Erika R. Royal is a lawyer in Holland & Knight's Fort Lauderdale office. Ms. Royal has extensive experience defending management and corporate clients against individual, collective and class action employment-related claims. Ms. Royal has litigated numerous discrimination and retaliation claims arising from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Whistleblower Act, Florida's Workers' Compensation Retaliation statute and other federal, state and local employment-related statutes. Ms. Royal has conducted many sensitive internal investigations of allegations against high-level employees. She has also represented companies in enforcing restrictive covenant agreements.
In addition to employment litigation, Ms. Royal provides strategic advice and counsel on all aspects of the employment relationship, including executive and employment agreements, audits, training, employee handbooks and policies, performance evaluations, social media policies and use, and compliance with federal, state and local employment laws. Ms. Royal provides practical and effective approaches to managing employee leaves, conducting internal investigations, implementing or managing reductions in force and noncompetition covenants, and reducing employers' litigation vulnerabilities. Ms. Royal also is well-versed in employment law for corporate transactions. She has represented clients across a broad range of industries, including financial institutions, transportation, hospitality, healthcare, technology and retail. A frequent author and an engaging speaker, Ms. Royal has addressed numerous employment topics important to her corporate clients, including most recently, COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace.
Ms. Royal participated in Holland & Knight's 2007 Rising Stars program, an intensive and dynamic educational, leadership and marketing training program designed to promote women within the firm. She is chair of the firm's Black Affinity Group and former coordinator of the Fort Lauderdale Women's Initiative, both integral parts of Holland & Knight's commitment to diversity. Ms. Royal was selected to represent Holland & Knight in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity's 2014 Fellows Program and remains active in the LCLD organization. She was a member of the Leadership Broward Foundation's Class XXXI and a member of the inaugural class of Women Leading Broward. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Leadership Broward Foundation. Trusted by her clients and peers, Ms. Royal was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America Guide as Fort Lauderdale Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year in 2018.
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