Experienced labor and employment counsel with a view to the long term
Travis Kearbey provides clients with experienced labor and employment guidance, particularly in the areas of litigation, business transactions, employment law counseling and labor law. He represents clients before a variety of state and federal courts and various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor (DOL), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Missouri Commission on Human Rights and Illinois Department of Human Rights. Travis counsels clients in a wide array of industries, such as:
- Higher education
- Professional services
- Nonprofits, including in health care and the arts
Travis partners with his clients to address both their short-term needs through day-to-day counseling and their long-term vision, helping them develop and execute strategies to create a culture of compliance, covering everything from employment policies and companywide pay equity audits and remediation efforts to structuring and implementing reorganizations and reductions in force.
Before joining Quarles, Travis led the labor and employment team at an Am Law 200 firm and was a partner at a global Am Law 100 firm. He also was in-house labor and employment counsel for a Fortune 100 company.
Experience in Action
- Advises on an array of employment-related matters, including retaliation and discrimination claims, leave-related and wage and hour claims, traditional labor law and arbitration matters, and restrictive covenant disputes.
- Handles discrimination and wage and hour claims asserted on class and collective bases by private litigants and government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the EEOC.
- Represents clients in federal and state jury trials on discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower claims. Travis also has litigated restrictive-covenant disputes in federal and state courts.
- Counsels clients on labor and employment law issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Travis’ experience in this area includes the negotiation of employment-related terms in merger agreements, stock and asset purchase agreements, negotiation of deal-related executive employment and separation agreements, transition service agreements and secondment contracts.
- Guides clients in the education sector on matters such as Title IX investigations and hearings; disputes concerning tenure, academic freedom and disciplinary matters; and negotiating executive agreements for university leaders.
- Secured summary judgment for a higher education client on Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) claims in state court, where the claims were based on gender and race discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation.
- Obtained a verdict in favor of a client in a state court jury trial in the City of St. Louis on multiple claims of employment discrimination and retaliation.
- Represented a management team in negotiating executive employment agreements and long-term incentive plan terms and awards as part of an M&A transaction involving two Fortune 500 companies.
- Prevailed in case before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concerning enforcement of an arbitration agreement with a client’s former employee.
- Missouri Lawyers Weekly POWER List (2021-present: Employment Law)
- Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star (2020-present)
- The Best Lawyers in America® (2020-present: Employment Law - Management, Litigation -Labor and Employment)
- Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers® "Rising Stars" (2012-present)
Professional & Civic Activities
- The Missouri Bar, Legislative Review subcommittee - Labor and Employment
- Illinois Bar Association
- The Magic House, board of directors
News & Insights
- Vanderbilt Law School (J.D., 2006)
- Missouri State University (B.S., 2003)
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois