Moore & Van Allen Law Firm, Attorneys
Practice Areas
  • B.S., East Carolina University, 1989
  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992, with high honors; Order of the Coif; North Carolina Law Review Staff, 1990; Senior Staff, 1991
  • North Carolina, 1992
  • United States District Court Middle District of North Carolina, 1993
  • United States District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 1993
  • United States District Court Western District of North Carolina, 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1994

100 North Tryon Street
Suite 4700
Charlotte, NC 28202-4003

Karin M. McGinnis

News & Events
Professional Affiliations

With two decades of experience as a practicing attorney, labor-and-employment lawyer Karin McGinnis is known as a true business partner when litigating and providing counsel on a host of employment law issues.

McGinnis provides a single source of comprehensive employment law experience, including misappropriation of trade secrets, employee raiding and breach of noncompetition agreements, wage-and-hour litigation and advice, discrimination, harassment and leave issues, mass layoffs and employee severance, and international employment advice. Her non-fragmented approach ensures that her clients’ unique situations are appropriately vetted, strategized and handled.

In the age of increasing commoditization of legal services, from off-the-shelf employee handbooks to one-size-fits-all non-competes, McGinnis knows that no two clients’ needs are alike, and she works to achieve results that best fit each client’s culture, resources and goals.

Her wide range of experience enables her to spot potential issues for her clients before they are raised by employees, the government or opposing counsel. McGinnis’ clients find that she has a strategic and practical perspective and the ability to advise on preventive measures, provide corrective solutions, and fully litigate her clients’ issues. This bespoke, forward-thinking approach saves employers time, money and grief in the long run.

McGinnis has had significant success in achieving favorable dispute resolutions and in securing dismissals and summary judgment for her clients in litigation, avoiding the expense and uncertainty of trial. She has argued and won numerous motions for temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, protecting client information and goodwill from competitors.

McGinnis' wide-ranging experience in labor-and-employment law includes:

Restrictive Covenants

  • Non-competes
  • Customer and employee non-solicitation
  • Trade secrets
  • Nondisclosure agreements
  • Unfair trade practices 
  • Broker/dealer arbitrations

Wage & Hour

  • Department of Labor (DOL) investigations
  • Immigration Nationality Act prevailing wage claims
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective actions
  • Misclassification of employees as exempt
  • Misclassification of employees as independent contractors
  • Wage plans
  • Wage-and-hour audits
  • State wage payment laws


  • Background checks
  • Bring your own device (BYOD) programs
  • Employee monitoring and privacy issues
  • Drug and alcohol testing, including DOT testing
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and similar state laws

Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA) (Titles I and III)
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Rehabilitation Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims
  • Similar state laws such as the North Carolina Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA)
  • Emotional distress
  • Sexual harassment investigations and claims
  • Affirmative action

Employee Leave

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAAA)
  • Vacation and other leave policies

Hiring, Layoffs & Terminations

  • Wrongful discipline and termination
  • Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act
  • Employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and intellectual property assignments
  • Expatriate arrangements
  • Severance agreements and reductions in force

Select Speaking Engagements 

  • Co-Presenter, "Mischief Managed: Best Practices in Developing a Crisis Response Program", Association of Corporate Counsel-Charlotte Chapter (February 13, 2020)
  • Guest Lecturer, Wake Forest Law School, Law and Technology Class (August 26, 2019)
  • Presenter, Globalaw's 2018 European Regional Seminar, Rome, Italy (April 19, 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "The EU General Data Protection Regulation: A Primer for U.S. Companies," Association of Corporate Counsel- Charlotte Chapter (February 21, 2018)
  • Co-Presenter, "Cyber War Games," Association of Corporate Counsel- South Carolina Chapter Annual Meeting (November 10, 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, "Protecting Information While Employing Workers Overseas,” Globalaw Client Seminar (October 23, 2015)
  • Co-Presenter, “Privacy and Social Media in the Workplace,” MVA Privacy & Data Security Seminar Series (May 29, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “Preventing and Responding to a Cybersecurity Event from the Legal and Technical Perspectives: NIST Cybersecurity Framework,” MVA Privacy & Data Security Seminar Series (March 27, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “Social Media Strategies and Risks,” Association of Corporate Counsel-Charlotte Chapter (February 5, 2014)
  • Co-Presenter, “Privacy and Social Media in the Workplace: What U.S. and E.U. Employers Need to Know,” Globalaw Webinar (December 9, 2013)
  • Presented "Top 10 HR Priorities for 2010" at The Employer's Association (February, 19, 2010)

