Nonnie L. Shivers

Profile

Nonnie partners with employers and managers in three primary ways: litigation avoidance through counseling and training; investigations and resolutions when issues arise; and litigating complex and challenging cases to defend employer’s actions.  

Nonnie advises and counsels private and public employers in all aspects of employment law. Nonnie regularly partners with clients to plan and implement reductions in force, severance plans and agreements, and pre-litigation disciplinary matters. Nonnie regularly conducts complex and high-level internal investigations for clients, including at the executive level and within key departments, and assists in identifying and resolving potential areas of liability and exposure in a proactive but practical way. Nonnie’s unique practice also includes providing employment advice for employers doing business on the Navajo Nation and other tribal lands, including cultural and employment law training on unique tribal code requirements.  

Nonnie has successfully defending employers against allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination in state and federal court, as well as administrative forums. Nonnie has handled hundreds of charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division, as well as claims filed with the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Nonnie has also litigated whistleblower claims against air carriers under AIR 21 and handled investigations with numerous other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nonnie regularly speaks and trains on current and emerging employment law topics, including recent presentations to industry and trade groups on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workplace issues, joint employment challenges, avoidance of retaliation claims, etc. Nonnie’s advanced degree in education and years of experience as an instructor and student affairs professional at Arizona State University help make her training sessions and presentations one-of-a-kind. Nonnie has also published several scholarly articles focused on employment law, including a book chapter on the impact of reasonable workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities on employers and employees’ expectations of privacy outside the workplace.

Nonnie has received numerous accolades recognizing her skills. Nonnie was named a Rising Star by Southwest Super Lawyers in 2012, 2013 and 2014. This distinction is awarded to attorneys under the age of 40 based on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Nonnie also obtained the recognition of the legal community by receiving an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale Hubbell beginning in 2014. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Shivers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals.

AV Rated Martindale HubbellSuper Lawyers - Rising Star 2012Super Lawyers - Rising Star 2013Super Lawyers - Rising Star 2014

Experience

Experience: 

Nonnie’s clients run the gamut from large, international companies to flourishing local businesses. Her personal clients include a Fortune 150 air carrier, several regional and local law firms, title agencies, in-home care providers, physician practice groups, and surgical centers. 

While Nonnie’s clients seek her out to resolve problems before litigation ensues and to prevent litigation by acting proactively, Nonnie’s robust litigation successes include: 

  • Successfully defended one of the largest insurance companies in the world against breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference and myriad other claims in a two-week jury trial, including obtaining and recovering nearly $1 million dollars in sanctions, attorneys’ fees and costs after prevailing at trial.  
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment for international air carrier in disability discrimination case, in part based on the rare ruling by the court that the employee did not have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment and award of costs for a national trucking company in a gender discrimination case involving a long-term female employee in a male-dominated industry.
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment in a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case involving a reduction-in-force due to changing business for an international technology and manufacturing company.
  • Obtaining complete summary judgment for a retail company in a wrongful termination case in which the company allegedly blackballed and defamed a former employee.
  • Winning a total defense judgment and an award of all attorneys’ fees incurred after a multi-day arbitration for a national bank in a wrongful termination case.
  • Successfully obtaining dismissal of a multi-plaintiff age discrimination case filed in federal court for a large brokerage company, and prevailing after appeal taken to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Education and Honors

Education: 

J.D., University of Arizona, 2004
M.Ed., Arizona State University, 1998
B.A., Kansas State University, 1996

Honors and Awards: 
  • Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star (2012, 2013 & 2014)
  • Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • American Bar Association (Business Law Section)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Arizona State Bar, Labor & Employment Section Member
  • Member and Past Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee (2009-present)
  • Member,  Board of Legal Specialization (2014-present)
  • Member, Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Task Force (2011)
  • Instructor, Arizona State Bar Professionalism Course (2009-present)
  • Member, City of Avondale Judicial Advisory Board (2014)
  • Member, Board of Legal Specialization (June 2014-present)
Speeches:
  • 2015 AZSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference - "Crisis and Scandal: What Companies Can Learn from Today's Headlines" - Phoenix - February 26, 2015
  • 2015 AZSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference - "Bundles of Joy: Pregnancy and Reproductive Issues in the Workplace" - Phoenix - February 25, 2015
  • Day of Focus with TalentWise & Oracle - "Criminal Background Check Compliance Under Federal and Arizona Law" - Phoenix - February 19, 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - "Same-Sex Marriage Comes to Arizona: Now What? Part Three: Labor and Employment" - Phoenix - January 13, 2015
  • Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter - "Legal Compliance Issues for Managing Complex Leaves Under the FMLA, ADA and Local Laws" - Phoenix - January 8, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - "Out at Work, Equal at Work: What Employers Should Know about LGBT Issues and the Law" - October 23, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Whose Employees are they Anyway? Perils, Pitfalls, and Pointers on Contingent and Temporary Workers" - Scottsdale - October 3, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Devil’s In The Details: Everything You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Employment Law" - Scottsdale - October 3, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Impact of Windsor and Hobby Lobby on Employers" - Denver - September 26, 2014
  • Human Rights Campaign and One Community - "LGBT Workplace Inclusion Conference Panelist" - Tempe - September 15, 2014
  • Association of Corporate Counsel (Arizona Chapter) CLE Program - "Out and Equal at Work: LGBT Workplace Issues" - Phoenix - September 4, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Program - "Expanding Protections for LGBT Employees: The Impact of Executive Order 13672" - Phoenix - August 13, 2014
  • Arizona Fire District Association Annual Conference - "Ripped from the Headlines! Crisis Avoidance and Management" - Tucson - June 28, 2014
  • Maricopa County Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminar - "Employment Law Concerns When Lawyers or Staff Have Substance, Alcohol, or Mental Health Concerns" - Phoenix - June 24, 2014
  • State Bar of Arizona 2014 Convention - "Top 5 Lessons for Employment Attorneys on LGBT Workplace Issues" - Tucson - June 13, 2014

In The News

Media Quotes:
  • October 8, 2014 - SCOTUSblog.com - "Wednesday Round-Up"
  • October 6, 2014 - Law360 - "Lawyers Weigh In On High Court's Same-Sex Marriage Silence"
  • September 5, 2014 - Law 360 - " Posner’s Takedown Of Gay Marriage Bans May Sway Peers"
  • August 28, 2014 - Law 360 - "5 Tips for a Transgender-Friendly Workplace"
  • June 16, 2014 - Law360 - "Obama LGBT Order May Spur Employers to Revamp Policies"
  • April 2, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Pet-Related Leave Is Mostly Granted Ad Hoc"
  • February 3, 2014 - SHRM.org - "Wage and Hour Division Eyes FMLA Definition of 'Spouse'"
  • November 8, 2013 - Main Street - "ENDA's Game: Controversial Employment Law Passes in the Senate"
  • November 7, 2013 - Law360 - "ENDA Likely To Run Aground In The House"
  • July 2, 2013 - SHRM.org - "DOMA Ruling Will Change FMLA Administration"
  • June 26, 2013 - AZ Business Magazine - "Major Victories For Same-Sex Marriage"
  • June 26, 2013 - Phoenix Business Journal - "Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Could Have Far-Reaching Business and Legal Impacts"
  • June 26, 2013 - Law360 - "Big Law Attys Praise High Court's Gay Marriage Rulings"
Published Works: