Overview

William B. deMeza Jr. is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Tampa office. Mr. deMeza represents employers in labor, employment discrimination, minimum wage/overtime, employment contract, and OSHA matters throughout the United States. Clients have included restaurants, manufacturers, financial institutions, technology companies, physicians' groups, retail stores, government contractors, insurance companies, shipyards, and mining companies.

Mr. deMeza has served as employers' counsel in race, sex, sexual harassment, age, religion, national origin, and handicap (disability) employment discrimination charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Florida Commission on Human Relations, and other local EEO agencies. He has litigated in court numerous claims (including class-action claims) brought against employer clients under the various federal and Florida discrimination laws. He has extensive experience in minimum wage/overtime counseling and litigation, including defense of nationwide "collective action" claims based on improper classification of employees as "exempt" and "off the clock" work in various industries. Mr. deMeza also frequently counsels clients about layoffs or reductions in force (RIFs) and related issues such as the decisional process and employee selection criteria, severance pay, compliance with the age discrimination and plant closing laws, RIF alternatives, and practical implementation of the downsizing (including preparation and training of human resource and executive personnel).

A significant segment of Mr. deMeza's practice focuses on advising clients about employee safety and health issues, including the employers' compliance with applicable safety standards, as well as identification of "risk" issues in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) diligence. Many of these employer clients are engaged in the manufacturing, construction, energy production, and mining industries. Mr. deMeza regularly represents clients in contesting citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC). For example, he contested the first federal OSHA heat stress citation issued in the glass container industry.

Mr. deMeza prepares employment contracts and frequently litigates breaches of such contracts and enforcement of noncompetition and other restrictive covenant agreements. He develops or reviews clients' personnel policy manuals, employee and supervisor handbooks, job applications, affirmative action plans, and personnel policies (including drug testing, polygraphing, and AIDS policies) for compliance with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), EEO, and wage-and-hour laws.

During law school, he served as editor in chief of the Law Review. He was a law clerk to the Honorable James M. Sprouse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1980-1981.

Credentials

Education
  • University of Toledo College of Law, J.D.
  • Case Western Reserve University, B.S., Engineering
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
Memberships
  • The Florida Bar - Labor Law and Litigation Sections
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - Labor & Employment, 2001-2022
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Labor & Employment, 2007-2018
  • Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2006-2021
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star Award, 2017
  • Guide to the World's Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2013-2015
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2007-2009
  • Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers

Publications

Speaking Engagements

News