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NJL People: Deborah R. Autrey

Deborah brings a deep variety of labor and employment experience to clients, from claims involving Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, local Earn Sick & Safe Time ordinances, discrimination and harassment, to wage-and-hour matters. She also has expertise in workplace investigations and labor relations. Deborah is adept at jumping into complex situations to unravel the pieces and communicate them in a clear and digestible manner to clients, particularly in a fast-paced environment.

Deborah’s previous experience includes time spent on the Executive Leadership team of the Saint Paul Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity Department. In that capacity, she partnered with the EEOC, HUD, Minnesota Department of Labor, and other local labor agencies to institute best practices in investigations, community relations, and to provide education to Minnesota residents and businesses on labor and human rights issues. Deborah also spent time working in Walmart’s Legal, Ethics, and Compliance department advising the business on its high-risk areas.

Deborah earned her law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she won the Best Oralist Award and served as a Rodney E. Momon Scholar and Marion W And Mary Alice Hazel Scholar. You can find Deborah oil painting, reading, and playing the cello or flute in her spare time.

Key Practice Experience

  • Employment litigation
  • Labor relations
  • Contract negotiation
  • Trials and arbitrations
  • Executive agreements and severance
  • Preventative employment counseling
  • FLSA/wage-and-hour defense
  • Workplace investigations
  • Compliance with Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and FMLA

Key Industry Experience

  • Retail
  • Higher Education
  • Restaurants and Hospitality
  • Health Care

Publications and Presentations

  • “A Spa Day for Your Brain,” With Equal Right, LXXII, no. III, April 2022
  • “Inclusive Language Matters CLE,” Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL), January 31, 2022
  • “MWL Member Spotlight: Deborah Autrey,” With Equal Right, LXX, no. III, 2020
  • “Success from the Bottom: A New Lawyer’s Perspective,” Bench & Bar Minnesota, LXXVI, 2019

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
    • Board Director
    • Diversity & Inclusion Co-Chair
    • Publications Co-Chair & Editor
  • Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers

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