Marie-Joëlle C. Khouzam
Marie-Joëlle C. Khouzam counsels and defends management and business owners in labor and employment law matters, including discrimination and harassment, intentional torts, breach of contract, non-compete/restraint of trade, and other issues affecting the employment relationship. Her focus includes providing day-to-day advice on personnel issues, helping management develop and implement policies, and representing clients before various state and federal agencies and courts.
Joëlle is also a firm believer in the value of mediation, advocating on behalf of clients in mediations and also serving as a retained mediator (neutral). She conducts frequent in-house training to help management ensure compliance and avoid litigation, and is a frequent author and speaker on developing employment-law topics. Recently, she has been advising trade associations and speaking across the state on the legal impact of Ohio’s medical marijuana law on workplaces.
Joëlle has served as the City Attorney for Grandview Heights since 2006. She chaired Bricker & Eckler’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee from 2014 to 2018.
Professional & Community Activities
- Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
- Co-Chair, Ohio State Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section Council Webinar Subcommittee
- Chair, Nominating Committee; HR Committee, The Catholic Foundation Board of Trustees
- Steering Committee Member, Ohio Management Lawyers Association
- Former President, Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association
- Former Board Member/Officer, Grandview Chamber of Commerce; Children’s Hunger Alliance; St. Stephen’s Community House; Members First Credit Union
Presentations & Published Works
- Roundtable discussion panelist, "D&I in the legal profession: What makes sense for Ohio?" Symposium on the State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, August 2018
- Speaker, "Weed Woes: How to Manage Medical Marijuana in Your Hospital," Ohio Hospital Association Annual Meeting, June 2019
- Speaker, “Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law,” National Association of Women Business Owners, May 17, 2018
- Speaker, “The Importance of Hiring Practices and Corporate Culture in Creating Inclusive Workplaces,” Ohio Safety Congress, March 8, 2018
- Speaker, “The Straight Dope: Medical Marijuana Legalization in Ohio,” Ohio Safety Congress, April 11, 2017
- Speaker, “Workplace Dos and Don’ts,” Builders’ Exchange, February 16, 2017
- Speaker, “School Comp Safety Seminar,” Ohio School Boards Association, December 12, 2016
- Speaker, "Is the Grass Really Greener? Workplace Implications of Medical Marijuana," Ohio State Bar Association, August 11, 2016
- Speaker, "Changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act," The Development District Association of Appalachia's Professional Development Conference, April 2016
- Speaker, "O-High-O: Workplace Considerations of Marijuana Legalization," Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses annual conference, November 5, 2015
- Speaker, “Challenging Human Resource Legal and Practical Issues,” Ohio Hospital Association Spring Meeting, May 13, 2015
- Speaker, “Hot Topics in Employment Law,” Ohio City and County Managers’ Association, February 26, 2015
- Speaker, "Using Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, and Non-Disclosure Agreements," HR Academy Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, July 9, 2014
- Speaker, "Navigating the Bermuda Triangle of Leave Laws: ADAAA, FMLA, and Workers' Compensation Laws," HR Academy Webinar, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, June 11, 2014
- Speaker, "Workplace Investigations," Lorman Seminars, May 16, 2014
Bar Admissions & Activities
- Faculty Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy “Deposition Skills” training program
- Member, Columbus Bar Association (Past Member, Board of Governors; Past Chair, Labor & Employment Law Committee; Past Chair, Community Service Committee)
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Ohio Management Lawyers' Association
- Member, Ohio Municipal Attorneys' Association
Awards & Recognition
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Employment Law - Management; Labor Law - Management), 2010–2020
- Recognized, ChambersUSA, Labor & Employment with a Band 4 ranking, 2018–2019
- Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers (Employment & Labor: Employer; State, Local & Municipal; Workers' Compensation: Employer/Insurance; Employment Litigation: Defense; Nonprofit Organizations ), 2007–2019
- Listed, Top 50 Women Ohio, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2017–2019
- Listed, Top 50 Columbus, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2017–2019
- Listed, Top 25 Women Columbus, Ohio Super Lawyers, 2017–2019
- Recipient, Bowling Green State University's Outstanding College Alumni Award, 2017
