Amie Flowers Carmack

Partner
About

Amie is a partner with Morningstar Law Group and a member of the firm’s Accountability Team. Her law practice is focused on workforce law – that is, the body of laws, contracts and policies that regulate relationships between and among workers, owners and business; requirements for workers in regulated industries; behavior and safety in the workplace; worker mobility; and, protection of confidential information and trade secrets that workers access, use and create.

Utilizing more than 21 years of experience in workforce law and litigation, Amie engages closely with her business clients to help them achieve their organizational and professional goals, while mitigating the risk associated with work-related strategies and decisions.  She helps business leaders do the right thing and position themselves to prove what they did, in compliance with complex local, state, national and international workforce regulations and case law.

Amie provides innovative ideas and drafting grounded in sound legal principles, brings a fresh perspective to strategy, efficient problem solving & dispute resolution, and vigorously defends her clients and protects their trade secrets and confidential information in litigation and government investigations.

Prior to joining Morningstar, Amie was a partner at K&L Gates and its NC predecessor, Kennedy Covington. She is a passionate double Deacon, with dual degrees from Wake Forest University, and was recently honored by NC Lawyers Weekly as a 2016 “Leader in the Law”.

Amie’s areas of workforce expertise include:

  • Litigation and defense in state and federal courts; local, national and international arbitration venues; and, government agency forums
  • Compliance with local, state, federal, and international workforce regulations, including ADA, FMLA, Title VII, and more
  • Work-force-related agreements, policies and documentation
  • Protection of confidential information and trade secrets, competition covenants and related disputes
  • Officer and director fiduciary duties and other duties, internal investigations & Board of Director level communications, decisions and documentation
  • Partnership and corporate dissolutions involving disputes regarding ownership rights and interests
  • Compensation and non-qualified benefits, including wages, equity, stock award
  • Worker performance and conduct management
  • Cross-border workforces and international assignment of employees
  • Workforce issues and due diligence related to M&A and other business transactions

Amie is experienced in handling workforce matters in a wide variety of industries, for example:

  • Healthcare systems and services (medical, dental and veterinary services)
  • Health and wellness products and services
  • Life Sciences, biotechnology, pharmacy, health products and services
  • Technology, product development, manufacturing, distribution and sales
  • Professional services, including legal, engineering, accounting, health systems, other service industries
  • Hospitality, restaurants
  • Financial services and securities
  • Education and educational products and services
  • Performing arts
  • Real estate development
  • Advertising and consumer sales

Amie’s wide-ranging experience and practical, proactive and efficient approach are valued by her clients.  She is solution-oriented and works hard to help her clients achieve their goals.

Q&A with Amie

Why she chose to specialize in the field: I have always been fascinated by human dynamics — how people and groups define themselves and relate to each other — and I love problem solving. This translates into counseling, drafting, organization building and dispute resolution in workforce law. I love taking a difficult situation and turning it into a positive one or at least helping a client find his or her way to the best available outcome. I love it when my clients say, as one recently did, “Having you alongside me made this bad situation tolerable.”

What she’d be if not a lawyer: A missionary, a retreat leader, a professional coach, a motivational speaker or a theologian.

Favorite place: Home. I love traveling, but I love coming home even more. There is something special about relaxing in your own space, with your own creature comforts, with the ones you love nearby and a dog on your lap.

follow Amie on Twitter: @WorkforceLawyer

Professional background

Law clerk to the Honorable William L. Osteen, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, 1995-1996.

