Overview

Emily is an experienced advisor and litigator for employers.

Emily defends employers against allegations of sex discrimination, age discrimination, race discrimination, FMLA and ADA violations, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and tortious interference.

To help employers maintain a productive workplace and avoid litigation, Emily partners with clients to provide supervisor and manager training, investigate internal discrimination complaints, provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees, and navigate issues surrounding family and medical leave.

Emily works with employers of all sizes and has experience with for-profit corporations, non-profit organizations and cooperatives. She also provides specialized advice and litigates on behalf of colleges and universities in disputes concerning faculty discipline, tenure and promotion, student conduct, and accommodation of students with disabilities. Prior to practicing law, Emily worked in higher education administration, supervising employees and gaining director-level experience in student judicial affairs and residence life. She draws on this experience when working with higher education clients.

Services

Experience

  • Roys v. Upper Iowa University (N.D. Iowa 2017). Obtained summary judgment for employer in FMLA entitlement and discrimination case initiated by a former administrator.
  • Led Title IX investigation into student complaint of misconduct by a tenured professor at a private university, and defended a private university in a breach of contract lawsuit brought by a former professor discharged after accusations of sexual harassment.
  • Conducted internal investigation of a sexual harassment complaint for a professional sports organization.
  • Reviewed university-wide and athletic department employment policies for a large public university.
  • Member of legal team that conducted an internal investigation of a Big Ten athletic department following allegations of sexual harassment and the athletic director’s resignation.
  • Serves as outside general counsel to private university with a residential campus in Iowa and instructional locations throughout the U.S. and internationally.
  • Minnihan v. Mediacom Communications Corp., 779 F.3d 803 (8th Cir. 2015). Successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for employer in case alleging disability discrimination.
  • Gray v. Harding and Haynes, 807 N.W.2d 296, WL 4578481 (Iowa Ct. App. 2011). Successfully argued to affirm summary judgment for two Wells Fargo executives in case brought by a former employee alleging tortious interference and fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • American Arbitration Association employment proceeding, September 2010Obtained a reasoned decision in favor of a financial services client in a FMLA case after a four-day evidentiary trial. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa confirmed the award.

Credentials

Education

  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2006
  • Indiana University, M.S. Higher Education and Student Affairs, 2000
  • Iowa State University, B.A., 1998, with distinction

Admissions

  • Iowa, 2006
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2014
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, 2006
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, 2006

Recognition

  • Super LawyerEmployment & Labor, Great Plains Super Lawyers, 2022
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, IowaLabor & Employment, 2020-present
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, IowaUp and Coming: Labor & Employment, 2018-2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Employment LawManagement, 2019-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America, LitigationLabor and Employment, 2018-present

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities

  • Iowa State Bar Association, Centralized Diversity Task Force
  • Iowa State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, Council Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, Chair, 2016-2018
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Society for Human Resource Management and Central Iowa Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM and CI-SHRM)

Community

  • Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
  • Des Moines Metro Opera, Board of Directors and Executive Board, Present
  • Drake University Head Start, Policy Council and Advisory Board, 2008-2012
  • Plymouth Church, Personnel Committee

News & Insights

Publications & Presentations

Four Recruiting Tips for Employers,” Business Record Iowa, December 10, 2021

Co-Presenter, Effective Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training for Supervisors, Fredrikson & Byron's Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 28, 2021

Co-Presenter, Diversity and Inclusion: Practical Advice for In-House Counsel, 2020 Corporate Counsel Institute sponsored by the Iowa State Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel – Iowa Chapter, November 17, 2020

Co-Presenter, Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace: Going Beyond a Policy!, Fredrikson & Byron’s Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, October 27, 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, The Evolving Workplace During COVID-19, HR Simple Webinar, June 30, 2020

Presenter, Employment Law Issues During COVID-19, ISBA Annual Meeting, May 21, 2020

Co-Presenter, COVID-19 Employment Issues, Iowa Employment Conference, April 9, 2020

Presenter, Employee Performance Documentation, HR Simple Webinar for American Chamber of Commerce Resources, February 27, 2020

Co-Presenter, Mental Health and the Workplace, Iowa State Bar Association Corporate Counsel Institute, January 31, 2020

Co-Presenter, Mental Health Issues in the Workplace, Fredrikson & Byron's Employment and Labor Law Webinar Series, December 17, 2019

Co-Presenter, Federal and State Update 2019, Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019

Co-Presenter, Mental Health Issues in the Workplace, Fredrikson & Byron’s 35th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 7, 2019

Presenter, Workplace Mental Health Issues, 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

Co-Presenter, 2018 Employment Law Trends, Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018

Co-Presenter, The Changing Workplace: How to Practically Address Accommodating Religion in the Workplace, Fredrikson & Byron’s 34th Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, November 1, 2018

Presenter, Sexual Harassment: How #MeToo Impacts Prevention and Response Strategies, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, IA, September 27, 2018

Co-Presenter, Sexual Harassment: What Should Employers Do Now?, Fredrikson & Byron Employment & Labor Law Program, May 16, 2018

Presenter, FMLA and ADA Cases: Turning Precedent into Practice, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, West Des Moines, IA, September 27, 2017

Co-Author, Model Policies and Forms for Iowa Employers, American Chamber of Commerce Resources, 2016

Presenter, Preventing Workplace Harassment, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, October 6, 2016

Presenter, Disability, Pregnancy and Religious Accommodation Tribulations, Fredrikson & Byron’s Employment Law Seminar, Des Moines, Iowa, September 24, 2015

Presenter, Your Deposition: Practical Tips for the Human Resources Professional, Society for Human Resource Management, Central Iowa Chapter, April 2015

Presenter, Facing the Occupational Hazard: Managing the Risk of Individual Liability in the Human Resources Profession, Society for Human Resource Management, Central Iowa Chapter, Legal and Legislative Conference, February 2015

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