James P. Wilkins

James P. Wilkins

Jim Wilkins assists employers by providing legal counsel and practical HR advice that enables employers to maintain positive, proactive workplaces.

In the employment setting, Jim believes that preventing fires is better than spending time, energy, and money trying to extinguish fires that are already burning.  As a result, a substantial part of his work – as well as the overall practice of K|W|W – is devoted to providing practical tools to employers to manage the workforce effectively.  His work includes: 

  • Providing practical training to supervisors and managers on employment law-related topics (e.g., harassment prevention, managing leaves of absence, wage-hour issues)
  • Conducting HR audits
  • Conducting workplace investigations
  • Counseling and coaching sessions for managers, supervisors, and employees as part of professional development
  • Counseling employers on performance management, discipline, and termination issues

Jim always has relished providing proactive advice to employers to help them comply with the full range of labor and employment laws. For example, he advises employers on the development and implementation of human resource policies and strategies to enable them to achieve their broader objectives. He frequently counsels employers on employee terminations, reductions in force, and other personnel decisions to help ensure those decisions don’t backfire.  In particular, he devotes significant time to counseling employers on ADA and FMLA compliance, labor relations strategy (including labor negotiations and labor arbitrations), and compliance with wage-hour laws.

Jim has over thirty years of private practice experience representing employers.  When legal claims arise, such as charges of discrimination or litigation, Jim represents employers in state and federal courts and before the EEOC and state fair employment practice agencies. Jim also assists employers who have federal contracts with their affirmative action obligations, including the preparation of affirmative action plans. His clients include large institutional employers; small, closely held businesses; non-profit organizations; and public employers.  

In 2008, Jim completed a peer review and examination process in order to be certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law. He is one of only about 140 lawyers in the State of Ohio who have achieved this designation. Since 2008, Jim has fulfilled additional continuing legal education requirements in order to maintain his status as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law.

Jim graduated with honors from the National Law Center at George Washington University.  He received his B.A., with honors, from The College of Wooster.

Jim is a long-time member of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association, having graduated from Class VIII of Leadership Akron.  His community and civic involvement over the years has included service on a number of non-profit boards.  He also currently serves as a Trustee of the Akron Bar Association.