Jonathan (Jon) Mayes is chair of the Education Law Group and a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Group, representing public and private entities in labor and employment issues and litigation.

Jon advises clients on a wide array of matters including employment and labor-related issues, tort claims, and contract claims. Prior to joining the firm, Jon served the City of Indianapolis as the deputy director and special counsel for the Department of Public Safety and as the chief litigation counsel to the City of Indianapolis. Before joining the City of Indianapolis, Jon served as corporation counsel for the City of Kokomo, Indiana, following his private practice at another Indianapolis law firm.

Jon has represented clients at both the trial level in state and federal courts and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Indiana Supreme Court, and Indiana Court of Appeals. Jon has also represented clients in dozens of matters before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s tax and unemployment divisions, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Compliance and Contract Programs (OFCCP), and the Indiana Education Employees Relations Board.

Jon is admitted to practice law in the state of Indiana. He is admitted before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Federal Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana.


Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law – Indianapolis (J.D., Dean’s List, 2005)
Indiana University Kelley School of Business (B.S. in finance and accounting, cum laude, 2002)

Honors / Awards

AV® Peer Review rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Indiana Rising Star (Indiana Super Lawyers, 2014-2019), Up and Coming Lawyer (Indiana Lawyer, 2010), Dean’s List, Indiana International and Comparative Law Review, Order of the Barristers (Finalist), Cale J. Holder Distinguished Scholarship, Francis J. Feeney, Jr. Tax Award, James Lawrence Miller Scholarship

Representative Matters

  • Defended school corporation in district-wide compliance review by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights alleging disparate impact and disparate treatment with respect to race in student discipline
  • Successfully represented former chief executive officer in high-profile two week jury trial and subsequent post-trial judgment proceedings under ERISA where the CEO’s previous employer, a publicly-traded company taken private by a private equity firm, sought damages of over $7 million under fraud, contract and ERISA claims and unsuccessfully sought to avoid executive compensation agreement obligations
  • Represented chief executive officer, chairman emeritus, and majority shareholder in claims brought by U.S. Department of Labor alleging breach of fiduciary duty and improper valuation of stock in relation to Employee Stock Ownership Program
  • Successfully represented an Indiana trial court at jury trial of Title VII gender discrimination claims in U.S. District Court
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissal of all claims against public sector client under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and secured favorable jury verdict in negligence claims in the U.S. District Court
  • Successfully defended summary judgment dismissal before the U.S. Court of Appeals on unique “gender-plus” discrimination claims
  • Lead counsel in negotiating global settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice in dissolving a client’s thirty year consent decree arising from 1978 gender and race discrimination claims, resolving the United States’ high-profile and public reverse discrimination claims, and litigating multiple private plaintiffs’ individual claims under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1983
  • Obtained dismissal in U.S. District Court at the pleading stage of disparate impact, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Indiana Constitutional, and certain disparate treatment claims by dozens of current employees for large employer and successfully opposed two attempts by plaintiffs to temporary restrain and preliminarily enjoin employment practices in high-profile case. The Seventh Circuit subsequently affirmed the dismissals on appeal.
  • Lead counsel before the Indiana Supreme Court vacating Indiana Court of Appeals decision involving employee defamation claims prohibited by the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine
  • Successfully represented municipal client in defending complex constitutional challenges to taxing of sewer and wastewater services through Indiana courts that was affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, Armour v. City of Indianapolis, 566 U.S. 673  (2012), negating class-action claims venued in U.S. District Court
  • Defeated Fed. R. Civ.P. 23(b)(2) class certification in civil rights case before the U.S. District Court and obtained denial of Fed. R. Civ.P. 23(f) review by the U.S. Court of Appeals
  • Obtained dismissal of dozens of claims in U.S. District Court at the pleading and summary judgment stages, including claims under the ADA, ADEA, Title VII, retaliation claims, claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
  • Represented client in lawsuit by competitor alleging breach of employee non-compete agreements and extracted favorable settlement terms after filing counterclaims and a cross-motion for preliminary injunction
  • Negotiated dozens of favorable settlements of claims in litigated matters
  • Represented schools at the bargaining table in negotiations with teachers unions, including mediation of collective bargaining proposals
  • Prosecuted numerous teacher cancellation cases
  • Advised numerous clients on OFCCP compliance issues and represented clients in OFCCP audits and compliance reviews

Appearances / Publications

“COVID-19 Webinar: Emergency Paid Leave and Other HR Questions,” Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (Aim), April 1, 2020

“Maneuvering Leave and Payroll Issues,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Seminar, 2019

“How to Help Avoid Fraud, Corruption, and Embezzlement Issues in Schools,” 70th Annual Indiana School Boards Association and Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents Annual Fall Conference, 2019

“Job Descriptions,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Seminar, 2018

“Business Ethics and Fraud Prevention,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Seminar, 2018

“Sailing the Seas of Disability Law,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Annual Meeting

“ADA Leave Roundtable,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Annual Meeting

Moderator, “Driving Engagement for a Multi-Generational Workforce,” Indiana Bankers Association Mega Conference

“FMLA/WC/ADA,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Seminar, 2017

“Practical Solutions to Stay Compliant with DOL Rules & Regulations” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Seminar, 2016

“Legal Hot Topics in School HR,” American Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2016

“Six Topics to Watch in 2015: Updates to Federal Regulations Regarding Employees,” Indiana School Board Association School Law Seminar

“Hiring Under the New Compensation Model,” Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Seminar

“Special Topics of Interest to Bankers,” Indiana Bankers Association

“The ABCs of HR Compliance: What they are, what has changed, and what is on the horizon!,” Indiana Bankers Association

“Give your questions about leave a rest! Everything you need to know about medical, disability and worker’s comp leave,” Indiana Municipal Personnel Administrators for Cities and Towns Annual Conference

“Fundamentals of Human Resources,” Indiana Public Library Association Annual Conference

“Essentials of a Good Employee Manual,” Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference

Indiana University Kelley School of Business, guest lecturer

“The ADA: Where are we now?”, Indiana Continuing Legal Education Foundation

“Americans with Disabilities Act Update,” Indiana Continuing Legal Education Foundation

Mr. Mayes’ article,“The Right to Trial by Jury in Environmental Cost-Recovery and Contribution Actions: United States v. England,” 10 Alb. L. Envtl. Outlook J. 71 (2005), has been cited by several scholars and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. See Chang Liu, “U.S. v. Glatfelter and NCR Co. v. George A. Whiting Paper Co.: Seventh Circuit’s Latest Interpretation of CERCLA Liabilities,” Environmental Claims Journal, 27:3, 175, 191 (2015); Kristin D. Clardy, “Judicial Confusion and Inconsistency in Handling Juror Misconduct: A New Proposal,” 17 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 895, 896 n.11 (2009); State v. Schwada, 736 N.W.2d 49, 75 n.34 (Wis. 2007); Deborah W. Denno, “The Mental State Across Eight Centuries of English Law: 1235-2005,” paper presented at the Law Department, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, p. 6 n.14 (2006); Justice Scott Brister, “The Decline in Jury Trials: What Would Wal-Mart Do?” 47 S. Tex. L. Rev. 191, 192 n.12 (2005).

Appointments / Memberships

Indiana Association of School Business Officials Human Resources Committee; Indiana State Employees’ Appeals Commission (vice chairman); United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana (Local Rules Committee member); Marion County Local Rules Committee (past member); Seventh Circuit Bar Association (Young Lawyer’s Division E-mentoring Project); Federal Bar Association, Federal District for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana