945 E. Paces Ferry Road, Suite 2270 Atlanta, GA 30326
Ph: 404.844.4130
Fax: 404.844.4135

Debra E. Schwartz

Admitted to Georgia Bar (1982)

Education: Emory University School of Law, J.D. (1982)

State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A. with honors (1979)

Our Attorneys

Bar Memberships

Georgia Bar Association

Atlanta Bar Association

National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) & Georgia Affiliate


Professional Accomplishments

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Law since 2006

Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent rated, 25+ years

The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers

“Best Law Firms,” U.S. News & World Report, 2013 - 2017

“Best Lawyers,” U.S. News & World Report, 2012 - 2017

“Georgia Super Lawyers, The Top Attorneys in Georgia,” March 2000 – 2017

“Georgia Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia,” 2002 – 2017

“Georgia Super Lawyers, Top 50 Female Lawyers,” 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014

“The Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers,” Georgia Trend Magazine, 2002 - 2017

Top Lawyers, The American Lawyer, 2011 – 2017

The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers 2015 - 2017


Community Memberships

ACLU

Anti-Defamation League

The Temple

AARP

Emory University School of Law Alumni Association

Debra E. Schwartz

Striving for equal treatment in the workplace and empowering employees to understand and enforce their rights under federal employment laws is a passion for me. Thus, over the past 35 years I have dedicated my career to representing employees at virtually all job levels and across all industries. Whether I am helping to oppose race discrimination under the Civil Rights Act, recover overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or ensure that an employee is permitted to return to work following a medical leave of absence, I remain committed each and every day to serving as an advocate for my clients.

Keenly focused on helping to protect individuals from legal abuses in the workplace, I have always been willing to tackle cases involving multi-faceted claims and unpopular causes. Long before marriage equality took the spotlight as an equal rights issue, I represented attorney Robin Shahar in her fight against discrimination when former Georgia Attorney General Mike Bowers terminated her employment for engaging in a Jewish wedding ceremony with her female partner. My track record also includes bringing litigation against a law firm for failing to properly pay its employee overtime wages, as well as working with the ACLU and LAMBDA to represent employees in several leading-edge cases against public employers. I have also partnered with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the General Counsel of the Seventh-Day Adventists Church to protect employees’ religious rights.

These highlights only provide a snapshot of my interest and expertise in helping to safeguard and promote the welfare of employees in the workplace. I have extensive experience as lead counsel in employment litigation in the U.S. District Courts in Georgia and have successfully argued numerous cases before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. My knowledge, experience, preparation and skillset have served as a cornerstone for success in securing with my partner, Jay Rollins, high six-figure jury verdicts in several cases including a race discrimination suit against MARTA, and a whistle-blower retaliation claim against the City of Atlanta. In this latter case, we convinced the Court to hold the City in contempt, reinstate our 3 clients to their jobs, and pay them the full jury award, including lost pay and benefits and compensatory damages.

While I am always prepared to litigate, my goal is to efficiently and effectively advance the rights and interests of my clients, whether through the courts, mediation or other resolution strategies. Recently,
I helped an assistant district attorney, fired due to her pregnancy, obtain a nearly $800,000 settlement at mediation, regain her confidence, and ultimately put her career back on track.

In addition to helping individuals protect their employment rights, I enjoy representing small to mid-size businesses as they establish workplace rules and policies, provide severance agreements to exiting employees and defend themselves against unwarranted EEOC charges, overtime claims or sexual harassment law suits. I assist my corporate clients in understanding and implementing their obligations and rights under the law.

Always inspired to share my experience and give back to the community, I have been a long-time member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and one of the original founders for the Georgia Chapter of this leading organization for attorneys representing U.S. workers. In addition, I have served formally as a mentor of both NELA Georgia and the Georgia Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section.

Outside the office, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my husband and our adult children, gardening, participating in social activities at The Temple, attending theater, and, to Jay’s chagrin, cheering for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.