Kianna Chennault has helped over 100 businesses in business formation, contract drafting and negotiation, and legal representation. Through her firm’s business litigation services, she has nurtured clients’ success in raising over 110k in less than six months due to writing the formation of their investment documents and connecting her clients with investors and other legal business regulations. This kind of work yielded her firm’s credibility as she is exceptional at building business contracts that produce favorable outcomes.

Can you tell us who is Kianna Chennault, and what was the driving force that inspired you to become an attorney?

I am a business and civil rights attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. I became interested in criminal “justice” while attending Howard University, where I double majored in psychology and criminal justice. After completing my Master of Public Administration, I knew I wanted to do more with policy development and reformation in the criminal system.

The murder of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of George Zimmerman were huge driving forces behind my decision to attend law school. I watched the entire trial from start to finish. I was flabbergasted that the “stand your ground” law was a successful defense for shooting an unharmed child. It was then that I understood that our laws have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day interactions and their subsequent consequences.

With so many areas within the legal field, what lead you to become a Civil Rights Attorney?

After learning about the “stand your ground” law during the George Zimmerman trial, I became passionate about equal justice for black and brown people, who are traditionally marginalized by the major systems governing our country. Also, my experience working as a prosecutor further solidified my commitment to civil rights because, in addition to observing racial impacts, I also observed how politics and money also impacted someone’s matriculation through the criminal system, either as a victim or a defendant.

What are three practices one should implement in their workplace to discourage employee discrimination?

Employers should first ensure they are aware of their requirements regarding workplace discrimination. Employers should make themselves familiar with laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers should engage with the proper legal counsel so that they are taking a proactive, not reactive, approach. Employers should also ensure they have an adequate investigation process for complaints of discrimination has been made. Lastly, employers should ensure that all performance/behavioral issues are documented so that the appearance of impropriety is decreased. 

Can you provide us with a few tips someone can do if they feel or are being discriminated against at work?

Someone who feels they are being discriminated against should first contact their manager as well as Human Resources. He/she should be explicit about his/her concerns, using keywords such as discrimination, and harassment based on a special class. Lastly, the person should consider filing a charge with their local EEOC office. Contacting an EEOC office is imperative because there are statutory deadlines for filing a charge depending on when the discriminatory action occurred. Filing an EEOC charge and receiving a right-to-sue letter are also both precursors to filing an employment discrimination lawsuit. Many attorneys will take an employment law case on contingency, meaning the client does not pay until the case is resolved with a financial award. Therefore, an employee should pursue their rights with the EEOC when applicable.

What are some essential business contracts that are needed to run a successful business legally?

There are several contracts I recommend to business owners. First, business owners should ensure they have an operating agreement, which is an internal document about how the business will be run. Next, business owners need insurance policies, which protect their businesses from having to pay for accidents or other liabilities. Business owners should also protect their intellectual property through non-disclosure agreements. These are contracts that forbid the agreeing party from disclosing an owner’s intellectual property or other confidential information. These contracts are essential to preventing another party from stealing an owner’s ideas. They also help to keep personal matters private, especially in romantic relationships. Lastly, business owners should engage in business relationships through the legally enforceable client, contractor, employee, and partnership agreements. In “at-will” employment states, an owner should not use an employment contract, however, an employment “offer letter” should be used to explain the position, as well as the rights and responsibilities of the role.

 What would you like our views to gain from this interview? 

I would like viewers to feel empowered both as business owners and as individuals. As business owners, I want viewers to be equipped with legal knowledge to protect and sustain their businesses. I believe entrepreneurship is the key to closing the wealth gap between White and Black/Brown people. Therefore, in my opinion, entrepreneurship (on some level) is for everyone. As individuals, I would like viewers to know that there are attorneys, like myself, who care about how their rights are treated by government actors. I want viewers to know that it’s important to hold government actors responsible for misconduct, whether that be achieved through a complaint, a campaign, or a lawsuit.

 How can people connect with you? 

People can connect to me Via my website, I am also on Facebook as Kianna Chennault, and on Instagram as Attorney Kianna. Every year I have courses and boot camps available for business owners who are looking for personal and legal development.