Harvard Law School, J.D., 1980; Member, Harvard Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Law Review; Vice President, Harvard Legal Aid Bureau
Wake Forest University, B.A., summa cum laude, 1977, Phi Beta Kappa
Charles Johnson is an experienced litigator and counselor who concentrates his practice in complex employment and labor and commercial disputes. He has represented companies in a wide variety of employment and commercial cases in federal and state courts, on appeal and before administrative agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor. He also regularly counsels employers on labor and employment issues.
In recent years, Charles has litigated cases involving class and individual claims of employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, and violations of federal and state wage and hour laws. He has also represented employers and individuals in cases involving employment contracts, covenants not to compete, misappropriation of trade secrets, constitutional issues and collective bargaining rights.
A tenacious and persuasive advocate, Charles has conducted numerous jury trials and arbitrations, and he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to each step of the litigation process. In one recent case, a physician asserted 11 claims — ranging from breach of contract to violation of the First Amendment — against the hospital where he formerly worked. On behalf of the hospital, Charles argued and prevailed on summary judgment and in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on all claims.
Honors & Awards
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, labor and employment, 2005-18
- The Best Lawyers in America, commercial litigation, employment law - management, labor law - management, 2006-19; Charlotte Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year, 2015, 2019; Charlotte Labor Law - Management Lawyer of the Year, 2016
- North Carolina Super Lawyers, employment and labor, 2006-19
- Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star, 2019; Litigation Star, 2010-11
- North Carolina Pro Bono Honor Society, 2017
- Business North Carolina, Legal Elite, employment, 2002-12, 2015
- Business Leader, Power of Justice Pro Bono Award, 2008
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
- Law Clerk, The Honorable James B. McMillan, U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina, 1980-81
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Facebook Inc. in action in federal court by employee alleging race discrimination in promotion and compensation and a hostile work environment. Gary v. Facebook, Inc., No. 1:17-cv-123 (W.D.N.C. July 25, 2018).
Represent restaurant chain Bojangles' Restaurants Inc. in wage and hour collective actions in the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of North Carolina and the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Prevailed in a jury trial in North Carolina Business Court on behalf of national mortgage company on claims against former employees for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and conspiracy.
Represented a financial institution employer in an action by a former executive seeking payment of a bonus and liquidated damages and challenging employer’s stock deferral plan. The Court of Appeals rejected the executive’s claims and awarded summary judgment to the employer. Murphy v. First Union Capital Markets Corp., 152 N.C. App. 205, 567 S.E.2d 189 (2002).
Represented a hospital in a federal court action alleging retaliation in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, breach of contract and tort claims. The trial court granted summary judgment to the hospital on all claims, and the Court of Appeals confirmed. Shenoy v. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority (W.D.N.C. May 10, 2012).
Represented a hospital in a federal court action by a physician alleging that her hospital staff privileges were terminated because of her race and that she was subjected to hostile and discriminatory treatment. The court entered summary judgment in favor of the hospital and ordered the physician to pay the hospital's attorneys' fees.
Represented employer in jury trial and on appeal in $12 million suit by former employee alleging wrongful termination of employment in violation of the public policy of North Carolina and constructive fraud after employee reported fraud by a supplier of employer. The appellate courts affirmed the verdict and judgment for the employer on all claims. Ridenhour v. International Business Machines Corp., 132 N.C. App. 563, 512 S.E.2d 774, disc. rev. denied, 350 N.C. 595, 537 S.E.2d 481 (1999).
Represented individual hotel developers whose former employer sued them for alleged violations of nonsolicitation provisions in their employment agreements. Obtained summary judgment for hotel developers on all claims, and the North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed. Inland American Winston Hotels v. Crockett, 212 N.C. App. LEXIS 1044, 712 S.E.2d 366 (2011).
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of employers in cases alleging race discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Jimoh v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46911 (May 12, 2010), aff'd, 428 Fed. Appx. 241 (4th Circ. 2011); Mosley v. Bojangles' Restaurants, Inc., 2004 WL 727033 (M.D.N.C. March 30, 2004).
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of employers in cases alleging sex discrimination and sexual harassment in violation of Title VII and state laws. Cramer v. Bojangles' Restaurants, Inc., 498 Fed. Appx. 885 (11th Cir. 2012); Lambert v. Mecklenburg County, 2006 WL 2620307 (W.D.N.C. Sept. 12, 2006).
