Labor, Employment & Higher Education

We employ the proactive strategies and swift responsiveness it takes to help businesses of all sizes grow, maintain and protect a strong workforce.

Your employees are among your greatest investments. In fact, a recent Gallup Business Journal poll confirms that companies of all sizes with a strong and engaged workforce experience stronger productivity and profitability than those that don’t—even during challenging economic times.

This is true whether your business is a small privately held company in growth mode, a mission-driven nonprofit organization, a health care organization with affiliates and physician partners, or an established manufacturer with global operations.

So when it comes to protecting your investment in your workforce, minimizing risks and positioning your company for maximum productivity and profitability, the experienced employment and labor lawyers at Gray Plant Mooty can help you:

  • Create proactive employment strategies and implement best practices and policies, including through our unique HR Compliance Review program;
  • Ensure workers are properly classified as contract, part-time and full-time employees, and hourly or salaried employees;
  • Navigate complicated labor issues, including labor negotiations and providing union avoidance strategies;
  • Stay in compliance with the complex maze of state and federal employment regulations;
  • Manage immigration issues to help attract talent from other countries and avoid the immigration violations that lead to costly sanctions;
  • Respond swiftly and assertively when employment disputes arise, from defending discrimination, harassment, or wage and hour claims, to pursuing trade secret and noncompetition violations, in both formal litigation and less formal settings.

Whether we’re providing general employment counseling and training or representing your interests in court or agency proceedings in employment-related lawsuits and charges, your company’s success is our No. 1 goal.

Our experienced employment and labor attorneys regularly advise businesses in Minnesota and the surrounding Midwest region, such as:

  • Startup, privately held and established midsized companies, including working closely on an ongoing basis as employment law advisors to HR leaders with respect to hiring, discipline and termination; policies and procedures; safety compliance; training; immigration compliance and more.
  • Manufacturers, engineering firms and software and technology businesses, including litigating trade secret and confidential business information misappropriation claims, or noncompete claims.
  • Higher education institutions, including advising on issues related to promotions and tenure decisions, terminations and nonrenewals of tenured and tenure-track faculty, immigration compliance, compensation and benefits, and collective bargaining.
  • Health care providers, including structuring and enforcing noncompetition agreements within physician groups.

Contact us today to learn more about how our experienced employment and labor attorneys can help your company protect your greatest investments—your workforce and valuable business information—and help you avoid costly issues and sanctions.

Representative Clients

  • ACR Homes, Inc.
  • HNI Corporation
  • International Dairy Queen
  • National American University
  • St. Olaf College
  • Tastefully Simple, Inc.
  • University of Minnesota Physicians
  • W.R. Berkley Corporation 

Gray Plant Mooty is also the exclusive Minnesota member of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), a network of over 3,000 lawyers providing employment and labor expertise in more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states. The ELA offers multistate and multinational clients a comprehensive and cost-effective way to ensure legal compliance around the country and across the globe.


Gray Plant Mooty’s labor, employment and higher education attorneys have experience in almost every facet of employment law, including:

  • Employment litigation and disputes, including defending employers in complex and class action matters
  • Employment advice, including advising employers on various personnel and legal issues, and drafting and implementing workplace policies and handbooks
  • Employee classification issues, including independent contractors
  • Employee leave and disability accommodation management (under the FMLA, ADA and other laws)
  • Employment contracts, including noncompete and confidentiality agreements, and separation/severance agreements
  • Affirmative Action and anti-discrimination guidance
  • Criminal background and other investigative searches
  • Drug testing regulations and policies
  • Intellectual property protection, including trade secrets and other confidential information
  • Internal investigations and government audits
  • Labor law, including representing already-unionized employers in collective bargaining and grievance arbitration
  • Multistate and multinational services
  • Social media considerations, including related privacy issues
  • Training, including harassment and discrimination
  • Wage and hour regulation compliance (FLSA)
  • Whistle-blower and retaliation exposure management, avoidance and defense
  • Workplace safety
  • Workers compensation
  • White collar crime

Learn more about how our experienced team of employment and labor attorneys serve Minnesota and the surrounding Midwest region with all facets of their employment and labor law issues.

Representative Matters

  • Represented employer in class action suit based on state wage and hour claims brought by tipped employees
  • Represented large employer, with over 100,000 employees, in a class action sex discrimination lawsuit
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of mid-sized, national manufacturing company in a discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by a former employee
  • Won favorable jury verdict on behalf of a small, closely held company in a case involving a breach of noncompetition agreement
  • Obtained dismissal of a Minnesota Department of Human Rights charge of disability discrimination brought against a medical center by a former employee
  • Represented privately held company in the negotiation of a $8+ million equity incentive payout to its CEO, along with a new incentive agreement
  • Represented engineering firm on employment law issues involved in an asset purchase of another firm
  • Advised a government contractor with over 1,400 employees in conjunction with an audit by the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and achieved a favorable outcome for the client
  • Represented public hospital in labor negotiations with two different unions
  • Advised large employer in connection with the discovery that its CFO had been embezzling money and obtained summary judgment in civil suit against CFO requiring him to repay embezzled funds and forfeit his compensation
  • Drafted employee handbook and employment agreements for small, start-up company
  • Negotiated and drafted employment agreement for a public company’s new CEO
  • Successfully represented employer in labor arbitration of grievance for alleged contract violations

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