• PRACTICE FOCUS+
  • EDUCATION+
    • University of Florida, Levin College of Law
      J.D., with high honors, 1996; Board Member, Florida Law Review; Order of the Coif
    • Florida State University
      B.S., summa cum laude, in Political Science, 1993; Honors & Scholars Program
  • ADMISSIONS+
    • Florida
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • CLERKSHIP+

Dennis M. McClelland

Dennis McClelland is a Board Certified Labor and Employment Lawyer who has practiced exclusively in the area of labor and employment for over 20 years.

He represents employers in civil court litigation, arbitrations, and administrative proceedings regarding claims involving wage and hour, employment discrimination, family and medical leave, union-management relations, employee benefits, and various employment-related torts. In particular, Mr. McClelland has extensive experience representing companies in FLSA collective actions, mass individual and multi-plaintiff FLSA actions following decertification, and Department of Labor investigations. He also provides strategic consulting to companies regarding complex wage and hour law compliance matters.

Mr. McClelland also regularly represents employers in prosecuting and defending cases involving alleged breaches of non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets claims, and employment or business-related tort claims. He routinely counsels employers regarding compliance with various applicable federal, state, and local labor and employment laws, including the preparation and/or review of employment contracts, severance agreements, and employment handbooks and policies. He represents a broad range of employers in the financial services, retail, hospitality, health care, transportation, construction, engineering, and manufacturing industries.

Mr. McClelland currently serves on the firm’s Operations Committee and as managing partner of the firm's Tampa office.

Experience

Wage and Hour
  • Lead counsel in numerous FLSA individual and collective actions involving issues of coverage, independent contractor/employee status, off-the-clock work, exemption misclassification, and overtime rate computation. Matters have involved companies in numerous industries, including financial services (securities brokerage, trading, tax preparation, mortgage loan), retail (grocery, furniture), real estate, petroleum, health care (staffing, home health), service, and hospitality (restaurants, valet, cruise).
  • Lead counsel in numerous cases for companies in the hospitality industry involving the application of the tip credit rule.
  • Lead counsel for national furniture company in FLSA collective action challenging the application of the Section 7(i) exemption to the company’s sales associates; putative class included hundreds of sales associates.
  • Lead counsel for petroleum company in FLSA collective action in which assistant managers challenged application of the fluctuating workweek method of computing overtime compensation; putative class included hundreds of assistant managers.
  • Lead counsel for companies in numerous Department of Labor investigations and enforcement actions, including large-scale investigations involving hundreds of employees.
Employment Discrimination
  • Representation of companies in numerous individual employment discrimination claims, including at the administrative charge phase, before an arbitrator, or in state and federal court.
  • Representation of financial services firm in age discrimination class action brought by 14 former employees in Florida state court under the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992 (putative class included hundreds of employees).
  • Representation of financial services firm in defending Title VII retaliation claim in federal court through trial and successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Traditional Labor
  • Serves as the lead regional labor counsel for a world-wide company, handling numerous labor arbitrations and unfair labor practice charges.
  • Representation of national rental car company with RC petition and organizing campaign, including a two day hearing over the composition of the unit, an appeal to the NLRB, and the union campaign through the election.
  • Representation of regional energy company with DC (decertification) petition and election campaign.
  • Lead counsel for package delivery company in hybrid Section 301 action brought in federal district court in Louisiana through summary judgment proceedings and appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
ERISA
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company in ERISA action involving the denial of severance benefits.
  • Representation of petroleum company in action to recoup overpayments made to employee from employee retirement plan.
Non-Competition and Trade Secrets
  • Lead counsel for employers and executives in matters involving enforcement of non-competition, non-solicitation, and other restrictive covenant provisions; alleged misappropriation of trade secrets; and/or alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Representation of financial services firm in action enforcing non-competition agreement and protecting trade secrets through preliminary injunction phase and damages trial.
  • Representation of technology company in enforcing unsigned non-competition agreement through application of the doctrine of reformation.

