Linda Bond Edwards
Linda Bond Edwards devotes her practice to the representation of employers in the private and public sectors in matters involving employment and labor issues. As a former corporate director of human resources, Linda brings to her legal practice the pragmatic and real world experiences arising from the employer-employee relationship. She is also a county and circuit court mediator certified by the Florida Supreme Court, in which she assists parties in resolving their disputes through the use of the mediation process. Linda also arbitrates employment and commercial disputes privately and through the American Arbitration Association.
A seasoned employment lawyer, Linda represents public and private employers in the health care, law enforcement, municipal government and benefits management industries. Linda advises clients on employment matters including hiring, retention and termination practices. Consultation, training and education on issues such as discrimination and harassment are part of her practice. She routinely develops, prepares and presents training and educational seminars for clients and others in the public and private sectors including law enforcement, diversity and public records law. Linda also represents clients in collective bargaining and has experience serving as the chief negotiator for clients during the collective bargaining process. She also represents elected officials before the Ethics Commission.
Beyond litigation, Linda conducts workplace investigations into harassment and discrimination, audits clients’ employment practices and provides proactive advice that helps employers avoid and/or limit liability. She also prepares affirmative action plans for clients and assists clients in obtaining non-immigrant visas.
Linda also litigates claims arising from the employment relationship. She represents public and private employers in judicial and administrative proceedings including those before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR). She defends clients in cases asserting claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Chapter 760, Florida Statutes, including those based on religion, national origin, race and gender. She also has extensive experience defending against wage and hour claims (collective actions) brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) as well as allegations of age discrimination brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). She has also defended entities on public records issues.
As a mediator, Linda assists parties in reaching mutually acceptable resolutions to their disputes. She has mediated matters involving personal injury claims as well as those involving warranty, foreclosures, title challenges and other consumer-related issues. She does not mediate family law matters.
Linda is AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Outside of the courtroom, she is a frequent speaker and trainer on issues concerning the employer/employee relationship including such topics as the prevention of sexual harassment, the ADA, the FMLA and the FLSA, as well as hiring, retention and termination practices.
On February 23, 2012, the First District Court of Appeal held that questions and answers in a law enforcement pre-employment polygraph examination are exempt from the public record. Robyn Rush, represented by retired University of Florida professor Joseph Little, argued that the City of High Springs violated Florida Statutes Chapter 119 when the City redacted the polygraph examination questions and answers from a document she requested. The City argued and the Court agreed that the plain language of the exemption found in Chapter 119.071(1) applied in this case. Although Mr. Little had various arguments regarding legislative intent and why the exemption did not apply, the Court rejected his arguments and stated that if the meaning of the statute is clear, the court’s task is to apply the plain language of the statute.
Linda Bond Edwards argued on behalf of the City that the exemption was clear on its face. Because truthfulness and honesty are necessary traits for law enforcement officers, there was no question that the polygraph was used to measure a legitimate employment characteristic. The Court agreed with her that all of Rush’s arguments came back to the fact that the polygraph was an examination given in the course of employment to determine the fitness of an applicant for employment, thereby squarely meeting the language of the exemption.
This Rush opinion is the first appellate decision on the question of whether the exemption applied to pre-employment polygraph examinations. In 1991, the Sixth Judicial Circuit addressed the issue in Gillum v. Times Publishing Company, No. 91-2689-CA (Fla 6th Cir. Ct. July 10, 1991 but the decision was not appealed. The Court had previously ruled on the question and answer exemption in Dickerson v. Hayes, 543 So. 2d 836 (Fla. 1st DCA 1989), a case involving a summary of examination answers. Similarly, the court looked at the plain reading of the exemption to find that because the document contained answers to questions, the exemption applied.
 Examination questions and answer sheets of examinations administered by a governmental agency for the purpose of licensure, certification, or employment are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. A person who has taken such an examination has the right to review his or her own completed examination
Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2008 WL 2477672
Defeated a motion for spoliation in a Fair Labor Standards Act case where the plaintiff alleged that J-Curt, Inc. d/b/a McDonald’s destroyed payroll records. The Court found that the Defendant did not have a duty to retain the records longer than the statutorily required time period because the Defendant did not know that the plaintiff intended to file a lawsuit. The Court also granted the Defendant’s motion to strike portions of a witness affidavit that contained hearsay and was not based on the affiant’s personal knowledge.
