On June 13, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment & Labor and White Collar & Regulatory Defense Groups hosted a seminar on how to conduct effective internal investigations and how to preserve privilege while you do so.
Karen G. Schanfield
Assistant: Chris Munson, 612.492.7569
The Twin Cities Cardozo Society honored Karen Schanfield with this year’s Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award. This prestigious award is granted in recognition of the outstanding practice of law, record of integrity, love of learning and service to both the Jewish and the general communities. View Schanfield’s tribute video.
Karen advises and represents employers on a broad range of workplace matters. Her expertise includes leaves of absence, wage and hour issues, harassment, discrimination, disability and religious accommodation, retaliation, non-compete agreements, executive agreements and compensation, whistleblower claims, down-sizing and union matters. Her clients include publicly traded companies, non-profit organizations, government entities and executives. Karen serves as national labor and employment counsel for companies with operations in several states.
Karen has handled several high profile matters, including the investigation of top public officials for alleged sexual harassment, the termination of executives for illegal conduct, and whistleblower claims. For example, in the fall of 2015, Karen co-led an investigation of sexual harassment and the University of Minnesota Athletics Department in the wake of the resignation of Athletics Director Norwood Teague. The investigation consisted of over 100 interviews, the review of thousands of pages of relevant documents and emails, and broad-based surveys. At its conclusion, the investigation’s findings and recommendations were presented to the University’s Board of Regents and the State Legislature in public sessions.
Karen has over twenty-five years’ experience working with health care providers, clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities and other health care organizations. She has drafted and enforced physician employment and separation agreements and provides counsel on employment matters unique to the health care setting, such as HIPAA violations and the use of EMR. Karen also works closely with colleges and universities, advising on the denial of tenure and promotion, termination of faculty appointments, academic freedom claims and student matters.
Karen is a certified arbitrator and mediator. She has decided and helped parties resolve workplace issues involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, FMLA and other leave of absence issues, whistleblower claims, defamation, and wage and hour disputes.
32nd Annual E&L Law Seminar Takeaway:
HR’s Role in Corporate Restructuring Presentation
- Handles matters involving sensitive and controversial issues, significant potential damages, publicity and unique legal issues
- Negotiates and drafts executive employment contracts, non-compete, non-solicitation, and separation agreements for individual and group terminations
- Enforces non-compete agreements by employers and negotiates releases from non-compete agreements for employees and hiring entities
- Investigates claims of harassment and misconduct in public and private sector workplaces
- Represents employers in arbitrations, mediations, and before various state and federal agencies and courts, including the NLRB, the EEOC, the DOL, and state and local enforcement agencies
- Conducts due diligence reviews on labor and employment matters in connection with mergers and acquisitions
- Trains Boards of Directors, managers, supervisors and employees on compliance with workplace laws and regulations
- Represents private and public employers in union arbitrations, union organizing, union contract negotiations and unfair labor practice proceedings
- Serves as an arbitrator and mediator in cases involving claims related to executive pay disputes, discrimination, leaves of absence, retaliation, whistleblower activity, defamation, discrimination, unjust termination and other workplace matters
Articles & Presentations
November 27, 2017
Fredrikson & Byron Shareholder Karen G. Schanfield has been appointed to the Jewish Metropolitan Council. The council was created by the Minneapolis Jewish Federation and the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul.
February 13, 2017
Fredrikson & Byron shareholders Robert D. Aronson and Karen G. Schanfield will receive this year’s Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award. This honor is issued on an annual basis by the Twin Cities Cardozo Society, the affinity group of Jewish lawyers, jurists and law students advancing the philanthropic, social and educational mission of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Jewish Federations. This prestigious award is granted in recognition of the outstanding practice of law, record of integrity, love of learning and service to both the Jewish and the general communities. Aronson and Schanfield will be recognized for their accomplishments at the Twin Cities Cardozo Society’s annual dinner on November 2, 2017.
July 7, 2015
Super Lawyers Magazine recognized 36 Fredrikson & Byron attorneys as 2015 Minnesota Super Lawyers and 15 attorneys as Minnesota Rising Stars.
Proposed Changes to FLSA Rules Would Make Millions Eligible for Overtime by More Than Doubling Minimum Salary
July 1, 2015
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued long-awaited proposed revisions to its “white collar” regulations, which exempt certain employees from overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal would raise the minimum salary required to qualify for the exemption to $50,440 per year. In an op-ed published in the Huffington Post on Monday, President Obama announced that the changes are intended to “extend overtime protections to nearly 5 million workers in 2016[.]”
Employer Confidentiality Rules and Other Policies: NLRB Report Discusses Lawful and Unlawful Language
March 30, 2015
On March 18, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel issued a 30-page memorandum (GC Memorandum) offering guidance on several common employer policies and handbook rules. In recent years, the NLRB has aggressively scrutinized and challenged employers’ rules covering a variety of topics. The GC Memorandum provides useful information for nearly all employers, whether unionized or not.
November 3, 2014
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa—along with a handful of cases in the United States—has left many employees and employers confused. As with any real or perceived crisis, there are key steps an employer should take to mitigate workplace panic and avoid legal claims. These include getting accurate information, communicating the information to employees and customers, and complying with a bewildering set of rights and responsibilities under state and federal law.
