Gislason & Hunter Labor and Employment Practice Group provides employment and Human Resources consulting services to employers to help them establish policies, respond appropriately to complaints and comply with state and federal laws. We also counsel clients on how to handle specific terminations, disciplinary actions, layoffs, restrictive covenants and other employment matters without triggering lawsuits or investigations.
A swift and confidential resolution is often the best for all involved. We can advise clients on the merits and risks of settling verses defending the case. If we are unable to resolve employment disputes through administrative channels or out-of-court negotiations, our trial lawyers will vigorously defend the company and its officers in MDHR or EEOC proceedings or in state or federal court.
Areas of Expertise
- Affirmative Action & Labor Standards
- Corporate Transactions
- Disability & Accommodation
- Employment Agreements, Policies & Handbooks
- ERISA & Employee Benefits
- Labor Relations
- Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition
- Training, Investigations & Compliance
- Workplace Health & Safety
Our accomplished attorneys bring substantial expertise to Labor & Employment to deliver the very best in service and results.
Cases & Clients
A caretaker of apartment buildings for a property management company in Duluth sustained a severe injury to his low back while shoveling snow. He filed a workers’ compensation claim, asserting he was permanently, totally disabled. Months after the work injury, the employee fell off the stairs of a friend’s deck that did not have a handrail, worsening his low back condition. The compensation judge ruled that the Employee’s fall from the stairs did not result from his leg giving out due to the work injury, and thus he was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. In so doing, the judge adopted the testimony of our medical expert over that of the employee’s medical expert. The ruling was affirmed on appeal by the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.
Employment Handbooks and Policies
Cory Genelin draws on his experience as a combat leader to draw up plans and policies designed to help an organization operate effectively and accomplish the mission while staying within the bounds of the law. Cory has drafted custom employment handbooks and employment policies for employers of all sizes including nursing home chains, group homes, hospitals, manufacturers, publishers, and agricultural producers.
Presents on Employment Law Developments
Brittany King-Asamoa routinely monitors employment law developments and trends to keep employers apprised of compliance issues. She frequently presents and writes articles about employment law matters including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, #MeToo, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and other laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Department of Labor.
Claim for workers’ compensation benefits
An employee of a vending company injured her low back while pulling a heavy cart filled with products. She briefly treated and returned to work, telling the insurance adjuster handling the workers’ compensation claim that she was fine. The employee later retained counsel, started treating again with a neurologist, and filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The deposition of the adjuster was taken, and both sides deposed medical experts. The compensation judge denied the claim in its entirety, adopting the opinions of our medical expert over the opinions of the treating neurologist. In her decision, the compensation judge relied on testimony unfavorable to the employee given by her treating neurologist on my cross examination. The employee did not appeal the decision.
Motion for Summary Judgment
In a lawsuit alleging violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act against a banking institution, we filed a Motion for Summary Judgment seeking dismissal of the case. Supporting that motion in part was evidence that plaintiff was trying to start her own business on company time. Rather than opposing the motion, plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit with prejudice.
Pomeroy v. Turkle-Clark Environmental Consulting, L.C., et. al.
Pomeroy v. Turkle-Clark Environmental Consulting, L.C., et. al.; Iowa Court of Appeals Case No. 09-0560 David Nelmark served as lead counsel and secured a summary judgment ruling dismissing all of the plaintiff’s claims, which included wrongful termination, defamation, and tortious interference. Successfully defended the ruling on appeal. 2010 WL 625015 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 24, 2010).
Employment Administrative Proceedings
Brittany King-Asamoa is experienced with the administrative proceedings involving an employment charge filed with the EEOC and Minnesota Department of Human Rights. She has assisted in the defending against charges and represented employers in EEOC conciliation proceedings, as well as respond to requests for information during EEOC investigations.
Brittany King-Asamoa has valued experience performing workplace investigations regarding reports of discrimination, sexual harassment, and general non-compliance with employment laws. She takes great pride in performing these investigations with an eye toward counseling employers and management about compliance issues, as well assisting employers in identifying problem areas and solutions.
Keeping Small Things Small
While court victories are interesting, most clients prefer solutions that don’t involve court. Cory Genelin’s practice includes serving as corporate counsel for many businesses in Southern Minnesota. Cory aims to keep small problems small. Most of Cory’s employment files are small matters that Cory keeps small—a business owner or manager has a tough decision to make; Cory is brought in; the issue is dealt with; and business carries on. These include wrongful termination allegations, sexual harassment allegations, claims under the Minnesota Veterans Preference Act, non-compete enforcement and avoiding non-compete violations, unemployment claims, Worker’s Compensation fraud and wage and hour claims.
Performs Audits for Exempt and Non-Exempt Employment Status Identification
Proper identification of an employee’s entitlement to overtime pay or exemption from overtime laws is vital for employers. The ramifications for erroneously identifying an employee as exempt from overtime can be disastrous. Brittany King-Asamoa has performed position audits for multiple companies to assist employers with finding the proper identification of individuals exempt from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employment Policies, Agreements and Employee Handbooks
Experienced and passionate about assisting employers and their human resources professionals craft employment policies designed to comply with the law as well as practically address and minimize workplace issues. Brittany King-Asamoa also has experience drafting agreements that best fit the needs of employers including, but not limited to, non-competes, independent contractor, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and assignments of intellectual property rights.
Appealing Awards of Unemployment Compensation
Brittany King-Asamoa has successfully represented numerous employers in evidentiary hearings challenging eligibility determinations for unemployment compensation.
Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreement
Jennifer Lurken successfully tried a non-compete agreement case to a Judge to enforce a non-compete agreement. The employee claimed, the non-compete agreement was invalid and unenforceable. The employee also claimed to the extent the non-compete agreement was enforceable, he had not violated the non-compete agreement. The Court ruled the agreement was enforceable and that the employee had violated the agreement. The parties quickly settled the issue of damages after trial. Jennifer has appeared in numerous employment matters addressing non-compete agreements, discrimination and termination issues.
- Social Media in the Workplace: Link In Your Employees
- When the Big Bad Wolf is at the Door
- Upcoming Notice Periods Impacting Overtime Pay
- Hiring Minors for Employment
- Responding to Workplace Injuries: OSHA
- Anti-Gossip Policies
- Unauthorized Payroll Deductions Don’t Pay
- $15/Hr Minimum Wage Coming to Minneapolis
- The Veterans Preference Act
- What is a “Bonding Year” For the Minnesota Legislature?
- NLRB’s Recent Decision on Employer-Mandated Arbitration
- Employing Members of the Minnesota National Guard
- EEOC’s First Direct Challenge to an Employer Wellness Program
- Burwell V. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
- Wisconsin Legislature Adopts Social Media Law
- DSM V and it’s Impact on the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Should Your Company Consider Arbitration Agreements?
- Exit Interviews
- Use of Criminal Record in Hiring Decisions
- The Pitfalls of Retaliation: Jimmy John’s vs. International Workers of the World