I chose to move my practice to Taylor English because I found the firm to have a forward-thinking vision unlike any other firm I have encountered. Taylor English’s multitude of resources will enable me to offer additional value-added services to my clients. Having a "one-stop-shop" where the attorneys and staff collaborate to serve the clients’ needs motivated me to change directions in my career after 20 years.
Alisa P. Cleek is co-chair of Taylor English's Labor and Employment Department. She is a frequently recognized attorney in labor and employment matters, and works with local and national clients to facilitate the employment relationship. Ms. Cleek’s practice focuses on defending companies in employment-related litigation including, but not limited to, class and collective actions, wage and hour matters and investigations, Davis-Bacon Act audits and compliance, restrictive covenants, discrimination and harassment, FMLA, ADA, Title VII, ERISA, USERRA, AAP, and other issues that evolve from the employee-employer relationship. Ms. Cleek also provides proactive counseling to organizations regarding the day-to-day employment decisions, including proactive training, pre-litigation audits and compliance strategies that must be considered in order to avoid litigation. In addition, Ms. Cleek spends a significant amount of time on Title III (ADA) inspection and compliance matters as well as advising clients during mergers and acquisitions, including post-deal integration.
Ms. Cleek represents clients in traditional labor practice proceedings, representative cases, arbitrations and collective bargaining, and has worked with employers in a large variety of industries, including retail, restaurants, hospitality, manufacturing, staffing, and pharmaceutical. Ms. Cleek has represented employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state entities, in various local, state, and federal courts throughout the nation, as well as appellate courts throughout the United States.
Ms. Cleek is an arbitrator and mediator with the American Arbitration Association. Ms. Cleek is dedicated to facilitating the parties in achieving a mutually-beneficial resolution to the dispute at hand.
Ms. Cleek is a regular contributor of articles and materials related to labor and employment and the restaurant industry to media such as Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine, the Georgia Restaurant Association’s Legal Knowledge Center, and various other entities.
Ms. Cleek is married and has three young children.
State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Texas
District of Columbia Bar
Society of Human Resource Management Atlanta (SHRM), Past President; Past Executive Vice President of Finance; Past Vice President of Conferences
Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants
American Arbitration Association (Panel Arbitrator and Mediator for employment, corporate and class action matters)
University of Georgia Terry College of Business Alumni Board (Emeritus)
Created and conducted a nationwide wage and hour audit for a client with operations in over 40 states, included the preparing of a report that addressed both the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws. Also conducted nationwide training of the employer’s managers.
- Defended a start-up company against a publicly traded company's attempt to enforce restrictive covenants
Successfully defended a start-up company against a publicly traded company's attempt to enforce restrictive covenants. Included the negotiation of a $385,000 settlement for attorneys' fees for our client as the prevailing party.
Successfully defended a case before a Colorado jury in federal court in which the plaintiff alleged that she was discriminated against because of race.
Created manager and hourly employee handbooks and various other policies to address issues specific to the restaurant industry.
Created an affirmative action plan for a national company, including processing its employment data, preparing preliminary reports and providing instructions for implementing the plan and additional obligations as an affirmative action employer.
Created an arbitration program for a national company which included an arbitration agreement, mediation program, an internal grievance procedure, and instructions on how to roll it out to current employees and applicants.
Successfully defended a case before a Texas jury in state court in which the plaintiff alleged that he was retaliated against for being terminated two weeks after filing a workers' compensation claim.
Successfully defended a case before an Administrative Law Judge in New Mexico in which the plaintiff alleged that she was discriminated against because of her sexuality, in violation of the statute, when she was terminated for mishandling company funds.
Obtained summary judgment for a company who terminated an employee for performance and the employee alleged that he was discriminated against because of a disability, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, because he suffered from dyslexia.
