Patrick M. Watts
Sr. Counsel/OSBA-Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law
Patrick first became interested in the law because of his father’s involvement with his Union at work and his mother’s election to the local school board. This led Patrick to obtain a degree in Political Science at The College of Wooster, and then to obtain his law degree at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Patrick represents employers in all areas of employment law. His litigation practice includes a broad range of matters under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, anti-discrimination laws, wage and hour laws, trade secrets and unfair competition laws.
Patrick regularly counsels a wide variety of clients, including publicly-traded, private sector and public sector employers, concerning all areas of employment law, including discrimination matters, Family and Medical Leave Act compliance, overtime and minimum wage claims.
Patrick advises and defends employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and other state civil rights agencies. He litigates employment and discrimination matters, overtime and minimum wage claims, Family and Medical Leave Act claims, and all other employment-related torts in state and federal court. Over his career, Patrick has litigated numerous high-profile Family and Medical Leave Act cases.
Patrick is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Labor and Employment Law and has been named to the Super Lawyers list since 2020.
In addition to litigation and counseling, Patrick provides in-house training for clients and has lectured extensively on all areas of employment law including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Other Personal Background Information and Interests
Patrick and his wife, Meredith, stay busy with their three children and their children’s school responsibilities and extracurricular activities. Patrick and Meredith both enjoy running, traveling and camping with their children and dog in the summer months.
- The College of Wooster, B.A., 1999
- The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., 2002
- Supreme Court of Ohio
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Professional Activities and Recognition
- Ohio SuperLawyers, 2020-2023
- Ohio SuperLawyers “Rising Stars”, 2009-2013, 2017
- Certified as a Specialist in Labor and Employment Law by the Ohio State Bar Association
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association and its Labor and Employment Law Section
- Member, The Cleveland Employment American Inn of Court
Publications and Presentations
- ADA and FMLA, Client Supervisor Training, November 2022
- Workplace Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation, Client Employee Training, February 2022
- EEO Obligations for Federal Contractors, Client Supervisor Training, September 2021
- Medical Marijuana: Employer Obligations and Considerations, Ashtabula County SHRM, March 2020
- COVID – Time Off, Isolation and Medical Questions, Ashtabula County SHRM, March 2020
- Workplace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace, Client Supervisor Training, October 2020
EEOC and COVID
- Conducting Workplace Investigations, Ashtabula County SHRM, March 2019
- Diversity, Inclusion and EEO, Client Supervisor Training, November 2019
- Recent Developments in Employment Law, Medina SHRM, October 2017
- Leave, Accommodations and the Interactive Process, Client Supervisor Training, August 2017
- Comprehensive 8-Hour Workplace Training for Supervisors on Hiring, Discharge, Workplace Investigations, Harassment and Non-discrimination, February 2017
- Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Client Supervisor Training, February 2015
Civic/Charitable Activities and Associations
- Patrick regularly volunteers at his church where he is a Eucharistic Minister and a Video Technician for the broadcasting of weekly mass.