Obtained summary judgment for municipal employer in action alleging retaliatory discharge in violation of free speech provisions of North Carolina Constitution. Cole v. City of Charlotte, 2012 N.C. App. LEXIS 479, S.E.2d 584 (April 3, 2012) (affirming summary judgment).
Obtained summary judgment for employer in an action alleging retaliatory discharge under Maryland law, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Seidner v. PCA International, Inc., 41 Fed Appx. 699, 2002 WL 1733803 (4th Cir. July 29, 2002).
Obtained summary judgment for employer in an action alleging violations of collective bargaining agreements under the federal Labor-Management Relations Act. Tucker v. American Telephone & Telegraph Co., 129 F.3d 1260 (table), 1997 WL 712902 (4th Cir. Nov. 17, 1997).
Represented financial services company in successful jury trial and on appeal on claims and counterclaims in a federal action alleging breach of an agreement to remarket an oil tanker. First Union Commercial Corp. v. GATX Capital Corp., 411 F.3d 551 (4th Cir. 2005).
News & Events
- Jan. 28, 2019
- Nov. 16, 2018
- Aug. 15, 2018
- July 27, 2018
- May 31, 2018
- May 7, 2018
- Jan. 30, 2018
- Eight Named “Lawyer of the Year”Aug. 16, 2017
- May 31, 2017
- Jan. 26, 2017
- Eight Attorneys Named "Lawyer of the Year"Aug. 15, 2016
- June 2, 2016
- March 25, 2016
- Jan. 27, 2016
- Aug. 18, 2015
- May 28, 2015
- Jan. 21, 2015
- Eighteen Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named to North Carolina’s 2015 Legal Elite, Legal Elite Hall of FameJan. 8, 2015
- Firm Has Most Charlotte Attorneys Named to List for Fourth Consecutive YearAug. 19, 2014
- Firm Topped North Carolina Rankings in Eight Practice AreasAug. 19, 2014
- May 23, 2014
- Jan. 21, 2014
- Aug. 15, 2013
- May 24, 2013
- Six Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 18, 2013
- Aug. 23, 2012
- June 8, 2012
- Seven Shareholders Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in Top 10Jan. 23, 2012
- Eighteen Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Included Among North Carolina’s 2012 ‘Legal Elite,’ ‘Legal Elite Hall of Fame’Jan. 4, 2012
- Sept. 1, 2011
- Charlotte Firm Leads All Other N.C. Firms in Ranked Attorneys, No. 1 Practice Areas for Third-Straight YearJune 14, 2011
- Seven Shareholders Included Among State’s Top 100 Attorneys, Two in the Top 10Jan. 21, 2011
- Twenty-One Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named Among North Carolina’s ‘Legal Elite,’ ‘Legal Elite Hall of Fame’Jan. 12, 2011
- Oct. 19, 2010
- Aug. 9, 2010
- Twenty-Two Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named to Chambers USA, Most in North Carolina for Second Straight YearCharlotte-Based Firm Again Recognized as State Leader in Eight Practice AreasJune 11, 2010
- Forty-Six Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina Rising Stars for 2010Jan. 28, 2010
- Twenty-Five Robinson Bradshaw Attorneys Named Among ‘Legal Elite,’ ‘Legal Elite Hall of Fame’ in North CarolinaJan. 26, 2010
- Aug. 10, 2009
- June 18, 2009
- Jan. 23, 2009
- Dec. 31, 2008
- Sept. 19, 2008
- June 14, 2008
- May 2, 2008
- Jan. 23, 2008
- Dec. 31, 2007
- Sept. 7, 2007
- June 15, 2007
- Jan. 26, 2007
- Dec. 31, 2006
- Sept. 6, 2006
- June 2, 2006
- Jan. 18, 2006
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- Nov. 23, 2016Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Oct. 3, 2016Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Federal Anti-Discrimination Law May Protect LGBT Employees Notwithstanding North Carolina's New Anti-LGBT StatuteApril 5, 2016Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- April 5, 2016Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Jan. 30, 2012Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- Feb. 14, 2008Robinson Bradshaw Publication
- North Carolina Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section Council, 1996-99
- Mecklenburg County Bar, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
- American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, Legal Committee and Past President
- The Diversity Forum, Board of Directors
- Myers Park Baptist Church, Strategic Planning Committee
- WFAE, Board of Directors