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Thomas Shumaker

Employment and labor Attorney at Virginia Beach, VA

5.0   3 reviews

also known as Thomas A Shumaker II, "Tom"

  • State Years
    Virginia - VA 17 years
    Pennsylvania - PA 29 years
  • Licensed for 17 years
    State VA
    Acquired 2006
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 29 years
    State PA
    Acquired 1995
    Inactive No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Thomas

Learn Thomas’s areas of practice.

Tom Shumaker represents professionals, executives, businesses, federal contractors and organizations across Virginia, assisting them them with the full spectrum of their Employment and Labor law legal needs.

Clients value Mr. Shumaker’s exceptionally keen judgement and insight, formed by his combined 26 years of experience in labor and employment litigation and 30+ years of executive/director-level management, administrative and operations leadership across multiple business sectors, legislative office and 13 years as a Military officer in the United States Marine Corp. Attorney Shumaker now brings that strategic expertise to bear to assist his clients with a wide variety of workplace-related disputes, and in legal and regulatory compliance risk mitigation or defense. He is rated “Distinguished” by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.

Shumaker’s vast depth and breadth of experience includes 14 years as in-house council for Norfolk Southern Corporation—a Fortune 500 international corporation with over 30,000 employees across 22 states and Canada, where he managed Employment and Labor law, OSHA practice, and supervised inside and outside counsel litigating hundreds of Labor law, Employment law and personal injury lawsuits.

Shumaker’s previous law practice, with two national U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”, involved labor and employment, commercial and civil litigation trial and appellate work in numerous U.S. District Courts on behalf of large, multi-state employers including Bayer, Proctor & Gamble, University of Pittsburgh Medical System and PNC Bank. His Labor law experience includes unionization elections, picketing, strikes, Unfair Labor Practices charges, and compliance with the Davis Bacon and Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Acts and he offers counsel on Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation strategies. 

Shumaker has extensive experience in case investigations and discovery, taking and defending depositions, mediation, administrative hearings, valuing cases, and settlement negotiations. His trial work, as the first or second chair and supervising litigation teams, demonstrates a historically high success rate.

Tom assists clients to understand their obligations and/or assert their rights and to file, resolve and/or prevent lawsuits, violations and claims related to:

  • Discrimination 
  • Harassment
  • Whistleblower and Other Retaliation
  • COVID-19 Workplace & Employment Issues
  • Disability, Pregnancy, Transgender, and other Workplace Accommodations
  • Wrongful Discharge
  • Workplace Safety / Workplace Injury
  • Personal injury
  • Entitlement to Employee Benefits
  • Employee Handbooks
  • Human Resource Law
  • Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures
  • Wage-hour Pay, Classification, and Overtime Violations
  • Recruitment, Retention, Compensation and Promotion Practices
  • Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
  • Downsizing and Severance Agreements
  • Employment Contracts
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Confidential Information
  • Copyright and Trademark Protection
  • Breach of Contract
  • Restrictive Covenants (eg.,“non-competes”)
  • Business Law / Commercial Litigation
  • Unfair Competition
  • NLRA claims and OSHA investigations
  • OFCCP and EEOC
  • Military Employee Rights & Violations
  • Labor Union Disputes
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Civil Litigation
  • Drug Testing
  • Employee Health and Incentives Programs
  • WARN Act
  • Appeals
  • Alternate Dispute Resolution
  • Other labor and employment-related business matters                                                        

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” ---  In addition to litigation, Attorney Shumaker assists his business clients with the analysis and primary prevention of employment and labor relations issues. He counsels executive management and Human Resources on the application of law and reviews business practices for regulatory compliance in proactive risk mitigation. He has written numerous policies, procedures and Affirmative Action Plans to ensure compliance with changing EEOC and OFCCP regulations and has extensive experience in responding to those agencies’ investigations and audits; improved corporate and small business ADA, Rehab Act & diversity compliance through program and policy revisions; has extensive experience with employee accommodation requests, needs, resources and approvals. He’s developed over 50 training programs and has personally trained thousands of employers, managers and staff on diverse topics, including FMLA, Discrimination, USERRA, ADA, Title VII and more.

