Janell M. Ahnert

Principal

  • Direct 205.820.8241
  • Fax 205.719.0500
Janell M. Ahnert
Janell M. Ahnert

“My extensive trial experience helps me predict potential pitfalls and stumbling blocks for my clients.  I thoroughly enjoy the counseling role of my practice, and the opportunity to collaborate with my clients in an effort to minimize risk and avoid future threats.”

Janell Ahnert’s practice encompasses all facets of employment law, specifically in representation of management in both employment counseling and employment litigation.

Janell handles a variety of employment law matters in state and federal courts and has developed an extensive reputation in defending employers accused of harassment and discrimination in federal court.  She has litigation and counseling experience in numerous areas of employment law, including issues involving wage and hour claims, harassment, discrimination, and whistleblowing.  She has successfully defended management in many wage and hour cases under the Fair Labor Standard Act and obtained summary judgments on behalf of her clients. 

Janell also has significant appellate experience before the Alabama Supreme Court, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court.  With licenses held in four states - Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Texas -  Janell is able to serve her clients’ needs in various legal forums.

In addition to a federal court practice, Janell has broad experience defending financial services clients in employment matters pending before FINRA.  In this area, Janell represents broker-dealers and banks in FINRA arbitrations filed by employees across the country. 

In addition to being a top-notch advocate, Janell is a respected mediator.  She is registered on the Alabama State Court Mediator Roster in all areas of employment law and has completed 26 hours of General Civil Mediation and Advanced Mediation Training.  Janell has a reputation for being able to combine empathetic listening with realistic case and evaluate damages based on her extensive federal court litigation experience.

Janell currently serves as the Chair of the Diversity Committee at Bressler, where she leads the firm in its diversity initiatives.  Janell’s commitment to pro bono efforts consistently and is dedicates her time to assisting economically disadvantaged individuals by serving in several non-profits in the Birmingham area. 

Janell has two teenagers and loves spending time with her family traveling or exploring new restaurants in the Birmingham food scene.  An active community participant, Janell volunteers at First Light, a homeless shelter for women and children.  She also serves as an Ordained Elder on Session, Chair of the Personnel Committee, and member of the Administration and Finance Team at the historic First Presbyterian Church in downtown Birmingham.  Janell is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors at the Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center, where she is committed to ensuring that families working in downtown Birmingham have quality child care.  Janell also serves as the current Chair of the Business Regional Economic Counsel of the Birmingham Business Alliance where she works to build Birmingham’s economic diversity.

  • Represented national bank in nationwide FLSA collective action and four state Rule 23 wage class actions (New York, Maryland, Washington and California) filed on behalf of 12,000 current and former employees claiming that they had not been paid overtime they had worked
  • Defended a leading producer and exporter of coal in an age discrimination and retaliation case, obtaining favorable judgment on behalf of the company after arbitration hearing
  • Trial counsel for national poultry company in FLSA case filed on behalf of 2,500 plaintiffs by the Department of Labor, who claimed the workers should be paid for time spent donning and doffing alleged protective gear before the start of the compensable work day
  • Successfully attained summary judgment and 11th Circuit affirmance on behalf of national food processor in a sexual harassment and race discrimination lawsuit
  • Served as appellate counsel for national poultry producer, accomplishing affirmance of summary judgment after oral argument before the 11th Circuit in race and gender discrimination matter
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2015-2019
  • Recognized in Mid-South Super Lawyers, Employment and Labor, “Top 25 Women Lawyers in Alabama,” 2011-2015, 2017; Top 50 Women Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2018
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rating
  • Recognized in Chambers USA, “America's Leading Lawyers for Business,” Labor and Employment, 2012-2013, 2017, 2018
  • Recognized in B-Metro Magazine, "Top Women Attorneys" List, 2017, 2018
  • Recognized in B-Metro Magazine, "Top Lawyers" List, 2018
  • Recognized in Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorneys, 2016
  • Recognized in Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2016 - 2018