Beth is a leader of the firm’s Education and School Law Team, head of its Employment and Pensions Service Team and Managing Partner of the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh, NC. She builds upon her experience as an HR professional, in-house employment lawyer and a college faculty member to defend employers and serve as a trusted adviser to educational institutions.
As outside general counsel to colleges and universities, Beth advises on compliance, policy and liability matters affecting campuses including student unrest on campus, student discipline, governance, FERPA compliance, Title IX and sexual misconduct, investigations, campus police, international study programs, affiliation agreements, accreditation, tenure denial and faculty dismissals, and senior administrator contracts and separations. She regularly represents institutions in investigations with agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
Beth advises clients on how best to handle difficult employment matters from terminations, RIFS, restructurings, FLSA compliance, return to work FMLA and ADA issues, and I-9 compliance. She knows upfront planning and advice permits the execution of a well-planned strategy that accomplishes the client’s goals with minimized risk. To that end, she has assisted employers in addressing difficult employee matters without resorting to litigation, trained managers on all aspects of employment law compliance and prepared policies. When needed, Beth defends employers before state and federal agencies and in litigation.
Presentations and Publications
- What Do You Mean That’s Sex Discrimination? Expanding Federal Protection for Transgender Employees, Beth Tyner Jones, National Association of Independent Schools (2012).
- Handshakes or Hand Grenades? Achieving Amicable Departures of Administrators and Faculty Members, Beth Jones, NACUA Handbook for Lawyers New to Higher Education, Second Edition (2007)
- “Employment Law Update” including antitrust considerations for the HR professional; North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Human Resources Directors, 2019
- “Legal Updates Impacting Higher Education HR in 2019,” North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, Spring Workshop, 2019
- “Legal Update," North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, Fall Conference, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2017 – 2019
- “Legal Updates: Focus on Free Speech, Diversity and Civility,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Student Affairs Officers and Human Resources Directors, 2017
- “Hiring Right: Effective Faculty Searches,” and “The Science (and Art) of Faculty Evaluations,” The Council of Independent Colleges, Workshop for Department Chairs, 2014 – 2019
- “Current Higher Education Legal Issues related to Risk Management,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Chief Financial Officers, 2016
- “Minors on Campus - Roundtable,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Chief Financial Officers, 2016
- “Legal Updates: Focus on Title IX and FLSA,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Student Affairs Officers and Human Resources Directors, 2016
- “Legal Updates,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Chief Financial Officers, 2010, 2013 – 2015
- “Legal Update,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Meeting of Student Affairs, Public Information, and Chief Academic Officers, 2013 – 2014
- “HR Focus: FLSA Traps for the Independent Schools,” North Carolina Association of Independent Schools, Business Officers’ Meeting, 2014
- “Antitrust Laws and Higher Ed: You Gotta’ Be Kidding Me,” Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, Fall Workshop, 2013
- “The Latest in Cases, Administrative Enforcement and Legislation Hitting the Campus HR Professional's Desk,” North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, Fall Conference, 2013
- “Documentation and Investigation: Two Keys to Handling the Difficult Employee on Your Campus,” North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, Fall Conference, 2013
- “Title IX Investigations Training,” North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, 2013
- Keynote Speaker, “Making a List and Checking it Twice: Legal Issues Coming to Your Campus in the New Year,” Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Annual Meeting, 2013
- “Difficult Workplace Communications,” North Carolina College & University Professional Association for Human Resources, Spring Workshop, 2012
- “Dealing with the Dangerous, Stressed and Otherwise Difficult Employee: Avoiding Discrimination Claims while Addressing the Issues”, NC College and University Personnel Association, 2010
- “Tightening Our Belts 'til It Hurts,” NC College and University Personnel Association, 2009
- “Shifting Gears in HR,” NC College and University Personnel Association, 2008
- “Tried and True Approaches to Settlement and Severance Agreements”, National Association of College and University Attorneys, 48th Annual Conference, 2008
- “Selected Legal Developments in Recruiting”, Public Employment Law Update sponsored by the UNC School of Government, 2008
- “Handshakes or Hand Grenades: Achieving Amicable Departures of Administrators and Faculty Members,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, 2004
Civic and Professional Activities
- American Bar Association
- Education Law Section Council, North Carolina Bar Association
- Labor and Employment Section, North Carolina Bar Association
- National Association of College and University Attorneys
- Wake County Bar Association
- Board of Directors, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
- Chair, Board of Directors, Baptist Retirement Homes of North Carolina, Inc.
- Officer, Baptist Retirement Homes Foundation
Honors and Awards
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Education Law, Employment Law - Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2015 – Present
Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.
- Advised a university board in removal of institution’s president for misconduct, negotiated the president’s departure while avoiding reputational risk and prepared the new president’s contract.
- Counseled employers in a wide variety of difficult employment terminations, hires, reassignments and leaves involving employees with medical issues, retaliation claims, poor performance, discrimination claims, FLSA issues and tenure denial or removal processes.
- Advised boards in addressing admission of transgender students at single-sex institutions, student discipline and employee requirements based on religious beliefs at religiously affiliated institutions, and prepared revisions of tenure policies.
- Developed workforce restructuring programs including selection processes, voluntary and involuntary severance programs, and early retirement options. Prepared releases and advised on WARN and OWBPA issues in rollout of restructuring programs in multi-national workforces.