Presentation/Publications

RECENT PRESENTATIONS

Frequently present on workforce topics for Capital Associated Industries, Inc., 2015-present including:

  • “Workplace Laws for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “Understanding and Preventing Workplace Harassment for Employees”
  • “Understanding and Preventing Workplace Harassment for Managers and Supervisors”
  • “FMLA: Purposes, Provisions and Regulations”
  • “Advanced FMLA: Navigating FMLA and Other Leaves of Absence”
  • “Background Checks:  Compliance with FCRA”
  • “2016 Wage and Hour Update,” September 2016
  • “Employee Leave as a required ADA Reasonable Accommodation,” August 2016
  • “2016 Human Resource Challenges for In-House Counsel,” February 2016
  • “Respectful Workplace Training for Employees,” October 2015
  • “EEO Compliance in the Workplace,” October 2015
  • “When a Regulator Shows Up on Your Doorstep,” September 2014
  • “Risk Avoidance: Background Checks,” September 2014
  • “Employee Training: Sensitivity – Harassment,” April 2014
  • “Corporate and Employment Law Developments,” January 2014
  • “Social Media in the Workplace,” August 2012 and January 2013
  • “Employment Relationship Update: Noncompete Agreements, Protecting Trade Secrets, and the Challenges of a Cross-Border Workforce,” May 2012
  • “Lessons from Recent Employment Law Cases,” April 2012
  • “Labor Rights in Your Non-Union Workforce,” January 2012
  • “Trends and Changes to State Law that May Impact the Way You do Business,” October 2011
  • “Fundamentals of Employment Law for Corporate Counsel,” September 2011
  • “Managing Risk in Employment Decisions: Utilizing Temporary, Agency-Provided and Contract Workers,” May 2010
  • “Managing Risk in Employment Decisions: Strategies Related to Social Networking, Electronic Information Policies, and Data Theft,” March 2010
  • “Managing Risk in Employment Decisions: Wage and Hour Challenges and Opportunities,” December 2009
  • “Changes and Challenges for Employers: Business Decisions under the new FMLA and ADA Regulations,” May 2009

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

  • Training and Development: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • Employee Discipline: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • USERRA: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • Other Leaves: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • Involuntary Terminations: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • Employment at Will Doctrine: North Carolina, XpertHR.com, Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, July 2012
  • North Carolina Court Focuses on Clear Description of Customers for Enforcement of Non-Solicitation Clause, August 2010
  • Swine Flu or Other Pandemic Outbreak: Legal Issues for Employers, May 2009
Professional and Civic Activities/Achievements

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES

  • First Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, Counsel to the Personnel Committee (2016 – present), Personnel Committee member (2007-2016), Personnel Committee Chair (2014), Elder (January 2013 – 2016), Deacon (January 2007-2010), Adult Sunday School teacher (2002 – 2010)
    • Confirmation Class Elder Leader and Confirmation Sponsor, 2015 – 2016
    • All Church Retreat Planning Committee, 2012 – 2016 (Co-Chair 2012)
    • FPC Serves Mission Volunteer in a wide variety of community missions sponsored by the Church (e.g., Wake InterFaith Hospitality Network dinner host and overnight host, FPC Child Development Center, FPC Shares, Day of Service, Pennies for Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, the Eden School and the Barium Springs Home for Children, Guardian Ad Litem Angel Project, Loaves & Fishes, Operation Christmas Child, etc.) 2000 – 2016
  • North Carolina Bar Association (1998 – present)
  • American Employment Law Council (2014 – present)
  • Capital Associated Industries (CAI), Learning & Development Educator (2015 – 2016)
  • Helping Horse, volunteer (2016)
  • The Trilogy School, Trilogy Association of Parents Board of Directors, Vice President (2014 – present)
    • Employment Law Section (approx. 1999 – present)
    • Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee (2007-2014)
    • Young Lawyers Division; Lawyer Effectiveness and Quality of Life Committee, Co-Chair, 2000-2004; Chair, 2004-2005
  • Wake County Bar Association (1999 – 2011, 2015 – present)
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, Law School Mentoring volunteer (2012 – 2014, 2016 – present)
  • Raleigh Youth Mission, Family host for youth intern (2015)
  • North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities Ethics Bowl, Judge (2014 – 2015)
  • Interfaith Food Shuttle Teaching Farm volunteer (2008 – 2015)
  • Salvation Army volunteer (various years – 2014)
  • Wake Forest University, Alumni in Admissions volunteer (various years)
  • North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, Legal Issues and Workplace Policies Committee (2004 – 2005)
  • Leadership Raleigh Class of 2005, Leadership Raleigh Alumni Association (2005 – 2016)
  • Davidson County Community College (Adjunct Instructor, 1995-1996)
  • High Point University (Adjunct Professor, 1997-1999)

