Shannon ("Missy") S. Spainhour



Office: (252) 514-2828; Ext: 3634
Direct: (828) 220-3634
Fax: (828) 220-3634
Mobile: (704) 904-0506


Practice Groups:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation


  • Sewanee: The University of the South, B.A., 1997
  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 2001





Missy Spainhour handles Labor & Employment as well as Litigation. She is also a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission Certified Superior Court Mediator and frequently conducts independent workplace investigations.

Awards & Recognitions:

  • AV (Preeminent) Peer Review Rating for Ability & Ethics from Martindale-Hubbell, 2018-present
  • Selected for inclusion in national labor & employment directory, The Employment Lawyers, as the organization’s recommended North Carolina employment law attorney, 2022
  • Selected for inclusion in national Premier Employment Lawyers publication as the exclusive representative attorney for the Asheville/Western North Carolina area, 2019-present
  • Recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as a member of the “Legal Elite” in the field of Employment, 2008, 2011-2014, 2019, 2022
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a Super Lawyer in the field of Employment and Labor Law, 2021-present
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers magazine as a member of the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” in 2012-2014
  • Recognized by Business North Carolina magazine as a member of the “Legal Elite” Women Lawyers, 2014, 2019
  • Frequent speaker on Employment Law topics for professional organizations

Professional Associations:

  • NC Dispute Resolution Commission Certified Superior Court Mediator
  • Association of Workplace Investigators
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina
  • North Carolina State Bar
  • North Carolina State Bar Association
    • Member, Labor and Employment Section
    • Membership Committee, 2022
  • Mecklenburg County Bar 2001-2013
  • Buncombe County Bar 2013-present

Previous Employment:

  • Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog, LLP
  • Fisher & Phillips, LLP
  • K&L Gates, LLP (formerly Kennedy Covington)

Neutral Third-Party Practice:

  • Independent third-party mediator and arbitrator of disputes
  • Frequently conducts independent workplace investigations relating to various issues arising in the workplace, including harassment (such as hostile work environment allegations), discrimination, and other issues arising between employees and employers
  • Frequently conducts management and employee training on various labor & employment law issues, including harassment and discrimination

Practice on Behalf of Clients:

  • 20+ years of experience, both litigating and providing advice and counseling to employers of all sizes and to owners, partners, members, and executives in matters involving:
    • Hiring, termination, and discipline  
    • Employee Handbooks, Employment Agreements
    • Independent Contractor relationships
    • Corporate organization, formation, and documentation
    • Sales and transfers of businesses
    • Wage and hour disputes (including collective action claims pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and claims under the North Carolina Wage & Hour Act);
    • Employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, constructive discharge, and whistleblower claims, including claims arising under:
      • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 
      • 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, 
      • The North Carolina Equal Employment Practices Act (EEPA),
      • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 
      • the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 
      • the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 
      • the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 
      • the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Plan,
      • the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA),
      • the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 
      • the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and
      • many other federal and state laws pertaining to the employment relationship involving municipal, state, and federal government agencies and private employers
    • Restrictive covenants (such as non-competition and non-solicitation agreements) and trade secret disputes
    • Shareholder and LLC Member disputes
    • Other breach of contract and tortious interference with contract claims
    • Defamation, infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and other state law claims
    • Claims involving the U.S. and N.C. Constitutions
    • Breach of fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty
    • Obtaining and executing judgments 
  • Representation before administrative agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the United States Department of Labor (DOL), the North Carolina Department of Labor, the Judiciary’s Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) process, the Employment Security Commission (ESC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and other administrative forums