For nearly twenty years, Heather Broadwater has worked to help employers achieve business goals by complying with applicable laws and treating employees with fairness and respect. First, as a human resource manager, and later as an attorney, Heather developed and implemented employment policies and procedures, conducted internal and external audits, and responded to employment-related disputes. As an attorney, Heather provides the employers she represents with a full array of employment law services, covering the employment relationship from recruitment and selection through separation from employment, including, but not limited to: negotiation and drafting of employment contracts and severance agreements; wage and hour compliance; leave management; employee relations, performance management, and counseling; and termination. She regularly conducts in-person and web-based training for clients’ managers and their workforces-at-large.
In addition to counseling educational institutions and related associations regarding employment matters, Heather provides representation regarding education law. Schools of all sizes turn to Heather for drafting or review and revision of critical documents, including enrollment contracts; applications for admissions; student handbooks; employment applications; employment agreements; employee handbooks; by-laws and other governance documents; domestic and international travel releases; homestay programs; and other documentation, as needed. She advises schools in establishing and enforcing harassment prevention programs and in conducting investigations into allegations involving students, employees, and other school community members.
- Negotiated resolution of enrollment and tuition disputes between independent schools and families of withdrawn or expelled students.
- Conducted investigations into allegations of employee harassment and discrimination.
- Represented clients and obtained satisfactory outcome to administrative charges by Federal and State equal employment opportunity and wage and hour agencies.
- Negotiated resolutions to disputes regarding employee terminations and regarding non-solicitation and non-competition obligations of current and former employees.
- Led government contractor’s investigation and resolution of alleged contractor employee sexual harassment of government employee.
- Counseled independent schools regarding allegations of student misconduct, including “sexting,” drug use, plagiarism, and threats of violence.
- Advised independent schools and other employers regarding allegations of employee misconduct and potentially criminal activity.
Honors & Awards
- Equal Justice Fellow, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Publications and Speeches
- “International Students and Homestays: What Have We Gotten Ourselves Into,” National Business Officers Association (NBOA) 2015 Annual Meeting (February 2015).
- “Implementing a “Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)” Policy for Employees: What Your School Needs to Know,” Mid-South Independent School Business Officers (MISBO) (October 2014).
- “Spotting Legal Issues,” North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS) Annual Educators Conference (October 2014).
- “3 Hour Workshop: A School-Year Case-Study Perspective on Employment Law Issues,” NAIS 2014 Annual Conference (February 2014).
- “Legal Concerns When Enrolling International Students,” Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) – Mid-South Independent School Business Officers (MISBO) Annual Meeting (October 2013).
- “Enrollment Agreements – Beyond the Basics,” NBOA 2013 Annual Meeting (February 2013).
- “Social Media: A 360 Legal View,” SAIS Annual Conference (October 2012).
- “Legal Issues Webinar: Employee Handbooks,” NCAIS Webinar (May 2012).
- “Employment Issues in Independent Schools,” SAIS Annual Conference (October 2011).
- “Top Legal Issues for 2009-10,” SAIS Annual Conference (October 2009).
- “Stretching Your Legal Dollars: Preventative Measures to Minimize Legal Exposure,” NCAIS Business Officers Conference (October 2009).
- “Friend or Foe? Social Networking Sites and Schools,” NBOA Annual Symposium (February 2009).
- “FMLA, ADA, & Protected Groups,” NBOA Webinar (April 2008)
- “ Keeping Secrets: Confidentiality Issues in Independent Schools and Legal Implications,” NAIS 2008 Annual Conference (February 2008).
- “No Match? I-9 Compliance and No-Match Letters” NBOA 2008 Annual Symposium (February 2008).
IN-HOUSE TRAINING FOR CLIENTS
- Managing Family and Medical Leave and Other Types of Leave
- Managing Performance in a Not-For-Profit Organization
- Understanding the Fair Labor Standards Act, Exemptions, and Overtime Requirements
- Preventing Harassment and Maintaining Appropriate Boundaries
- Quoted in “The Pros and Cons of Workstation Exercise” Society for Human Resource Management article by Steve Taylor (January 2013).
- “Compliance with the Truth in Lending Act Obligations in the Drafting of Enrollment Agreements,” Venable Independent School Law Alert (February 2012).
- “Balancing Technological Power and Peril: Social Media and Independent Schools,” National Association of Independent Schools Whitepaper (2011).
- Quoted in “Why Managers Should Own Performance Appraisals” Society for Human Resource Management article by Pamela Babcock (November 2008).
- “No Longer Children: What to Consider When Students Reach the Age of Majority,” Venable Independent School Law Alert (February 2008).
- “The Benefits and Risks to Schools in Classifying Individuals as ‘Independent Contractors,’” Venable Independent School Law Alert (February 2008).
- “The Independent School Guide to Employee Handbooks” (co-author), National Association of Independent Schools Guidebook (2007).
- Quoted in “Rewarding Exempt Employees” by Susan Ladika in HR Magazine (September 2006).
- “Preventing Workplace Sexual Harassment,” Rural Telecommunications (September 2006).
- Quoted in “Step by Step: Don’t Be a Wallflower! Dance Through the Steps of the Salary Basis Test to Comply with the Fair Labor Standards Acts White-Collar Exemptions,” by Margaret M. Clark in HR Magazine (February 2005).
- “A Look at the New Overtime Regulations,” Rural Telecommunications (November 2004).
- “Avoiding Hiring Liability: Conducting Background Checks and Complying with the FCRA,” National Association of Independent Schools Whitepaper (October 2004).
- Friends of Oconee County Animal Shelter, Volunteer
- Jeannette Rankin Foundation, Board Member (2008 – 2011)
Memberships and Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Society for Human Resource Management
- Georgetown University Loyalty Society – Milestone Member
News, Events & Insights
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2003
University of South Carolina – Columbia, Darla Moore School of Business, Master of Human Resources, 1996
University of South Carolina – Columbia, Dual Enrollment in the College of Arts and Humanities and the South Carolina Honors College, B.A., 1994
- cum laude
- Venable LLP
Areas of Practice
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Supreme Court of Virginia
- Superior Court of Oconee County Georgia