Ms. Celia J. Collins
P.O. Box 1988
Mobile, AL 36633
t: (251) 441-9297
Celia Collins is sought after by company CEOs, owners and general counsel for comprehensive labor and employment services from advisory, policy design and training to litigation. Known for going above and beyond for every client - unionized or not - she has a broad range of industry experience, including healthcare, shipbuilding, fast food/service, prisons, manufacturing and others.
On the ground in South Alabama, Celia represents clients on their most challenging issues, such as Affordable Care Act compliance, terminating employees in a protected class, discrimination and harassment claims, union attacks and return to work issues. Such matters often don't surface during business hours; Celia is known for being available around the clock.
Other important areas where Celia's assistance proves invaluable include the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), FSLA/wage and hour, internal investigations, and EEOC, OSHA and NLRB administrative matters. Celia is also known for her civil rights work related to Fair Housing Discrimination Claims
- Representation of health-care client and its managers in defending termination/harassment case filed by 20-year employee. Individual managers dismissed early in the action. Employer dismissed on summary judgment.
- Representation of manufacturing client in sexual harassment case arising in a production line setting. Case voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff.
- Representation of hospital in race discrimination claim filed by 20-year employee terminated for performance. Case voluntarily dismissed by plaintiff.
- Representation of hospital in cases alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by employee suffering on-the-job injury and companion workers' compensation action. She was unable to return to prior position and terminated when not placed in a different position within the leave of absence period. Motion for summary judgment granted in favor of employer. Case appealed by plaintiff to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals where summary judgment was affirmed. Companion workers' compensation action settled favorably.
- Representation of financial institution in defending Equal Pay Act claim by female manager paid a lower salary than the supervisor she succeeded. Summary judgment granted for defendant.
- Representation of national hotel chain in connection with race discrimination claim by terminated security guard. Judgment for employer after trial on the merits.
- Representation of hospital in pregnancy discrimination case by nurse terminated when physical restrictions placed on her due to pregnancy prevented her from performing job. Case voluntarily dismissed in return for promise of neutral reference.
- Representation of employer in defending simultaneous claims for workers' compensation, unemployment compensation and discrimination. Workers' compensation claim favorably settled. Unemployment compensation claim resolved in favor of employer. EEOC charge dismissed.
- Representation of employer in case alleging race discrimination, breach of contract, tort of outrage and slander by terminated LPN against home health care agency. Summary judgment rendered in favor of employer.
- Representation of group health plan in action alleging age and sex discrimination by employee denied promotion. Summary judgment granted for employer.
- Representation of retail client in sexual harassment case. Motion for summary judgment granted in favor of employer.
- Representation of retail client in case alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by employee claiming employer failed to accommodate his requests for certain lunch breaks necessary in connection with his alleged condition of diabetes. Case settled for $500.00 while motion for summary judgment was pending.
- Assistance provided to a number of employers in reviewing and revising employment policies to conform with recent changes in State and Federal law.
- Assistance provided to a number of employers in planning and conducting training on sexual harassment, FMLA and other matters.
- Service as Arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association Panel of Employment Law Arbitrators.
Other Employment Matters
- Retained to assist largest private employer in Mobile County in connection with total overhaul of its personnel policies and procedures.
- Retained by national management training company to conduct all-day workshops in areas of internal investigation and administering Family and Medical Leave Act.
- Retained by various commercial training companies to provide training to personnel specialists in all areas of employment law.
- Representation of employer in pro-active strategy of obtaining court approval of mass lump sum settlements with approximately 150 employees suffering hearing loss in order to avoid the expense of anticipated separate litigation.
- Representation of manufacturing client in workers' compensation action in which plaintiff claimed permanent total disability arising from neck surgery allegedly resulting from repetitive action on production line. Award for employer after bench trial. Plaintiff appealed award to the Court of Civil Appeals which affirmed the award for employer. Plaintiff further petitioned for certiorari with the Alabama Supreme Court. Certiorari was denied.
- Assistance provided in defense of alleged Fair Housing violations made by Department of Justice against local company owning several apartment complexes. Case reached favorable settlement prior to suit being filed.
- Service as local counsel in anti-trust action against top Fortune 500 company. Case reached favorable settlement shortly before trial scheduled.
- Representation of ship owner in action arising under admiralty laws involving attempted sexual assault of client's employee by third party on-board ship. Case reached favorable settlement.
- Representation of major medical supplier in breast implant litigation.
- Representation of major retailer in diet drug litigation pending in Mobile, Alabama.
Honors and Awards
Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Professional and Community Involvement
- Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of South Alabama
- Member, Employment Law Section, American Bar Association and Alabama Bar Association.
- Member, Workers' Compensation Section, Alabama Bar Association.
- Served on Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Examiners as examiner in area of Federal Pleading and Practice.
- Serving as elected Member of Alabama State Bar Board of Bar Commissioners.
- Serving as Member of the Executive Committee of the Mobile Bar Association.
- Designated by Best Lawyers in the areas of Workers' Compensation-Employers, Employment Law-Management, Labor Law-Management, and Litigation-Labor and Employment
- Designated by Super Lawyers in the areas of Workers' Compensation Law and Employment Litigation-Defense
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
Seminars / Presentations
- "Corporate Compliance - Post Sarbanes-Oxley: A Look at Individual Case Studies" (Alabama Bar Institute for Continuing Legal Education - February 2005).
- "Preventing and Handling Sexual Harassment Claims" (Lorman Business Institute - February 2002).
- "Issues in Hostile Environment Cases" (ABICLE - January 2002).
- "Employee Privacy Issues" (Lorman Business Institute - September 2001).
- "Return to Work Issues under Workers' Compensation, ADA and FMLA" (Lorman Business Institute - January 2000).
- "Drug Policies and Employee Grievances" (Lorman Business Institute - September 1999).
- "Affirmative Action Today" (Mobile Chamber of Commerce - May 1999).
- Two-day workshop, "Administering FMLA" and "FMLA Update" (Council on Education Management - March 1999).
- "Update on Americans with Disabilities Act" (Alabama State Bar Section on Employment Law Annual Meeting - October 1998).
- "Wrongful Discharge" (Alabama Society of Women Accountants Annual Meeting - June 1998).
- "Interplay between Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act and Workers' Compensation" (Council on Management Education - January 1998).
- Keeping Employees in Shape for Anti-Discrimination Efforts, Southern States National Personnel Law Update (September 1999).
- Editorial Board, "Benefit Bugle," newsletter of Workers' Compensation Section of Alabama State Bar.
- "Absence Makes the Heart(burn) Grow Stronger," (For the Defense, November 1997).
- "Defending Workplace Injury Cases", Alabama Contributor, to be published by Thompson Reuters in the summer of 2013
- What CEO's Need to Know Before Firing an Employee: Legal Do's and Don'ts (CD-Rom ExecSense Webinars 2010)
- 1980, Alabama State Bar
- 1981, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
P.O. Box 1988
Mobile, AL 36633
t: (251) 441-9297
- Undergraduate degree, Randolph-Macon Women's College (1977)
- Law degree, Vanderbilt University School of Law (1980)