Insights

Publications
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Fair Labor Standards Act, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and Bloomberg BNA (3rd ed. 2015)
  • Editor-in-Chief, The Fair Labor Standards Act, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and Bloomberg BNA/BNA Books (2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011)
  • Board of Editors, The Fair Labor Standards Act, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books (2nd ed. 2010)
  • Senior Editor, The Fair Labor Standards Act, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books (2003-2009)
  • Senior Editor and Co-Author of Florida Chapter, Wage and Hour Law: A State-by-State Survey, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books (2nd ed. 2011)
  • Co-Author of Florida Chapter, Wage and Hour Law: A State-by-State Survey, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books (2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012)
  • Senior Editor and Co-Author of Florida Chapter, Wage and Hour Law: A State-by-State Survey, Cumulative Supplement, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and BNA Books (2007-2011)
  • Contributor, Workplace Data, Law and Litigation, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and Bloomberg BNA (2013)
Speaking Engagements
  • Breakfast Briefing: Update on New Rules for "White Collar" Exemptions and Wellness Programs (June 2016)
  • Panel Speaker, “Winning Strategies for Handling Class & Collective Wage and Hour Actions,” ACI’s 27th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, New York, New York (June 2016)
  • Panel Speaker, "Wage and Hour Year in Review: Analyzing the Key Wage & Hour Case Law Developments and DOL Initiatives of 2015, and What They Mean For Your Practice in 2016," ACI's 26th National Forum on Wage Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL (January 2016)
  • Panel Speaker, "“Revisions to the White Collar Exemptions,” ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law 9th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 2015)
  • Speaker, “The FLSA and White Collar Exemptions: The Latest Developments,” National Business Institute (Webinar) (November 2015)
  • Panel Speaker, “Handling Discovery and Certification of Wage and Hour Actions,” PLI Wage & Hour Litigation and Compliance 2015 Seminar, New York, NY (February 2015)
  • Panel Speaker, “Time in a Virtual Workplace: ‘Off-the-Clock’ Claims Arising From Employee Use of Mobile Devices and Remote Work Access,” ACI's 20th National Forum on Wage Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL (January 2014)
  • Speaker, “Strategies for Defending FLSA Collective Actions,” Academy of Florida Management Attorneys Annual Meeting, Palm Beach, FL (September 2013)
  • Panel Speaker, “Developments in Class Certification, Obtaining Decertification, and Hybrid Claims: Managing and Defending Against FLSA Collective Actions and State Law Class Actions,” ACI's 18th National Forum on Wage & Hour Claims and Class Actions, Miami, FL (February 2013)
  • Panel Speaker, "Mediation and Settlement of Wage & Hour Claims: The Latest Use of ADR to Resolve Claims and Avoid Costly Litigation," The 16th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, American Conference Institute, San Francisco, CA (September 2012)
  • Speaker, "Developments and Trends in Labor and Employment Law," Phelps Dunbar Tampa Employment Law Breakfast Briefing, Tampa, FL (September 2012)
  • Panel Speaker, "Collective and Class Action Certification Battles: Analysis of Recent Rulings, and Crafting a Strategy for Managing Large Scale Litigation," The 11th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, American Conference Institute, Miami, FL (January-February 2011)
  • Speaker, “Wage and Hour Law: Hot Topics for Banks,” Mississippi Bankers Association, Jackson, MS (July 2010)
  • Panel Speaker, “FLSA Fundamentals,” The 9th National Forum on Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, American Conference Institute, New York, NY (May 2010)
  • Panel Speaker, “Hot Topics in Wage and Hour Law,” ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education (June 2009)
  • Speaker, “Wage and Hour Laws in the United States,” U.S. Employment Law, Lexis Nexis Conferences, London, England (November 2008)
  • Panel Speaker, “Working With the Department of Labor,” The 6th National Forum on Wage and Hour Litigation: Expert Strategies for Pursuing and Defending Wage and Hour Claims and Class Actions, American Conference Institute, Coral Gables, FL (April-May 2008)
  • Speaker, “Minimizing the Administrative Headaches That Accompany Intermittent and Reduced Schedule Leave,” Florida FMLA Update 2005, Council on Education Management, Tampa, FL (2005)
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law; FLSA Subcommittee, Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section (Co-Chair, 2014-2016; Co-Chair of FLSA Subcommittee, 2009-2012)
  • Wage and Hour Defense Institute - Litigation Counsel of America (2009-present)
  • Academy of Florida Management Attorneys (Co-Chair of Wage and Hour Law Committee)
  • State Bar of Florida - Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (Board of Directors, 2003-2004; Young Lawyers Division, President, 2003-2004)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Foundation (Board of Directors, 2005-2006)
  • Litigation Counsel of America (Fellow)
  • Board Certified, Specialist in Labor and Employment Law, certified by The Florida Bar (2004-present)
  • Leadership Tampa, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce (2006)

Recognition

  • Florida Trend magazine - Legal Elite (2013, 2015-2016)
  • The International Who’s Who of Management Labor and Employment Lawyers (2013)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association's Outstanding Young Lawyer Award (2005)
  • Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit's Special Recognition Award for pro bono service to the courts (1997)
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business - Florida Labor and Employment, 2016
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America© - Labor and Employment Law, 2008-2010; Litigation-Labor and Employment, 2015-present; Labor Law-Management, 2011-present; Employment Law-Management, 2011-present (Tampa Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law-Management, 2017)
  • Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2017; Top 50 in Tampa, 2013; Top 100, 2017)