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Growing a business and managing a workforce have never been more challenging. Kenneth Winkler, a shareholder at Berman Fink Van Horn, helps employers navigate the employment laws and regulations that govern the workplace.
With nearly 30 years of employment law experience, Ken has a gift for taking complex situations and providing practical solutions to employers, business owners, organizational leaders and individuals. His broad-based employment practice goes beyond litigation. He drafts and revises workplace policies and employment agreements, provides on-site #MeToo harassment training and works closely with companies to assist them with terminations, disciplinary actions and investigations.
Ken also represents both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes involving restrictive covenants including noncompete, non-solicitation of customers, non-recruitment of employees, non-disclosure/confidential information and trade secrets provisions.
Serving as Berman Fink Van Horns’ hospitality lead, Ken is General Counsel to the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association and a member of the Industry Board of the Cecil B. Day’s School of Hospitality at Georgia State University.
A graduate from The from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Ken received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University, graduating summa cum laude.
Outside of work, Ken serves on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and the Board of Directors of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, where he previously served as Chair. An avid sports fan, Ken enjoys tennis, golf, swimming and recently took up pickleball.
- Georgia (1994)
- Ohio (1993)
- United States Courts of Appeals: Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits
- United States District Courts: Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia
- United States District Courts: Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio
- United States District Court: Central District of Illinois
- B.S.B.A.,The Ohio State University, summa cum laude, 1990
- J.D.,The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, 1993
- Managing Editor, The Ohio State Law Journal
- American Bar Association
- Georgia Bar Association
- Atlanta Bar Association
- Ohio Bar Association
- Society For Human Resource Management (SHRM)
- Georgia State University: Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Industry Board
- Georgia Hotel and Lodging Association
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating for legal ability and ethical standards
- 2014 – present The Best Lawyers in America (Litigation – Labor and Employment)
- 2010 – present, 2004 Georgia “Super Lawyer” (Employment & Labor)
- 2013-present Georgia “Super Lawyer” Business Edition – Employment & Labor
- Ken was recognized in Georgia Trend magazine as one of Georgia’s Legal Elite (2011)
- JCC’s of America 2005 Esther Leah Ritz Next Generation Award
News & Insights
EEOC Guidance on COVID Vaccines (Updated)
Bullying takes Center Stage at Wimbledon
NLRB Ruling on Workers' Rights
Judge Rules that Home Depot May Bar BLM Apron Messages
An Administrative Law Judge of the National Labor Relations Board has dismissed a complaint by former employees of Home Depot who claimed the company violated workers’ rights by refusing to let them wear “Black Lives Matter” on their uniform aprons.
Fair Labor Standards Act
Court Rules Business Development Managers Are Exempt under the FLSA
Avoid Discrimination Complaints: Zverev “Suspension” Stirs Debate
For several weeks thereafter, the controversy continued to make headlines as Williams maintained a discrimination complaint: she was the victim of sexual bias.
New Guidance on Religious Accommodations for COVID-19 Vaccine
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently updated its guidance on how to handle religious accommodations for COVID-19 vaccinations and requests for accommodation.
- “Noncompetes and Restrictive Covenants 2021: What Every Lawyer, Human Resources Professional, and Key Strategic Decisionmaker Should Know” (A Featured Speaker at the Practising Law Institute, September 20, 2021)
- “What’s Next? Top Considerations to Grow your Business after the Digital Pivot” (Moderator and a Featured Speaker during a BFV “Office Hours” Webinar, April 30, 2021)
- “Key Terms You Must Understand in Negotiating Executive Employment Agreements” (A featured Speaker to members of the Kettering Executive Development Special Interest Group, April 13, 2021)
- “Employment Law Roundtable: Discussion of Both Recurring and Emerging Employment Issues” (A Featured Speaker on a State Bar of Georgia panel, January 26, 2021)
- “BFV Virtual Roundtable” on employment, real estate, noncompete/unfair competition and mergers and acquisitions topics (A Featured Speaker, December 4, 2020)
- “Emerging Exposures in Employment Litigation from Covid-19” (Presenter at the Atlanta Bar Association Zoom meeting, October 9, 2020)
- “COVID-19/Protecting your Business Now & in the Future” (Co-Presenter for BFV “Office Hours” webinar, July 10, 2020)
- “Relaunching your Business & Return-to-Work Employment Issues” (Presenter for BFV “Office Hours” webinar, May 22, 2020)
- Georgia Hospitality Leaders Luncheon & Lodging Industry Showcase (Speaker to Georgia Hospitality Lodging Association members, November 14, 2019)
- “Protecting your Business in the Wake of #MeToo” (Co-presenter to Georgia Hospitality Lodging Association members, September 21, 2018)
“Worried About Leaving Employees Becoming Thieving Employees?” (Co-presenter at the SHRM Atlanta Legal Summit. Ken discussed what HR professionals can do now to protect their company, confidential information and competitive edge, May 3, 2018)
- Update on Georgia Employment Law (Co-presenter at the Atlanta Bar Associations Advanced Employment Law CLE program, March 29, 2018)
- VIDEO: Creating a Positive Work Environment in the Wake of #MeToo (February 2018)
- Workplace Sexual Harassment: How Much Do You Know? (Guest speaker to members of Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB), Atlanta Chapter, February 15, 2018)
- Guide to Human Resource Laws in the Workplace (Shared imperative information that every employee handbook should contain and discussed disciplining and firing employees. National Business Institute seminar, December 5-6, 2017)
- Contracts – Matter Anymore? (Presentation on how contracts can make workplace expectations certain if the contracts are legal and enforceable, Community Bankers Association of Georgia Annual Southeast Financial Human Resource Conference, “Creating Some Certainty in the Midst of Workplace Uncertainty.” He also discussed if/when contracts should be used or avoided and the proposed New Gig Act of 2017, November 3, 2017)
- VIDEO: “My Operating Agreement Says What?!?” (Co-presented a seminar that provided key insights into operating agreements and employment issues. Click here to learn more about the presentation, July 2017)
- Know your Options: New Overtime and Hourly Pay Laws Take Effect 12/1/16 (Keynote speaker to business community and clients of Whaley Hammonds Tomasello CPA firm. Seminar held at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce, October 18, 2016)
- Legal and Legislative Update, including trends in disability, leave and discrimination laws and proposed legislation and regulations.
(The Disability Management Employer Coalition GA/Atlanta Chapter meeting, November 2015)
- A Sports Fan’s Guide to Human Resources
(The Buckhead Club, February 2014)
- Simple Practices to Protect your Company and its Trade Secrets and Confidential Information
(2013 National Restaurant Association Human Resources/Risk & Safety Managers Executive Study Group)
- Social Media and Human Resources – A Dangerous Pair of and Essential Duo for a Club
(2012 CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo)
- A Sport Fan’s Guide to Human Resources
(22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta HR Conference)
- Preventing Discrimination & Harassment in the Hospitality Industry
(GSU Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality, 2005-Present)
- The New Era & Legal Challenges Facing the Hospitality Industry
(Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association Forum, 2009)
- Avoiding The Most Common Employee-Termination Mistake, Law360 Employment Authority, January 24, 2022.
- Quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Georgia employers are back on their own after courts vaccine ruling,” January 14, 2022.
- Quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Exemptions for employee COVID vaccine requirements hard to obtain,” December 2, 2021.
- Quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Should workers be required to get vaccinated? Some Georgia senior-care homes say yes,” June 18, 2021.
- Quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s cover story, “Employers must weigh many issues in considering vaccine mandates,” December 18, 2020.
- Featured on 90.1 FM WABE broadcast, “Counties Expect More Training, More Poll Workers Will Make For Smoother Election.” Ken highlighted BFV’s employee policy to support the voting process, October 8, 2020
- DOL Issues Final Federal Overtime Rule: 3 Key Changes, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, Winter 2020
- What do you do if you Receive a DOL Wage and Liability Inquiry Form, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, Winter 2020
- Featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution “Newsmakers” for his newly appointed role as chair of board of directors at MJCCA, May 6, 2018
- Quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, “Sex scandals prompt new response: Consequences,” November 24, 2017
- Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information, published in “Hospitality Law – Managing Legal Issues in the Hospitality Industry,” 5th Edition, 2017
- Sexual Harassment Update: Uber’s Latest Controversy and the EEOC’s Renewed Focus on Workplace Harassment Policies and Training, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Bar Section Newsletter, Spring 2017
- 5 Key Employment Issues for 2016, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, Winter 2015/2016
- New Overtime Rules in 2016?, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, July/August 2015
- The Impact of Domestic Violence in the Workplace: Why Employers Should Pay Attention to the Ray Rice-NFL Controversy, Atlanta Bar Association Labor & Employment Bar Section Newsletter, November 2014
- Lessons to Learn From the 2013 NCAA Football Season, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, November 2013
- Top 3 Employment Law Issues to be Aware of at the Start of 2013, Berman Fink Van Horn E-News, April 2013
- The Game Has Changed: What Will Litigation Under The New Restrictive Covenants Act Look Like? (2011)
- Status Update: Risks to Employers from Social Media Use By Employees (Spring 2011)
- 5 HR Actions Every Emerging Business Should Take in 2010 (Winter 2010)
- LinkedIn and Restrictive Covenants: Issues and Pitfalls to Consider in the Age of Social Media (2010)
- Employee or Independent Contractor? Avoiding Misclassification Pitfalls (October 2009)
- The American Recovery and Restoration Act Imposes New COBRA Subsidy Requirements (February 2009)
- Georgia’s New Law Permits Concealed Weapons (June 2008)
- President George W. Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (May 2008)
- President Signs New Act Expanding FMLA for Military Families (February 2008)
- Department Of Homeland Security Issues Final Rule Regarding No-Match Letters (August 2007)
- EEOC Initiatives Require Operators To Be Proactive (August 2007)
- Employers Beware when Drafting and Proposing Severance Agreements (June 2007)
- Race Discrimination Remains Challenging Issue For Hospitality Industry, Hospitality Lawyer Newsletter (November 2006)
- How Arbitration Works, Contributing Editor, Sixth Edition (American Bar Association)
Baseball, Apple Pie and Section 10(j)
“The Americanization of Injunctive Relief under the NLRA” CCH Labor Law Journal, Vol. 46 N. 8, August 1995
- Winkler quoted: “Recent union developments can’t be ignored” Nation’s Restaurant News, September 19, 2005
- Winkler quoted: “Big teen work force can cause big migraines without training in proper on-the-job conduct” Nation’s Restaurant News, May 16, 2005
- Winkler quoted: “Despite myriad problems the biggest issue facing industry is rise in racial discrimination” Nation’s Restaurant News, December 17, 2001
- Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta
- Member Board of Trustees (2021 – Present)
- Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
- Immediate Past Chair, Board of Directors (Present)
- Vice Chair, Board of Directors (2016-2018)
- Men’s Council (2020-present)
- Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (2017-2018)
- National Black Law Students Association
- Judge, 2021-2022 NBLSA Mid-Atlantic Regional Moot Court Competition
- Judge, 2013 NBLSA International Negotiation Competition
- Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta