About Joyce Smithey

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Email: joyce.smithey@smitheylaw.com
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Joyce Smithey is a highly respected employment and labor law attorney who represents employers and employees throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia in a diverse range of legal matters. With more than 22 years of employment law experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to helping clients cost-effectively protect their interests in administrative hearings, state and federal litigation, and day-to-day practice.

Attorney Joyce Smithey provides experienced legal representation to employers and employees throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. Focusing her practice exclusively in the areas of employment and labor law, she has garnered a reputation as one of Annapolis’s leading attorneys by representing both employers and employees.

Whether drafting employee handbooks or arguing vigorously on behalf of her clients in federal court, Ms. Smithey brings a comprehensive knowledge base and passionate attention to detail to helping her clients enforce their rights, protect their interests, and remain in compliance with the law.

Background | Education, Legal Experience, and Bar Admissions


After graduating from Maryland’s Severna Park High School, Ms. Smithey moved across the country to attend Pepperdine University. Following her graduation with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 1993, she worked her way back to the East Coast, enrolling at Boston University School of Law in 1996. During law school, Ms. Smithey served as a district court intern for the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Office, and authored, “Housing Discrimination Against People with Mental Disabilities: How does the Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988 Help Implement the Goals of Deinstitutionalization?”

Legal Experience

Upon graduating with her Juris Doctor degree in 1999, Ms. Smithey began her legal career with a law firm in New Hampshire. Several years later, she returned to Maryland, spending time at two Baltimore firms before joining Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC in 2007, where she was an equity partner with the firm and the Chair of its Labor and Employment Practice Group.  Ms. Smithey opened her own practice, Smithey Law Group LLC, in 2018.

Bar Admissions

Ms. Smithey is a member of the following state and federal bar associations:

  • Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA)
  • District of Columbia Bar Association (DC Bar)
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Recognition | Awards, Lectures, and Publications


Greater Baltimore’s Best Places to Work 2024

I have worked with many teams in my 25 years of practicing law, but assembling this group of talented, compassionate, determined, and dedicated professionals is at the top of my proudest accomplishments. If you spend your days in the trenches fighting a good fight like we do, these are the people you want on your side. The Best Places to Work awards highlight Greater Baltimore organizations who are going above and beyond for their workers, as determined by an employee survey conducted by Quantum Workplace.

2023 Lawdragon 500 Leading Civil Rights & Plaintiff Employment Lawyers

“These amazing lawyers make it their life’s work to stand up for others who are denied equal treatment, fired, harassed or marginalized in their jobs; shot and killed or subjected to lesser mistreatment by law enforcement or others in position of authority; and sexually abused and violated by those in positions of responsibility.”


2023 Maryland’s Top 100 Women from The Daily Record
“The 2023 Maryland’s Top 100 Women are leading companies, creating change, breaking barriers and charting new territory. They are leaders who make a difference in their communities and also mentor and inspire future leaders toward success,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of The Daily Record/BridgeTower Media. “This year’s Circle of Excellence honorees are inspirational. They have been active, successful leaders in their professions and in their communities for many years and are also devoted to mentoring future generations. We at The Daily Record are honored to recognize these outstanding women.”

Women to Watch 2022 from Baltimore Business Journal
Thrilled to be named by Baltimore Business Journal among the Women to Watch 2022. The BBJ selected two women of note in each industry that they deemed Women to Watch. Honored to be named one of the two in the law profession. Read More

Joyce Smithey Recognized in BBJ’s 2022 Women of Excellence
Joyce Smithey, a trailblazer in employment law, was honored in the BBJ’s 2022 Women of Excellence for her dedicated advocacy in advancing workplace rights and equality. Read More

2019 Leadership in Law from The Daily Record
“The Leadership in Law honorees are exceptional in what they do professionally and in the greater community,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, publisher of The Daily Record. “Through their professional and volunteer accomplishments, they uphold high legal standards and improve communities throughout Maryland. Mentoring is an important part of who they are, and their impact on upcoming generations is noted. The Daily Record is pleased to honor them.”

Baltimore SmartCEO – 2016 Centers of Influence Awards Honoree –
Joyce E. Smithey named by Baltimore SmartCEO as one of the 2016 Centers of Influence Awards Honorees.

The Daily Record’s Top 100 women: Top 100 Women in Maryland

Chambers Band: Band 1 ranking in the Chambers USA legal guide

Fellow of the American Bar Foundation: Member of American Bar Foundation

As a result of her experience, pro bono work, and extensive record in state and federal court litigation, Ms. Smithey has received numerous awards and recognitions during her legal career. These include:

Lectures and Publications

Ms. Smithey has also taught seminars and law school courses on labor and employment law topics, and she has published extensively in the area. This includes authoring the Fourth Edition of Maryland Rules Commentary and contributing to the MSBA Maryland Employment Law Deskbook. She is also a regular contributor to The Employee Advocate, the newsletter of the Metropolitan Washington Employment and Labor Lawyers Association. Some of Ms. Smithey’s other lectures and publications include:

