Shelby A. Hicks-Merinar


Shelby Merinar enjoys that labor and employment law keeps her on her toes. With a detailed, thorough, and inquisitive approach to her work, Shelby is able to challenge assumptions and also keep her clients on their toes, alerting them to changing labor and employment laws and helping them deal with their unique employment situations. Shelby has advised clients and defended them in matters involving sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, disability, and age discrimination, as well as day-to-day human resources management.

Representative Experience

  • Defend a nonprofit organization focused on employing individuals with disabilities in a number of discrimination matters on the basis of disability
  • Defending a healthcare system against a claim of sexual harassment involving a contracted emergency department physician
  • Counsel for international aluminum manufacturing entity in a variety of employment litigation involving disability discrimination and traditional labor
  • Counseled manufacturing entity in a complex matter involving breach of contract and alleged theft of trade secrets
  • Defended numerous disability discrimination and failure-to-accommodate claims arising under the ADA and the WVHRA
  • Obtained an appellate decision from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals affirming the motion to dismiss a wrongful discharge case for a manufacturing company in a case arising out of an employee’s claim of self-defense
  • Defended a higher education institution against allegations of age discrimination and FMLA retaliation
  • Obtained summary judgment for employer in a case involving retaliation under the West Virginia Patient Safety Act
  • Represented fast food chain in a claim of hostile work environment and sexual harassment in a situation involving employee and supervisor
  • Represented a retailer in a matter involving a disgruntled terminated employee bringing claims of age and gender discrimination

Licensed In

  • West Virginia
  • Ohio


  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • B.A. West Virginia University


  • Senior Notes Editor, West Virginia Law Review, Vol. 118
  • Associate Editor, West Virginia Law Review, Vol. 117
  • United States Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
  • Labor Law Secretary, West Virginia University College of Law


  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Ones to Watch – Labor and Employment Law – Management (2024)
  • CALI Award: Employment Law
  • CALI Award: Religion and the Constitution

Speaking Engagements

  • “FMLA in Practice” – West Virginia Healthcare Human Resources Association 2023
  • “Effective Handling of Harassment in the Workplace” – WV SHRM Conference, 2022
  • “Best Practices for Conducting an Effective Investigation & COVID Leave Policies” – Government Finance Officers Association Conference, Fall 2022
  • “FMLA: Basics to Advanced” – Kentucky Annual SHRM Conference, September 2022
  • “ADA and FMLA Legal Update” – Tri-State SHRM Workshop, June 2022
  • “Understanding and Managing Obligations under the ADA & FMLA” – Mid-Ohio Valley SHRM, Spring 2022
  • Presented Higher Ed and Employment Law Update to 2022 WVCUPA-HR Annual Conference
  • “West Virginia Employment Law Update” – Tri-State SHRM Workshop, September 2021
  • “Labor & Employment Webcast Series: Is Using Independent Contractors Still a Viable Option” – West Virginia Healthcare Human Resources Association, July 2021
  • “Managing and Navigating a Multigenerational Workforce” – Kanawha County Public Library Staff Training, February 2020
  • Tri-State SHRM Workshop, November 2019 – ADA Legal Update
    NCWV SHRM, Annual Conference, November 2019 – Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Presented Employment Law Update to 2019 WVCUPA-HR Annual Conference
  • Presented Human Resources Basics to undergraduates enrolled in the Human Resources program at West Virginia University, 2018, 2019
  • Human Resources Best Practices for New Business Owners, 2018 Wonder Woman Conference, Charleston WV

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