- SHRM-Atlanta HR ConferenceMarch 27 – 28, 2018
- Webinar, "#NotInMyRestaurant: How to Prevent and Address Employee Sexual Harassment Claims in Your Independent Restaurant.", with Barry Shuster and Jim Laube.November 29, 2017
- Webinar, "Clarifying Your Rights Under the New Georgia Gun Law," Atlanta, Ga., July 8, 2015
- March 1, 2021
- “Everyone in the Pool – Will We Ever Be Able to Include Back-of-the-House Staff in a Tip Pool?” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazineSeptember 1, 2017
- February 2, 2017
- “Tipping Points – How to Avoid Getting Slammed By the Next Wave of Wage-and-Hour Class Actions Facing the Restaurant Industry,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazineNovember 2, 2016
- “Ask A Lawyer! Is There a Way We Can Share Tips With Back-of-the-House Staff --- Legally?” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazineJuly 1, 2016
- With Clay Mingus, "How to Respond to a Food Safety Emergency," Restaurant Startup & Growth MagazineJanuary 2, 2015
- With Douglas J. Miller. "Keep a Lid on It: Protecting Your Restaurant from Unfair Competition," Georgia Restaurant Association BlogMay 2, 2014
- With Tony Ventry. "As a Franchisee of a Restaurant, Do You Understand the Franchise Agreement?" Georgia Restaurant Association BlogAugust 2, 2013
- With Porsche Leonce. "Pay or Play? How Healthcare Reform Affects the Restaurant Industry," Georgia Restaurant Association BlogJuly 9, 2013
- With Sean Libby. "ADA TITLE III: The Final Regulations and What You Need to Know to Avoid Mistakes," Georgia Restaurant Association BlogJune 10, 2013
- With Barry Shuster. “How to Perform Background Checks in Compliance with Federal and State Laws,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- With Stanford G. Wilson. “Steering Clear of Discrimination Laws with the ‘Pretty Girls in Skimpy Outfits’ Concept,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- “The Importance of Effective Record Retention in the Electronic Age,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- “What to Do When Employees Become Plaintiffs,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- “Defensive Documentation of Employee Performance,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- “Employee Handbook Basics & Why It’s One of the Most important Documents In Your Restaurant,” Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine.
- Contributing Editor, How Arbitration Works, 6th Ed.October 2, 2008
- Contributing Editor, Introduction to the Law in GeorgiaMarch 2, 2004
- Contributing Editor, Supplement to BNA’s Discipline and Discharge in ArbitrationJune 2, 2001
- March 4, 2020
- November 7, 2017
- September 22, 2017
- “24 Taylor English Attorneys Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America,” Atlanta Patch and Atlanta CitybizlistSeptember 13, 2017
- February 15, 2017
- "17 Taylor English Attorneys Achieve Top Recognition in 2016 Super Lawyers Business Edition," Atlanta CitybizlistDecember 16, 2016
- December 16, 2016
- December 7, 2016
- August 17, 2016
- August 17, 2016
- March 7, 2016
- January 8, 2016
- October 14, 2015
- October 8, 2015
- October 6, 2015
- May 27, 2021
- February 18, 2021
- August 20, 2020
- February 24, 2020
- August 15, 2019
- February 20, 2019
- August 15, 2018
- February 22, 2018
- February 23, 2017
- December 15, 2016
- August 15, 2016
- February 19, 2016
- October 6, 2015
- Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Due to Closure or Partial Closure of Summer Camps, Summer Enrichment Programs or Other Summer ProgramsInformation Current as of June 29, 2020
- Supreme Court of the United States Rules That Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Employees from DiscriminationJune 23, 2020
- April 29, 2019
- November 27, 2017
- September 1, 2017
- An Interactive Hospitality and Retail Law SeriesJuly 24, 2018
- An Interactive Hospitality and Retail Law SeriesMarch 27, 2018
- An Interactive Hospitality and Retail Law SeriesJune 20, 2017
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace
- Employment Advice and Counsel
- Employment Litigation and Class Actions
- Employment Policy Development and Implementation
- ERISA Litigation
- Internal Investigations
- Non-Traditional Staffing Arrangements
- Restrictive Covenants
- Unions and Traditional Labor
- Whistleblower Litigation
- Worker Classification, Compensation and Litigation
- Intellectual Property
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Restaurant, Food and Beverage, and Licensing
College of William & Mary, JD, 1996
University of Georgia, BBA, magna cum laude, 1993
District of Columbia
Best Lawyers in America®, 2016 - 2021
Chambers USA Leading American Business Lawyer
AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004, 2006 - 2020
Georgia Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women Lawyers in Georgia
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award - University of Georgia Terry College of Business
National Fidelity Award - Most Outstanding Volunteer
Atlanta Business Chronicle's 40 Under 40 "Up & Comers"
Atlanta Woman Magazine's Woman on the Way (WOW) Award
Georgia's Top Rated Lawyers (Arbitration & Labor and Employment)