- Recipient, Ohio Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women in Ohio Award, 2009, 2017
- Recipient, Multicultural Leadership Award, Ohio Diversity Council, October 2015
- Rated, AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell; Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
- Honored, Grandview Chamber of Commerce established the Khouzam Workforce Development Scholarship, 2013
- Listed, International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers
- Recipient, Ohio Diversity Council’s Most Powerful and Influential Women in Ohio Award, 2009
- Recipient, Northwest Rotary Woman of the Year
- Recipient, Columbus Bar Association Community Service Award
- University of Toledo (J.D.), 1991
- Fulbright Fellowship, Universität Innsbruck, Austria, 1986
- Georgetown University Institute on Comparative Political & Economic Systems, 1985
- Bowling Green State University (B.A., cum laude), 1985
DOL finalizes new overtime rule for white-collar exemptions: 1.3 million additional workers will be eligible for overtime pay starting January 1More
Columbus CEO shares how local GELI coalition "attacks pay equity"
A collaboration among local law firms including Bricker & Eckler, Gender Equity in the Legal Industry (GELI) was established in early 2017 as a result of several Central Ohio legal industry leaders recognizing the need for discussion regarding gender and pay equity.More Oct 2, 2019
Bricker attorneys named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers
Continuing the firm’s trend of excellence and distinction, 43 Bricker & Eckler attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers list. Notably, this year’s list includes four newly-listed attorneys. Additionally, four attorneys were named to “Top Lists” in Ohio.More Dec 15, 2016
Bricker recognized as Nationwide’s Inclusion & Diversity Regional Champion
Bricker & Eckler is one of three law firms across the country to be recognized by Nationwide’s legal department for its commitment to inclusion and diversity to advance the legal profession. Bricker representatives attended the Nov. 1 ceremony in Columbus to receive the distinguished “Inclusion & Diversity Regional Champion” award.More Nov 14, 2016
Bricker & Eckler attorneys earn Best Lawyers 2017 recognition
A total of 66 attorneys from Bricker & Eckler LLP, representing 47.5 percent of the firm’s lawyers, were chosen by their peers for recognition in this year’s edition of The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 (copyright 2016 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).More Aug 15, 2016
Document retention policies and procedures
Assisted the Ohio Farm Bureau in developing and implementing a new document retention policy and creating reasonable and tailored procedures to implement the supplied retention policy. The engagement included meeting with department heads to discuss the retention policy, touring the client’s physical storage locations and recommending practical steps for implementing the new policy. We also conducted two on-site training sessions for staff once the policy was finalized.
Mediation and Arbitration
Experienced and trained in negotiations, mediation and arbitration, Joëlle has participated in mediation training at the Ohio Supreme Court, the Columbus Bar Association and other forums.
Joëlle's extensive mediation experience includes representing parties in over 100 Ohio Civil Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission mediations, as well as mediations before the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the State Employment Relations Board, various state courts and federal courts. The court cases have included claims of sex/race/disability/age/gender/national origin/religious discrimination, equal pay, commission disputes, retaliation and whistleblower claims, wage and hour claims, non-compete and trade secret matters.
Joëlle has also been retained to serve as a mediator to help resolve disputes between parties, including matters involving public entities and their employees. These cases have included personal injury cases, multi-party contract or commercial litigation disputes, fair-housing cases and employment cases, including discrimination and retaliation cases.
Joëlle has also been asked to serve as an EEOC mediator.
References available upon request.
Labor contract negotiations
Finalized contract negotiations in advance of the public sector client's timetable, at the same time, disposing of a pending lawsuit that arose from interpretation of the prior labor contract. The court case, if litigated to conclusion, could have resulted in significant unbudgeted expense and a negative impact on the labor-management relationship. By resolving the lawsuit as part of the new contract negotiation, the client was able to manage its budget responsibly and avoided the uncertainty of a judicial decision, the cost of appeals, and negative publicity.