Melanie R. Leitman is an attorney in the Labor & Employment and Administrative Law & Regulatory Compliance Groups. Her practice focuses on employment defense litigation and Human Resources compliance, consultation, and training. Melanie has experience representing management-side clients in various employment-related claims, including Chapter 760, Title VII, ADA, FMLA, FLSA, whistleblower retaliation claims, drafting and enforcement/defense of covenants prohibiting competition, and constitutional claims arising out of employment disputes. She has represented clients in pre-claim consultation, EEOC/FCHR position statements and investigations, state/federal court litigation, and appellate disposition thereof.
Melanie also advises both public and private entities in administrative litigation and regulatory compliance, including in professional and facility licensure, compliance and discipline, and health care, education, insurance, and other regulated industries. She also helps clients to secure tax exempt status from the IRS for 501(c) entities, and navigate Florida Department of Revenue tax audits.
In addition, Melanie represents clients in all aspects of civil law, including tort defense, general business and contract disputes, and state and federal appellate advocacy.
- Secured summary judgment and Eleventh Circuit affirmance, with written opinion, for school board in a Title VII race claim .
- Represented a large federally-funded health center employer in litigation brought under the Church Amendment by out-of-state special-interest law firm on behalf of a job applicant.
- Represented large private employer in on-site EEOC investigation and administrative subpoena.
- Represented a Clerk of Court in a constitutional challenge of statutes which affect its funding.
- Represented a state agency in a whistleblower jury trial which the appellate court later found should have been disposed of in defendant’s favor on a motion for directed verdict. Managed all post-verdict procedures, damages evaluation, and taxation of fees and costs before the appeal as well as the remand and entry of judgment for the state agency.
Professional & Community Involvement
- William H. Stafford American Inn of Court, Secretary, 2019
- America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Board Member, 2019
- Student Education and Admission to the Bar Committee, 2013-2019
- Labor and Employment Law Section of the Florida Bar – Law School Liaison Committee
- Tallahassee Women Lawyers
- Tallahassee Bar Association
- Gulf Winds Track Club
- Gulf Winds Triathletes
- Tallahassee Democrat, 25 Women You Need to Know, 2020
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2015-2019
Publications & Presentations
Government & Administrative News Update, Publications:
Crème de law Admin | Winter 2020
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update|February 2020
Employment Laws Percolating Through the Florida Legislature
BeLabor the Point Blog|February 2020
NLRB Speak on Employee Handbook Provisions (Again). Private Sector Employers Take Note.
BeLabor the Point Blog|July 2019
Our Group is Growing Again – Tallahassee Here We Come!
BeLabor the Point Blog|January 2019
In the Media:
Here are the 25 Women You Need To Know and Five Young Women to Watch for 2020
Tallahassee Democrat|February 2020
Stearns Weaver Miller Lawyers Recognized in Florida Super Lawyers 2019