Kathlyn Graves

Kathlyn Graves

Phone:(501) 688.8831
Location: Little Rock
Bar Admissions: Arkansas

Kathy Graves has more than 30 years of experience representing management in all areas of employment and labor relations, including state and federal employment litigation and in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her wealth of experience benefits her clients in all areas of employment-related matters.


  • Represents management in all areas of labor and employment law and litigation.
  • Serves as lead counsel in all phases of litigation, including appellate argument.
  • Regularly represents employers in the investigation and defense of charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Represents employers in defending actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Represents employers in whistleblower retaliation actions under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Acts.
  • Counsels employers in making employment decisions, including hiring, promotion and discharge, and in complying with various federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the employment relationship.
  • Assists employers in developing sound personnel policies and handbooks.
  • Counsels clients on a broad spectrum of employment related issues, including employment and separation agreements, restrictive covenants and reductions-in-force.
  • Advises clients on WARN Act requirements.
  • Represents employers in defamation, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress cases.
  • Represents clients in disability cases brought under ERISA.

Representative Experience

  • Singer v. Harris, 897 F.3d 970, 973 (8th Cir. 2018) (disability and defamation)
  • Patrick v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 2016 Ark. App. 221, 489 S.W.3d 683 (2016) (malicious prosecution)
  • Brown v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 36 F. Supp. 3d 810 (W.D. Ark. 2014) (race discrimination)
  • Busch v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 5:12-CV-05079, 2014 WL 2086086 (W.D. Ark. 2014) (disability and failure to accommodate)
  • Maumelle Med. Clinics, Inc. v. Wal-Mart Stores Arkansas, LLC, 492 F. App'x 709 (8th Cir. 2012) (discrimination claim under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1982 and state law)
  • Ellison v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 11-5070, 2012 WL 11213322 (W.D. Ark. 2012) (sex discrimination and retaliation)
  • Birmingham v. AIG Life Ins. Co., No. 06-CV-4019, 2009 WL 982050 (W.D. Ark. 2009) (ERISA disability claim)
  • Adams v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 433 F. App'x 487 (8th Cir. 2011) (age discrimination)
  • Roeben v. BG Excelsior Ltd. P'ship, 2009 Ark. App. 646, 11, 344 S.W.3d 93, 100 (2009)(defamation)
  • Clinkenbeard v. Air Transp. Int'l, Inc., 2006 WL 3735976 (E.D. Ark. 2006) (age discrimination)
  • Ramirez v. Gencorp, Inc., 196 F. App'x 438, 438 (8th Cir. 2006) (national origin discrimination)
  • Finney v. GDX Auto., 135 F. App'x 888 (8th Cir. 2005) (LMRA preemption)
  • Guinn v. Timco Aviation Servs., Inc., 317 F. Supp. 2d 888, 889 (W.D. Ark. 2004)(WARN)
  • Dinwiddie v. United Parcel Serv., 177 F.3d 688, 689 (8th Cir. 1999) (outrage and preemption under §301 of the LMRA)
  • McClendon v. Sherwin Williams, Inc., 70 F. Supp. 2d 940, 943 (E.D. Ark. 1999) (enforceability of arbitration provision)
  • Ray v. Weyerhaeuser, 17 F. Supp. 2d 867 (W.D. Ark. 1998) (age discrimination)
  • Rorie v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 151 F.3d 757 (8th Cir. 1998) (sex discrimination and hostile work environment)
  • Tidwell v. Meyer's Bakeries, Inc., 93 F.3d 490 (8th Cir. 1996) (race discrimination, constructive discharge)
  • Williams v. Little Rock Mun. Water Works, 21 F.3d 218 (8th Cir. 1994) (race discrimination and retaliation)
  • Mansfield v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Corp., 747 F. Supp. 1329, 1330 (W.D. Ark. 1990) (wrongful discharge, breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and outrage)


  • Southern Methodist University J.D. (1975)
    Order of the Coif, Southwestern Law Journal
  • Rhodes College B.A. (1972)
    Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Recognition

  • Premier Employment Lawyers: Exclusive Featured Attorney for Little Rock, AR (2020)
  • Chambers USA: Ranked in Labor & Employment in Arkansas (2004-2020)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©:  Employment Law - Management (2011-2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©:  Labor Law - Management (2011-2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America©:  Litigation - Labor and Employment (2011-2021)
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in Little Rock since 1995
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers Top 50 Arkansas: 2018, 2019
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers Top 50 Women: 2018, 2019
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers: Employment & Labor (2006-2019)
  • Arkansas Business Top 100 Women in Arkansas (1996)
  • Gayle Pettus Pontz Award (1990)


  • Fellow, American College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Member, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, American Bar Association 
  • Member, Arkansas Bar Association 
  • Fellow, Arkansas Bar Foundation
  • Member, Pulaski County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Eighth Circuit Member Committee for Federal Judiciary (1989-91)

News & Articles

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