  • “Personality and Integrity Tests for Hiring and Promoting Employees” (co-authored with Reuben Wolfson, Lexis Practice Advisor)
  • “Pros And Cons Of Using Personality Tests In Hiring Process” (co-authored with Reuben Wolfson, law360.com, July 3, 2019)
  • “Employment Contracts Presentation” – Joyce Smithey’s presentation at the University of Maryland (March 5, 2019; March 2, 2021; & March 1, 2022)
  • “Representing the Accused in the Me Too Era” (Maryland Bar Journal Magazine, January 2019)
  • Employment Law Institute presentation regarding 2018 Legislative Law Updates with Sally Dworak-Fisher, Esq. (April 2018)
  • “Effective Mediation Strategies” (Bar Association of Montgomery County, 120th Annual Meeting and Law Day Celebration)
  • “Data Safety in the Workplace” (Maryland Bar Bulletin)
  • “Employment Rights for Employees Living with Cancer” (Wellness House of Annapolis)
  • “Employment Rights for Employees Living with Mental Illness” (Trial Reporter, Winter 2015)
  • “Restrictive Covenants and Software Engineers” (Intellectual Property Series)
  • “Tenth Amendment” (PPLSI)
  • “It Didn’t Happen at Work: Can They Fire Me Anyway?” (DC Bar Continuing Legal Education Program)
  • “Maryland 2021 Legislative Update” (Legal Excellence Week)
  • “Vaccine Protocols and a Return to Work”
  • “Maryland Employment Laws Legislative Wrap-Up for 2020” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Political Speech in Polarizing Times” (Changing Currents)
  • “Wage and Benefit Issues”
  • “Labor and Employment Law Issues in the Era of Covid-19” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Marijuana in the Workplace” (Maryland State Bar Association)
  • “Workplace Disputes: From Administrative Review to Trial: Your Ultimate Legal Guide to Employer and Employee Disputes” (Upholding Ethic Standards, Radisson Hotel Baltimore Downtown- Inner Harbor)

Community | Memberships and Pro Bono Work


Ms. Smithey is a current and past member of numerous academic and local, state, and national professional organizations. Her current affiliations include the following:

  • American Bar Association
  • DC Bar Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Maryland Employment Lawyers Association board member
  • MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section – Section Council Member, Legislative Liaison, and President-Elect
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA)
  • Women’s Bar Association of Maryland
  • Maryland Association for Justice
  • League Representative in East Severna Park Swim League
  • Board Member of SPY Swimming

Ms. Smithey’s past affiliations and memberships include:

  • Pepperdine University Washington D.C. Internship Program
  • Board of Trustees for Dress for Success New Hampshire
  • Executive Committee of the Pepperdine University Washington D.C. Waves Mentor
  • MD State Bar Association’s Board of Governors

Pro Bono Work

In addition to her regular practice, Ms. Smithey also does significant pro bono work for two organizations: The Women’s Law Center and the Workplace Street Law Program. Her volunteer experience includes serving on the Employment and Labor Law Hotline for the Women’s Law Center, and teaching for the Workplace Street Law Program. Ms. Smithey has also authored amicus briefs for NELA.


Legal Implications of the Capitol Riot on Employment
A Law360 article discussing the broad legal rights employers have to terminate employees involved in the Capitol riots, examining the intersection of employment law and off-duty conduct. Read More

Understanding Your Job Contract 2023
This presentation for UMCP Grad students by Joyce E. Smithey explains employment contracts, focusing on terms, responsibilities, compensation, benefits, and legal implications of non-compete agreements. Read More

Workplace Rights Outside of Work 2020
A DC Bar Continuing Legal Education session led by Diane A. Seltzer Torre, Joyce E. Smithey, and Jane Lemley Rasmussen discussing the legal boundaries of employer actions regarding employees’ activities outside of work, including political activities and social justice involvement. Read More

Employment Contracts Workshop 2020
A comprehensive guide by Joyce E. Smithey, presented at the University of Maryland, detailing the components and implications of employment contracts for graduate students, including terms of employment, non-compete clauses, and severance provisions. Read More

Maryland Employment Law Legislative Wrap-Up 2020
This presentation by Joyce E. Smithey covers the key changes in Maryland’s employment law for 2020, focusing on the state’s version of the WARN Act, which includes specific provisions for layoffs, the impact on employers, and comparisons with federal laws. Read More

Marijuana in the Workplace: Legal Implications and Regulations
This presentation explores the intersection of marijuana legalization and workplace regulations, focusing on Maryland’s drug testing laws, ADA accommodations, and the evolution of state and federal laws concerning marijuana. It includes perspectives from legal experts like Glendora Hughes and Joyce Smithey, and discusses case law developments across various states. Read More

The Daily Record has named Smithey Law Group LLC as a recipient of a 2023 Empowering Women Award
Read more about the award and honorees.

Joyce Smithey will be one of the speakers at the D.C. Bar’s CLE presentation
“Changing Currents in Employment Law 2020”

Join us for this fast-paced, popular annual program on cutting-edge issues and the changing nature of employment law. Leading employment practitioners from both sides of the aisle will explain the law, and give practice pointers on how employment cases are litigated and issues are dealt with in federal and state courts. This program is a must for employment law practitioners and those interested in the field. This year’s panels include: Read More.

