Labor and Employment

Nilan Johnson Lewis represents employers of all sizes, from small companies to Fortune 500 corporations. We appreciate the importance of understanding not merely the substantive law, but the business needs of our clients. We know there are times when what is the standard legal answer touches on sensitive business relationships or conflicts with business objectives. Our goal is to solve problems, not create them.

We offer the depth necessary to obtain the results our clients expect while providing the appropriate level of expertise to ensure that our clients receive efficient and cost-effective representation.

The members of our labor and employment group have a long history of successful representation of major employers in employment, labor, and employee benefits litigation and administrative agency cases. Our attorneys have won state and federal jury and court trials, numerous cases at summary judgment or on motions to dismiss, and appeals before various federal and state courts. These successful results include ground-breaking cases that broadened defenses against Department of Labor wage and hour class actions, created new defenses against age discrimination class action suits, invalidated Department of Labor Family and Medical Leave Act regulations, and limited employer exposure to whistleblower claims. We have won significant summary judgment orders against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the United States Department of Labor.

  • Practice Area Members

612.305.7732

Katie M. Connolly

Katie M. Connolly

Shareholder and Chair, Labor and Employment

612.305.7546

Jen Cornell

Jen Cornell

Shareholder

612.305.7717

Zachary J. Crain

Zachary J. Crain

Special Counsel

612.305.7725

Matthew E. Damon

Matthew E. Damon

Shareholder

612.305.7580

Mark J. Girouard

Mark J. Girouard

Shareholder

612.305.7579

612.305.7690

612.305.7741

Veena A. Iyer

Veena A. Iyer

Shareholder

612.305.7695

David A. James

David A. James

Shareholder

612.305.7573

612.305.7547

Donald M. Lewis

Donald M. Lewis

Shareholder

612.305.7518

612.305.7727

Pablo Orozco

Pablo Orozco

Associate

612.305.7729

612.305.7726

612.305.7662

Melissa K. Rasmussen

Melissa K. Rasmussen

Staff Attorney

612.305.7519

Sarah B. Riskin

Sarah B. Riskin

Associate

612.305.7713

Jeremy D. Robb

Jeremy D. Robb

Associate

612.305.7716

Lisa M. Schmid

Lisa M. Schmid

Special Counsel

612.305.7549

Joseph G. Schmitt

Joseph G. Schmitt

Shareholder

612.305.7577

612.305.7738

612.305.7521

612.305.7539

  • Representative Matters

Nebraska Wage-and-Hour

Represented one of the world’s largest package delivery companies against a terminated driver who sued in state court under Nebraska’s Wage Payment and Collection Act for unpaid holidays and vacation. We removed the case to federal court on federal question grounds, asserting Section 301 preemption because the holiday and vacation pay claims arose from a collective bargaining agreement. Plaintiff’s motion for remand was denied on preemption grounds, and he voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.

Arbitrations

Over the past five years, our labor and employment team has served as lead counsel in defending a Fortune 10 health care company before the American Arbitration Association and in federal court, in cases involving disability discrimination, retaliation, religious discrimination, defamation and whistleblower claims. Our team achieved summary judgment in both federal court and before the AAA on multiple occasions and successfully tried numerous arbitrations to conclusion.

Discrimination Defense

Our labor and employment team had the distinction of representing a national retail industry association in its role as amicus curiae in a landmark case before 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The case involves the question of whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act authorizes disparate impact claims by job applicants, and not just employees. The case, which is still pending, was reheard en banc in June 2016.

ADA Discrimination Lawsuit

Represented one of the world's largest package delivery companies in an ADA discrimination lawsuit against a terminated account executive who sued, alleging failure to reasonably accommodate and disability discrimination under the ADA. Summary judgment in client's favor was granted on all but one claim involving the client's alleged failure to offer a particular open position. This remaining claim was settled for a nominal amount, while our renewed motion for summary judgment was pending.
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