Role in the Business Organization," 2020 Ballard Spahr SEPA SHRM HR Legal Summit, September 11, 2020

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," National Employment Law Institute, August 27, 2020

"I Won't Come to Work! Legal and Practical Guidance for Employers Facing Accommodation Requests During COVID-19," Ballard Spahr CLE, August 13, 2020

"Top PPP Loan Forgiveness Challenges," Ballard Spahr webinar, August 5, 2020

"Operation Healthy Office: Return to Work and COVID-19," Pennsylvania Land Title Institute webinar, July 23, 2020

"Return to Work and COVID-19," NCHER presentation, June 30, 2020

"COVID-19 in the Workplace Series: Returned-to-Work: Newest Issues," National Employment Law Institute, June 25, 2020

"Nonprofit Considerations Regarding PPP Loan Forgiveness, Recent Flexibility Act Guidance and Employment Credits," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 17, 2020

"COVID-19 and the Education Industry – Pressing Issues Facing Every Institution," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 3, 2020

"Operation Healthy Office: Return to Work and COVID-19," ALTA webinar, May 20, 2020

"Resuming Workplace Operations: The Long March Back from Pandemic Isolation, Part II," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 19, 2020

"Resuming Workplace Operations: The Long March Back from Pandemic Isolation, Part I," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 11, 2020

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Issues," National Employment Law Institute, May 14, 2020

"Overview of Legal Issues Managing Employees through COVID-19," CFO Leadership Council webinar, May 7, 2020

"Contingent Workers and COVID-19: A Crossroads," Ballard Spahr webinar, May 6, 2020

"Employment and Employee Benefits - COVID-19 and Beyond," ICMAD, April 30, 2020

"Furloughs, Layoffs, and Related Employment and Benefits Issues," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 26, 2020

"COVID-19: The 10 Most Critical Questions Being Asked by Employers," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 19, 2020

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Issues," National Employment Law Institute, March 9, 2020

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," National Employment Law Institute, December 12, 2019

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," National Employment Law Institute, November 14, 2019

"The Gig Economy: Ushering in a New Era of Worker Classification Challenges," 2019 Ballard Spahr SEPA SHRM HR Legal Summit, September 27, 2019

"Recent Developments in the Growing Gig Economy," Ballard Spahr webinar, June 28, 2019

Wage and Hour Update, PBI, June 25, 2019

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Issues," National Employment Law Institute, May 23, 2019

"Hot Topics in Labor, Employment & Benefits: Education Year in Review," Ballard Spahr CLE, April 30, 2019

"Wage and Hour Update," PBI Employment Law Institute, April 25, 2019

"Trusting the Process: The Difference Between Public and Private Sector Employment Law," PBI Employment Law Institute, April 25, 2019

"Roundtable Discussion on Ethics (Conflicts in Bargaining)," 2019 Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board Joint Conference, April 10, 2019

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Issues," National Employment Law Institute, March 12, 2019

"Janus, Employee Privacy and Background Checks," Ballard Spahr event, March 6, 2019

"Labor, Employment and Benefits Year in Review 2018," Ballard Spahr CLE, February 27, 2019

"Transgender: at War and in Love," Ballard Spahr event, November 13, 2018

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," 2018 Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, November 8, 2018

"Paying it Right the First Time: Tiptoeing Your Way Through the Wage and Hour Minefield," 2018 Ballard Spahr SEPA SHRM HR Legal Summit, September 14, 2018

"Should I Open the Box? The Ethical and Practical Concerns of File Sharing," Ballard Spahr CLE, September 12, 2018

"Critical Wage and Hour Issues," 38th Annual Public Sector EEO & Employment Law Update, National Employment Law Institute, August 23, 2018

"Critical Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," 42nd Annual Employment Law Update, National Employment Law Institute, July 26, 2018

"Workplace Arbitration Contracts after Supreme Court Epic Systems Decision," PBI, June 25, 2018

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Update," 23rd Annual Mid-Year Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, May 18, 2018

"Wage and Hour: What’s New?" PBI Employment Law Institute, April 27, 2018

"Wage and Hour and Misclassification Issues," 37th Annual Employment Law Briefing, National Employment Law Institute, March 13, 2018

