What should employers know about the American Rescue Plan?
Kendra helps employers prevent and solve problems. She is an experienced advisor and litigator, representing employers and businesses in litigation and advising them outside of formal legal proceedings. While Kendra works with employers in various industries, she works most frequently with clients in the health care, construction, manufacturing, transportation and technology industries.
Kendra regularly drafts employment policies and agreements, including non-competes and other restrictive covenants, and represents employers in litigation on these same matters. She has obtained numerous dismissals of discrimination, harassment and retaliation charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Iowa Civil Rights Commission, as well as winning summary judgment for multiple clients facing similar claims in state or federal court. She has also successfully represented clients in jury trials, bench trials, other agency proceedings and arbitration. This litigation experience helps Kendra to better advise clients on practical solutions, always keeping their end business goals in mind. She is sought out for her experience in advising on and litigating matters under Iowa’s drug and alcohol testing statute. In addition, Kendra advises on due diligence matters for clients engaged in mergers and acquisitions.
Kendra’s practice focuses on employment law and litigation, but her general business litigation background allows her to serve the wide-ranging legal needs of businesses and employers. Before joining the firm, Kendra was an associate at Seigfreid Bingham, P.C. in Kansas City, where she practiced general business litigation and worked on matters involving transportation law, employment law, and health care law, among other areas of law.
- Obtained dismissal of multiple civil rights complaints brought against employers by former employees.
- Drafts employment policies, handbooks and agreements (including non-competes and other restrictive covenants).
- Advises clients on employment policies and various individual employment issues outside of litigation.
- Successfully affirmed district court’s grant of motion to dismiss case for failure to state a claim. Garrett & Vandewalle v. Branson Commerce Park Community Improvement District (10th Cir. 2016).
- Represented motor carrier in appealing agency’s unfavorable decision under federal Surface Transportation Assistance Act. TransAm Trucking, Inc. v. Admin. Review Board (10th Cir. 2016).
- Represented motor carrier in petitioning for review of FMCSA action regarding a settlement agreement. TransAm Trucking, Inc. v. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin. (10th Cir. 2015).
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice for employer in employment discrimination and defamation case. Clark v. Murphy Warehouse Co., et al., Case No. 27-CV-20-11832 (Hennepin County District Court, February 2021).
- Obtained summary judgment for employer in disability discrimination case under the ICRA based on a lack of qualifying disability. Rounds v. Risen Son Christian Village, Case No. LACV119744 (Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, August 2020).
- Part of a trial team that obtained a more than $1.6 million verdict in a business dispute involving breach of restrictive covenants (Pierce Street Same Day Surgery, L.C. v. Dr. Adam Smith et al., Case No. LACV178878 (Iowa District Court for Woodbury County Feb. 20, 2020).
- Defended employer against claim by former employee alleging violation of Iowa’s drug-and-alcohol testing statute (Iowa Code section 730.5).
- Obtained summary judgment for employer in race discrimination and retaliation case under ICRA and Title VII. Goodman v. Performance Contractors, et al. (N.D. Iowa 2019).
- Helped obtain temporary injunction against physicians prohibiting them from further violating their restrictive covenants. Pierce Street Same Day Surgery, L.C. v. Dr. Adam Smith et al., Case No. LACV178878 (Iowa District Court for Woodbury County Feb. 5, 2018).
- Helped obtain temporary injunction against pediatrician and her new clinic prohibiting her from further violating her noncompetition agreement. Prairie Pediatrics & Adolescent Clinic, P.C. vs. Dr. Tina Smith & Tri-State Specialists, LLP, Case No.: LACV177912 (Iowa District Court for Woodbury County Dec. 22, 2017).
- Obtained summary judgment for employer in FMLA entitlement and discrimination case initiated by a former administrator. Roys v. Upper Iowa University (N.D. Iowa 2017).
- Successfully defended delivery service provider against violation of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act in administrative hearing and through administrative appeals.
- Successfully represented businesses in bench and jury trials.
- Represented defendant national retail chain in complex, multi-million dollar arbitration.
- Defended motor carrier and multiple health care entities against discrimination and other employment claims.
- Represented defendants, including a motor carrier and professional sports franchise, in class actions in federal court.
- Assisted company in developing uniform procedure for collecting from non-paying customers.
- Revised contract documents for a service company to improve efficiency in the event matters resulted in litigation.
Articles & Presentations
December 21, 2020
Now that the EEOC has issued guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations, what should employers know about vaccinations and whether to require them?
September 29, 2020
What is the new Iowa guidance on when to quarantine due to COVID-19 if masks/face coverings were worn?
September 15, 2020
What do health care employers need to know about the revised definition of health care providers who can be exempted from FFCRA leave?
