John T. Lovett

T 502.568.0263
F 502.581.1087
400 West Market Street
Suite 3200
Louisville, Kentucky 40202-3363

John defends those who create jobs. Employers look to John to keep legal issues from adding unnecessary costs, distraction, or inefficiency to their workplaces.

John's work focuses upon (1) helping employers avoid litigation; (2) prevailing if litigation is unavoidable; (3) keeping the workplace union-free; (4) managing existing union relationships; and (5) protecting employers from unfair competition from former employees.

John brings a pragmatic eye to an employer’s objectives in order to take the most direct, cost-effective route to achieving them. For example:

  • Avoiding litigation. Because plaintiff’s lawyers use a “no recovery/no fee” business model, John positions employment decisions so plaintiff’s counsel see challenging them as a “bad bet,” and the EEOC and other government agencies have little interest in them.  
  • Litigation. Realistic cost/benefit analysis, avoiding surprises, and a down-to-earth defense strategy characterize John’s litigation practice. Judges, juries, and government agencies lose sympathy for “sympathetic” plaintiffs when they see the burden they placed on co-workers. John empowers an employer’s factual and legal arguments by turning the focus from profits to protecting jobs and the day-to-day work life of solid employees.
  • Unions. Unions can threaten the effectiveness of any workplace. Employers who face union organizing, negotiations, arbitrations, or contract interpretation need legal guidance steeped in labor law and the workplace dynamics unique to unions. John combines labor law knowledge with insight into the “workplace politics” that determine success or failure when facing a union.
  • Unfair competition. Information, business contacts, and goodwill are often a firm’s most important assets in today’s economy. Employers must entrust these assets to their employees. John uses a practical understanding of what will work to protect these assets.
  • Resources. John can rely upon a deep bench. John recently served a six-year term as Chair of the firm’s over 50-lawyer Labor and Employment Practice Group. These lawyers offer diverse expertise, backgrounds, price-points, and local knowledge. John knows them well.  Plus, John can call upon over 500 lawyers across the firm when a labor or employment issue touches on another legal field. 

John and his wife, Melissa, have four adult daughters. John’s favorite diversion is commuting to work on his motorcycle.


Employment Litigation

Obtained jury verdict for employer in multiple plaintiff discrimination and retaliation challenge to a reduction in force based upon the employer’s subjective assessment of employees’ performance.

Avoided collective (class) action certification in wage and hour legal challenge to client’s nationwide classification of employees as “exempt” from overtime pay.

Obtained jury verdicts in state court lawsuits alleging breach of implied employment contract and promissory estoppel.

Obtained preliminary injunction enforcing world-wide covenant not to compete against computer software salesperson.

Obtained Directed Verdict in action alleging employer retaliated against plaintiff for testifying in sex discrimination litigation.

Obtained summary judgments in statutory discrimination and wrongful discharge lawsuits.

Used e-mail and other electronic discovery evidence to obtain summary judgment dismissing claims of wage and hour law violations and breach of express and implied employment contracts.

Obtained enforcement in Kentucky state court of individual employee arbitration agreements.

Obtained private arbitration award dismissing employee’s claim of workers’ compensation retaliation.


Assisted clients in defeating over sixty union organizing campaigns.

Assisted clients in winning decertification and deauthorization NLRB elections.

Defended employers in NLRB proceedings involving unfair labor practice charges, Section 10(j) injunction, and NLRB election objections.

Defended employer in LMRA § 301 lawsuit to enforce collective bargaining agreement.

Negotiated collective bargaining agreement limiting the employer’s contribution to the cost of employee health insurance to a fixed amount over five years.

Obtained preliminary injunctions and prepared strike preparation plans in response to union strikes and threatened strikes.

Counseling and Training

Partners with in-house counsel, HR and other managers to position personnel decision to avoid litigation, agency actions, and union organizing.

Provides clients with cell phone, home phone, as well as office access to assist management with personnel decisions in real time.

Has a track record of successfully guiding employers through the investigation and remedy of “He said/She said” sexual harassment allegations without litigation from either the “victim” or the “accused.”

Offers 30 years of experience successfully training supervisors and managers on how to maintain positive employee relations and lawfully avoid unions at worksites from New Hampshire to Florida and Maryland to California, for manufacturing, distribution, and health care employers and U.S., European, and Asian owned enterprises.

Provides custom-tailored, interactive training for supervisors, managers, and employees on: “You Just Can’t Do That Here!” (sexual and other unlawful harassment training); “How To Stay Out of Trouble and Out of Court” (employment litigation avoidance training); and, “What To Do When Workers Can’t/Won’t Work” (FMLA, ADA, and Workers’ Comp Retaliation risk avoidance training).

Highlights & Recognitions

  • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment
  • Named one of the "Top 100 Labor Attorneys" in the U.S. by the Labor Relations Institute
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Employment Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year," 2017; Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, 1999-2019
  • AV® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Selected for inclusion in Kentucky Super Lawyers®,  Employment & Labor, 2007-2016
  • Member and former Chair, Labor Lawyers Advisory Committee, CUE: An Organization for Positive Employee Relations
  • Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC), Kentucky Construction Industry Award for Excellence by an Associate Member 1997

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Past Service on Judicial Evaluation Committee
  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section
  • American Employment Law Council, Charter Member
  • Labor Lawyer Advisory Committee, CUE:  An Organization for Positive Employee Relations
  • ABC Attorneys Council (Associated Builders & Contractors)

FBT Publications

Press Releases

Non-FBT Publications and Events

Update of the Law of Discrimination
University of Kentucky College of Law, Employment Law Institute, 2008

Kentucky Law Update
University of Louisville Carl Warns Labor & Employment Law Institute, 2008

Winning the Coming War: Defeating the New Union Radicals
Associated Industries of Kentucky (AIK)

Union Avoidance Summit
Associated Industries of Kentucky (AIK)

How To Stay Union Free
Associated Industries of Kentucky (AIK)

WINNING: Three Key Steps To Defeating A Union Organizing Campaign
Sexual Harassment: How To Stay Out of Trouble

Associated Industries of Kentucky (AIK)
Sexual Harassment: How To Avoid Liability

The Kentucky Banking School of Ethics for Bank Officers and Employees
Kentucky Bankers Association

Wage and Hour Law in Kentucky
The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

ADA, FMLA, and Workers' Comp: What to Do When Workers Can't Work
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet

Employment Discrimination and Wrongful Discharge: How To Stay Out of Court
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet

Employment Regulation in Tennessee, Employee Termination: The Right to Fair Treatment
California State University Institute of Business Law

Employment Regulation in Tennessee, FMLA: Much More Than 12 Weeks Leave
California State University Institute of Business Law

Time Off in Kentucky: State and Federal Laws on Employee Leave (Attendance Policies)

John has also made presentations for the Kentucky Hotel & Motel Association, Third Annual Medworks Employers Symposium, Self-Insured Employers Association Seminar, Kentucky Employers Conference, Evansville Personnel Association, Kentucky Soft Drink Association, Kentucky Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, and Lorman Education Services.

Union Salting Defenses Upheld
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Key Legal Tools for Fighting Labor Trouble
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

New Union Strategies: How To Protect Yourself
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Making "Smart" Hiring Decisions
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Preparing for Union "Salts"
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

You're Fired! See You in Court
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Sexual Harassment & Construction
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Contractors Face New Sexual Harassment Rules
Associated General Contractors of Kentucky (AGC)

Surviving the New Union Threat:
Tips for Kentucky Employers, Kentucky Labor Letter

Solving the FMLA, ADA, and Workers' Comp Puzzle
Kentucky Labor Letter

Sexual Harassment Liability: New Sinkholes and Safe Havens
Kentucky Labor Letter

Employer v. Employer -- Litigation Over Non-Competes And Trade Secrets Explodes
Kentucky Labor Letter

Anti-Trust Law in the Workplace
CUE Legal Alert

What to do About the New Temp Voters in NRLB Elections
CUE Legal Alert

Litigation Risk List©
This list is designed to provide a quick alert for when a necessary discharge may create a risk of legal action under federal and/or Kentucky law.

FMLA Protected Absence Analysis©
This may be used to provide a quick reference for when an absence may be legally protected by the FMLA.

Sexual Harassment Response Guidelines©
These guidelines are intended to aid human resources professionals in performing sexual harassment investigations.

Union Alert: Early Signs of Union Activity©

Interview Question Guidelines©
What cannot be asked in an employment interview -- for valued clients of the Firm

Other Contact Info




Sandra Brown
T 502.779.8618