Thomas E. Strelka
Tommy is a nationally renowned employment and civil rights attorney. Tommy's practice focuses on employment-related claims originating from age discrimination, race discrimination, discrimination based upon an employee's disability, unpaid wages and overtime compensation, sexual harassment and other civil rights related matters including whistle blower claims.
Tommy has also effectively litigated numerous high-profile First Amendment / Freedom of Speech cases. Read about his notable cases.
Over the past decade, no other attorney has filed as many lawsuits throughout the state or federal courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia on the subject matters of discrimination or retaliation. Tommy has resolved cases including multi-million dollar settlements and he has won multi-million dollar jury verdicts.
Tommy has successfully litigated employment and civil rights matters in the following industries:
- Banking and Credit Unions
- Universities and Colleges
- Defense Contracting
- Utilities including Electrical, Gas, and Water Companies/Authorities/Co-ops
- Local Government
- State Government
- Software Design
- Automotive Manufacturing
- Automotive Sales
- Public and Private Education
- Retail including Consumer Goods and Grocery
- Commercial and Personal Real Estate
- Law Enforcement
- Restaurants including Chains and Family-Owned
- Large and Small-Scale Production Facilities
- Artificial Intelligence Design and Engineering
- Media Broadcasting
- Print Media
- International Shipping
- Coal and Natural Gas
- Matters with Virginia’s Licensing Boards including the Board of Health Professions
- Trucking and Train Transportation
- Private Security
- Pharmaceutical Sales
- Medical Device Sales
A native of Roanoke County, Virginia, Tommy Strelka received his undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, before receiving his law degree from the University of Richmond School of Law. After graduating law school, Tommy served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable James C. Turk in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Upon finishing his federal trial clerkship, Tommy completed a state appellate clerkship for the Honorable Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr., in the Supreme Court of Virginia.
AT A GLANCE . . .
- Strelka Employment Law named First-Tier Best Law Firms in Virginia, Employment Law, in U.S. News & World Reports.
- Most prolific civil rights attorney in Virginia; has generated more federal civil opinions in WDVA than any other trial attorney in prior 10 years.
- Awarded largest retaliation jury verdict in Virginia. Awarded largest tortious interference jury verdict in Virginia.
- Awarded the 2022 Pro Bono Champion Award by the Virginia State Bar for massive annual pro bono contributions.
- Has argued numerous notable 1st Amendment matters including winning a rare 1st Amendment retaliation jury trial in the United States District Court, Western District of Virginia, in 2021.
- Largest filer in Virginia of cases arising under: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, USERRA, § 1983 (1st Amendment and Constitutional claims), and Virginia’s whistle blower statutes.
- Clerked for the Honorable James C. Turk in the U.S. District Court, WDVA.
- Clerked for the Honorable Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr., in the Supreme Court of Virginia.
- Frequent commenter in print and video media on the subject of civil rights. Hosts a YouTube Channel explaining civil rights at the workplace alongside several lively puppets including Sean the Severance Squirrel and the Hon. Judge Cephus B. Moomaw. Tommy Talk may be viewed HERE.
- Regularly listed in Super Lawyers Magazine since 2012 in the field of employment litigation for employees.
- Regularly listed in Virginia Business Magazine since 2014 among the Legal Elite in employment law.
- Frequently lectures on ethics in the law and particularly, ethics as applied to civil rights law.
- Presented numerous CLEs at State Bar events, at the Virginia Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Conference, and private engagements.
- Provided the lead presentation on employment law for the Virginia Bar Association Employment Law Conference in 2018, 2019, and 2020.
- Lifetime member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
- Awarded Young Lawyer of the Year by the Roanoke Bar Association in 2012 for “dedicated service to the Roanoke Bar Association, to the community, and to the legal profession.”
- Member of the National Employment Law Association.
- Frequently appears on television, radio and online media to discuss the topics of employment law, federal litigation and civil rights. Mr. Strelka has been interviewed by The Huffing Post, and affiliates for Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and National Public Radio.
- Practices law with Polly and Marge, emotional support office dogs. The dogs appear at almost every mediation and deposition.
- University of Mary Washington, B.A.
- University of Richmond School of Law, J.D.
Bar and Court Admissions
- Virginia Bar (includes all Virginia state courts)
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
- The Supreme Court of the United States
Tommy’s hobbies include petting his floofy dog and writing fictional legal thrillers. Read more about his free ebook, Legally Wasted.