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Donald C. Davis

Practice Group Associate

[email protected]



Don provides clients with representation and counsel on a broad range of employment matters. He has extensive experience handling issues pertaining to employment contracts, wage and hour disputes, employment discrimination, disability accommodations, retaliation, wrongful discharge claims, family and medical leave, defamation, and whistleblower rights.

Don has provided representation in litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution processes, and has negotiated a number of very favorable pre-litigation settlements for his clients. He has also defended employers before administrative agencies.

He has significant experience reviewing, negotiating, drafting, and counseling employees and executives on employment contracts, including employment agreements, consultant agreements, and non-competition agreements.

In addition, he works with companies to review and revise their employment policies and handbooks, train managers and employees on anti-harassment and other employment policies, and conduct internal investigations related to discrimination, wage and hour, and employment misconduct issues.

Prior to joining Mintz, Don was a senior associate at a law firm in Washington, DC and an associate for a boutique employment law firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has also worked for a North Carolina law firm specializing in bankruptcy matters.

“Don Davis was instrumental in limiting our liability of the case we hired him for. He knows his trade and was extremely professional throughout the case. I was extremely pleased with his response times and providing current updates. I would not hesitate to hire him again.” Ed Stewart, VP of Operations, US IP Communications.


  • Ohio State University (JD)
  • North Carolina State University (BA)


  • Working with David Barmak, obtained unanimous panel decision at the Fourth Circuit affirming summary judgment in favor of "fast casual" restaurant chain.
  • Represented a national, publicly traded clinical laboratory company, in defense of a federal court lawsuit filed by an ex-employee who alleged interference and retaliation in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and wrongful discharge.
  • Corporate legal department experience as an employment law secondee to a large national employer in the health care industry.
  • Along with David Barmak, successfully arbitrated claims involving unfair competition and breach of employment contract under state law.
  • Successful mitigation of employment claims against a large multinational hospitality company through mediation.

Recognition & Awards

  • Included on the Washington DC Super Lawyers Rising Stars (2017 - 2018)
  • Recognized among 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association (2015)


  • President, LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia (2017 - present)
  • SMYAL Board of Directors (2016 - present)

Recent Insights

News & Press



The Long-Awaited Final Overtime Rule Has Landed

September 26, 2019 | Blog | By Don Davis, Morgan Tanafon

Viewpoint General

The Bubbler – We’ll Wake You Up When September Ends

September 5, 2019 | Blog | By Don Davis

We know August was exhausting for employers – New York, New Jersey, Maine, Colorado, and yes, even Alabama – all kept you on your toes with new and updated employment legislation that represents an array of new compliance obligations.  These new restrictions on employers run the gamut from prohibitions on certain non-competes in New Hampshire to equal pay legislation in Alabama to a Maine ban on salary history questions to medical marijuana protections in New Jersey to a Colorado ban-the-box law.
Federal law nowadays certainly favors enforcement of agreements to arbitrate.  But generally applicable state contract law determines contract formation – i.e., whether such an agreement has been made.
Our colleague Gil Samberg offers analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, which held that neither silence nor ambiguity in an arbitration agreement about whether it permits class arbitration enables a court to find that the parties agreed to allow class arbitration.  If the parties wish to permit class arbitration, they must expressly memorialize that understanding within the four corners of an agreement to arbitrate.
Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided that it will hear three cases in its next term, which, taken together, will test the textual boundaries of Title VII with respect to the meaning of sex discrimination. In this trio of cases, advocates for LGBT employment rights ask the Court to find that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination includes both claims of sexual orientation discrimination and gender identity discrimination – a logical extension, they say, in light of the Court’s jurisprudence on gender-based discrimination and an evolution of understanding about gender.
We recently provided DC employers with information about the imminent Universal Paid Leave tax. Since that post, we have received word from the DC Office of Employment Services (DOES) that the first quarterly tax will be based on the wages you will have paid your employees during the current quarter (April 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019.) That means your first quarterly tax payment and wage report must be submitted to DOES no later than July 31, 2019, which is the last day of the first month following the quarter. You will be able to submit the quarterly tax payment and wage reports beginning July 1, 2019, including through the DOES online employer portal.
District employers, get on your marks! We told you way back in 2017 that Universal Paid Leave (UPL) would be coming to the District, and here it is. Under the DC Universal Paid Leave Act (the Act) and its implementing regulations, beginning on July 1, you will be liable for a 0.62% tax on your employees’ gross wages. That means you should contact your payroll administrator now, to make sure you’re ready to comply. In this post, we outline the key details about the new payroll tax, including how to pay it, and refresh your memory on the other significant provisions of the Act.
Viewpoint General
The District of Columbia Council recently repealed a law approved by voters in a June 2018 referendum that would have fundamentally changed the way tipped workers in the District are paid.  Embedded in the repeal legislation, which passed in October 2018 and took effect on December 13, 2018, are provisions that place new and potentially substantial requirements on employers of tipped workers in the District. These new requirements are ostensibly designed to prevent abuse of tipped workers.  Because the repeal and its new requirements are now in effect, employers of tipped workers such as restaurants, bars, and other service establishments should immediately take note and plan for compliance. 

News & Press

Mintz Associate Don Davis authored an article recently published by the American Bar Association’s Business Law Today that addressed the United States’ need for the Equality Act, a legislative solution that would amend existing civil rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Mr. Davis emphasizes the urgency in passing the law in light of a potential adverse ruling in a trio of cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court that will decide whether Title VII already prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

DC Paid Leave Tax Begins Earlier Than Expected

April 25, 2019 | ASAE's Inroads

An excerpt from a memo authored by Employment, Labor and Benefits attorney Don Davis appears in this piece, which discusses how the District is in the process of implementing paid family and medical leave, and sooner than expected.
This story note that while a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling restricting the ability for employees to form class actions was lately seen as a win for employers, appeals courts “are not rubber-stamping arbitration agreements” which illustrates the ongoing confusion around and tension over employment contracts. Employment, Labor & Benefits Attorney Don Davis provides commentary.
Mintz is pleased to announce that eight attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2018 and three others have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The annual publication identifies lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Social Justice Changemaker

February 1, 2018 | Washington Lawyer

Don Davis, an attorney in the Mintz Washington, DC office was featured as a Changemaker in Washington Lawyer February 1st publication for his advocacy on behalf of members of the LGBTQ community. Don has served as the President of the LGBT Bar Association of the District of Columbia since 2016.

Whether Title VII Forbids Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Now Ripe for SCOTUS Review

November 14, 2017 | Federal Bas Association LGBT Law Section Newsletter

Don Davis of Mintz authored an article for the Federal Bar Association LGBT Law Section Newsletter regarding Title VII’s explicit proscription against sex discrimination similarly forbids employers from discrimination against individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Eight Mintz attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2017 and four have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in The Washington Post Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine.