Susan Llewellyn Deniker

Executive Committee / Member
Susan Llewellyn Deniker

Biography

Susan Deniker focuses her practice in the areas of labor and employment law, higher education law, and litigation. Susan counsels clients on a wide variety of employment issues, including in the areas of wage and hour, discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, discipline, and discharge. She also conducts investigations, drafts policies and procedures, and prepares employment contracts and severance agreements.

Susan’s higher education practice includes not only counseling on employment issues, but also encompasses representation on Title IX, student conduct, and compliance with federal and state legal requirements. She also assists clients with crisis management, including coordination of internal, legal, and public relations matters.

Susan also litigates employment, education, civil rights, and other matters in state and federal court cases. Further, she handles administrative matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state human rights commissions, and the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education.

Susan is one of the firm’s representatives to the Employment Law Alliance which is a global network of highly skilled and accomplished labor and employment attorneys and law firms throughout the world.

Susan is a member of the firm’s Higher Education Team, and a member of the Environment, Social, Governance (“ESG”) group, a group of attorneys with experience and knowledge about how ESG impacts all aspects of business.

Representative Experience

  • Secured defense verdict on behalf of public employee following a 16-day jury trial involving claims of civil conspiracy, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligence
  • Won jury verdict on behalf of chemical manufacturer against corporate executive in breach of confidentiality/duty of loyalty and misappropriation of trade secrets case
  • Defended a university through trial in a negligence case where a former employee was accused of taking photographs of students without their knowledge
  • Represented many higher education and local school system clients against complaints pending before the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education
  • Regularly counsel local school systems on a broad range of legal issues, including employment, Title IX, student conduct, policy, and risk management issues and defend school systems in various types of litigation matters
  • Defended a client in a class action litigation involving claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Represented numerous clients in actions before the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and other state human rights commissions
  • Represented corporate client in litigation against former employer for breach of the duties of loyalty and confidentiality and misappropriation of trade secrets through trial
  • Negotiated pre-suit settlements for clients in sensitive employment matters
  • Defended client against 23 FLSA actions
  • Assisted a local college with negotiating and drafting an international nursing program agreement with a foreign university
  • Assisted clients in Department of Labor investigations
  • Conducted many internal investigations, including investigations pursuant to Title IX and Title VII
  • Drafted employment policies and handbooks
  • Drafted and revised policies for faculty, staff, and student handbooks for colleges and universities

Licensed In

  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Education

  • J.D. William & Mary Law School
  • B.S. Frostburg State University

Memberships

  • Board of Directors, West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities
  • President, Bridgeport Kiwanis
  • Member, Health Access Board of Directors
  • Past President and Director of Board, Criss-Cross, Inc.
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Employment Law Committee, West Virginia State Bar Association
  • Harrison County Bar Association
  • William & Mary Law Review

Achievements

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business – Labor & Employment (2021 – Present)
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Star
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management (2016-Present), Litigation – Labor and Employment (2016-Present)
  • Best Lawyers® 2019 Morgantown, WV, Employment Law, Lawyer of the Year

Speaking Engagements

  • “Legal Issues That Keep Presidents Up at Night,” CIC Presidents’ Institute, 2022
  • “Higher Education Legal Issues Round Up,” Council of Independent Colleges Chief Academic Officers Conference, 2019
  • “Litigation and Risk Management Update in Higher Education,” National Conference on Law and Higher Education, 2019
  • “Employee Leave Issues,” Human Resources Professionals Day Conference, 2019
  • “Human Resources Legal Update,” WV College and Universities Professional Association for Human Resources Annual Conference, 2019
  • “Hiring and Performance Evaluations in Higher Education,” Council of Independent Colleges Division Heads Conference, 2019
  • “Title IX Training,” West Virginia Association of School Administrators Conference, 2019
  • Annual Presenter, West Virginia Credit Union League Human Resources Conference on Legal Issues in Labor and Employment Law
  • Higher Education Legal Update, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), 2019
  • “Lessons from the Oberlin College Verdict,” Council of Independent Colleges Webcast, 2019
  • “Sexual Harassment: What Employers Should be Doing in the Midst of the #MeToo Movement,” WV SHRM Conference, 2018
  • “Misclassification of Independent Contractors,” IEL Oil & Gas Law Conference, 2018
  • “Legal Issues That Keep Presidents Up at Night,” Council of Independent Colleges Presidents Institute, 2017, 2018
  • “Social Media Issues in Employment,” WV SHRM Annual Conference, 2017
  • “Overtime Issues for College and Universities,” WV College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Conference, 2016

Publications

  • “Keeping the Whistle from Being Blown on You: Protecting Against Employee Whistleblower Claims,” West Virginia Employment Law Newsletter, 2019
  • “Finding the Reasonable in Reasonable Accommodation,” West Virginia Employment Law Newsletter, 2019
  • “Utilizing an Under-Appreciated Resource to Your Advantage: Drafting Effective and Relevant Job Descriptions,” West Virginia Employment Law Newsletter, 2018
  • “Getting Information Before the Door Hits Them on the Way Out: Using Exit Interviews to Improve Your Business,” West Virginia Law Newsletter, 2018
  • “The Online World at Risk of ADA Lawsuits,” May 2018
  • “Other Common Claims Against Employers,” West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Employment Law Handbook
  • “Biometrics in the Workplace (Yes, Even in West Virginia),” West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
  • “Crisis Management: Lessons from a Tragedy,” two-part series published in The State Journal
  • Numerous presentations for clients and industry groups on various employment law topics

Related Services

Related News & Resources

Announcement
Susan Deniker was recently interviewed about a new rule change in the Fair Labor Standards Act ...
News
Details Higher education has seen a marked increase in labor and union activities on public and...
Press Release
Bridgeport, WV – Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is excited to share that 123 of the firm’s atto...

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