Following his U.S. Naval Academy education, Mr. Shumaker served active duty in the United States Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion/2nd Marines as an infantry officer and is a Gulf War veteran. During and following his law school education, his service continued in the U.S.M.C. Reserves where he served as Executive Officer of the Military Police unit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Serving 13 years in the lay-equivalent of executive/director-level management positions, he laid the foundation of his skills in business administration, fiscal and operations management, performance management, complex operational program development, employee training and development, employee relations and Military law enforcement, while leading up to 460 Marines and officers.

A twice-elected legislative government official for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania’s inaugural home rule government, Attorney Shumaker’s staunch advocacy for strict Ethics Code legislation and Campaign Reform as well as opportunities for citizen participation and transparency of government culminated in special recognition by the Senate of Pennsylvania and the Council: “his distinguished service to his constituents, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee and service to numerous community non-profit organizations,” “[Shumaker’s] tremendous contribution to the cause of good government and citizen participation, representing the citizens…with the utmost integrity; the citizens…are truly indebted to him for his exemplary leadership [and] he is truly deserving of great distinction and honor.”

In 2009, Shumaker was appointed to the Virginia Bar Association’s Attorney Disciplinary Committee, 7th District, which he served for 4 years. He previously served as Chair of the Section on Intellectual Property Law, Copyright Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is a member of the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association and the Pennsylvania & Virginia Bar Associations.

Mr. Shumaker served on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross, Eastern Virginia, from 2010-2019 and, more recently, his longstanding passion for community service continues as an active member of the regional Crisis Response Team.

Tapped for his expertise and insight, Mr. Shumaker has been engaged to speak at national law conferences and industry regional law panels on the business and practice impacts of new case law, legislation and regulations. He is a contributing author to the American Bar Association’s book, Railway Labor Act,4th Edition, and has published scholarly law articles and client educational briefs across varied platforms.

"Employer obligations and employee rights in the workplace are vast and complex. They involve emotionally-charged issues which often have substantial financial impact to both parties; and are complicated by the myriad of previous case law, Federal and state laws and regulations—what is commonly referred to as the 'Alphabet Soup' of Labor and Employment law."  Shumaker has developed the perceptive legal analysis, intuition and strategic skill that comes from decades of experience navigating these and has prevailed in negotiation, mediation, and litigation of claims and and cases involving, but not limited to:  

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)  •   Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)  •  Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)  •  Equal Pay Act.  •  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)  •  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)  •  Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)   •   Whistleblower Claims under Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX)   Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)  •  The Rehab Act  •  Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)  •   Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)  •  National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)  •  Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)  •   Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)  •   Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act)


Employment Law Virginia
One Columbus Center, Suite 600
Virginia Beach, VA, 23462

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5.0 / 5.0
  3 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Dr. R. | April 4, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Look No Further
Attorney Shumaker is not only highly knowledgable and compassionate, but his years of experience leading employment law from the "inside" with a large corporation shows. His legal insight and strategy definitely helped me in settling my wrongful termination/hostile work environment case when other attorneys wanted to approach it from a different direction. His efforts also prevented my previous employer from enforcing a non-compete clause; which was very important for someone in the medical profession. I will be forever grateful and definitely recommend him to others.
Read less
Posted by Keni | May 18, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
Choosing Mr. Shumaker as my attorney in my corporate case against Wells Fargo was not a decision I came to lightly, and I believe I made the right decision. His urgency, compassion, and attention to detail definitely aided in winning my case and I would enthusiastically recommend him to other professionals.
Posted by anonymous | May 15, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Great lawyer!
Tom is a great lawyer. He is easy to talk to, and he explained the law to me very well, in simple terms. The law firm he works at - Ernest Law Group - is very nice. I liked the support staff and the way I was treated by everyone.


