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Frances E. Baillon

Frances E. Baillon practices exclusively on behalf of plaintiffs in the area of employment law. Ms. Baillon litigates and tries employment cases in state and federal court involving sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. She has also successfully argued cases before the Minnesota state and federal district courts, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Baillon has co-authored and contributed to articles published by Minnesota Association for Justice, Fordham Urban Law Journal and the Bureau of National Affairs. Ms. Baillon is an Employment Law Specialist, certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association and has consistently been named a Super Lawyer and Rising Star. 

Ms. Baillon is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law where she was both a competitor and board member of the Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court Competition.  She currently serves as Vice President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, as well as chair of its Amicus Committee, is a member of the MSBA’s Civil Jury Instruction Committee on Employment Law and is a regular contributor to the MSBA’s Labor & Employment Section Newsletter.

Contact Frances at or 612-252-3570 

Practice Areas

Bar AdmissionsFrances E. Baillon is a Rising Start Attorney

  • Minnesota, 1998
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1999
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 2000


  • William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, Minnesota, Juris Doctor
    • Honors: Competitor and Board Member of Rosalie E. Wall Moot Court Competition
  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, 1995, Bachelor of Arts

Notable Cases

  • Adamson v. Mattamy Homes, No. 27-CV-13-2612 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Oct. 17, 2013) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim for age discrimination under the MHRA because genuine issues of material facts existed as to whether defendant’s reasons for termination were pretext where two younger employees replaced plaintiff after she was terminated).
  • Schwarzkopf v. Brunswick Corp., 833 F.Supp. 2d 1106 (D. Minn. 2011) (partial denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment where genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether former employee was subjected to a hostile work environment when his co-workers repeatedly made derogatory comments about his perceived disability over a period of more than a year). 
  • Harnan v. Univ. of St. Thomas, 776 F.Supp. 2d 938 (D. Minn. 2011) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s FMLA interference claim where genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff suffered from a serious health condition and whether plaintiff was entitled to the benefits of the FMLA; and denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment of plaintiff’s FMLA retaliation claim where genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s proffered reason for termination was pretext for plaintiff’s termination). 
  • Bahr v. Capella University, 765 N.W.2d 428 (Minn.App. 2009) cert. granted (June 18, 2009) (setting standard for statutorily protected conduct in retaliation cases under Minnesota Human Rights Act)
  • Bahr v. Capella Univ., 788 N.W.2d 76 (Minn. 2010) (establishing that employee need not prove underlying merits of a discrimination/hostile environment to prove retaliation claim under the MHRA. The employee need only demonstrate that she had a good faith reasonable belief that conduct she opposed was a violation of the MHRA.)
  • Lemon v. City of Minneapolis, No. 27-CV-08-11976 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Dec. 1, 2009) (following a bench trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff on her claims of reprisal in violation of the MHRA and reprisal under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, finding that defendant’s insults, demotion, and attempt to fire plaintiff demonstrated a “campaign of retaliatory actions” toward her based on her complaints about her work environment).
  • Hollenkamp v. Jennie-O, No. 07-CV-04725 (D. Minn. June 1, 2009) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of disability discrimination because genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s reasons for firing plaintiff were pretextual, where defendant fired plaintiff, a longtime employee, shortly after plaintiff became disabled). 
  • Frieler v. Carlson Marketing Group, 751 N.W.2d 558 (Minn. 2008) (setting precedent that a plaintiff alleging sexual harassment by a supervisor in violation of the MHRA is not required to prove employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take timely and appropriate action; and setting precedent that employer is subject to vicarious liability for an actionable hostile environment created by supervisor with immediate or successively higher authority over victimized employee).
  • Hayes v. Dapper, 2008 WL 4301018, No. A07-1878 (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)
  • Kaufenberg v. Schwans Home Services, Inc., No. A08-0214, 2009 WL 234014 (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2009) (genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether employee’s  termination for the alleged falsification of medical records was pretext where employee presented legitimate explanation for the omissions on her medical report,  employer had a policy of not terminating employees for mistakes and termination followed worker’s compensation claim).
  • Moore v. Epperson Underwriting Co., 2007 WL 2332755, No. Civ. 06-2563 (D.Minn. Aug. 15, 2007) (successfully defeated motion for summary judgment in disability and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA))
  • Schutz v. Minneapolis Sch. Dist. Special Sch. Dist. No. 1, No. 27-CV-06-474 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Jan. 24, 2007) (judgment entered in favor of plaintiff on her claim of reprisal in violation of the MHRA, awarding damages in the amount of $149,000 plus damages for emotional distress in the amount of $50,000, attorney’s fees and costs).
  • Schaich v. Int’l Seals, Inc., No. 27-CV-06-16894 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Sept. 12, 2007) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of retaliation under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, because genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s reason for terminating plaintiff was pretextual where the facts indicated defendant terminated plaintiff shortly after he refused to unload boxes containing dead animals because he thought it was unsafe to do so and voiced his opposition to defendant.   Subsequently, judgment entered for plaintiff following jury trial and award of damages).

Speaking and Other Contributions

  • Speaker, How to Litigate Whistleblower and Retaliation Cases Post Bahr and Kidwell, MN-NELA (2010)
  • Speaker, Starting a Solo or New Law Firm: Going Solo or Small Boot Camp, MSBA Solo & Small Firm Section (2011)
  • Speaker (with V. John Ella), Minnesota Marital Status - March Madness? MSBA Labor & Employment Law Section (2012)
  • Speaker (with Sheila Engelmeier), Sexual Harassment Update, MSBA Labor & Employment Law Section (2013)
  • Speaker, Understanding Recent Changes in Employment Law, MN-NELA (2013)
  • Speaker (panelist), Cutting Edge Issues in Discrimination: Marital Status, Caregiver and Appearance, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (2013)
  • Speaker (panelist), Perspectives on FMLA Litigation Developments From Both Sides Pitfalls to Avoid and Opportunities to Seize, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (2013)
  • Contributing author, MSBA Labor & Employment Law E-News Letter, (FMLA Section) (2013 – 2014)
  • Reviewer, BNA/Employment Law Aspects of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation, (Minnesota Section) (2014)

Published Works

  • The First Amendment: Churches Seeking Sanctuary for the Sins of the Fathers,” Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 31, 2004
  • When Clergy Fail Their Flock — Innovative Strategies for Prevention, Healing and Justice,” American Trial Lawyers Association, 2003
  • Sexual Harassment Law and Practice,” Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association Employment Law Handbook, 2001

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics: 2014
  • Rising Star, Minnesota Law & Politics: 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, 1998 – Present
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, 1999 – Present
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Minnesota Chapter
    • Board Member 2001-2004, 2013; Member 1999-present

Past Employment Positions

  • Reinhardt & Anderson, Associate/Senior Associate, 1999 – 2003
  • Reinhardt, Wendort & Blanchfield, Senior Associate, 2003 – 2006
  • Halunen & Associates, 2006-2011