Given the prevalence of remote work during the pandemic, is working from home now presumed to be reasonable disability accommodation?
Brian T. Benkstein
Assistant: Amy Meyers, 612.492.7826
“I am deeply invested in my clients’ issues, and I pride myself in being their ‘go-to’ problem solver.”
Brian is an experienced litigator, counselor and strategist who exclusively represents employers through advice and defense of legal claims.
Brian is a seasoned litigator and counselor who only represents employers and businesses. He advises employers on discipline, terminations and employment law compliance. He has tried multiple jury, bench and arbitration matters to verdict or decision. He regularly defends employers in litigation matters. He negotiates union contracts, develops labor strategy and helps his clients navigate other disputes in unionized settings.
Brian also represents clients as outside General Counsel. He drafts and negotiates commercial contracts and gives advice on business matters, legal disputes, litigation, compliance and legal strategy.
Brian combines his knowledge of the law with eight years of management experience in the health care industry. Prior to his law firm experience, he served in a variety of management positions for a health care company that operated facilities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Brian uses this real world business experience when litigating cases and when helping clients solve complicated legal issues.
Brian is a regular lecturer on employment law and litigation topics in Minnesota, including presenting at the Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute.
Employment Litigation Defense
- Achieved a complete defense verdict on behalf of a client involving claims of discrimination and retaliation and successfully collected the client’s litigation costs from the former employee.
- Gave advice on and successfully resolved a high-profile termination and avoided unfavorable media coverage.
- Defeated a discharge grievance filed by a Union following a multi-day arbitration proceeding involving more than a dozen witnesses.
- Brokered a collective bargaining agreement on terms favorable to the client by securing critical concessions from Union.
Articles & Presentations
May 19, 2020
April 7, 2020
How do the FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family Medical Leave Act provisions work together?
June 19, 2019
Minnesota employers are subject to several new record-keeping and notice requirements as a result of amendments made to several employment law statutes. The new requirements take effect July 1, 2019.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Presenter, “Strategic Use of Employee Performance Improvement Plans – How to Develop, Implement and Hold Employees Accountable,” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, September 16, 2020
- Presenter, “Strategic Documentation of Employee Discipline and Discharge: Sword vs. Self-Inflicted Wound?” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, September 15, 2020
- Speaker, “Emergency Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – What Aging Services Providers Need to Know,” LeadingAge Minnesota, April 1, 2020
- Presenter, “Strategic Use of Performance Improvement Plans: How to Develop and Effectively Implement,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment and Labor Law Webinar Series, December 4, 2019
- Presenter, “Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Law: An Update and Compliance Strategies,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019
- Presenter, “Strategic Use of Performance Improvement Plans: How to Develop and Effectively Implement,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019
- Co-Presenter, “Workplace Investigations: Planning, Strategy and Execution,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019
- Presenter, “Terminations Got You Down? Five Tips to Tighten Your Termination Tactics,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment and Labor Law Webinar Series, December 17, 2018
- Presenter, “Terminations Got You Down? Five Tips to Tighten Your Termination Tactics,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018
- Presenter, “Protecting Your Organization’s Trade Secrets and Confidential Information: Best Practices and Common Mistakes,” Association of Corporate Counsel, Minnesota Chapter, Roundtable Series, July 2018
- Presenter, “Strategic Documentation of Discipline and Discharge: Sword vs. Self-Inflicted Wound?” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 22, 2018
- Presenter, “What? I’m Fired? Handling the Discharge Process and Termination Meeting,” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 21, 2018
Honors & Education
- William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2002, magna cum laude
- University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, B.S., 1994, magna cum laude
- Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, 2017
- Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2006
- U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2003
- Minnesota, 2003
- The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, 2019-present
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer – Employment Litigation: Defense, 2016-present
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Rising Star – Employment Litigation: Defense, 2007-2012
- Labor and Employment Law Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Chanhassen Athletic Association, Former President