Nonnie Shivers

Shareholder Phoenix

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 from clients and legal professionals for her dedicated client focus and problem-solving abilities. Southwest Super Lawyers named Nonnie a Rising Star 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.  Chambers USA first ranked Nonnie as a Leading Individual in 2015 and Best Lawyers added Nonnie to its list in 2016.  Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Shivers served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia K. Norris on the Arizona Court of Appeals.


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.

Professional Activities and Speeches

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)


  • State of Arizona, Department of Administration HR Professional Development - ''Bundles of Joy: Pregnancy and Reproductive Issues in the Workplace'' - Phoenix - October 22, 2015
  • Clear Law Institute Webinar - ''Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Law and Benefits: New Legal Developments'' - October 05, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Diversity and Inclusion Roundtable Series - ''Gender Expression in the Workplace'' - Pittsburgh - October 01, 2015
  • Northwest Arizona Human Resource Association - ''What to Expect When Your Employees Are Expecting: The Post-Young v. UPS World'' - Kingman - September 10, 2015
  • Arizona Self Insurers Association - ''The Bermuda Triangle of Employment Law: The Intersection of ADA, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation (And Now the PDA)'' - Phoenix - September 2015
  • Commercial Law Continuing Legal Education Webinar - ''Legal Landscape for LGBT Employees and Their Employers: Current Protections and Avoiding Claims'' - September 2015
  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''Hot Topics in Federal and State Wage and Hour Litigation'' - Santa Fe - July 2015
  • The American Law Institute’s Current Developments in Employment Law - ''LGBT Issues in the Workplace'' - Santa Fe - July 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Internal Investigations and the Attorney-Client Privilege-I'm Covered, Right?'' - Phoenix - June 19, 2015
  • State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education Seminar - ''Television Legal Ethics'' - Phoenix - May 2015
  • Private client presentation for franchise owners - ''Hot Employment Law Topics'' - Phoenix - April 2015
  • Day of Focus with Talent Wise - ''Workplace Crises & Scandal'' - Phoenix - April 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 08, 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 03, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Devil’s In The Details: Everything You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know About Employment Law'' - Scottsdale - October 03, 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 04, 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
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Crisis & Scandal - What Companies Can Learn From Today's Headlines'' - Las Vegas - May 7 - May 9, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know About LGBT Issues'' - Tucson - April 10, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Caregiver Responsibility Discrimination - Are You One Sick Child Away from Losing Your Job?'' - Las Vegas - February 28, 2014
  • AZSHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference - ''The Devil's In the Details: Everything You Didn't Know About Unemployment Compensation Changes, Garnishments, Subpoenas for Information and Other Necessary Nitty Gritty Details'' - Phoenix - February 26, 2014
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association 2013 Conference - ''LGBT Employment Issues in Education'' - Prescott - November 21, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Webinar - ''First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes New Paperwork and Insurance Carriers: Post-DOMA Changes in the Workplace'' - November 05, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce 2014 - ''Out and Equal at Work: What Every Employer Needs to Know'' - Scottsdale - October 04, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''How to Conduct an Effective Workplace Investigation'' - Phoenix - September 26, 2013
  • Arizona Industry Liaison Group - ''Managing Leaves of Absence to Comply with the FMLA, ADA and Other Legal Requirements'' - Glendale - September 17, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Annual State Conference - ''Top 10 Lessons for Employers from the Rutgers/Mike Rice Scandal'' - Phoenix - August 28, 2013
  • Strafford Webinar - ''Litigating Damages in Discrimination and Retaliation Cases: Employer Strategies for Mitigating and Defending Damage Awards'' - June 26, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''The Road to Stonewall: LGBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - New Orleans - May 10, 2013
  • AZSHRM 2013 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''The Road Through Selma and Stonewall: GLBT Issues In Today's Workplace'' - Phoenix - March 22, 2013
  • State of Arizona Human Resources Professional Development Training - ''You’re Not The Boss Of Me: Regulating Public Employees’ Conduct On (And Off?) The Job'' - Phoenix - September 27, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2012 Annual State Conference - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August 29, 2012
  • Arizona Industrial Compensation Association - ''Pay and Promotion Discrimination: The Ticking Time Bomb'' - Phoenix - August 16, 2012
  • AZSHRM Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''When LameBook Backfires: Protecting Yourself from the Social Media 'Police''' - Phoenix - March 09, 2012
  • AZSHRM 2011 Annual State Conference - ''You're Not the Boss of Me - Regulating Employee Conduct On and Off the Job'' - Phoenix - September 01, 2011
  • AZSHRM 2011 Employment Law & Legislative Conference - ''All Atwitter About Social 'Notworking''' - Phoenix - March 02, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''You’ve Got “Friends” In Low Places: Cautionary Tales From The Digital Age'' - Scottsdale - September 24, 2010
  • Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association - ''All ‘Atwitter’ About Social Networking: Employment Law Pitfalls'' - Phoenix - April 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Blogs, Social Networking & Virtual Worlds – A Brave New Workplace Indeed'' - Paradise Valley - October 15, 2009
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Retaliation – Employers’ Greatest Liability Risk'' - Paradise Valley - November 13, 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Sexual Harassment – The Bare Essentials'' - Phoenix - October 03, 2007
  • Private Client Training - ''Workplace (Mis)Conduct Training'' - Phoenix - April 2007
  • Lorman Seminar - ''Human Resources Fundamentals Course'' - Phoenix - December 2006
  • Arizona Healthcare Human Resources Association - ''Law and Order At Work'' - Phoenix - December 2005
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Clarification or Confusion? Lessons From Employee Leave Litigation'' - Phoenix - September 15, 2005

Our Insights


Media Quotes

June 26, 2015 - Phoenix Business Journal - "Marriage ruling could end domestic partner benefits, launch new workplace discrimination fights"
June 26, 2015 - Employment Law Daily - "U.S.: Fundamental right to marry cannot be denied to same-sex couples"

Published Works