Joyce Smithey will be speaking at an upcoming CLE in February
You can find more information on this seminar by clicking here

Joyce Smithey will be speaking at MWLEA’s Luncheon Seminar:

Strategies for Sexual Harassment Cases in the #MeToo Era on November 5th.  More details about the event can be found here

Joyce Smithey will be one of three speakers at the D.C. Bar’s CLE presentation “It Didn’t Happen At Work:  Can They Fire Me Anyway?”
being held on September 23, 2019 at 6:00pm.
Read the presentation here

Pros And Cons Of Using Personality Tests In Hiring Process (by Joyce Smithey and Reuben Wolfson)(law360.com)
Read the article here.

“Marijuana in the Workplace”
See the Presentation here.

“Personality and Integrity Tests for Hiring and Promoting Employees”
Read the article here.

“Representing the Accused in the Me Too Era” – (Maryland Bar Journal Magazine, January 2019)
Read the article here.

“Employment Contracts Presentation” – Joyce Smithey’s presentation at the University of Maryland
Graduate Legal Services for UMCP Grad Student
Gradulting Workshop Series Spring 2019 Workshops
March 5, 2019 at 12:30 pm
By Joyce E. Smithey, Esq.
View the presentation here.

MELA 14th Annual Conference – Joyce Smithey will be speaking on the subject “Sexual Harassment Law and Litigation in the Era of ‘Me Too'”
Maryland Employment Lawyers Association’s 14th Annual Conference
Friday, November 30, 2018.
8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Crowne Plaza
6400 Ivy Lane,  Greenbelt, MD 20770
View the presentation here.

Joyce is moderating the Maryland Association for Justice’s “Proving Emotional Distress” panel (June 12, 2018) Register here.

Employment Law Institute presentation regarding 2018 Legislative Law Updates with Sally Dworak-Fisher, Esq. (April 2018) Read the presentation here.

“Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions Breakfast Talk” at the Maryland Association for Justice Read the presentation here.

“Employees with Traumatic Brain Injuries” Trial Reporter Spring 2016: The Challenge of Returning to Work Read the article here.

“A Peek into the Minds of Arbitrators” at the American Bar Association Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee Midwinter Meeting in New Orleans.
Read the presentation here.

“Summary Judgement Practice.” Maryland Employment Lawyers Association’s Conference in Greenbelt, Maryland.
See program here

Maryland Rules Commentary“Employment Rights for Employees Living with Mental Illness”
– By Joyce E. Smithey – Trial Reporter – Winter 2015
Read the article here

“MSBA Maryland Employment Law Deskbook”
– Joyce E. Smithey, Contributing Author
Purchase here.

“Modified Work Schedules under the ADA”
– By Joyce E. Smithey and Betina Miranda – FBA – Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter – Spring 2014
Read the article here.

“Data Safety in the Workplace”
– By Joyce Smithey – Maryland Bar Bulletin)
Read the article here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Employment Law Update” to Maryland Association of CPA’s.
Read the presentation here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Employment Rights for Employees Living with Cancer” at Wellness House of Annapolis.
Read the presentation here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Ten Tips to Avoid Employer Liability” to Kiwanis Club.
Read the presentation here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Restrictive Covenants and Software Engineers” at Intellectual Property Series.
Read the presentation here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Employment and Labor Law Issues Arising in Corporate Transactions” at State Capital Group U.S. Meeting.
Read the presentation here.

Joyce Smithey invited to participate in SmartCEO’s Baltimore Attorneys Roundtable 2013.
Read the invite here.

Joyce Smithey presents “Effective Mediation Strategies” at Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD, 120th Annual Meeting and Law Day Celebration.
Read the presentation here.

Maryland Rules Commentary, Fourth Edition” (By Paul v. Niemeyer, Linda M. Schuett, and Joyce E. Smithey)
Purchase the book here.

A recent article written by Lisa WalkerEsquire in the Trial Reporter.

Labor & Employment Law Section Program: Maryland Employment Laws Legislative Wrap-up for 2020 | Maryland State Bar Association – MSBA
Labor & Employment Law Section Program: Maryland Employment Laws Legislative Wrap-up for 2020

Mini Law School for HR Professionals | Live Online Seminar | 86650ER | NBI
Attend a live online seminar to hear faculty present content specific to your state and earn continuing legal education credit to satisfy your continuing legal education requirements for only $359.00

Legal Summit Series: The Rights and Responsibilities of Employees with Hidden Disabilities | Maryland State Bar Association – MSBA
Join the MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section for a livestream of the Legal Summit Series: The Rights and Responsibilities of Employees with Hidden Disabilities on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.. The program will explore the rights of employees with disabilities that cannot be seen and the corresponding obligations of employers in interacting with them.

Contact Joyce E. Smithey | Employment and Labor Law Attorney Serving Employers and Employees Throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia

If you would like to speak with Ms. Smithey about your employment or labor law needs, please feel free to schedule an initial consultation. To speak with Ms. Smithey in confidence, call (410) 919-2990 or submit a request online today.


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