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Connie N. Bertram is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Connie is the head of the DC Labor & Employment practice, and co-head of the Whistleblowing & Retaliation, and Government Contractor Compliance & Relations Groups.

Connie concentrates her practice on labor and employment, executive, whistleblower, government contractor and employee mobility counseling and litigation. She is frequently tapped to conduct confidential internal investigations involving executive-level employees, including claims of discrimination, harassment and code of conduct violations. She counsels on, investigates and litigates restrictive covenant and trade secret disputes between employers and former employees. Connie has defended complex employment, whistleblower and restrictive covenant litigation across the United States, including numerous disputes, discrimination and harassment claims involving executive-level employees, as well as claims brought under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, the False Claims Act and other federal and state employment and whistleblower provisions.

Connie advises federal government contractors and subcontractors on the many unique employment, affirmative action and other compliance issues that arise in the government contracts context, including: developing and implementing conflict of interest, ethics, and whistleblower policies and programs; investigating and defending False Claims Act and other whistleblower complaints; conducting internal audits and investigations; and advising contractors and subcontractors with respect to all aspects of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Service Contract Act (SCA), and Davis-Bacon Act compliance and defending OFCCP and Department of Labor audits and enforcement proceedings.

Clients Connie represents include a number of employers in the Washington, DC area and around the United States, such as Pepco Holdings, BAE Systems, Giant Food, U.S. Foods, MITRE Corporation, Hargrove, Inc., Feed the Children, United Way of the NCA, WashingtonFirst Bank, Lincoln Property Company, Lincoln Military Housing, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and GeoLogics, Inc.

Connie is co-editor of Proskauer's Government Contractor Compliance & Regulatory Update blog, which tracks the near-daily developments in the compliance arena for government contractors and subcontractors, with a particular focus on developments involving the OFCCP and related agencies and departments. Connie is also co-editor of Proskauer's Whistleblower Defense blog, which provides the latest insights on employee whistleblower claims. A frequent speaker on a variety of labor and employment issues, Connie has spoken at programs and seminars sponsored by Fed Pubs, Association of Corporate Counsel National Capital Region (ACC NCR), Georgetown University, ALI-ABA, the ABA, the District of Columbia Bar and the Virginia Bar, and at other seminars and training conferences. Connie has served as a panelist and co-chair at Georgetown University's "Views from the Bench: Employment Litigation" and "Evidence and Jury Instructions in Employment Litigation" programs. In February 2013, Connie presented to the ABA Section's Mid-Winter Program concerning the whistleblower provisions of SOX.

Connie also has commented on employment issues for major publications, including the New York Times in a May 2007 article addressing the Supreme Court's decision concerning pay discrimination in Ledbetter v. Goodyear. She was interviewed for an article in The Washington Post on the government's proposed rule for more stringent data controls for government contractors.

Numerous publications have recognized Connie as leader in the profession, including Chambers USA and Super Lawyers. She was named the "Leading Lawyer" in labor and employment law by Legal Times in its most recent award series. Connie was designated a "Top Washington Lawyer" in employment law by Washingtonian Magazine in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and was also selected as "Top Washington Lawyer" in Employment Litigation by Washington Business Journal in 2009.

Connie is a past co-chair of the Steering Committee of DC Bar's Labor and Employment Section, currently serves as Chair of the Whistleblower and Government Contractor committees of the section and is the former Chair of United Way's Women's Leadership Council. Since 1995, Connie has been an instructor for NITA's Trial Advocacy and Deposition Skills programs and is also an instructor for Fed Pubs for programs concerning OFCCP and government contractor compliance.

Key Representations

  • A major DC-based government contractor successfully obtaining dismissal of a former employee’s defamation claims by invoking the Mangold absolute privilege defense
  • A DC-based international fund, successfully defending claims by a CEO alleging wrongful discharge and contract claims 

  • A DC-based government contractor, obtaining dismissal and monetary sanctions based on the plaintiff’s spoliation of evidence

  • A major DC-based employer in an action by in-house counsel alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, prevailing on summary judgment 

  • A major government contractor in False Claims Act and trade secret litigation, obtaining summary judgment and an award of sanctions 

  • A mid-Atlantic grocer before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in a decision upholding the dismissal of state law claims of a former employee on federal preemption grounds 

  • A manufacturer, successfully defending an eight-day jury trial of a former executive's age and sex discrimination claim 

  • A defendant in race discrimination and harassment actions, successfully opposing class certification 

  • National retailers and apartment owners/managers in lawsuits under federal fair housing and accessibility laws 

  • Federal government contractors in OFCCP audits and enforcement proceedings