August 18, 2014
Fifty-nine Fredrikson & Byron attorneys were included in The Best Lawyers in America 2015© (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).
May 9, 2014
The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) recognized 67 current Fredrikson & Byron attorneys as North Star Lawyers.
April 9, 2014
College administrators, coaches, and many of the rest of us were surprised to learn that scholarship football players at Northwestern University are “employees” for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act and thus may vote on representation by the College Athletes Players Association, affiliated with the United Steelworkers.
March 3, 2014
For the first time in nearly a decade, the National Labor Relations Board has its full complement: five members who have been confirmed by the Senate.
February 3, 2014
By Richard A. Ross, Karen G. Schanfield, Krista A.P. Hatcher
On January 27, 2014, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding that time spent donning and doffing (putting on and taking off) protective gear was time spent changing clothes, and was therefore not compensable time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Co-author of Minnesota Practice: Employment Law and Practice and editor of Minnesota Employment Laws, both published by Thomson West Publishing.
- Creator of the online training program “Prevent Harassment: Promote Respect” for Employer Training, LLC
- Co-Presenter, “Internal Workplace Investigations,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018
- Co-Presenter, “Beyond #MeToo: Conducting Effective and Privileged Workplace Investigations,” Fredrikson & Byron Seminar, June 13, 2018
- Presenter, “The Do’s and Don’ts of Workplace Investigations,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 32nd Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 26, 2016
- Co-Presenter, “HR’s Role in Corporate Restructuring,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 32nd Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 26, 2016
- Presenter, “Honey, I Shrunk the Exemptions,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 31st Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 6, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Accommodation Tribulations Parts I and II,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 31st Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 6, 2015
- Presenter, “Pitfalls and Pratfalls in Classifying Employees in Light of the (Upcoming) Federal Exemption Guidelines: Practical Guidance on Planning and Executing a Privileged Audit,” American Employment Law Council, October 2015
- Panelist, “ADR Topics: Practice Tips for Advocates in Arbitration,” Minnesota CLE Webcast, May 29, 2015
- “Accommodation Tribulations: Disability, Pregnancy, Religion, Oh My!,” Fredrikson & Byron Employment & Labor Law Seminar, April 22, 2015
- Panelist, “Ten Ways Corporate Counsel Can Make the Most of Arbitration,” MSBA CLE, April 13, 2015
- Co-Presenter, Happy Holidays…and Pass the Tissues Webcast, December 3, 2014
- “Minnesota Update,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 30th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 28, 2014
- “Whistleblower & Retaliation,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 30th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 28, 2014
- “The Strategic Use of Separation and Release Agreements,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, October 7, 2014
Sample Media Mentions
- Featured in “Fredrikson & Byron attorneys see workplace misconduct caseload surge in wake of #MeToo movement,” Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, September 26, 2018
- Quoted in “U regents hear of several serious violations of spending rules by athletics department,” Star Tribune, December 9, 2015
- Quoted in “Probe Largely Clears ‘U’ Athletics Dept. In Teague Case,” CBS WCCO-TV news coverage, December 8, 2015
- Featured in “U of M retains external legal counsel Karen G. Schanfield to review and assess sexual harassment claims and the climate in athletics,” University of Minnesota, August 14, 2015
- Featured in “An Experiment in Legal Education: Simulating ADR Processes in the Capstone Course on Labor and Employment Law” by Professor Laura J. Cooper, Dispute Resolution Journal, vol. 66, no. 1 (February-April 2011), a publication of the American Arbitration Association
Honors & Education
- University of Minnesota, J.D., cum laude, 1978
- University of St. Thomas, M.A., with honors, 1972
- University of Minnesota, B.A., magna cum laude, 1971
- Minnesota, 1978
- U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 1978
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1979
- Twin Cities Cardozo Society’s Lifetime Commitment Award, 2017
- Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Minneapolis Labor Law – Management, 2017
- Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” in Minneapolis Employment Law – Management, 2016
- The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, 2011-present
- Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
- Labor and Employment Law Specialist, certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Minnesota – Labor & Employment, multiple years
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer – Employment & Labor, multiple years
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, “Top 50 Women in Minnesota,” multiple years
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, “Top 40 Labor and Employment Law Attorneys,” multiple years
- Law and Leading Attorneys, multiple years
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated, multiple years
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2013, 2015
- Chair, Ramsey County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow
- Executive Council, Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
- Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
- Member, American Employment Law Council
- Adjunct Faculty Member, University of Minnesota Law School
- Adjunct Faculty Member, William Mitchell College of Law
- Member, Advisory Committee for the National Academy of Arbitrators Annual Meeting, 2012
- Member, Jewish Metropolitan Council, 2017
- Board of Directors, Jewish Family Service
- Board of Directors, The Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul
- Volunteer Lawyers Network, provider of pro bono legal advice
- Volunteer Mediator, Hennepin County District Court
- Chair, Partnership 2000 Committee, United Jewish Fund and Council
- Board of Directors, St. Paul Jewish Community Center
- Board of Directors, Minnesota Women Lawyers
- Board of Directors, Resources for Child Caring
- Board of Directors, Melpomene Institute