Clients view Teresa as a trusted business partner—advising on day-to-day employment issues, strategizing and navigating emerging issues like those created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing litigation or employment disputes as they arise.
As the Chair of the firm’s Employment & Labor Department, Teresa partners with clients to navigate employment disputes at the advice and litigation stages. Teresa works with clients in many industries, including health care, mental health, disability and aging services, legal, staffing, retail/service, and manufacturing, with a special talent for working with private equity owned companies. Clients consult Teresa to obtain an objective yet creative view of employee performance, discipline and termination issues as well as to assist them in crafting employment, non-compete and trade secret, and separation agreements, and workplace policies. Teresa’s goal is always to help clients work at every stage toward reducing the risks and costs of litigation or employee claims whenever possible.
Teresa also litigates disputes arising out of enforcement and breach of employment agreements, including executive compensation agreements, confidentiality, non-compete and anti-solicitation agreements, as well as other commercial contracts. She chairs the firm’s Non-compete and Trade Secret Group. Teresa defends businesses before state and federal courts, administrative agencies and in private arbitrations, against employment claims brought by employees under whistleblower statutes, human rights statutes, and other state and federal civil rights laws. She has defended hundreds of claims of sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination (age, disability, gender and race), defamation, and FLSA and FMLA violations.
Trade Secret Advice and Litigation
- Defended recruiters and IT consulting agency against claims of trade secret misappropriation under Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
- Represented medical device company in evaluation of criminal liability for trade secret theft by departed employee, and working with governmental agencies to pursue criminal indictments against the employee.
- Obtained temporary injunction against former employee who misappropriated trade secret and confidential information to start a competing venture.
- Successfully pursued and obtained return of trade secret information from former sales manager on behalf of large privately held Minnesota manufacturer.
- Advised medical device company on global trade secret protection program, including development of policies, procedures, best practices, education, training and enforcement.
Non-Compete Advice and Litigation
- Defended national insurance brokerage and sales representatives against claims of tortious interference, breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty and breach of anti-solicitation clause.
- Obtained stipulated injunction against psychiatrist on behalf of large mental health clinic to compel compliance with and non-solicitation provisions in agreement and prevent improper diversion of patients.
- Defended recruiters and information technology staffing agency against claims of tortious interference, breach of contract and breach of an anti-solicitation clause in case involving employee use of LinkedIn.
- Successfully pursued former employee of an IT consulting firm to enforce non-compete and confidentiality agreement when former consultant went to work directly for client.
- Successfully obtained temporary injunction on behalf of medical practice against physician who set up a new practice in violation of a noncompete agreement.
- Commenced commercial arbitration for Minnesota insurance brokerage to enforce non-compete and anti-solicitation agreement, and for breach of fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty; arbitrator ruling in favor of client on all claims.
- Advised clients on the enforceability of non-compete agreements when hiring individuals with non-competes with former employers, and drafted non-compete, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements for clients in all industries.
Employment & Labor Litigation and Advice
- Successfully represented large non-profit organization through jury trial against claims of defamation and Whistleblower violations in Ramsey County, MN
- Defended national retail sales business against claims by a minority shareholder involving allegations of wrongful termination
- Defended national health care organization against claims of race discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment and constructive discharge
- Prepare responses to EEOC and state department of human rights Charges of Discrimination for clients in the heath, mental health, disability and aging services, insurance, IT consulting, telecom, and manufacturing industries.
- Assisted clients with misclassification claims in state and federal agencies, including unemployment, IRS and DOL, by independent contractors who claim they should be classified as employees.
- Counseled clients on day-to-day discipline, performance and termination issues and help navigate employment laws, such as the FMLA, ADA and FSLA.
- Investigated allegations of sexual harassment by employee against senior leader of med tech company arising from a personal relationship.
- Managed internal investigation of multiple sexual harassment complaints against a senior leader of national manufacturer.
- Directed internal investigation of alleged sexual harassment against an outside vendor for national advertising agency with risk assessment and recommendations for remediation.
- Investigated complaints of hostile work place for national health care technology company of senior leader.
- Assisted national client in beauty industry with data security, privacy, monitoring and trade secret policies, procedures, and agreements.
- Evaluated the impact of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act on monitoring policies and procedures, as well as defend claims for invasion of privacy under the ECPA and state laws.
- Defended claims brought by employees under the Stored Communications Act, and evaluate impact on Stored Communications Act on email policies, monitoring policies and procedures.
Pro Bono Representation
- Volunteer Lawyers Network, Consumer Protection Clinic, 2008-present
Articles & Presentations
June 29, 2020
Is an employee entitled to an accommodation to avoid exposing a family member who is at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition?
June 12, 2020
Can another business perform a COVID-19 health screen on my employee before allowing the employee onsite?
June 8, 2020
What do I need to know about the Walz Executive Order issued on Friday, June 5, 2020?
June 2, 2020
I am bringing employees back to the workplace. What safety measures should I have in place?
May 15, 2020
How do the new Minnesota executive orders impact my business as we look to return to work?