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Union, 2013 – 2016
  • North Carolina Leader in the Law, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2016
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2007 & 2016
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor Law, 2007, 2008 & 2010-2016
  • Nominated and selected for invitation only membership in American Employment Law Council, 2014
  • NC Legal Elite Hall of Fame,Top Employment Lawyer in North Carolina, Business North Carolina Magazine, 2014 (permanently recognized as a NC Legal Elite & no longer eligible for annual Legal Elite recognition below)
  • NC Legal Elite,Employment Law, Business North Carolina Magazine, 2007-2014
  • KLG Women in the Profession “WIP in the Spotlight” interview, 2012
  • NC Legal Elite, Young Guns,Business North Carolina Magazine, 2007-2008
  • Triangle Impact Human Resources and Staffing LeaderBusiness Leader Magazine, 2008
  • 40 under 40 Leadership Award, Triangle Business Journal, 2005
  • Young Lawyer of the Year, North Carolina Bar Association, 2005
Education/Admissions

EDUCATION

J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law, 1995 (Editor in Chief, Wake Forest Law Review)

B.A., Wake Forest University, 1991 (cum laude, with honors in history)

ADMISSIONS

  • Bar of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States
Representative Work
  • Assisted numerous clients in navigating the complex web of local, state, national and international regulations related to employee health, absences and disability accommodations and related performance and productivity issues
  • Assisted numerous, and exempt or non-exempt from FLSA minimum wage and overtime requirements
  • Drafted, reviewed and advised regarding thousands of workforce-related polices, procedures and documentation.
  • Drafted, reviewed, and negotiated thousands of workforce-related agreements, including employment agreements; non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure agreements; invention disclosure agreements; international assigment (ex-patriot) agreements; consultant and independent contractor agreements; management and admistrative services agreements; and, secondment agreements.
  • Drafted, reviewed and negotiated thousands of separation agreements and severance packages for departing employees, consultants and independent contractors
  • Supported numerous business transactions with due diligence related to workforce-related documents, disclosures and issues.
  • Negotiated numerous PEO (Professional Employment Organization) contracts and relationships.
  • Conducted numerous internal investigations and advised Boards of Directors and Executives regarding related issues.
  • Coordinated services for inter-state and international workforce-related needs for a wide variety of clients.
  • Represented mortgage lenders in defense of multiple FLSA overtime claims by highly compensated mortgage loan originators, including class claims filed in federal court.
  • Assisted management with a wide variety of agency procedures, including Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigations, Employment Security Commission unemployment determinations, Department of Labor inquiries, Occupational Safety and Health Act inspections, and others.
  • Represented local, regional, and nation-wide companies in both prosecution and defense of actions to enforce non-compete agreements, trade secrets and stock restriction agreements with departing employees, in a variety of venues, including state and federal courts in various states, and FINRA Dispute Resolution.
  • Represented companies in prosecution and defense of claims of corporate raiding of employees and misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets in federal and state courts, and FINRA arbitration.
  • Defended hospital clients against multiple wage and hour, FMLA and breach of contract claims.
  • Defended national hotel chain in multiple discrimination lawsuits (race, disability, FMLA, retaliation claims) in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.
  • Represented health care technology company in defense of employment discrimination, disability accommodation, noncompete enforcement, and other lawsuits filed in state and federal courts in various states, including North Carolina, Georgia, Delaware, California, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • Defended international technology company in wrongful discharge lawsuit brought by former executive, resulting in settlement favorable to the client.
  • Defended fund manager in investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, resulting in settlement favorable to client.
  • Represented FINRA member firm in United States Department of Justice investigation of broker for misconduct related to customer accounts.
  • Defended broker in investigation of misconduct by the North Carolina Department of Insurance.