Overview

Cara advises employers on ways to avoid litigation and has defended employers in cases involving virtually every aspect of the employment relationship, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims and various other federal and state law claims.

Cara also represents federal contractors covered by Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act in their affirmative action compliance obligations by assisting with Plan preparation, completion of EEO-1 and VETS-4212 Reports, and defending compliance evaluations. She also prepares privileged compensation and pay equity analyses for organizations examining their pay practices. 

Cara speaks regularly for various organizations on these topics and conducts training for companies of all sizes. 

Before joining Constangy, Cara worked as an Attorney-Advisor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, United States Department of Labor.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2015-2018)
  • Chambers USA Guide® (2016-2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® (2013-2017)

Professional & Civic Associations

  • National Industry Liaison Group, General Counsel (2016-present)
    • Board of Directors (2006-2014)
  • South Carolina Diversity Council, Board of Directors (2007-2009)
  • South Carolina Industry Liaison Group, Board of Directors (2003-2009)
  • Leadership Columbia, Graduate (2002)

About Me

Cara spends her free time spoiling her dog Fannie Mae.

More About Cara

Meet My Pet

Fannie Mae--so named because she had to be rescued--joined our family in January 2012. Fannie has brought us so much joy and laughter that my husband has commented he wished we did not wait so long to get a dog. I disagree, though, because this is the dog we were meant to have. Possibly a Boxador (lab/boxer mix), Fannie is very smart and will obey commands…as long as you have a treat for her. If not, she’ll consider your request. While she is still young, she goes to doggie day care every day, and we are thankful that she finally overcame her carsickness (most of the time)! 

What inspired me to become a lawyer

My father was a Special Agent with the FBI and spent a portion of his career designing the Bureau’s hiring standards to ensure increased representation of females and minorities as agents. Of course, litigation ensued. Hearing him talk about some of these issues ignited my interest in employment law, and the work he did then is amazingly closely related to my affirmative action practice.

An interesting case I handled

You won’t find much law on the Employee Polygraph Protection Act. Trust me!  I handled a case involving an attempted bank robbery and law enforcement’s subsequent polygraph examinations of my client’s employee. Not surprisingly, when police told my client that the employee failed the polygraph--not once, but twice--and that they thought he was involved, the employee was discharged. The case was just fascinating--investigating the employee’s story of being held hostage by kidnappers, learning the details of the police investigation, and researching the EPPA. The best part was convincing the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to invalidate the DOL regulation stating that it was unlawful for an employer to receive polygraph results, including passive receipt where no employer request for the information was made. 

What I would be if I wasn’t a lawyer

A lottery winner. 

Representative Matters

Representative Matters

  • EEOC v. Sara Lee Corp., 237 F.3d 349 (4th Cir. 2001) (summary judgment upheld in case alleging failure to accommodate disability for not deviating from non-collectively bargained seniority policy)
  • Worden v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., 549 F.3d 334 (4th Cir. 2008) (Employee Polygraph Protection Act case invalidating DOL regulation)

News & Analysis

Client Presentations & Firm Publications

Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications

  • “Emerging EEO Issues,” presented at the ILG National Conference, August 2017
  • South Carolina Chapter of Wage and Hour Laws: A State by State Survey, ABA Section of Labor & Employment Law, 2005-2009
  • "It's Back: Employment-at-will Reinforced in South Carolina," The Job Description, DRI, Summer 2004
  • “Applying the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Defense to Supervisor Harassment,” The Labor Lawyer, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2000
  • "Worker Adjustment and Training Renotification Act” (Co-Author with Henry S. Knight, Jr.), Labor and Employment Law for South Carolina Lawyers, Vol. I, Chap. 4 (S.C. Bar - CLE Division) 1999, 2004
  • “Application of State Law to Age Discrimination in Employment,” 51 A.L.R.5th 1, 1997
  • “Validity, Construction, and Application of Provision in Separation Agreement Affecting Distribution or Payment of Attorney’s Fees,” 47 A.L.R.5th 207, 1997
  • “Tort Damages and the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing: Not Well Received in Employment Contracts,” The Job Description, Summer 1997

Blogs & Videos

Blog Posts

  • "You know, the courts may not be working any more, but as long as everyone is videotaping everyone else, justice will be done."
  • Marge Simpson

Practice Emphasis

  • Defense of Employment Litigation
  • Affirmative Action Plan Development and OFCCP Compliance
  • Management Training

Industries

Education

University of South Carolina

  • J.D., 1994
  • South Carolina Law Review; Order of Wig & Robe; AmJur Award, Constitutional Law II

University of Virginia

  • B.A., Psychology, Minor in Sociology, 1991
  • Psychology Honor Society; Sigma Kappa Sorority

Bar & Court Admissions

  • South Carolina, 1994
  • District of Columbia, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina
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