May 13, 2020
What steps can we take proactively to prepare to return employees to the workplace?
Updated: Are My Employees Exempt from Travel Restrictions as Critical Sector Employees Under the Minnesota Stay-At-Home Order?
April 9, 2020
Minnesota’s Governor issued a stay-at-home Order on March 25, 2020, and then extended this order on April 8, 2020. How do I know if my employees are exempt from travel restrictions as critical sector employees under the stay-at-home Order?
May 5, 2016
Employers face ever-increasing threats to the security of their trade secrets. Now, thanks to Congress, employers have a new tool to combat such threats (along with new potential headaches).
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Co-Presenter, “Your Return to Work Blueprint,” Fredrikson & Byron Employment & Labor Webinar, May 8, 2020
- Speaker, “Returning Minnesotans to Work,” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce sponsored webinar, April 23, 2020
- Quoted in “What Twin Cities law firms are advising clients on reopening and Covid-19 liability,” Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, April 23, 2020
- Speaker addressing COVID-19 related employment questions, CEO Next Business Institute Forum: Industry Experts Answer your Questions, April 16, 2020
- Speaker, “Emergency Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – What Aging Services Providers Need to Know,” LeadingAge Minnesota, April 1, 2020
- Co-Presenter, “Federal and State Update 2019,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019
- Co-Presenter, “The ‘Smoking Gun’: Texts and Social Media,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019
- Co-Presenter, “#MeToo and You: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in 2018,” Fredrikson & Byron Health Law Webinar, November 14, 2018
- Co-Presenter, “2018 Employment Law Trends,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018
- Co-Presenter, “A Non-Compete Seminar for Everyone,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018
- Presenter, “Record Retention Best Practices to Decrease Your Company’s Risks – Policies, Procedures, Technology,” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 22, 2018
- Co-Presenter, “Strategies for Protecting Your Trade Secrets and Data from the Insider Threat – A Law Enforcement and Litigation View,” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 21-22, 2018
- Co-Presenter, “Protecting Your Company’s Reputation in the Digital Age,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 33rd Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 3, 2017
- Presenter, “Attracting and Keeping Top Talent…A Legal Perspective,” Midwest Recruiting Bootcamp, July 31, 2017
- Co-Presenter, “Attracting and Keeping Top Talent,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 32nd Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 26, 2016
- Co-Presenter, “Social Media and the Health Care Worker: Questions and Practical Solutions,” Fredrikson & Byron Health Law Webinar Series, September 14, 2016
- Co-Presenter, “Bringing and Defending Federal Trade Secret Theft Actions Under the New Law-Key Considerations,” 2016 Midwest IP Institute, September 22-23, 2016
- Co-Presenter, “Insider Threats: Identifying and Deterring Company Information Theft,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 31st Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 6, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Five Key Social Media Questions Employers Should Consider,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 31st Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 6, 2015
- Legal Update 2015,”Fredrikson & Byron’s 31st Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 6, 2015
- Co-Author, “Ten Actions You Can Take Now to Protect Your Company’s Trade Secrets“, Networked Lawyers Blog, May 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information: What Businesses Can and Should Be Doing from Prevention to Enforcement,” Business Law Institute, May 4, 2015
- Presenter, “Top Five Legal Questions Arising From Social Recruiting,” MNTRN & LEHRN Recruiter and HR Conference, April 9, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Social Media and the Health Care Worker: Questions and Practical Solutions,” Fredrikson & Byron Health Law Webinar Series, April 8, 2015
- Co-Presenter, “Creating a Culture of Confidentiality: 10 Ways to Protect Your Company’s Data,” Fredrikson & Byron’s 30th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 28, 2014
- Moderator, “Trade Secret Theft from Prevention to Enforcement,” Minnesota IP Institute, September 19, 2014
- “Data Privacy & Security, Legal and Financial Implications,” at Traust Executive Round Table, co-presented with Steven Helland, June 26, 2014
- Moderator, “Trade Secret Theft from Prevention to Enforcement,” Fredrikson & Byron’s Practical Perspectives Series, February 27, 2014
Honors & Education
- William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 1994, magna cum laude
- Marquette University, B.A., 1990
- Minnesota Supreme Court, 1994
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1996
- U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 1997
- Colorado Supreme Court, 1998
- Labor and Employment Law Specialist, certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association
- Minnesota Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers – Employment & Labor, 2018-present
- The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law – Management, 2018-present
- The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2017-present
- Minnesota State Bar Association, North Star Lawyer, 2013
- Minnesota Law & Politics, Super Lawyer
- Minnesota Law & Politics, Rising Star
- FamilyWise Services, Volunteer of the Year, 2013
- Genesis II for Families, Inc., Community Partner of the Year, 2008
- Member, ABA Employment & Labor Section
- Member, Hennepin County Bar Association, Employment & Labor Section
- Member, Minnesota Bar Association, Employment & Labor Section
- Employment Advisor, FamilyWise Services, 2008-present
- Board Member, Ann Bancroft Foundation, January 2015-present
- Board Member, Edina Swim Club