Overview

Lisa M. Kathumbi represents and counsels employers, ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies, across jurisdictions in a broad range of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state law. She routinely defends employers before state and federal courts and administrative agencies against allegations of discrimination and harassment, accommodation and leave violations, breach of or enforcement of restrictive covenants, wrongful termination public policy claims, and whistleblower violations, among other matters. With extensive experience in employee benefits litigation, Lisa has also represented clients across the country in dozens of denial of benefits claims arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

"Lisa Kathumbi 'is a top notch labor and employment, commercial and ERISA business attorney and litigator. '" Client quote, Best Lawyers of America©, 2021.

In addition to her litigation practice, Lisa provides training and advice to employers on a wide range of employment issues and conducts high-stakes workplace investigations. She has worked with clients to evaluate and address allegations involving C-Suite leaders, media cases, pattern and practice claims, and other sensitive matters and served as a strategy partner to improve organizational culture. 

Select examples of Lisa’s experience include the following:

  • Obtained summary judgment in the Southern District of Ohio in disability discrimination and failure to accommodate case on behalf of Fortune 100 Company
  • Secured judgment in the Eastern District of California enforcing forum selection clause in ERISA governed benefits plan and obtained judgment on the merits in the Southern District of Ohio following transfer
  • Successfully defended university in labor arbitration involving claims of harassment and age discrimination brought by thirty year employee discharged for multiple safety violations
  • Secured summary judgment on behalf of global manufacturing client in age discrimination lawsuit, affirmed by the Tenth District Court of Appeals of Ohio
  • Successfully litigated motion to dismiss based upon Plaintiffs’ failure to follow ERISA statutory notice requirements when requesting Plan documents, resulting in dismissal of all claims against national banking client
  • Conducted numerous privileged investigations on behalf of retail, manufacturing and healthcare clients into allegations of workplace bullying, discrimination, harassment and ethics and code of conduct violations
  • Delivered training on effective workplace investigations to in-house counsel, HR leaders and compliance officers at small and multistate companies

An active member of her community and within the legal profession, Lisa has served on the board of several nonprofits and bar associations, including the Ohio Women’s Bar Association to which she was elected and served as President from 2016-2017.

Professional & Community Affiliations

President

Ohio Women's Bar Association

2016-2017

Vice President

Ohio Women's Bar Association

2014-2015

Member, Board of Trustees

Ohio Women's Bar Association

2011-present

Member, Board of Directors

Ruling Our Experiences (ROX)

2010-2013

Member

Editorial Board, Better Lawyers

Columbus Bar Association Quarterly

2007-2012

Member, Executive Board

John Mercer Langston Bar Association

2009-2012

Member, Board of Directors

Red Cross of Greater Columbus

2008-2010

Member, Board of Directors

City Year Columbus

2007-2010

Chair

Young Women's Initiative

Women's Fund of Central Ohio

2006-2008

Alumni

Public Allies Chicago

2002 and 2003

Recognition

Named, The Best Lawyers in America©

2022

Named, Columbus Lawyer of the Year

Employment Law

Best Lawyers in America©

2021

Named, Client Service All-Star

BTI Consulting Group

2020

Recipient, Barrister’s Salute Award

John Mercer Langston Bar Association

2018

Named, Central Ohio Women Welding the Way (WELD)

2017

Recipient, OWBA’s President’s Choice Award

Ohio Women’s Bar Association

2015

Named, Rising Star

Ohio

Super Lawyers

2014 and 2015

Recipient, President's Choice Award

Ohio Women's Bar Association

2014

Fellow, African American Leadership Academy

2010

Named, Rising Star

National Urban League

2007

Dean's List

University of Cincinnati College of Law

2003-2006

Recipient, C-Ring Award

University of Cincinnati

2001

News, Analysis & Press

Reopening business amidst COVID-19: No one-size-fits-all approach for managing employment law risks

May 5, 2020

EEOC provides COVID-19 return to work guidance for high risk workers as Ohio governor urges they stay home

April 30, 2020

COVID-19 and ERISA disability claim reviews: No automatic extensions issued

April 10, 2020

Federal judge reinstates collection of gender and race pay data on EEO-1 forms

March 15, 2019

Companies using independent contractors score big following NLRB ruling

February 14, 2019

“Me Too” Movement requires changes in sexual harassment policies

Channel 10 News

March 21, 2018

Equal treatment for dads: EEOC settles first of its kinds parental leave case

March 12, 2018

Failing to manage harassment of workers can lead to litigation

McKnight’s Long Term Care News

May 4, 2015

Speaking Engagements

Hot Topics in Employment Law

Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Columbus Labor and Employment Committee

2020

Me Too and Times Up: Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations, Addressing Pay Equity & Creating Cultures of Inclusion

Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD)

2019

Responding to and Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims

Ohio Hospital Association

2018

The Ten Commandments of Effective Workplace Investigations

Client Seminar

2018

Election Results are in, What’s Next for Employers?

Client Seminar

2016

Healthcare Business Transactions and Employment Law Pitfalls

American Health Lawyers Association Webinar

January 13, 2016

Working from Home in All Its Dimensions

Human Resources Association of Central Ohio

July 16, 2015

Report on the EEOC: Regulatory Updates, the EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan and What to Watch for in 2015

Human Resources Law Institute - Ohio State Bar Association

May 12, 2015

Education

  • J.D., University of Cincinnati College of Law, 2006
  • M.A., University of Chicago, 2003
  • B.A., University of Cincinnati, 2001cum laude

Bar Admission

Ohio

Courts

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio