Nancy represents clients with regard to all facets of employment law, including claims of sexual harassment, retaliatory discharge, disability, age, race and sex discrimination, wage and hour violations, and equal pay violations. She represents employers in state and federal courts, as well as before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state and local administrative agencies. She has both jury trial and bench trial experience.
Nancy assists employers in problem prevention and legal analysis of complex employment issues. She also provides training on employment law issues for firm clients. She counsels employers regarding employee discipline and termination, wage and hour compliance, alcohol and drug testing, employment-related policies, and supervisory training, as well as issues related to mass lay-offs and reductions-in-force. Nancy frequently presents seminars and lectures on the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and other employment law topics. Before joining Constangy, Nancy was an attorney with the law firm of Bioff, Finucane, Coffey, Holland & Hosler, LLP (1999-2002) and with the Missouri Attorney General's office (1992-1999).
Honors & Recognitions
- Best Lawyers in America© (2018-2020)
- Chambers USA Guide (2014-2020)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
- Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2014-2017)
Professional & Civic Associations
- American Bar Association
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- Missouri State Humane Association, Board Member
Nancy and her husband, Craig, enjoy spending time bicycling and ensuring that their numerous four-legged family members live the best lives former shelter dogs and cats can imagine.
More About Nancy
My first job
My very first job was mowing neighbors' lawns when I was around ten. I set the price before actually engaging in any mowing and quickly learned that, despite its initial appearance as a good time, mowing was hard work! My next paying job was at my grandmother's ice cream parlor in St. Charles, Missouri. I was 11. (The statute of limitations on any possible child labor violations has no doubt run!) I learned very early on how important it was to make sure the customer was happy. This theory was brought home to me in a concrete way-- I got a bigger tip if a customer was impressed by my stupendous malt making skills. I still make a mean chocolate malt. . .
Best advice a family member or mentor gave me
Look at every document with your own two eyes. Don't rely on someone else (even a trusted and beloved client!) to tell you what the document says. Look at it with your own two eyes.
What I would be if I wasn't a lawyer
I would be operating, or working at, an animal rescue organization. I spend my free time volunteering at an animal shelter here in Kansas City and would love to be doing so much more to help homeless dogs and cats.
What I love about my area of practice
I love helping clients resolve difficult situations with current employees and, ultimately, prevent a lawsuit from ever being filed. I get to function as an objective assessor of workplace situations and guide my client in the right (fair, legal, equitable) direction. Sometimes, it is all about managing an employee's performance, giving him or her a chance to succeed or, on occasion, fail. Always, my goal is to make sure my client has taken all of the necessary steps to present a solid, defensible case should a lawsuit ensue. And, I would be less than forthcoming if I didn't also add that I love to try cases!
News & Analysis
Speaking Engagements & Industry Publications
- "How To Know When To Grant An ADA Request," quoted, Law360, August 13, 2015
- "FMLA and ADA Intersection Dangerous For Employers," quoted, Human Resource Executive Online, April 24, 2013
- "Q&A With Constangy Brooks' Nancy Leonard," Law360, October 28, 2011
- “Employee Arrests Raise Legal Considerations,” HR News/SHRM Online, June 2, 2011
- “Recent FMLA Litigation Offers Valuable Lessons for Employees,” Employee Benefit News, October 1, 2010
- "Review Policies on Leave for School-Related Activities," quoted, SHRM Online, August 20, 2010
- “Yellow Bus = Red Flags For Leave Policies,” Employee Benefit News, August 17, 2010
- “Beware of Internal Transfer Traps,” SHRM Online, June 14, 2010
- “The Americans with Disabilities Act: A White Paper,” co-authored with Thomas E. Kennedy, III, Esq., and funded by a grant from the Illinois Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities (1990)
- “Nothing gives me quite so much joy as when people tell me they've had their pets spayed or neutered.”
- Bob Barker
- Defense of employment litigation
- Litigation prevention
- Training on employment law issues
Washington University School of Law
- J.D., 1992
University of Missouri - Columbia
- B.A., Journalism, 1989
Bar & Court Admissions
- Kansas, 2008
- Arizona, 2002
- Illinois, 1993
- Missouri, 1992