Practice Group | Bassford Remele

Employment Litigation/Advice

From Fortune 500 Companies to non-profit organizations, and every type of employer in between, we provide practical advice and seasoned representation in all matters of employment law. With more than two decades of experience spanning both the state and federal courts, we navigate non-compete disputes, whistleblower claims, discrimination and harassment complaints, wage and hour disagreements, Employee Retirement Income Security Act litigation, and more.

Beyond the courtroom, we help employers draft employee policies, negotiate separation agreements, conduct internal employment investigations, and provide important training designed to keep clients up to date on changes in employment law. Some recent successes include representation of a health care system client facing defamation charges and a local school fighting a wrongful-discharge claim. We regularly win summary judgments in our clients’ favor in Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) cases. We also defend many companies against EEOC/MDHR charges, regularly obtaining dismissals with no probable cause.

Representative Cases

Defended corporate directors and successfully resolved litigation with the United States Department of Labor involving $39 million sale to ESOP. (2016-2022).

Defended a health care system at trial, obtaining a defense jury verdict in a defamation case.

Obtained early dismissal of qui tam lawsuit seeking multi-million dollar recovery under the Minnesota False Claims Act. (2020).

Represented a health care system, obtaining summary judgment on Title VII/MHRA race and national origin discrimination claims; upheld on appeal. Findlator v. Allina Health, 960 F.3d 512 (8th Cir. 2020).

Served as local counsel for Fortune 5 company in class/collective wage and hour litigation. (2018-2020).

Secured a complete defense verdict in a three-week trial involving more than $20 million in claimed damages for breach of a non-compete agreement and duty of loyalty. (2018). The verdict was upheld on appeal. (2019).

Represented a hospital and a physician, obtaining a Rule 12 dismissal of Section 1983 civil rights and defamation claims; upheld on appeal. Peschong v. Children’s Healthcare, 917 F.3d 656 (8th Cir. 2019).

Represented a healthcare provider, winning summary judgment on a MHRA pregnancy discrimination claim. (2019).

Represented a national restaurant chain in arbitration, obtaining a favorable resolution of a case involving alleged sexual harassment. (2018).

Represented a Fortune 500 company, obtaining a favorable resolution of a case involving alleged sexual abuse by a former employee. (2017).

Represented the former chairman, chief executive officer, and selling-shareholder in a class-action ESOP litigation, winning summary judgment from the district court for the firm’s client on the eve of trial. (Following separate trials on liability and damages, the plaintiff class was awarded more than $15 million in relief. Judgment in favor of the firm’s client was unchallenged on appeal.) Chesemore v. All. Holdings, Inc., 276 F.R.D. 506 (W.D. Wis. 2011); 886 F. Supp. 2d 1007 (W.D. Wis. 2012); aff'd sub nom. Chesemore v. Fenkell, 829 F.3d 803 (7th Cir. 2016).

Represented a religious institution, obtaining a favorable resolution of a case involving alleged sexual abuse by a former employee. (2016).

Represented a private secondary school, obtaining a favorable resolution of a case involving a former student’s sexual abuse claims. (2016). 

In a case involving ESOP appraisal, successfully resolved contribution and indemnity claims against third-party defendants relating to alleged breach of fiduciary duties under ERISA. (2015).

Represented a school, winning summary judgment in an employment discrimination case involving alleged claims of wrongful discharge, discrimination, and reprisal.

Represented a school in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment in an employment dispute involving the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Fischer v. Minneapolis Pub. Sch., 792 F.3d 985 (8th Cir. 2015).

Represented a skilled nursing facility, winning summary judgment on the former employee’s defamation claim.

Represented a global waste service company in district court and on appeal, winning summary judgment in a case alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senter, 564 F. App'x 273 (8th Cir. 2014).

Represented the Board of Pensions of a large religious denomination, obtaining a voluntary dismissal of a disability benefits lawsuit.

Represented corporate officers, obtaining a favorable resolution in a claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty in removing members of the board of directors.

Comments from clients and the legal community:

Bassford Remele's employment attorneys are excellent. We had the opportunity to work with them multiple times in the past year as we managed personnel issues related to the pandemic and they were extremely responsive and helpful in guiding us to decisions even when there were no clear answers. I appreciate that they take into consideration the practical side of any issue and consider the business implications, as well as the legal ones. I would highly recommend Bassford Remele. (General Counsel, Health Care Provider)


Bassford Remele's labor and employment law team provides exceptional value to our institution. Their lawyers have deep expertise in both employment law and litigation in general. In addition, they are genuinely enjoyable to work with and exceedingly professional. (General Counsel, Education Provider)


This was our first foray into employment litigation and we did not know what to expect. Bassford Remele was recommended by our insurance company, so we engaged them in our defense. Jonathan Norrie and his staff did an excellent job of walking us thru the process and what we could expect during the litigation. (Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturer)


Great experience overall having Bassford Remele as our contact with our Litigation- Labor & Employment cases. Jonathan Norrie my contact with Bassford Remele understands and values his clients, very insightful and is an expert in this field. Truly a professional law firm. (Director of Human Resources, Health Care Provider)


Bassford Remele is a terrific partner for us. They drive strong results, are exceptionally responsive, and cost-effective. I highly recommend them. (Senior Vice President, Bank)


We use Bassford Remele for multiple labor and employment needs. They are extremely responsive, knowledgeable, and aware of the budget for a given project. As a non-profit, I appreciate that tremendously. In addition, they provide training and other "value adds" that help me in my work within the organization. They've taken a true interest in *** which makes it that much easier when we have a matter we need them to assist with because they already know the people and the culture. (General Counsel, Health Care Provider)


These comments were collected as part of the U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" research process.

accolades

Metropolitan Tier 1 Firm in the area of Labor and Employment Litigation
Metropolitan and National Litigation-ERISA Firm
Star Tribune Gold Winner in Civil Litigation
Alan Silver 2012 & 2020 Minneapolis Litigation-ERISA Lawyer of the Year