Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C.

Janet S. Hayes

Janet Hayes, a Shareholder in the Knoxville office, is an advocate for employers and businesses across the state. Her practice focuses on employment and appellate law.

Ms. Hayes has successfully defended all types of employment claims including sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, discrimination, workers’ compensation, invasion of privacy, wage/hour claims, and denial of benefits. She has also argued multiple issues in each of Tennessee’s appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of Tennessee. She has argued federal appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

With over 20 years of litigation experience, Ms. Hayes now devotes most of her time to developing litigation-avoidance strategies for her clients. She drafts client-specific employee handbooks, policies, and employment contracts to provide legal compliance while enhancing business success. She also conducts manager/supervisor training classes and compliance audits.  Employers frequently call upon Ms. Hayes to conduct formal investigations of employee complaints and allegations of internal wrongdoing.  Her investigations have included allegations of sexual harassment, age discrimination, embezzlement, misappropriation of time, abuse of leave policies, and generalized claims of mismanagement and unprofessional conduct.


  • American Bar Association
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Knoxville Bar Association


  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America©, Employment Law-Management, Litigation-Labor and Employment
  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • Member, ALFA International Employment Law Steering Committee
  • Frequent speaker and panel discussion moderator at ALFA events
  • Board of Trustees of Carson-Newman College (Prior Board Chair)
  • Previous member, Board of Directors of Baptist Health Systems
  • Previous member, Board of Directors of Mercy Health Partners
  • Named one of Knoxville’s “40 Under 40″ in 2008
  • Named a Cityview Magazine “Top Attorney” for eight years


Ms. Hayes is actively involved in the community.  She is active in her church where she teaches and serves on several committees and teams.

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Knoxville Office

One Centre Square, Fifth Floor
620 Market Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37902
Telephone (865) 546-4646
FAX (865) 523-6529


Carson-Newman College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1993

University of Tennessee, J.D., high honors, 1996

Bar Admission

Tennessee, 1996

  • Appellate

    We have briefed and argued more than 250 matters before various state and federal appellate courts, including all sections of the Court of Appeals for Tennessee, the Tennessee Supreme Court and the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as handling cases on appeal to the U.S.… [Read more]

    Class Action

    More businesses, public and private, face the risk of class-action lawsuits. We have successfully developed strategies for challenging class certification and discovery related to those issues. If certification is granted, we have the ability to bring together a team of players to manage class litigation on a statewide, regional or… [Read more]


    We have a long history of providing full-service counsel to employers and are adept at handling all types of employment disputes, as well as drafting employment contracts, manuals, leave policies, non-compete and separation agreements and other policies to minimize the likelihood of employment-related issues and misconduct. Our lawyers also have… [Read more]

    • “From Brioni Suits to Ugg Boots: How Do You Dress for work in a Law Firm?” – Knoxville Bar Association, DICTA, November 2010
    • “Should Your Firm Have An Internet and E-Mail Policy?” – Knoxville Bar Association, DICTA, May 2010
    • Knoxville News Sentinel Columnist
  • Partnering with her clients, Ms. Hayes conducts in-house legal education and training to executive committees, management teams and front-line supervisors, equipping all decision-makers with the ability to make effective and legally sound decisions as they interact daily with employees.  A frequent speaker for human resources organizations, Ms. Hayes enjoys teaching her clients about the law and presenting legal updates in a fun and informative format.

    • 2010, 2012: ALFA International Annual Employment Law Conference, Tucson, Arizona & Dana Point, California
    • “Employment Issues Arising out of Mergers and Acquisitions” and “Arbitration: Is it a Thing of the Past or the Way of the Future?”
    • 2012: UT-Battelle/DOE Legal Symposium, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
    • “From Friending to Firing: Social Media in the Workplace”
    • 2012: Tennessee Valley Human Resources Association, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Trained attendees on employer use of social media
    • 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013: Lewis King Annual Employment Law Seminar, Knoxville, Tennessee
    • Organized and sponsored annual half day event; Mistress of Ceremonies, Speaker and Panel Discussion Moderator; trained attendees on Pre-Employment Background Checks, Fair Labor Standards Act Exemptions, Social Media, Workers Compensation Legal Update, and Legislation on the Horizon
    • “Internet and E-Mail Policies: Do You Need Them?” – Lewis, King, Krieg & Waldrop Employment Newsletter, January 2009
    • “Emotional Distress Claims Expanded” – ALFA International, Transportation Update, Winter 2009
    • “How the New Name on the Building Affects the Office: Handling Mergers and Acquisitions” – Association of Corporate Counsel, ACC Docket, March 2009