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AVVO RATING 8.6 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Employment Law Virginia
  • 2020 - Present
  • Of Counsel
  • Ernest Law Group, PLC
  • 2020 - 2022
  • General Solicitor/General Attorney
  • Norfolk Southern Corporation
  • 2005 - 2019
  • Labor & Employment Attorney
  • Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott
  • 2001 - 2005
  • Councilman
  • Allegheny County
  • 2000 - 2005
  • Litigation Associate
  • Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
  • 1994 - 2001
  • Major
  • United States Marine Corps Reserve
  • 1991 - 1999
  • Captain
  • United States Marine Corps
  • 1986 - 1991
View all work experience


  • University of Virginia, Darden School of Business
  • Executive Education Program - Graduate
  • 2012
  • Lead Virginia
  • Graduate:
  • 2008
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • J.D., cum laude
  • 1994
  • United States Naval Academy
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, cum laude
  • 1986
View all education


  • American Red Cross, Eastern Virginia
  • Crisis Response Team
  • 2019 - Present
  • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2005 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Assocation
  • Member
  • 1995 - Present
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Member
  • 2017 - 2019
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Pro-Bono Committee
  • 2014 - 2015
  • American Red Cross, Easter Virginia
  • Board of Directors
  • 2010 - 2019
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Appointment--Attorney Disciplinary Committee (7th District)
  • 2009 - 2013
  • Virginia Beach Swim League
  • Treasurer
  • 2007 - 2011
  • American Inns of Court, Hampton Roads
  • Member
  • 2006 - 2010
  • Conference of Railroad and Airline Labor Lawyers (CORAL)
  • Member
  • 2005 - 2019
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
  • Board of Directors
  • 2000 - 2003
  • Pine Richland Opportunities Fund-Education
  • President, Board of Directors
  • 1998 - 1999
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Chairman, Intellectual Property Law Copyright Committee
  • 1998 - 1999
  • American Inns of Court, Western PA
  • Member
  • 1996 - 1998
  • Phi Alpha Delta
  • President
  • 1993 - 1994
View all associations

Honors and Awards

  • Executive Editor, Law Review
  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • 1993
  • Biathlon Winner - Camp Schwab, Okinawa Japan
  • U.S.M.C.
  • 1990
  • Arleigh Burke Graduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence
  • United States Naval Academy
  • 1986


  • Pending Publication
  • Dept. of Labor's New Overtime Regulations and the Teleworking Implications for Employers
  • 2020
  • Pending Publication
  • Fourth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Retaliation and Discrimination Suit
  • 2020
  • Shumaker, T. A. II, & Feldstein, TL. Public Management 86.3: 34-35
  • Employer Liability for Workplace Violence
  • 2004
  • Employee Privacy Versus Employer Rights
  • 2003
  • National Public Accountant (2002): 31-35.
  • An Employee Privacy Policy Fairly Applied Can Prevent Litigation
  • 2002
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • EHS Today America’s Safest Companies Conference
  • Safety in the Unionized Workplace
  • 2012

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (0)
Endorse Thomas
Employment and labor Attorney | Jun 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tom is very knowledgeable and experienced in employment law. He will do an excellent job on your case."
Employment and labor Attorney | Jun 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tom is compassionate and experienced. I recommend him without hesitation in all areas of employment law."
Employment and labor Attorney | May 19
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tom is a great employment law attorney. He works hard for his clients and cares about their issues."
Wrongful termination Attorney | May 13
Relationship: Co-worker
"Tom is a top-notch attorney. He is highly experienced in all aspects of employment law. I endorse Tom without hesitation."
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Virginia Beach Employment and labor Lawyer Thomas Shumaker
Thomas Shumaker
Employment and labor Attorney
Virginia Beach, VA
Licensed for 29 years