Biography

    About Chris

    Christopher D. Jozwiak is a skilled litigator who has won striking victories on behalf of his clients in a diverse range of employment issues. He is a founding partner of Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP and has been recognized as a Rising Star since 2011 and a Super Lawyer since 2014 and has been named to the lists of Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Chris works tirelessly for his clients in cases involving whistleblower retaliation, sexual harassment, wage and hour violations, reprisal, discrimination, and wrongful termination. He also represents employees and consumers in national class actions.

    Chris is a certified employment law specialist and Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Labor & Employment Law Specialist Certification Board. He has been a Board Member of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid since 2019 and currently sits on the Governance Committee. 

    Education

    University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN, J.D., cum laude; Executive Editor, Journal of Law and Inequality
    Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, B.A., cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

    Admissions

    Minnesota Supreme Court
    U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota

    Professional Memberships

    Minnesota State Bar Association, Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Specialist Certification Board
    Minnesota State Bar Association, Past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Section Governing Council
    National Employment Lawyers Association, Minnesota Chapter
    Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter Member and Pro Se Project Volunteer Attorney
    Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter, Mentorship Program
    Employee Lawyers Association of the Upper Midwest
    Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Board Member, Governance Committee

    Honors and Awards

    Best Lawyers in America© Employment Law-Individuals, 2018-2022; Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2020-2022
    Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2018-2021
    Super Lawyers® Super Lawyer, Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, 2014-2021
    Super Lawyers® Rising Star, Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, 2011-2013
    MSBA Certified Employment Law Specialist

    Publications and Presentations

    Litigation Reduction-in-Force Cases – Strategic Discovery and Motion Practice, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Co-panelist with Sara Gullickson McGrane, 2021
    Your State Order is Lifted: Now What?, Guest Speaker with Jessica Roe, Apr. 22, 2021
    COVID-19 Employment Law Update Seminar: 2021 COVID-19 Litigation Update, Minnesota CLE, Presenter, Jan. 14, 2021
    The Bully: The Law and Where It's Heading, Minnesota CLE, Panelist with Sheila Engelmeier, Rebecca Lucero and Jessica Roe, Feb. 25, 2019
    2018 ADA Update - The Important Cases and Developments That You Should Know and Understand, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Co-presenter with Kathryn Mrkonich Wilson, May 22, 2018
    Top 10 Things to Know about Employment Law, Minnesota Association for Justice, Presenter, Mar. 12, 2018
    Effective Drafting for Employment Settlement Agreements, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Panelist with Sarah Bushnell, Oct. 10, 2017
    Effective Drafting for Employment Settlement Agreements, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Co-author with Sarah Bushnell, July 2017
    The Workplace Bully: The Law and Practical Tips for Managing the Conduct, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Sheila Engelmeier, Kevin Lindsey and Jessica Roe, May 22, 2017
    The Complete Employment Lawyer's Quick Answer Book: Employment Conditions, Co-author, 2017
    False Claims Act (Qui Tam) Claims: What Every Plaintiff's Employment Lawyer Should Know, Minneosta Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Panelist with Chad Blumenfield and Susan Coler, Mar. 14, 2017
    The Bully - The Law and Where It's Heading, Minnesota CLE Seminar, Panelist with Kevin Lindsey, Sheila Engelmeier and Jessica Roe, November 15, 2016
    Top 10 Employment Claims Plaintiffs Lawyers Overlook, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Joni Thome, May 24, 2016
    Meals, Breaks, Technology and More - The New World of Off-the-Clock Wage and Hour Issues, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Brian Benkstein, May 23, 2016
    Section 181 and Similar Plaintiff's Claims, Employee Lawyers Association of the Upper Midwest, Presenter, 2016
    The Complete Employment Lawyer’s Quick Answer Book: Employment Conditions, The Complete Employment Lawyer Minnesota CLE, Co-author and Co-presenter, 2016
    Workshop Series: Employment Law Essentials for the Performing Arts Community, Minnesota Theater Alliance, Presenter with Cassie Navarro and Penelope Phillips, 2015-2016
    Class Actions: Enter the Consumer Lawyer, Minnesota Lawyer, Co-author with Shawn Wanta, Mar. 16, 2015
    Cutting-Edge ADA Accommodation and Retaliation Developments, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Lawrence Schaefer and Clayton Halunen, 2015
    Employment Law Issues for the Poverty Law Attorney: Discrimination and Harassment, Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment, Presenter with Cassie (Benson) Navarro, 2015
    Do Nassar and Vance Change Title VII and MHRA Investigations? Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment, Presenter with Sara McGrane, 2014
    What You Must Know About E-Discovery to Prove Your Case and Avoid Big Mistakes, Minnesota State Bar Association, Computer & Technology, Ethics, Solo and Small Firm Sections, Presenter with Justin Cummins, 2012
    Appearance Discrimination: A New Frontier of Employment Litigation? Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment, Presenter with Penelope Phillips, 2012
    Beyond Marriage: Current Legal Issues, University of Minnesota, Speaker, 2012
    The Basics of Harassment Law - Federal and State, 2011 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Michelle Neumann, 2011
    Caregiver Discrimination Under the MHRA and Title VII, Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment, Presenter with Megan Kelley, 2011
    Family Responsibilities Discrimination: New Resources and Another Lens for Analyzing and Winning Gender and Caregiver Discrimination Cases, Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association, Panelist with Jim Kaster, 2009
    Lofton v. Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services: Florida’s Gay Adoption Ban Under Irrational Equal Protection Analysis, 23 J. LAW AND INEQ. 407, 2005

    Representative Cases

    Noll et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al., No. 1:15-cv-00493-JAW (D. Me.) (class certification granted in class action brought by distributors of Flowers Foods, who are challenging their classification as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    In re Life Time Fitness, Inc. Telephone Consumer Protection Act Litigation, MDL 2564 (class action settlement awarding a maximum of $15 million for class members who received unsolicited text messages in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act); settlement affirmed (8th Cir. 2017)

    Rehberg et al. v. Flowers Foods Inc. et al., 12-cv-00596-MOC-DSC (W.D.N.C. 2015) (class action settlement for distributors who challenged their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees); conditional class certification in five additional FLSA class action lawsuits on behalf of distributors against Flowers Foods

    Carr et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al., No. 2:15-cv-06391-LS (E.D. Penn.) (conditional class certification granted in class action brought by distributors who are challenging their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    Noll et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al., No. 1:15-cv-00493-JAW (D. Me.) (conditional class certification granted in class action brought by distributors who are challenging their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    Rosinbaum et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al., No. 7:16-cv-0023-FL (E.D.N.C.) (conditional class certification granted in class action brought by distributors who are challenging their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    Neff et al. v. Flowers Foods, Inc. et al., No. 5:15-cv-00254-GWC (D. Vt.) (conditional class certification granted in class action brought by distributors who are challenging their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    Coyle v. Flowers Foods Incorporated, et al., 2:15-cv-01372-PHX-DLR (D. Ariz.) (conditional class certification granted in class action brought by distributors who are challenging their classification by Flowers Foods as independent contractors, rather than employees)

    Chavez et al. v. West Side Cmty. Health Servs., Inc., 14-cv-00207 (D. Minn. 2014) (settlement agreement reached awarding class and collective group of medical assistants overtime premium pay and damages for wage deductions, which they were owed pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act, respectively)

    Gilbert v. MetLife, No. 09-1990, 2011 WL 1843441 (D. Minn. 2011) (denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment where plaintiff proferred sufficient evidence from which a reasonable fact finder could infer that employer did not retain her because of disability and failed to accommodate her disability)

    United States v. Law School Admission Council, U.S. Dep’t of Justice Compl. No. 202-39-97 (Sept. 27, 2011) (settlement agreement reached allowing complainant all LSAT testing accommodations originally requested pursuant to Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by private testing entities that administer examinations related to professional licensing)

    Johnston v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. 08-0296, 2009 WL 2900352 (D. Minn. 2009) (denial of defendant's summary judgment motion where genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether employer's statement that the employee needed a more flexible job to take care of her newborn was evidence of sex-plus discrimination in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act)

    Taylor et al. v. Corporate Transit of Am., 09-cv-05709 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (settlement agreement reached awarding class and collective group of transportation and delivery personnel overtime premium pay pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and damages for wage deductions pursuant to Illinois state and common law, where defendant employer misclassified plaintiffs as independent contractors instead of employees)

    Egtvedt et al. v. West Publ’g Corp., 19HA-CV-09-1660 (Dist. Ct. Minn. 2009) (settlement agreement reached awarding class and collective group of research staff attorneys overtime premium pay pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, where defendant employer misclassified plaintiffs as independent contractors instead of employees)

    Hayes v. Dapper, No. A07-1878, 2008 WL 4301018 (Minn. Ct. App. 2008) (reversing dismissal of whistleblower case because a report need not be formal to constitute protected conduct and questions of fact remained whether the report was made in good faith)

    Hibbard v. Park Supply Inc. et al., No. A07-0721, 2008 WL 1748233 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 15, 2008) (reversing unemployment law judge's decision disqualifying plaintiff from receiving unemployment benefits and remanding for further findings on the credibility of plaintiff's testimony)

    Hayes v. Minneapolis Sch. Dist., Special Sch. Dist. No. 1, 27-cv-07-5006 (Dist. Ct. Minn. 2008) (denial in part of defendant’s summary judgment motion where genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether employee was wrongfully terminated as a result of employer’s discrimination on the basis of race and sexual orientation)

    Brooks v. Pioneer Metal Finishing, No. 06-841, 2007 WL 1378417 (D. Minn. May 7, 2007) (denial of defendant’s summary judgment motion where genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff was adequately performing her job duties and as to whether defendant’s reasons for termination were pretext for age discrimination and retaliation)