Accomplished litigator and advisor Stephen D. Dellinger counsels on intricate workplace issues involving a broad spectrum of federal and state statutory and common laws that affect not only employees but a company’s business goals. His sophisticated guidance directs executives and managers toward legally compliant human relations actions and policies.

When a disagreement escalates into litigation, however, Steve develops targeted and compelling defensive strategies, recognizing that complicated cases often depend on reassessing traditional approaches. Whether in a deposition, taking testimony in court or arguing in front of a judge, he maintains a confident flexibility and resilience that works to the advantage of his clients.

Steve favorably resolved a number of complicated and potentially costly class action lawsuits, including the following:

  • Blocked a class action complaint against a large healthcare system that was threatened by damages of tens of millions of dollars
  • Through an aggressive discovery process, demonstrated that a security company’s technicians lacked commonality, leading to a settlement representing a fraction of what was sought

As an insightful advisor, Steve assisted a manufacturer with developing a new, efficient Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) process that was easier to manage and helped to reduce the potential for employee abuse. He has also guided human resources departments that sought to avoid or minimize legal exposure in a host of termination, discipline and severance matters of varying factual patterns. In addition to drafting employment contracts and severance agreements, he prepares or reviews policy and procedure manuals, along with employee handbooks.  

Steve’s deep experience extends to cutting-edge counsel and litigation in the unique area of noncompete agreements. He advises company executives on drafting agreements that are enforceable or defending those documents already in place.  

Steve serves as the office managing shareholder for two Littler offices: Charlotte, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina.

*Not licensed to practice law in South Carolina.


Professional & Community Affiliations


American Bar Association


North Carolina State Bar


Mecklenburg County Bar Association


National Retail Federation


Named, The Best Lawyers in America®


News, Analysis & Press

Quoted in "Constructive Discharge Lawsuit Fails for Worker"

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly

April 28, 2008

Speaking Engagements

2023 Carolinas Regional Employer Conference

Charlotte, NC

September 14, 2023

Manufacturing Roundtable

Charlotte, NC

June 22, 2023

2022 Carolinas Regional Employer Conference

Charlotte, NC

September 8, 2022

Common Human Resource Ethical Issues Arising In Today’s Workplace

Charlotte Area SHRM, Charlotte, NC

August 31, 2021

The COVID-19 Vaccine: Legal and Practical Implications

Association of Corporate Counsel – Charlotte Chapter

April 13, 2021

2020 Year in Review and What to Expect in 2021 in North and South Carolina

December 1, 2020

COVID-19 FAQs with Littler

April 22, 2020

Smart Internal Investigations: Suspected C-Suite Misconduct

Charlotte, NC

August 29, 2019

A Corporate Balancing Act: Business Need vs. Legal Risk

Charlotte, NC

November 16, 2017

Creative Approaches for Handling ADA and FMLA Issues in the Workplace: Actions You May Not Know You Can Take

Association of Corporate Counsel – Charlotte Chapter, Charlotte, NC

May 18, 2017

What’s New in Employment Law and What Comes Next

NCHHRA, Greensboro, NC

May 5, 2017

The Election Is Over: What's Next

Charlotte, NC

November 10, 2016

Litigation Procedure: Discovery Strategies and Best Practices, Federal Rules Changes, and Managing the Cost of Discovery

2016 ACC Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA

October 18, 2016

Where Diversity & Inclusion Meet the Law in 2016: The 6 Essential Strategies That Successful HR Professionals Need NOW!

NCSHRM State Conference, Asheville, NC

September 30, 2016

Conducting Lawful Investigations: An Interactive Program for Internal Investigators

Charlotte, NC

September 13, 2016

Diversity & The Bar: Is it Happy Hour Yet?

Association of Corporate Counsel – Charlotte Chapter, Charlotte, NC

August 16, 2016

DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule - What Now?

Charlotte, NC

June 30, 2016

2015 Southeast Employer Conference

Atlanta, GA

August 20, 2015

Diversity & Inclusion 2015: Spearheading A Meaningful Initiative That Won’t Drive Your General – and Outside – Counsel Crazy!

Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - Charlotte Chapter, Charlotte, NC

August 18, 2015

Noncompetes & Trade Secret Protection: An In-House Counsel's Guide to A Big Year of Change

Association of Corporate Counsel, Charlotte, NC

May 19, 2015

Emerging Healthcare Wage and Hour Issues and Proactive Steps to Avoid Litigation

Columbia, SC

April 30, 2015

2014 Year in Review and What to Expect in 2015

Charlotte, NC

February 12, 2015

Best Practices for Employment and Noncompete Agreements and Protecting Trade Secrets

Charlotte, NC

April 9, 2014

Conducting Lawful Investigations: An Interactive Program for Internal Investigators

Charlotte, NC

October 9, 2013

You're Under Attack! The NLRB Takes Aim at Employee Handbooks: What Non-Union Employers Need To Know to Avoid Costly Mistakes

Charlotte, NC

April 4, 2013

Don't Let These Top 5 Employment Trends Spook You

Charlotte, NC

October 25, 2012

How to Keep Your CEO Out of Jail: Corporate Compliance & Ethics – What Every HR Professional and Employment Counsel Should Know About the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Charlotte, NC

July 17, 2012

Landmines, Trends and Tools

December 4, 2009


  • J.D., Wake Forest University, 1989
  • B.S., Appalachian State University, 1986

Bar Admission

North Carolina


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina