Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta attorneys obtained an important victory for client Chad Dufrene in his discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against his former employer ConAgra Foods, Inc. In denying ConAgra’s Motion to Dismiss, Judge Wilhelmina Wright of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota concluded that Dufrene, who had previously filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, had standing to pursue his claims on behalf of the bankruptcy estate, thereby allowing his lawsuit against ConAgra to proceed.
Joni Thome will speak at the American Conference Institute’s 8th Annual Forum on Employment Discrimination Litigation in Chicago, Illinois. She joins other experienced litigators from across the country in a panel discussion on new and innovative techniques used by plaintiffs’ attorneys in employment discrimination cases.
Super Lawyers announced that five of our attorneys made the 2016 list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Joni Thome, Frances Baillon and Chris Jozwiak were recognized as 2016 Super Lawyers. Thome was also named one of Minnesota’s Top 100 Super Lawyers. Both Thome and Baillon were named Top 50 Women Super Lawyers. Shawn Wanta and Matt Nolan were recognized as 2016 Rising Stars.
Each year employment law attorneys and human resource professionals throughout the upper Midwest gather to discuss the latest issues in employment law. Recognized as one of the largest and best-attended conferences in the country, the Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute provides practitioners with the most up-to-date education, programming and resources across the employment law field. This year, Chris Jozwiak, Joni Thome and Frances Baillon were among the distinguished lecturers at the conference.
Chris Jozwiak will present on “Employment Conditions” at the upcoming MN CLE seminar The Complete Employment Lawyer. He will cover topics such as drug and alcohol testing in the workplace, the different employee leaves available under Minnesota and federal law, employment privacy rights and other related matters. Attendees will receive The Complete Employment Lawyer’s Quick Answer Book, a comprehensive reference guide with chapters authored by the presenters.
Frances Baillon recently spoke at the Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association Member Meeting “Law Office Management for the Plaintiffs’ Employment Lawyer,” along with John Klassen of John A. Klassen, PA and Steven Andrew Smith of Nichols Kaster, PLLP. The panel discussed the basic aspects and trends of law office management, including topics such as marketing strategies, the client intake process, and staff organization.
For their work in plaintiff’s employment law, attorneys Joni Thome, Frances Baillon and Chris Jozwiak have been recognized as Super Lawyers. This distinction is awarded to only 5% of practicing lawyers in the state of Minnesota. Super Lawyers also recognizes a small number (no more than 2.5% of Minnesota attorneys) of lawyers as Rising Stars. Attorneys Matthew Nolan and Shawn Wanta have been recognized as 2015 Rising Stars.
Baillon Thome recently prevailed in a jury trial in the case of Terra Fields v. Strom Engineering Corporation. Ms. Fields alleged that a male supervisor at Strom fired her because she declined his sexual advances. The jury agreed and found that Ms. Fields was the victim of sexual harassment and awarded her damages for lost earnings and emotional distress. Significantly, the jury trebled her damages award, as allowed under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
Described as “The Nation’s Best Employment Law Conference,” the Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute is one of the largest employment law conferences in the nation. Attorneys Chris Jozwiak and Joni Thome were again honored to serve as faculty at this year’s event.
Class action attorneys Chris Jozwiak and Shawn Wanta were published in Minnesota Lawyer’s Due Dilligence – a quarterly feature that examines case law updates, changes in practice and procedure, and legal trends. Their feature, “Class Actions: Enter the Consumer Lawyer,” takes a look at the growing and changing practice area of consumer law in Minnesota.
Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP employment and consumer attorney Shawn Wanta was recently featured in a news story aired on Twin Cities NBC affiliate, Kare 11. The story, “Sen. Franken wages war against consumer contract clause,” focuses on a clause that is commonly written into consumer and employment contracts – often to the disadvantage of the consumer/employee. These clauses, called pre-dispute arbitration agreements, can be found in a variety of consumer contracts including credit card, cell phone and internet service contracts, and private student loans.
Attorneys Joni Thome and Frances Baillon recently won a reversal at the Minnesota Court of Appeals in an age discrimination case. In Ritter v. Auntie Ruth’s Furry Friends, Plaintiff alleged her employer discriminated against her on the basis of her age in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The district court dismissed Ritter’s case but the appellate court disagreed and reversed the district court.