August 28, 2020
How should employers handle requests for FFCRA leave related to schools starting with online, hybrid and optional online programs?
August 14, 2020
I understand the health care provider definition of the FFCRA has been challenged. What do I need to know about this?
June 22, 2020
Do businesses have any protection from COVID-related lawsuits?
May 21, 2020
How is COVID-19 affecting disputes over non-competes and other restrictive covenants?
May 11, 2020
During the summer months, when school is not actually “closed,” is an eligible employee entitled to paid leave under the FFCRA if the employee needs to care for his/her child(ren) because the child(ren)’s summer programming has been cancelled?
April 27, 2020
What kind of litigation will arise out of COVID-19, and what can employers do now to prepare?
April 16, 2020
How will the post-COVID workplace be affected by current work situations, and what should I do now to prepare?
March 27, 2020
What do we need to know about the DOL’s Families First Act Model Notice and what do we need to do now?
June 19, 2019
By Kendra D. Simmons and Paul J. Esker
During the 2019 Iowa Legislative Session, there were developments that may impact employment-related decisions, especially related to hiring.
September 7, 2017
At this time last year, employers were deciding how to comply with the Department of Labor’s new rule that more than doubled the salary threshold for exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
October 7, 2016
By Richard A. Ross & Kendra D. Simmons
Businesses with employees in California will be impacted by two recently-passed laws, one of which generally prohibits choice-of-law and choice-of-venue provisions in employment contracts with California employees and the other which penalizes employers for technical errors on pay stubs. Find out what action you can take to avoid penalties.
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Presenter, “The Post-Pandemic Workplace,” Iowa Employment Conference Webinar, April 7, 2021
- Co-Presenter, “Reimagining the Workplace: Strategies for a Positive Way Forward in the ‘New Normal’,” Fredrikson & Byron Employment & Labor Webinar, April 1, 2021
- Co-Presenter, “Herd Immunity and Return-to-Office Webinar,” Greater Des Moines Partnership Webinar, March 23, 2021
- Co-Presenter, “Federal Employment Law Issues in the Evolving COVID-19 Environment,” Fredrikson & Byron Health Law Webinar Series, November 11, 2020
- Co-Presenter, “Mental Health in the Workplace: COVID-19 and Beyond,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 29, 2020
- Presenter, “Safety, Compliance, and Business Continuity During a Pandemic,” Community Bankers of Iowa, September 9, 2020
- Co-Author, “FFCRA Provides Paid Leave Benefits for Back-To-School,” Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Business Record Iowa, August 2020
- Co-Presenter, “Forensic Discovery/Extraction of Data from Electronic Devices and Effective Use in Trial,” ISBA Annual Meeting, May 21, 2020
- Co-Presenter, “COVID-19 Employment Issues,” Iowa Employment Conference, April 9, 2020
- Presenter, “Marijuana Maze: Tips for Employers on Navigating the Changing Legal Landscape,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, Des Moines, IA, October 4, 2019
- Co-Presenter, “Investigating Complaints in Today’s Workplace,” Fredrikson & Byron Event, May 23, 2019
- Presenter, “An Update on Employee Privacy Issues,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, IA, September 27, 2018
- Presenter, “DOL Developments,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, IA, September 27, 2017
- Presenter, “Restrictive Covenants Refresher,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, IA, September 27, 2017
- Presenter, “Piecing Together the New Wage and Hour Reality,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, October 6, 2016
- Co-Author, “Courses of Action after Allegations of Misconduct,” American Bar Association Business Torts Journal, Winter 2014, Vol. 21, No. 2
- Author, “The End of Design-Defect Claims: The Supreme Court’s Immunization of Vaccine Manufacturers in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth LLC,” Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 51 No.3
Honors & Education
- Washburn University School of Law, J.D., 2013, magna cum laude
- Baker University, B.A., 2010, summa cum laude
- Iowa, 2016
- Minnesota, 2021
- Kansas, 2014
- Missouri, 2013
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, 2013
- U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, 2014
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, 2014
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 2016
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2016
- Great Plains Super Lawyers, Rising Star – Employment Litigation: Defense, 2017-present
- J.L. Weigand, Jr. Notre Dame Legal Educational Trust
- American Bar Association, Employee Rights and Responsibilities Committee
- Ambassador, Young Professionals Connection
- Washburn Law Journal, Technical Editor, 2012-2013; Staff Writer, 2011-2012
- Board of Directors, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center
– HR Committee Chair, 2021-2022
- Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
– Governance Chair-Elect, 2020-2021
– Community Leadership Program, 2019-2020
- Young Variety Iowa
- Make It OK Iowa, Ambassador, 2020-present