Nicole practices labor and employment law and litigation. She advises employers on employee discipline and discharge matters and has extensive experience handling difficult discipline and termination issues involving employees with disabilities or on FMLA leave. Nicole defends employers in EEOC charges and discrimination lawsuits, charges and lawsuits under North Carolina's Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act, whistle-blower claims, and common law employment claims. She has extensive experience in discrimination claims, including age, race, sex, disability, and national origin, as well as sexual harassment and equal pay claims. Nicole also works with unionized employers and handles grievance issues and arbitrations for those clients.  

Nicole continues to be widely recognized by her peers and clients as a leading employment and labor lawyer. She has been included in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” North Carolina Super Lawyers and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

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Nicole has an established EEOC charge defense practice, from drafting position statements to mediations to handling all interactions with the EEOC on behalf of employers. 

Nicole is a trusted counselor for unionized employers and handles grievance issues and arbitrations for those clients. She regularly advises on collective bargaining issues and defends employers in unfair labor practice charges. She also has experience dealing with the NLRB’s expansion of its social media decisions regarding employees’ right to concerted, protected activity. 

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Recognized by her peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina’s "Legal Elite" in Employment Law (2014, 2016-2017)

Recognized by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business in Labor & Employment Law (2009-2017)

Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers in Labor & Employment (2009, 2011-2013, 2016-2017)

Board Director, North Carolina Zoo Society, 2009-present; Vice-Chair, 2015-2016

Board Member, Chapel Hill Public Library Foundation, 2011

Board Member, Foundation for a Sustainable Community, 2010 

Secretary, Partners in Public Health, 2005-2012

Advisory Council Member, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, 2008-2010

Board Member, Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, 2009

Member, Society for Human Resources Management, 2009-present 

Member, Development Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, 2010 - present

Council member, Labor & Employment Section, North Carolina Bar Association, 2010-present

Member, Litigation Section, North Carolina Bar Association, 2003-present

Member, Litigation and Employment Sections, American Bar Association, 2003-present

Co-chair, Website Newsletter Committee, Litigation Employment Committee, American Bar Association, 2012-2013 

Member, Greensboro Bar Association, 2003-present 

Panelist, "Working With and Managing the Whistleblower," National Employment Law Council Annual Conference, Denver, CO, April 2017

Panelist, "The New Era of the Employment Attorney," National Employment Law Council Meeting, Atlanta, GA, January 2017

Speaker, "NLRB and Its Expanding Reach in the Workplace Horizon," Sterling Education seminar on the National Labor Relations Board, Greensboro, NC, December 2016

Brooks Pierce is a firm that celebrates independent, cerebral, and creative thinkers. Get to know Nicole through our own version of the famous Proust Questionnaire:

My favorite virtue: Humility

I became a lawyer because: I wanted to help people solve problems

What I appreciate the most in my friends: Their support and humor

Where I'd most like to live: Paris

My idea of happiness: A glass of wine and a good book in front of a fire with my dog

What legal work most excites me: Helping clients solve practical problems facing their business, while complying with the law and their own sense of fairness and humanity

My favorite prose authors: Harper Lee and J.G. Ballard

The natural talent I'd like to be gifted with: Tennis skills

My favorite characters in fiction: Atticus Finch, Dorothy and Toto

I grew up: In Flint, Michigan

My favorite activity away from work: Hanging out with my daughter

The best thing about Brooks Pierce: The wide variety of interesting, smart, and caring individuals who work here

My heroes in real life: Dan McGinn, Ellington Andrews

My legacy: A kind, funny, smart woman who cares about others in the world  (my daughter)

Recent Publications & Media

Speaking Engagements

April 17, 2017

Nicole Crawford to Speak at NELC 22nd Annual Conference

Nicole Crawford, a labor and employment partner with Brooks Pierce, will speak at the National Employment Law Council’s 22 nd annual conference in Denver on April 27. She will serve on a panel entitled “Working with and Managing the Whistleblower” to discuss the challenges and pitfalls of handling...Read more
December 6, 2016

Nicole Crawford to Speak at National Employment Law Council Meeting

Brooks Pierce partner Nicole Crawford has been invited to speak at the National Employment Law Council meeting in Atlanta on Jan. 26, 2017. She will participate on a panel titled “The New Era of the Employment Attorney,” which will examine what labor and employment attorneys must do to remain...Read more
December 6, 2016

Nicole Crawford to Present on National Labor Relations Board Changes

Brooks Pierce partner Nicole Crawford spoke about the National Labor Relations Board’s expanding reach in the workplace at a December 6 seminar on employment law hosted by Sterling Education Services Inc. The daylong workshop will cover a variety of topics including the new Department of Labor...Read more

Recent Publications & Media