Photo of Trina Fairley Barlow

Trina Fairley Barlow is co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Group and a member of the firm's Government Contracts Group. She devotes a substantial portion of her practice to helping government contractors navigate and comply with the myriad laws, regulations, and Executive Orders which impact employers who are also government contractors. Trina’s experience includes advising federal contractors on the requirements of the Service Contract Act, as well as the Davis Bacon Act, and assisting clients with developing compliance strategies that reduce legal risks. In addition, Trina has defended and advised clients in False Claim Act (FCA) whistleblower retaliation cases and has led large internal investigations that frequently encompass a complex combination of labor and employment, government contracts, and ethics and compliance issues. In connection with such investigations and in other contexts, clients also frequently call upon Trina to assist them with developing compliant policies and internal practices that achieve business objectives while simultaneously reducing potential legal risks and exposure.

On August 1, 2024, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, one of the final Title IX regulations of the U.S. Department of Education released on April 19, 2024, will go into effect. The new regulations address the previous administration’s rollback of Title IX protections, and include, among other things, an expanded definition of sex discrimination that provides new protections for LGBTQ+ individuals against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. For example, the new rules prohibit schools that receive federal funding from barring transgender students’ use of pronouns that correspond to their gender identities, or denying transgender students access to facilities, like locker rooms and restrooms, that match their gender identities. Other notable changes in the new regulations include the following: (1) protection from all sex-based harassment and discrimination, including that based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, or pregnancy or related conditions; (2) broadening the definition of “hostile environment” harassment to include conduct that is so severe or pervasive that it limits or denies a person’s ability to participate in the education program or activity; (3) increased accountability by requiring schools to take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities, prevent reoccurrence, and remedy its effects; and (4) protection against retaliation for students, employees, and others who exercise their Title IX rights.Continue Reading The Evolving Landscape of Title IX Protections in Education

In a recent development that underscores the ongoing debate over diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in the United States, a group of 21 Republican State Attorneys General spearheaded by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti has challenged the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standard 206 on Diversity and Inclusion. In a letter sent to the ABA in early June, the Republican AG group argues that the ABA Standard and its proposed revisions are unlawful due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College (SFFA).Continue Reading State Attorneys General Spar Over ABA’s Diversity Standard