Danielle Barnes
Tennessee Department of Human Resources
505 Deaderick St, J.K. Polk Bldg. 1st Floor
Nashville, TN 37243
Work Phone: (615)253-8967
Fax Phone: (615)741-7880
Place holder for Google map
Danielle Whitworth Barnes serves as the Assistant Commissioner & General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Human Resources. In her capacity, she oversees all legal issues within the Department, offering counsel and advice to her agency, other state agencies and individuals on employment law matters. In addition, all matters dealing with departmental legislative affairs and employee relations, as well as the review of certain statewide employee transactions fall under her review. The Board of Appeals and its responsibilities fall under the administration of Ms. Barnes. Further in her capacity, she oversees the administration of state government’s Performance Management and Evaluation Program, which was recently overhauled to focus on objective performance outcomes. Along with that program, Ms. Barnes is charged with the design and implementation of pay for performance in State government.

Ms. Barnes has experience in various matters pertaining to Title VII, the ADEA, ADA, FLMA, FLSA, THRA, and other state and federal employment laws. She has experience in all types of employment matters and has counseled clients regarding discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour issues, and affirmative action. She initially joined the Department of Human Resources in October 2007 as the Assistant General Counsel, Director of Equal Employment Opportunities Division and Legislative Director.

Prior to joining the Department, she served as the Legislative Coordinator and Assistant General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Her responsibilities in that role included representing the Department before the Tennessee General Assembly. She also served as legal counsel to the Department in various matters, including matters before the EEOC and THRC, general employment law consultation, contract disputes, and administrative hearings. Ms. Barnes also worked for a private law firm in Nashville and Memphis, practicing in the areas of employment law, insurance defense, general civil litigation, contract matters and government relations.

Ms. Barnes holds certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SHPR) and International Public Management Association Certified Professional International Public Management Association Certified Professional Human Resources Specialist (IPMA-CP). In addition, she is a Rule 31 Listed Mediator.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and her law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She is a graduate of Tennessee Government Management Institute, LEAD Tennessee, Leadership Nashville and Tennessee Bar Association Leadership Law.


Additional Information

TBA Membership Status: Member : 2014 - 2015
Legal Education: Tennessee College of Law
Year Licensed: 2000
Year Licensed in Tennessee: 2000
Section Membership(s): Leadership Law Alumni, Labor and Employment Law Section, YLD Fellows, Leadership Law Class of 2013, TBA Members
Practice Areas/Areas of Interest: Government, Labor & Employment Law