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Betty S.W. Graumlich

Betty S.W. Graumlich



  • University of Virginia School of Law, 1983, J.D., Senior Editorial Board Member, The Virginia Law Review; Order of the Coif
  • University of Virginia, 1979, B.A., with High Distinction, Political and Social Thought, Echols Scholar; Member, Lawn Chowder and Marching Society; Virginia Women's Crew Team; Kappa Delta Sorority

Professional Admissions / Qualifications

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals - District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court - District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Indiana

Betty is a highly respected, established and experienced Labor and Employment practitioner. She represents a Fortune 50 telecommunications company, a nationwide optical manufacturer and retailer, a private aviation facilities company, a surgical center, numerous health care providers, and a regional financial services company, among other notable clients. Her legal background, her strength in continuously staying abreast of changes in the law and adapting to the legal environment, as well as her diverse community involvement, have given her a unique ability to identify with the sensitive and evolving issues and communicate in an effective and practical manner with clients involved in labor and employment matters. Betty serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee and is the Practice Group Leader for Reed Smith’s Labor & Employment practice.

Betty is frequently called upon to defend her clients in matters involving claims for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. She has extensive experience working with clients in federal agency investigations related to violations of the ADA and the FMLA, and she counsels clients regarding wrongful discharge claims, matters involving restrictive covenants, defamation and other employment torts, employment policies, harassment investigations and employment agreements. Betty also counsels and defends clients in False Claims Act, SOX, and Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower matters. She provides preventative counseling to employers in a variety of industries on wage and hour matters, and has successfully defended her clients against wage and hour claims. Her experienced representation and practical approach has resulted in numerous early settlements on behalf of her clients.

Betty defends management in both contract interpretation and discipline grievance arbitrations, counsels employers on issues involving the National Labor Relations Act, and serves as strike counsel during collective bargaining proceedings. Throughout her career, she has routinely represented management in federal and state courts nationwide in agency investigations relating to charges of discrimination and in various proceedings involving voluntary reductions in force and labor strikes.

In addition to her skills at trial, Betty has handled more than 100 labor arbitrations. She consistently obtains favorable results on a variety of issues from companies’ abilities to subcontract out work and to use a lower wage title to perform certain contract work; as well as to sustaining employee discharges for violations of drug and alcohol policies; use of offensive ethnic slurs in the workplace; threat of workplace violence made against a supervisor; theft of company property; and lying about the reason for an absence.

Employment History

  • 2005 - Reed Smith
    • Practice Group Leader, Labor & Employment
    • Member of the Executive Committee
    • Women's Initiative, Chair of SponsoRS Working Group and Richmond Office Chair
    • Richmond Office Associate Development Partner for East Coast Litigation
  • 1989 - McSweeney & Crump, P.C.
  • 1984 - Kirkland & Ellis LLP


  • Honorable Jerry L. Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court - Northern District of Texas

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized as a 2013 BTI Client Service All-Star
  • Recognized in Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, as one of America's leading labor and employment attorneys
  • Recognized in Virginia Super Lawyers as one of Virginia's leading labor and employment attorneys
  • Listed in Virginia Business Magazine as one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite: Labor/Employment” attorneys (2007-Present)
  • Recognized in Virginia Lawyers Weekly as one of the 2012 “Influential Women of Virginia”
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration Virginia Women in Business Advocate of the Year in 2002

Professional Affiliations

  • Council Member (1996-2002) of the Virginia Bar Association Section on Labor & Employment Law
  • Virginia representative for the Employment Law Alliance, which is ranked by Chambers in Band 1 for Employment and Labor Global-wide Legal Networks

Notable Quotes

  • 1 June 2016 "Employer Lobbying on Overtime Rule Led to Changes" Society for Human Resource Management
  • 1 May 2015 "When Agencies Attack Confidentiality Agreements" Corporate Counsel Online
  • 7 May 2013 "EEOC Recoveries on the Rise” Human Resources Executive Online
  • 20 March 2013 "EEOC Recoveries on the Rise” Human Resources Executive Online
  • 17 February 2012 “Migraine Case Sheds Light on Employers’ ADA Headaches” Law360
  • 6 August 2011 “Twiqbals’ Guide Cuts Both Ways” VA Lawyers Weekly
  • 16 May 2011 “5 Tips For Drafting Airtight Restrictive Covenant” Law360
  • 12 January 2011 “Companies Grapple with Viral Vents” Workforce Management
  • 11 November 2010 “Is it O.K. to Bash Your Boss on Facebook?” New York Times
  • 9 November 2010 “Don’t Overreact to Case over Employee Being Fired for Bad Mouthing Her Boss on Facebook” Forbes.com blog
  • 9 February 2009 “Attorney Briefs – On the Move” Washington Lawyer
  • 2 February 2009 “Lawyers in the News” VA Lawyers Weekly
  • 24 April 2008 “What Workers Want from the President” Human Resources Executive Online
  • 22 November 2006 “Cardiologists, Bon Secours Face Lawsuit” Richmond Times Dispatch

Community Involvement

  • Beta Alpha Chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority House Corporation (University of Virginia) – Board of Directors
  • HomeAgain, a non-profit organization serving the homeless population in the Richmond metropolitan area – Advisory Board Member
  • Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (2001-2006) – Board of Directors
  • Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners – Past President, Richmond Chapter
  • NAWBO Richmond Foundation – Founding Director
  • Staff Parish Relations Committee of Reveille United Methodist Church – Former Member
  • Hospital Hospitality House, Inc. – Former Member, Board of Directors
  • Reveille United Methodist Church – Former Member, Finance Committee