Joyce Ackerbaum Cox is an experienced employment litigator and adviser, focusing her practice on the management side of employment law matters for clients in all industries, with a particular focus on the hospitality, restaurant, healthcare and energy sectors.
With a deep understanding of her clients’ businesses, she advises on the application of solutions in their day-to-day functions for maximizing positive results. Joyce defends employers involved in discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims, wage and hour compliance, and disability/leave issues, including those brought as a class/collective action.
Additionally, she handles matters regarding accessibility compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She also provides training, investigates complaints and counsels employers in all aspects of personnel matters, including the ADA/FMLA; hiring, performance and termination/layoff issues; and the development of employee handbooks and policies.
Joyce serves as a co-chair of the firm’s national Noncompete and Trade Secrets team, providing guidance on employee movement issues, litigating claims concerning violations of noncompete and employment agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets, and assisting in the development of strategies designed to protect competitive elements.
Further, she advises on and prepares all types of employment contracts, including executive contracts. Joyce is also a member of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
- Successfully obtained decertification of a 177-member putative class and summary judgment on behalf of a large international contingent workforce management company and its subsidiary in a nationwide collective action for alleged off-the-clock violations of the FLSA brought by retail sales representatives.
- Successfully defended a municipality in a reverse discrimination case brought by a Caucasian firefighter challenging the municipality’s affirmative action plan and the validity of certain promotions under the plan. The municipality won the case at trial, and the verdict was subsequently upheld on all counts at the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Defended one of the world’s leading providers of juice drinks in a 35-plaintiff race discrimination and sexual harassment case. Summary judgments or voluntary dismissals were obtained against a great majority of the plaintiffs, and the remainder of the case was resolved on very favorable terms for the company.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of a physician in charge of a hospital’s medical education program who had been sued for defamation in connection with his preparation of student performance evaluations.
- Defeated class certification in FLSA cases for multiple different pari-mutuel facilities sued for alleged violations of FLSA’s tip-pooling requirements.
- Federal Bar Association
- American Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section
- Orange County Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section
- Academy of Florida Management Attorneys (AFMA)
- Florida Executive Women
Community : Jewish Community Center Board of Directors (2003 to 2013)
- J.D., University of Miami School of Law, 1996; magna cum laude; Order of the Coif; Entertainment and Sports Law Review, “Do Shoe Contracts Threaten Universities’ Tax Exempt Status?” Vol. 13, No. 1-2, 199
- B.B.A., International Finance and Marketing/Business Law, University of Miami, 1993, with honors
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2000
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 2002
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2015
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1999
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1996
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