"Labor and Employment Law Year in Review," Ballard Spahr CLE, February 27, 2018

"Dealing with the Problem Employee," PBI, February 15, 2018

"Complex Wage & Hour Issues," Annual Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, November 17, 2017

"Risks and Best Practices: Joint Employment, Temporary Employment and Independent Contractors," Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, September 18, 2017

"Happy Birthday, ADEA: Age Discrimination After 50 Years," 2017 Ballard Spahr SEPA SHRM HR Legal Summit, September 14, 2017

"Complex Wage & Hour Issues," Washington, D.C. Mid-Year Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, July 27, 2017

"Independent Contractor Misclassifications," Washington, D.C., Mid-Year Employment Law Conference - National Employment Law Institute, May 25, 2017

"Wage and Hour Law for Non-Profits," PBI Annual Nonprofit Institute, May 18, 2017

"Independent Contractor Misclassifications," Chicago Mid-Year Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, May 11, 2017

"Choice of Multiple Forms," Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation and Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board Joint Conference, April 29, 2017

"Privacy and Information Security for the Employment Law Practitioner," PBI Employment Law Institute, April 27, 2017

"Independent Contractor Misclassifications," Naples Mid-Year Employment Law Conference, National Employment Law Institute, March 6, 2017

"Higher Education and the Changing Administration," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 23, 2017

"Labor and Employment Law 2017 Year in Review," Ballard Spahr CLE, February 2, 2017

Labor Law Symposium 2016: Ethics, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, November 30, 2016

"Law School for the CFO - Labor Law Implementation and Strategy," CFO Leadership Council, November 17, 2016

"New Overtime Rules a Reality: What All Employers Must Do to Prepare," Ballard Spahr webinar, October 24, 2016

"Legislative and Regulatory Update," HR Executive Alliance, October 19, 2016

"Pension Reform Lessons from Around the Country," Smith's High Yield Municipal Bond Conference, September 29, 2016

"Pension Reform Lessons From Around the Country," PhAMAS Public Pension seminar, July 13, 2016

"New Overtime Rules a Reality: What Title and Escrow Companies Must Do to Prepare," American Land Title Association webinar, July 13, 2016

Panelist, "Ethical Issues in Wage and Hour Litigation and Compliance," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 28, 2016

Panelist, "Wage Compliance for Non-Exempt Employees," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 28, 2016

"Classifying Employees and Independent Contractors under Federal and State Law," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, June 28, 2016

"HR and Operations’ Role in Managing Information Security Risks," American Financial Services Association Independents Conference, May 20, 2016

"Independent Contractor Misclassification," National Employment Law Institute: 21st Annual Mid-Year Employment Law Conference, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2016

"Back to Basics: Managing Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health in the Workplace," Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, PELRAS Annual Training Conference, March 17, 2016

"Information Security and Human Resources," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 16, 2016

"Joint Employment: What it Means and How to Ensure Compliance," Ballard Spahr webinar, March 9, 2016

"Labor Laws in Hospitals and Health Systems: Taking Your Legal Temperature," Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute, February 8, 2015

"Labor and Employment Year in Review," Ballard Spahr seminar, January 20, 2016

"Six Months into the Ambush Election Rules: What Do we Know ? " Ballard Spahr webinar, October 21, 2015

"Unfair Labor Practices for the Non-Union Workplace," PBI Seminar, October 7, 2015

"How to Correctly Classify Employees and Independent Contractors," Ballard Spahr webinar, September 17, 2015

"Legal and Regulatory Issues in Managing Behavioral Health," Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health, September 17, 2015

"Accommodation and Attendance - Top ADA & FMLA Developments," 2015 HR Legal Summit: Labor and Employment Law Compliance for Today's HR Professional, Ballard Spahr and SEPA SHRM conference, Langhorne, Pa., September 11, 2015

"Employment Separation Agreements and EPLI Coverage," Pennsylvania Bar Institute, April 29, 2015

"Labor and Employment Law Year in Review," Ballard Spahr webinar, February 11, 2015

"2014 Changes from the NLRB: What Every Employer Needs To Know," Ballard Spahr webinar, January 30, 2015 

Community Activities

ACHIEVEability, Board Member

Support Center for Child Advocates, Board Member

Temple Sholom, Member-at-large, Executive Committee

Upper Darby Police Pension Board, Member

University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1998)

Stanford University (B.A. 1993)

Pennsylvania