T. Merritt Bumpass, Jr. Photo

T. Merritt Bumpass, Jr.



Merritt has successfully defended employers in a wide variety of employment lawsuits and labor disputes in courts and agencies around the country. These lawsuits and disputes have included discrimination cases, contract violation claims and injunction actions. He has also defended employers in class actions and FLSA collective actions. Merritt has represented employers in hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, both as to representation petitions and unfair labor practice charges. He has also successfully defended employers in hundreds of labor arbitrations. Merritt also regularly represents employers in negotiating collective bargaining agreements.

Merritt counsels, advises and trains employer representatives on compliance with the complex field of employment and labor laws and regulations.



  • Education

    • Columbia University School of Law LL.M.
    • Wake Forest University School of Law J.D., Dean's List
    • United States Military Academy B.S., Dean's List


    • Supreme Court of the U.S.
    • Supreme Court of Ohio
    • Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • State of Ohio
    • State of North Carolina
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and Military Court of Appeals 
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio and Southern District of Ohio
    • U.S. District Court, Western Division of Michigan
  • Professional Affiliations

    • ALFA International—Steering Committee, Labor & Employment
    • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • North Carolina Bar Association
    • Ohio Management Lawyers Association
    • Cleveland Employment American Inn of Court
    • Association of Graduates, U.S. Military Academy

    Community Involvement

    • West Point Society of Cleveland — Former President and Secretary
    • Greater Cleveland Sports Commission —Patriot Bowl Committee
    • Allied Attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom
    • Active in several community service activities.

    Firm Involvement

    • Founding Partner—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Former Chair, Labor and Employment Practice Group—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Former Member, Management Committee—Frantz Ward LLP
    • Named to Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Labor and Employment (2009-2021)
    • Named to The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Employment Law-Management and Labor Law-Management (2007-2024)
    • Named to the Ohio Super Lawyers list (2005-2023)
    • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated—Martindale-Hubbell
    • Wake Forest Law Review—Comments Editor
    • Recipient of the Babcock Scholarship from Wake Forest University School of Law
    • Author, Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Blog
    • "Supreme Court Interprets Transportation Worker Exemption of the Federal Arbitration Act," (Co-Author) Frantz Ward Labor & Employment Navigator (June 2022)
    • "General Counsel Of National Labor Relations Board Urges Dramatic Changes In Law," Frantz Ward Labor & Employment Navigator (April 2022)
    • "EPLI Insurance and Employers' Defense Counsel," Frantz Ward Labor & Employment Navigator (March 2021) 
    • "The Use of Employment Arbitration Agreements Surges," Frantz Ward Client Alert (2018)
    • "EPLI Insurance and Employers' Defense Counsel," Frantz Ward Client Alert (January 2018)
    • “Wrongful Discharge Under Ohio Law,” The Cambridge Institute (1989)
    • Public Sector Collective Bargaining: The Ohio System, Labor Relations Press (1984)
    • “Public Sector Bargaining in a Democracy—An Assessment of the Ohio Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law,” 33 Cleveland State Law Review 539 (1984-85)
    • “Appropriate Bargaining Units in Health Care Institutions: An Analysis of Congressional Intent and Its Implementation by the National Labor Relations Board,” 22 Boston College Law Review 867 (1979)
    • “The Application of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to Actions Brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” 29 Case Western Reserve Law Review 343 (1979)
    • “Hiring and Terminating Employees in the Current Economy,” Sterling Education Services, Youngstown, OH (August 2016)
    • “FLSA: The Proposed Overtime Rule Change,” Greater Lorain County Chapter of SHRM, Elyria, OH (June 2016)
    • “House of Smoke and Mirrors: What’s Reality Given the New Rules and Initiatives at the NLRB and EEOC,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (April 2016)
    • “DOL Initiative—the Persuader Activity Rule,” ALFA International—Eastern Great Lakes Regional Conference, Detroit, MI (April 2016)
    • “Fundamentals of Employment Law/The Affordable Care Act,” Sterling Education Services, Inc., Cleveland, OH (November 2014)
    • “Employment Law Trends: Staying Ahead of the Curve,” Frantz Ward Labor and Employment Law Seminar, Cleveland, OH (May 2014)
    • “A Truly Global Economy: New Solutions to New Challenges/The NLRB and Labor Law/Persuader Activity,” American Law Firm Association (ALFA) International, LaQuinta, CA (March 2013)
    • “Minimizing Risk & Solving Problems/What Will They Think of Next?” ALFA International, Eastern Great Lakes Regional Conference, Cleveland, OH (October 2012)
    • Frequent speaker with numerous additional presentations on a variety of topics