Christopher E. Sandquist
Christopher Sandquist is a partner in Gislason & Hunter 's Mankato office, where his practice focuses on litigating and finding solutions for business and employment disputes, on advising clients on employment matters, and acting as general counsel for business clients.
Chris is the Chair of the firm 's Employment Law Practice Group and practices in employment law and labor law. As an employment law attorney and labor attorney, he regularly defends employers against claims of race, gender, religious, and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, overtime and minimum wage violations, immigration documentation violations, retaliation, National Labor Relation Act issues, mandatory leave time violations, workers ' compensation claims, and USERRA violations. He both defends and prosecutes claims for breach of employment contracts, non-compete agreements, trade secrets agreements, defamation, and other statutory and common law employment law claims.
Chris also provides training and guidance to his clients on employment law matters such as hiring and firing of employees, drug testing policies, I-9 compliance, prevailing wage compliance, misclassification of employees and independent contractors, Family and Medical Leave Act compliance, OSHA compliance, workers ' compensation issues, and Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations. Chris also provides guidance for unionized and non-unionized employers with regard to relevant state and federal labor laws. Chris provides internal audits to employers who want to get a “status check” on where they are at, helping to identify and prioritize human resource challenges requiring change. He also provides on-the-ground guidance during and after government enforcement visits and audits.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) is a challenge to employers of all sizes. Chris understands this act and provides guidance to his clients concerning the provisions relevant to businesses in order for them to make informed decisions regarding their benefit packages offered to their workforce and the consequences of those choices.
As a civil litigation attorney, Chris regularly handles complex individual, business and land owner disputes including:
- Commercial property and contract disputes;
- Agricultural and Agribusiness property and contract disputes;
- Shareholder, member, officer, director, and partner disputes;
- Dissolution of businesses including closely held corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies;
- Partitions, dissolutions and other actions involving farms and other agricultural businesses;
- Real estate disputes including those involving adjacent land owners, access, zoning and riparian rights;
- Contract litigation including commercial leases and sales of businesses;
- Construction disputes including mechanics liens and unpaid construction contracts;
- Business tort claims including protection of trade secrets, tortious interferences with contractual relations, and breach of fiduciary duties;
As general counsel for businesses, Chris acts as an advisor on general business matters which come with corporate law and other issues attached. He provides guidance to avoid general pitfalls as well as employment law traps, and when there is a need for specialized legal services by one of his partners practicing in other legal areas, Chris acts as the conduit to connect his clients to the needed attorney at Gislason & Hunter. He also provides business reviews/audits for new or existing clients, identifying the status of their business ' interaction with the legal system (e.g. business contracts and leases, corporate ownership and succession planning, protecting intellectual property and trade secrets, document retention, risk management, and lending relationships) and working with his clients and any needed specialists to limit or eliminate any identified deficiencies.
Areas of Practice
- Corporate and Business Law
- Employment & Labor Law
- Workers Compensation
- Civil Litigation
- Zoning & Land Use
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- J.D. cum laude - May, 1997
- Creighton University
- B.S. summa cum laude - 1994
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Sixth District Bar Association
- Iowa State Bar Association
- Board of Directors, Educare Foundation
- Board of Directors, North Mankato Youth Football
- Board Member, Mankato Basketball Association
- Member, Society of Human Resource Professionals
- Gym Coordinator, Mankato Basketball Association
- Graduate of Greater Mankato Growth Leadership Program
- Member, Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Richard J. Menke and Hon. Thomas R. Howe, Scott County District Court, Law Clerk