Marilyn regularly assists employers of all sizes with a wide array of issues arising under federal, state, and local employment laws. When serving her clients, Marilyn understands the import of balancing legal constraints with practical business needs and goals.
With former management and in-house experience, Marilyn is uniquely qualified to understand the multi-faceted challenges that arise in the modern workplace and to guide employers to appropriate solutions. Marilyn helps employers understand not only the potential legal consequences of employment decisions, but also the practical implications of such decisions. Through exercising both legal and practical expertise, Marilyn works with her clients to reach the best decisions for their businesses in a wide range of circumstances.
When workplace disputes are unavoidable, Marilyn is an experienced litigator with a strong record of resolving threatened court actions, agency charges, and other disputes in favor of her clients. Marilyn’s thoughtful approach to evaluating cases, coupled with strong negotiating skills, have contributed to a history of multiple zero-sum settlements reached at very early stages, saving her clients substantial time and money when faced with threatened litigation.
Marilyn has particular expertise in wage and hour matters, and she has successfully defended employers against class-wide claims for alleged unpaid overtime and misclassification of workers. She also has conducted multiple wage and hour audits, particularly with regard to exemption status. Marilyn additionally has expertise in leave, accommodation, and workers’ compensation matters, and she regularly offers practical guidance to help employers effectively manage complex issues and avoid liability in these areas. She has presented and offered numerous training sessions on the foregoing topics.
Marilyn also is firmly committed to assisting non-profit organizations as well as individuals without resources who require legal assistance. She has worked on a variety of pro bono matters during her years at the firm, including serving on a team representing clients on death row in Texas. This commitment is an extension of her work during law school, where she received a CALI Award for her work representing death-row inmates in Cornell’s capital punishment clinic.
Education & Admissions
Cornell Law School (J.D., 2006), cum laude
Managing Editor, Cornell Law Review
CALI Award, Capital Punishment Clinic, 2006
University of Minnesota (B.A., English Literature, 2001)
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Pierre Nieddu v. Life Time Fitness (S.D. Tex.): Represented employer in purported nationwide collective action asserting claims for unpaid minimum wage and/or overtime, improper deductions from wages, and improper recordkeeping under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Successfully opposed conditional certification of a collective action by demonstrating named plaintiff was not similarly situated to other employees, saving client substantial costs in defending class-wide litigation. Subsequently succeeded in obtaining summary judgment in favor of employer on all claims in plaintiff’s individual wage-and-hour action.
- Cathy Slatterly v. rms Company (D. Minn.): Represented employer in case asserting claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (“MHRA”). Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of employer on all claims asserted.
- Ryan Dale v. United States Steel Corporation (D. Minn.): Represented employer in case asserting wrongful retaliation in violation of the Minnesota Human Rights Act ("MHRA"). The Plaintiff's reprisal claim was predicated upon his father’s alleged protected act, and the case was the first to consider such a claim under the MHRA following a Supreme Court decision allowing similar claims under Title VII. Successfully argued that a third-party retaliation claim was not cognizable under the state statute, resulting in dismissal of case against employer.
- Lucky’s Station, LLC v. Dep’t of Employment and Economic Development (Minn. Ct. App.): Represented client seeking reversal of agency’s finding that client’s request for reconsideration of agency’s decision was untimely. Briefed and argued issue before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, with successful order remanding the issue to agency for evidentiary hearing on timeliness.
- Labor arbitration: Represented employer in labor arbitration regarding union employee’s grievance related to attendance discipline. Achieved successful arbitration award dismissing grievance in its entirety.
- Wage & Hour Audits: Conducted company-wide wage-and-hour exemption classification audits for large, national employers in the medical-device and energy industries. Successfully transitioned hundreds of employees from exempt to non-exempt status and worked with employers to execute policies and practices minimizing risk of exposure going forward.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Events & Speaking Engagements
- Significant Leave Management Issues - Tracking, Pay & Benefits: Presentation on practical guidance related to leave management, Minnesota CLE Seminar (September 2015)
- Brave New Workplace: Presentation on social media, tracking, and other new electronic developments in the workplace, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and ESI in Litigation, Dorsey L&E Conference (February 5, 2015)
- Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire – Intermittent FMLA Leave: Presentation on issues with tracking time and paying employees on intermittent leave, and addressing concerns with potential leave abuse, Upper Midwest Labor & Employment Conference (May 2012)
- Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire: Managing FMLA During the Leave, CLE presentation, Co-presenter at Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (May 2012)
- Perfect Attendance and Automatic Termination Policies: The Perfect Storm for Automatic Litigation, CLE presentation, Co-presenter at Dorsey & Whitney L&E Webinar Series (February 2012)
- Discipline and Discharge, Presented at client annual Human Resources seminar (April 2012)
- Expecting the Unexpected: Managing Atypical Situations under the FMLA, CLE presentation, Co-presenter at Dorsey & Whitney Labor and Employment Bi-Annual Spring Conference (2011)
- Hiring, Discipline and Discharge: Practical Tips to Minimize the Risks of Employment Controversy, CLE presentation, Presented at Minnesota CLE Small Business Seminar (November 2011)
- Pre-Litigation Compliance Strategies: Wage & Hour Issues, Co-presenter at Dorsey & Whitney Labor and Employment Bi-Annual Spring Conference (2008)
Industries & Practices
- Banking & Financial Institutions
- Class Action Litigation
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
- Labor & Employment