Theresa Kananen is a partner in the firm’s Litigation and Employment Practices, and serves as co-chair of the payment systems practice. She focuses her practice on handling both employment litigation and counseling, and a wide variety of litigation and compliance issues in the payments industry.
On the employment side, Ms. Kananen’s experience includes advising and training employers, and representing them in a full range of employment litigation, including claims involving discrimination and harassment, wage and hour issues, restrictive covenants, the Family and Medical Leave Act, employee benefits, and employment contracts. Ms. Kananen has made various presentations on employment law and human resources topics. She has experience before administrative agencies, such as the EEOC and Department of Labor, as well as in both state and federal courts.
In addition, Ms. Kananen also devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing payment card processors, payment card issuers, and card brands in a wide variety of disputes, ranging from lawsuits brought by cardholders over disputed charges, to business disputes with merchants, to the defense of enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission and state offices of the attorney general. In addition, Ms. Kananen advises clients on issues of federal and state law compliance, including surcharging and convenience fees, and participation in state EBT programs.
As a result of her practice in the field of employment law and the payments industry, Ms. Kananen has substantial experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. On the employment law side, she advises clients on issues of compliance in background screening and has handled civil disputes arising out of purported violations of the FCRA. On the payments side, Ms. Kananen has defended claims brought by cardholders against card issuers under the FCRA and the Fair Credit Billing Act regarding the issuers’ handling of disputed credit card charges arising.
Ms. Kananen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she was a member of the Georgia Law Review and was honored as Best Notes Editor for 2007-08. She was also awarded for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing and Excellence in the Studies of Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination Law, and Employment and Labor Law. Ms. Kananen previously studied piano performance at the University of North Carolina, and has lived abroad in Brazil and Spain.