 Select Publications 

  • Author, "New Data Breach Rulings — 4th Circ. Vs. 3rd Circ.," Law360 (February 9, 2017)
  • Author, "Expect More Privacy Challenges This Year," Legaltech News (April 2016)
  • Co-Author, “Efforts to Fix Data Security Flaws Carry Weight with FTC,” National Law Journal (February 2015)
  • Author, “The Ever Expanding Scope of Employee Privacy Protections,” ACC Charlotte Chapter Newsletter (December 2014)
  • Co-Author, “Cybersecurity Special Report: Trade Commission Takes Line on Data Security,” National Law Journal (November 2014)
  • Author, “Social Media- Love it or Leave it?” Business North Carolina (May 2014)
  • Author, "5 Ways to Reduce Liability in Hiring a Rival’s Employee," Corporate Counsel (October 10, 2013)
  • Author, "Look Before You Leap: Employee 'Bring Your Own Device' Programs," Corporate Board Member (January 2013)
  • "Legal Issues Associated with Corporate Bring Your Own Device Programs," JP Morgan Chase, New York, New York (December 6, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "4 Tips for Drafting an Enforceable Employment Covenant," Inside Counsel (August 13, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "3 Ways to Avoid Problems with Ex-Employees," Inside Counsel (July 30, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "7 Ways to Avoid Trouble with the EEOC," Inside Counsel (July 16, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "5 Ways to Avoid Trouble with the Department of Labor," Inside Counsel (July 2, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "Avoid Trouble with the NLRB," Inside Counsel (June 18, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "14 Tips for Smoother Hiring, Employment and Termination," Inside Counsel (June 4, 2012)
  • Co-Author, "Feds ready to crack down on employee classification" for the Charlotte Business Journal (April 16, 2010)
  • Author, "Employee Leave: The Essentials Behind What You Have to Do and What You Should Do to Retain Top Management," chapter in ExecBlueprints series
  • Author, "Helping Businesses Stay Compliant," chapter in Inside the Minds: Labor and Employment Litigation Strategies

Of Note

  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Certified Privacy and Data Security Specialist, North Carolina State Bar
  • Member, North Carolina State Bar Specialization Committee for Privacy and Data Security, 2018-2019
  • Charlotte Business Journal, Women in Business Award Winner, 2018
  • Chambers USA - North Carolina, Labor & Employment, 2014-2020
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers“Top 50” list of Women, 2020-2021
  • North Carolina Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2015-2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, ERISA, 2016-2018; Employment Law - Management, 2019-2021; Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2021
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite, 2005, 2008-2014, 2017-2021
  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star-South, 2019; Labor & Employment Star, 2020-2021
  • ATHENA Leadership Awards, Corporate Nominee, 2014
  • Leader in the Law, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, 2012
  • Business Leader Media Award Women Extraordinaire, 2010
  • Martindale Hubble Rated AV Preeminent
  • Lead counsel for the plaintiff, "Mock Trial: Hostile Work Environment" presentation for Society of Human Resource Management (Charlotte, NC chapter) (October 11, 2010)
  • Chair, Board of Directors and Personnel Committee Chair, Second Harvest Food Bank of the Metrolinas
  • Pro bono counsel assisting nonprofit organizations with employment law issues
  • Past Chair, Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association
  • Served as guardian ad litem for the Children’s Law Center
  • Serves as pro bono domestic violence counsel
  • Former Member, Film Advisory Board of the Carolinas Partnership
  • Former Board of Directors Member, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Graduate, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Leadership School
  • Named to the Access to Justice Pro Bono Partners 2013 Pro Bono Honor Roll by Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, Legal Aid of North Carolina–Charlotte, and Council for Children’s Rights

Professional Affiliations

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • American Bar Association: Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections; Women Advocates Committee
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
  • Young Lawyers Division, Secretary, Past Division Director for Service to the Bar, Long Range Planning Committee, Past Division Director for Service to the Public, Chair-Elect, 2000-2001; Chair 2001-2002
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Board of Governors, 2001-2002; Nominations Committee 2002-2003
  • North Carolina Bar Association: Lawyer Effectiveness and Quality of Life Committee 2006-2019
  • North Carolina Bar Association: President's 4-All Task Force, 2007-2008
  • North Carolina Bar Association Pro Bono Task Force