- Retail and Hospitality
- National African American Insurance Association
- Tallahassee Womens Lawyers
- President, 2013-2014
- President Elect, 2012-2013
- Various Chairperson and director postions 2009-2012
- The Florida Bar — Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee
- Chair (2016-2017)
- Vice Chair (2015-2016)
- Center for Human Resources Management, Florida State University, College of Business — Member (2000-2014)
- Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
- Various Ministries, Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
- Tallahassee Habitat for Humanity
Past Member and President of Board of Directors
Florida State University College of Law — J.D., 1995
- Appellate Moot Court Team, Member
- National Semi-Finalist, Health Law Competition, Southern Illinois University, 1994
- Best Oralist (Fall Competition), 1993
University of Tennessee — B.S., Business Administration, 1979
- Florida — 1995
- U.S. District Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
- U.S. District Courts of Florida (Northern, Middle, Southern)
- Certified County and Circuit Court Mediator by Florida Supreme Court
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Florida Trend Magazine's Legal Elite 2016
- Jim Moran Institute at Florida State University
- 850 Business Magazine "Pinnacle Award 2016"
- Listed in Florida Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2016-2020
- Class of Florida Association of Women Lawyers Leaders in the Law Award, 2012
- Author, "What COVID-19 Can Teach Employers for Hurricane Season," Law360, July 10, 2020
- Presenter, "The Organizational Impact of Diversity: More than Numbers and Statements," Small Business Leadership Conference, July 8, 2020
- Presenter, "Time to Toss the Pre-COVID-19 EmployeeHandbook? Maybe –Maybe Not," Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, June 16, 2020
- Presenter, "Human Resources After COVID-19," Big Bend Chapter, Society for Human Resource Management, June 10, 2020
- Author, "Back to Work? Not so Fast! First, Employers Should Look at Guidance," Daily Business Review, May 26, 2020
- Co-presenter,"Reopening Law Firms, Businesses, and Other Establishments" webinar, Orange County Bar Association, May 22, 2020
- Co-author, "Coronavirus Q&A: A Legal Resource Guide for Employers, March 2020
- Moderator, "Florida Commission on Human Relations – The Investigative Process," Florida Bar Labor and Employment Law Section Conference, “Practicing Before State Labor & Employment Agencies 2020," March 2020
- Author, "Workplace Romance: Do You Have a Policy for that? If You Don't, You Should," Modern Restaurant Management, January 2020
- Author, "What Restaurants Can Learn From McDonald's CEO Ouster," QSR Magazine, December 2019
- Co-Author, "The Right to Disconnect: Should There Be a Legal Limit on Email After Work?" ACC Docket, May 17, 2019
- Author, "Overwhelmed by the DOL's OT Threshold Increase? Here's What Employers Should Know," Daily Business Review, April 9, 2019
- Presenter, "Welcome to Employment Law 2K19: A Look at What’s New and What’s Not," Career Source Capital Region Power Hour Luncheon, March 20, 2019
- "Pay Equity, Fact or Fiction," Big Bend SHRM, November 14, 2018
- Co-Author, A Look Through the Looking Glass: The JNC and Judicial Nominating Process 'Deconstructed,'" The Florida Bar Journal, Volume 92, No. 6, June 2018
- Co-Author, "5 Reasons Your Sexual Harassment Training Isn’t Working," Law360.com, December 7, 2017
- "Florida Employers: What if There's a Bill O'Reilly in Your Workplace?" April 2017
- "Getting Ready for Changes: What You Need to Know for Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance," Presentation to Florida Retail Federation members, November 2016
- Co-Author, "What to Know About Website Accessibility Claims," June 2016
- “Employment Law on the Human Resources Horizon,” presented to Jim Moran Institute Non-Profit Executive Program; Florida State University College of Business, April 2016
- “Equal Employment Opportunity Law Application to Managers,” webinar for Human and Organizational Management in Natural Resources (graduate course), February 2016
- “Retaliation: A Fire Burning Out of Control?” presented to North Central Florida Society for Human Resource Management, September 2015
- “They Say That Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Termination, Co-Employment and the Dreaded Retaliation Claim,” presented to Worker’s Compensation Institute, August 2015
- “Why the NLRB Cares about Your Employee Handbook,” presented to Power Hour, June 2015
- “The Business Case for Diversity,” presented to Greater Pensacola Society for Human Resource Management, May 2015
- “The Significance of Human Resources and Employment Law Compliance for Non-Profit Organizations,” presented to The Jim Moran Institute Non-Profit Executive Program, April 2015
- “10 Lessons Employers Can Learn from FLSA Lawsuits (with BLH)” December 2014
- “Wage and Hour Basic Compliance Guidelines,” Presented to Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, May 2014
- “When the Playground Bully Becomes an Adult Workplace Bully (with BDH),” Employers and the Law: 2013-14 Anthology of Best Articles, April 2014
- “Getting Ready for 2010: The Human Resources Long Game,” presented to Human Resource Management Association of Bay County, March 2014
- “More Than a Women’s Issue; It’s a Business Issue,” presented to Women and the Workplace Summit Tallahassee / Leon County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, October 2013
- “Wage and Hour Basic Compliance Guidelines,” presented to MyPayrollSite.com, August 2013
- “Emerging HR Practices: Defining Your Vision for HR,” presented to Bay County Society for Human Resource Management, March 2013
- “Updates on the Legal Side of HR,” presented to Center for Human Resource Management, September 2012
- “Why Wait for the Lawsuit? Alternative Dispute Solutions for Employers,” presented to Bay County Society for Human Resource Management, September 2012
- “Why Every Employer Should Care about the National Labor Relations Board,” presented to Big Bend Society for Human Resource Management, September 2012
- “Friend or Foe: The Changing Employer / Employee Relationship,” presented to North Central Florida Society for Human Resource Management, September 2011
- “Turning the HR Audit into an Investment,” presented to Florida Association of Court Clerks, April 2011
- “HR Florida Day on the Hill,” presented to HR Florida Legislative Days, February 2011
- “Shaking the Money Tree? How to Turn the HR Audit into an Investment ,” presented to HR Tallahassee Conference, June 2010
- “Why You’re Still Being Sued for Overtime!” presented to Emerald Coast Society for Human Resource Management, May 2010
- “Why Wait for the Lawsuit?, Alternate Dispute Solutions for Employers," presented to Center for Hurman Resources FSU, April 2010
- “Why You’re Still Being Sued for Overtime!” presented to Bay County Society for Human Resource Management, April 2010
- “Should You Be Paying Overtime?” presented to Wage and Hour Seminar, Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce, May 2008
- Emerald Coast Society for Human Resource Management, June 2007