On September 14, 2018, TKKR Employment Attorney Phillip Kitzer spoke on a panel sponsored by the Labor & Employment Section of the FBA at the Federal Bar Association’s National Conference in New York City. The panel, titled “#MeToo: Implementation and Administration of an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy,” discussed various legal issues arising out of the #MeToo movement, including addressing complaints in the workplace, effective training of employees and management, responding to EEOC charges, and recent tax law changes involving settlements of claims involving sexual harassment and abuse. The panel was moderated by Donna Currault of Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett LLC in New Orleans, LA, and included the Hon. Lisa M. Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, and Mary A. Smith, Principal at Jackson Lewis, P.C.
On August 3, 2018, TKKR partner Phillip Kitzer presented at a half-day advanced labor and employment law seminar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mr. Kitzer presented on the changing law related to LGBT discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The presentation covered the history of “sex discrimination” since the bill’s passage, reviewed seminal cases such as Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, and discussed recent watershed cases such as Hively v. Ivy Tech. Commt. College of Indiana and Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. In Hively, the 7th Circuit (en banc) found that sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination, and therefore prohibited under Title VII. In Zarda, the 2nd Circuit (en banc) held the same.
The seminar was co-hosted by the Puerto Rico Chapter and the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Federal Bar Association. Mr. Kitzer currently serves as a board member for the Labor and Employment Law Section.
On July 24, 2018, TKKR attorneys Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel presented a webcast sponsored by Minnesota CLE as part of the Workers’ Compensation series. The webcast, titled The Intersection of Disability, FMLA and Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Laws, addressed the complicated employment issues that arise for employers and employees when dealing with a work-related injury, disabilities, and need for FMLA-protected leave of absences. The presentation focused on various theories of liability under each of the statutes, including new theories that have developed in the past several years.
Phillip and Brian are both experienced litigators and have each represented hundreds of employees throughout their careers. If you have questions about your rights under disability laws or have questions about workers’ compensation retaliation or the FMLA, contact our office for a consultation today.
On April 27, 2018, Phillip Kitzer joined co-panelists Judge Jeffrey Keyes and Judge Hildy Bowbeeron a panel titled “Representing Clients in Mediation” at the Minnesota chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) 44th Annual Federal Practice Seminar. Moderated by Antone Melton-Meaux, the panel discussed various techniques and considerations in mediating cases and representing clients in mediation.
The Federal Practice Seminar is an annual event hosted by the Minnesota chapter of the Federal Bar Association and features wide-ranging topics for legal practitioners.
On April 6, 2018, Phillip Kitzer participated on a panel at the 8th Circuit chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association’s (NELA) biennial convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota on transgender rights in the workplace. Along with co-panelists Joni Thome, Ferne Wolf, and moderator Jill Silverstein, the panel discussed trends in the law, litigation strategies, and best practices to identify issues and protect the rights of transgender clients. The Eighth Circuit NELA Conference is a two-day conference designed for attorneys and professionals who represent employees and features presentations by leading plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Eighth Circuit.
Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel’s attorneys regularly represent employees in employment disputes. If you have questions about employment law, or would like to learn more about your rights in the workplace, contact us today.
On December 22, 2017, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel finalized a settlement agreement in Stewart, et al. v. The City of Minneapolis, an employment discrimination class action lawsuit. The agreement included significant policy changes that benefit City of Minneapolis employees who are or become disabled.
Laurence Stewart, the named plaintiff, is a former employee of Minneapolis in its Public Works Department. Stewart sought classwide relief for himself and all other similar employees. The Complaint alleged that the City’s return to work policy violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) because it failed to provide reasonable accommodation for disabled workers.
The settlement agreement provides that the City will now conduct multiple assessments for reasonable accommodations for all employees who are eligible for its Return to Work Job Bank.
A full press release with details of the policy changes and copy of the Amended Complaint are available here:
Here is a previous post regarding the Stewart v. City of Minneapolis litigation.
Mr. Stewart is represented by Brian Rochel and Marisa Katz of Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP. Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is an employment and class action law firm representing employees in Minnesota and across the country.
For more information, or if you have questions about this lawsuit, contact Brian Rochel at (612) 746-1558 or at email@example.com.
Teske, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP is excited to announce that Vildan Teske has been elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). This prestigious distinction is limited to only one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Fellows are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.
Established in 1955, the American Bar Foundation Fellows “is a global honorary society of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the highest principles of the legal profession and to the welfare of their communities.” For more information about the ABF, click here.
Last week, Marisa Katz was featured in a museum exhibit at the Louisiana Supreme Court marking the 50th anniversary of legal aid service programs in Louisiana. Marisa was a staff attorney at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) from 2004 to 2008. Part of the exhibit documented the legal services provided by SLLS attorneys in both the immediate and long-term aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Marisa’s work during and after Hurricane Katrina was a formative chapter in her professional career, where she continues today to advocate on behalf of low-income consumers to ensure an equal and just marketplace, free from predatory business practices. For more information on TKKR’s work on behalf of consumers and employees click here.
Exhibit at Louisiana Supreme Court, November 9, 2017.
Marisa Katz, with Mark Moreau and Brian Lenard (former co-executive directors of SLLS) standing outside SLLS’ office in Chalmette, LA. The building sustained more than 14 feet of flood water following the levy breaches in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The office was destroyed.
Attorney Phillip Kitzer recently served on a panel at the FBA Labor and Employment Biennial Conference in San Antonio on a topic titled, “How to Work with In-House Employment Counsel – Tips for Both Plaintiff and Defense.” Additional panelists included Brittany Mayer-Schuler, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Elior North America, Melissa M. Heidman, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Noodles & Company, and Matthew Revord, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel, and Secretary, Potbelly Sandwich Works. The panel discussed tips for plaintiffs lawyers on effectively engaging with the company, and tips for defense lawyers on retaining business, budgeting, communication, and litigation styles. The FBA Labor and Employment Biennial Conference is held every other year and features nationally recognized speakers in labor and employment law.
On Monday, October 30, Marisa Katz co-presented a CLE at St. Thomas School of Law with Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on forced arbitration clauses. Congressman Ellison addressed last week’s vote in the Senate that rescinded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rule that would have banned class action waivers in forced arbitration bans in consumer contracts.
Marisa discussed recent key U.S. Supreme Court cases on this topic and the Court’s continued role in shutting the courthouse doors to consumers, employees and small businesses. Both speakers discussed how to keep up the fight against forced arbitration and class action bans in the current political environment.
The presentation, “On Our Terms: Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Stopping Courts from Granting Justice,” was sponsored by University of St. Thomas School of Law’s Law Democrats.