Matt Boyd is a partner at Hawkins Parnell & Young and chair of the firm’s national Labor & Employment group. Matt defends and advises companies in a broad range of matters, from traditional labor and employment issues, day-to-day operational matters, to complex commercial disputes.
Matt also serves as outside general counsel, on a complete or partial basis, for a number of the firm’s clients. In that role, Matt represents clients in commercial transactions and business acquisitions, negotiates commercial contracts, manages litigation, coordinates other outside counsel, and serves as the clients’ primary legal resource on a host of advisory, regulatory, operational, and compliance matters.
A skilled litigator, Matt has successfully defended companies, large and small, in high-stakes class actions, collective actions, multi-plaintiff litigation, and arbitrations. Though well-versed in substantially all areas of labor and employment law, Matt devotes a substantial portion of his practice to defending employers throughout the country against wage and hour claims under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and similar state laws. Matt also defends, advises, and trains employers on an assortment of state and federal employment-related matters, including discrimination claims, compliance with disability and family and medical leave laws, whistleblower and violation of public policy claims (including under the False Claims Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, and state whistleblower statutes), and employee privacy issues.
In addition to litigation, Matt’s clients rely on him to develop, update, negotiate, and enforce employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and contractual provisions to protect employers’ trade secrets and confidential information. Because of his knowledge and experience, employers also trust Matt to conduct highly sensitive internal investigations involving senior employees accused of harassment, illegal activities, retaliation, and similar misconduct.
Matt’s employment-law experience covers the entire spectrum of employment law, including, among others:
- Defending multiple companies on a nationwide basis in class and/or collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state wage and hour laws, including class and/or collective actions involving alleged employee misclassification, piece-rate issues, working “off the clock,” meal and rest break violations, and vacation pay issues;
- Defending a national fast-food chain in a collective action against claims that its assistant store managers should have been treated as non-exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act;
- Advising local governments with respect to wage and hour compliance and compensatory time issues, including application of the FLSA to individuals in public safety roles;
- Defending a Fortune-50 beverage company on a national basis against variety of single-plaintiff, multi-plaintiff, and class action claims under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §1981; the Americans With Disabilities Act; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Fair Labor Standards Act; and the Family and Medical Leave Act;
- Defending a New York specialty pharmacy company against claims of religious and national-origin discrimination in one of the earliest discrimination/harassment cases brought by a Muslim employee following September 11, 2001;
- Conducting a number of internal investigations into alleged retaliation and wrongdoing by senior executives of publicly-traded companies;
- Enforcing non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements against senior executives of three different publicly-traded companies following the alleged theft of highly sensitive trade secrets;
- Defending a prominent New York hedge fund against multi-million dollar breach of contract claims brought by traders and analysts;
- Drafting and negotiating a number of CEO, CFO, and other senior executive employment agreements for public companies, large private companies, and professional and collegiate sports teams/programs.
- Representing the athletic association of a major university with respect to the drafting and negotiation of all of its sports coaching contracts;
- Representing a professional sports team in a highly publicized dispute with one of its premier players; and
- Representing a prominent college sports coach in a dispute over publicity rights brought against him by a national sports equipment manufacturer.
In addition, Matt has extensive experience in training and advising employers and their employees in an effort to proactively avoid costly employment disputes, including guiding employers through employee layoffs and other group employment terminations.
- Vanderbilt University Law School (J.D., 1996)
- Member, Vanderbilt Law Review
- Member, the Jessup International Moot Court Team
- Member, Vanderbilt Moot Court Board
- Furman University (B.A., cum laude, 1993)
- Supreme Court of Georgia
- Georgia Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
- State Bar of Georgia
- Member, Labor & Employment and Appellate Practice Sections
- Atlanta Bar Association
- Former governing board member, Labor & Employment Section
- Tennessee Bar Association
- The Best Lawyers in America© (2024)
- Litigation - Labor and Employment
Single Plaintiff Cases
- Patricia Hinton v. O’Reilly Automotive Stores, Inc., Lamar County Circuit Court (defense verdict in Mississippi defamation action)
- Kelli Johnson v. ResCare of Georgia, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (summary judgment in favor of employer in breach of contract action, upheld on appeal)
- Timothy K. Goddard v. CSK Auto, Inc., King County Superior Court (summary judgment and attorneys’ fees in favor of employer in Washington breach of contract action)
- Lindsey Jones v. Res-Care Premiere, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (FLSA wage and hour claims settled on an individual basis)
- Margaret Anderson v. Southern Home Care Services, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (FLSA wage and hour claims favorably settled)
- Michael Grotte v. Normal Life of California, Inc., et al., San Luis Obispo County Superior Court (California wage and hour claims favorably settled)
- Leticia Sanchez v. Res-Care, Inc., et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court (FLSA and California wage and hour claims favorably settled)
- Gloria Nelson v. Res-Care, Inc., et al., Contra Costa County Superior Court (California wage and hour claims favorably settled)
- Amanda Taylor v. Normal Life, Inc., et al., Ventura County Superior Court (California wage and hour claims dismissed before class certification on motion to dismiss)
- Aaron Alafa v. Custom Built Personal Training, Inc., Tulare County Superior Court (California wage and hour claims favorably settled)
- Board of Trustees, American Trakehner Association
- Moderator, "Davis-Bacon, FLSA, and Joint Employment Concerns," ALFA International, 2018 Construction Practice Group Seminar, Banff, Alberta, Canada
- "Litigating Wage & Hour Class and Collective Actions: Innovative Strategies for Pre-Trial Investigation, ESI, and Discovery," ACI’s Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, San Francisco, California