Viewed as one of the preeminent Iowa law firms in Employment & Labor Law, our firm takes pride in protecting Iowa’s employers. Our attorneys are always prepared to respond to the constantly expanding array of complex legal issues that surround the employer-employee relationship. We advise clients with respect to preventive law as well as provide experienced representation on matters in litigation. Our clients rely on us to be their strategic partners by knowing their industry and how it may be impacted by ever-changing laws and regulations.
The group’s attorneys, with an unsurpassed longevity and breadth of experience, represent a range of employers, including:
- K-12 Education
- Higher Education – community colleges, colleges, universities
- Municipalities – cities, counties, public utilities
- Small-to-mid-sized businesses
- National corporations
Helping clients build the foundation for a productive and healthy workforce, our attorneys continually look for ways our clients can avoid employment liability using practical, cost-conscious approaches. We assist clients in identifying and avoiding troublesome issues before they give rise to litigation by recommending unique and proactive solutions based on common sense and an up-to-date understanding of court decisions. We counsel clients regarding the management of problematic situations as they develop, from the time of onset through resolution.
The group’s lawyers routinely assist clients in the full spectrum of employment issues, including FMLA, ADEA, OWBPA, ADA, Title VII, Iowa Civil Rights Act, ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, FLSA, Wage Payment Laws and employment contracts.
If litigation is initiated, attorneys specializing in employment and labor litigation are prepared to vigorously pursue the client’s interests with unsurpassed substantive knowledge, years of litigation experience, unquestioned professionalism, and a genuine sensitivity to the financial and emotional costs associated with litigation.
We have represented clients in cases before the:
- Iowa Civil Rights Commission
- EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
- Des Moines Human Rights Commission & other local commissions
- Unemployment Appeals Board
- Board of Educational Examiners
- National Labor Relations Board
- Iowa Public Employment Relations Board
- Department of Labor
- and others
- Review and develop clients’ handbooks, policies, and forms used in the hiring, disciplinary, and termination processes to ensure compliance with the ever-increasing requirements of the law.
- Regularly assists clients in managing the particularly troublesome issues that arise in the context of workers with health problems. We are experienced in assisting clients in maneuvering through the complex interrelationship between and among such legal considerations as the ADA, FMLA, benefits, sick leave, attendance and leave of absence policies, short-term disability, long-term disability, and workers’ compensation.
- Defended hundreds of civil rights complaints before the EEOC, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and local civil rights commissions and regularly obtained administrative closures or findings of no probable cause. When an adverse decision is rendered by the Commission, we have experience obtaining review and reversal through the lengthy and laborious judicial review process. See, e.g., Casey’s General Stores, Inc. v. Blackford, 661 N.W.2d 515 (Iowa 2003).
- Successfully defended a large community college and several members of its executive staff against a lawsuit by a current executive who unsuccessfully sought the president’s position at the college. The lawsuit included various claims sounding in race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation and involved hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential damages. Our firm won summary judgment on all claims and successfully defended the judgment on appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. See Gilbert v. Des Moines Area Community College, 495 F.3d 906 (8th Cir. 2007).
- Defended a locally headquartered, multistate employer in two collective/class action lawsuits pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The lawsuits involved claims for unpaid wages, expenses, and missed breaks from over 85,000 employees in nine different states under the Fair Labor Standards Act and various state laws. After successfully convincing the Court, on behalf of the employer, that the employer should be allowed to seek discovery from dozens of putative class members, plaintiffs agreed to mediation during which the parties reached a global settlement of the multistate class claims.