James C. Hetlage



James C. Hetlage is an experienced employment attorney, litigator, and municipal attorney. He represents government and private-sector employers before state and federal administrative agencies, trial courts and appellate courts. Mr. Hetlage is experienced in resolving employment discrimination claims and other labor and employment disputes in court and through mediation and arbitration. He has addressed the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for employers, and has counseled employers on proper means for avoiding discrimination and harassment claims.

Mr. Hetlage serves as the City Attorney for the Cities of Glendale and Wentzville, Missouri. In that capacity, Mr. Hetlage addresses substantially all of the legal needs of these cities, including preparation and review of ordinances and contracts, analysis of zoning and land use issues, Sunshine Law requests, and personnel matters. Mr. Hetlage also serves as special counsel for the City of Sunset Hills, Missouri, and as labor and employment counsel for the Cities of Crestwood and Festus, Missouri.

Mr. Hetlage partners with his employer and municipal clients to identify ways to avoid risk and keep his clients out of the courtroom. Mr. Hetlage provides clients with counseling and guidance on drafting and implementing ordinances, employment policies and on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), wage and hour, and discrimination compliance issues. In addition, he handles litigation involving commercial disputes including breach of contract, condemnation, construction, and real estate matters.

Jim has been selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers lists in the areas of Employment & Labor Law in multiple years, since 2009, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® each year, since 2015, for his work in Employment Law – Management. Jim is also peer rated AV Preeminent® with Martindale-Hubbell. He earned his J.D. from Washington University School of Law.

Community Service & Awards

  • Designated as a member of the Top 100 St. Louisans To Know To Succeed in Business, Small Business Monthly, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America®  Employment Law – Management, 2015 – Present
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor Law, 2009 – Present
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent®

Lectures & Legal Publications

  • Presenter, “Impacts of Legalization of Marijuana for Missouri Employers and Municipalities,” Missouri Bar CLE, January 12, 2023
  • Presenter, “Personnel Law Updates for Missouri Municipal Employers,” Missouri Municipal League Elected Officials Training, June 10, 2021
  • Presenter, “Personnel Law Updates for Missouri Municipal Employers,” Missouri Municipal League Annual Conference, September 16, 2020
  • Panelist, “Impacts of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act),” Missouri Municipal League Webinar, April 2, 2020
  • “Recent Developments in the Family and Medical Leave Act,” Leading Age Legal Issues Seminar
  • “Fair Labor Standards Act for Public School Districts,” Missouri School Boards Association Annual Conference
  • “Social Networking Websites in the Workplace; What’s Legal What’s Not,” Missouri School Boards Association Annual Conference
  • “Employment Issues Facing Missouri Educators,” Lorman Education Services
  • “Drug Testing of Private and Public Employees,” Human Resources Management Association of St. Louis
  • “Recent Developments in ADA and FMLA,” Human Resources Management Association
  • “Employment Laws for Missouri School Districts,” Missouri Association of School Business Officials Annual Conference
  • “Selecting and Terminating Employees in Missouri,” National Business Institute

Representative Clients

  • City of Wentzville, Missouri
  • City of Glendale, Missouri
  • City of Sunset Hills, Missouri
  • City of Crestwood, Missouri
  • Bi-State Development Agency of the Missouri-Illinois Metropolitan District
  • St. Louis Public Library
  • Chubb Specialty Insurance

Representative Cases

  • Spiegel v. Ferguson-Florissant School District, Case No. ED109274, May 25, 2021, E.D. Mo.
  • Clark v. St. Louis Public Schools, 2006 WL 208600, E.D. Mo.
  • Wade-Lemee v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 2005 WL 2333890, E.D. Mo.
  • Davis v. Hammonds, 103 Fed. Appx. 51, 8th Cir.
  • Darst Webbe Tenant Association Bd. v. St. Louis Housing Authority, 202 F.Supp.2d 938, E.D. Mo.
  • City of Ladue v. Rafaeli, 14 S.W.3d 258, Mo. App. E.D
  • Cross v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 223 F.3d. 867, 8th Cir.
  • Wack v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 25 S.W.3d 689, Mo. App. E.D.
  • FDIC v. Davis, 167 F.3d 1199, 8th Cir.
  • Miles v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 989 F. Supp. 1225, U.S. Dist, Ct. E.D. Mo.
  • F.S. v. Mahan, 943 S.W.2d 615, Mo. App. E.D.
  • Warren v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 200 F.Supp.2d 1053, U.S. Dist, Ct. E.D. Mo.
  • McCurdy v. St. Luke’s Episcopal-Presbyterian Hospitals, 265 S.W.3d 286, Mo. App. E.D.
  • Civil Service Commission of the City of St. Louis v. Board of Alderman of the City of St. Louis, 92 S.W.3d 785, Mo. App. E.D.
  • Reichert v. Board of Education of the City of St. Louis, 217 S.W.3d 301, Mo. Supreme Ct.

My Team

Administrative Assistant:
Lydia Strickland

Practice Areas

  • Government & Public Agencies
  • Labor & Employment
  • Litigation
  • Business & Corporate
  • Education

Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Judicial Circuit, 1993
  • United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2008
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 1990
  • United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, 2013
  • Supreme Court of Missouri, 1989
  • Supreme Court of Illinois, 1990


  • Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri
    Juris Doctor,  1989
  • Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio
    B.A., English Literature,  1986

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis

Employment History

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C.
    Member, 1996 – Present
    Associate, 1989 – 1995

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Lashly & Baer, P.C.


714 Locust Street

St. Louis, MO 63101

Map & Directions

Call: 314-621-2939

Fax: 314-621-6844


20 East Main Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Map & Directions

By Appointment Only
Call: 618-233-5587
Fax: 314-621-6844