Phelps Dunbar LLP
LaToya Merritt, a community leader and experienced litigator, aims to assist her clients make the best decisions whether that includes taking a case to trial or working to resolve a case through alternative resolutions. She has been recognized by a number of media outlets as an active and engaged member of the Jackson community through devoting her time to volunteer with Mississippi organizations. For nearly 20 years, LaToya has practiced exclusively in the area of labor and employment with a focus on Civil Rights and Title VII, as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. She currently serves as the Practice Coordinator of Phelps Dunbar's Jackson labor and employment group.
An important component of LaToya’s practice entails representing educational institutions, particularly colleges and universities, including HBCUs, in suits alleging civil rights and constitutional law violations. She has dedicated a decade of service as General Counsel to The Piney Woods School, the nation’s oldest African-American boarding school (established in 1909).
LaToya’s practice also involves training, planning and employment advice. Specifically, she provides management and/or corporate counsel advice regarding performance evaluation/appraisal systems; development of employment policies and practices; employee handbooks and municipal employment liability. LaToya also provides extensive training to clients regarding managing diverse workforces and handling sexual harassment investigations. She conducts diversity training and educational programs for numerous companies throughout the region and has trained hundreds of executives and managers on employment law issues. LaToya has assisted public and private entities throughout the region in matters involving race, sex, sexual/workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation claims, reasonable accommodations, leaves of absence and wage and hour.