Nicole’s experience allows her to grasp the “big picture” issues employers face every day, and her legal advice incorporates those practical realities.
Nicole advises clients on the full range of labor and employment issues, including wage and hour, family leave, disabilities and related leaves and reasonable accommodations, civil rights, discrimination, harassment, traditional labor, and issues arising under the National Labor Relations Act. In addition to litigation (and counseling to avoid litigation), Nicole advises on maintaining positive employee relations in both unionized and non-unionized environments. She helps employers maintain cooperative union relationships through contract management, interpretation, and negotiations. As a vice president at an integrated marketing company where she led numerous divisions, Nicole worked regularly with outside legal counsel, and knows what clients expect when they reach out to their lawyers. She’s able to bring that insight to bear for her clients today. In addition to her work for private employers, Nicole represents colleges and universities in Title IX, FERPA, and harassment and sexual misconduct allegations. She emphasizes positive employee relations with her clients, drawing on her own prior management experience.
Nicole counsels and litigates on behalf of clients facing issues involving the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
In her counseling work, she helps draft policies, employment handbooks, separation and noncompetition agreements, and due to her prior management experience, is known for her ability to identify quickly with clients, gain their confidence and put them at ease as they work through difficult problems.
Nicole assists employers, union and nonunion, to address the needs of their workforce and respond to issues that arise under the National Labor Relations Act, including responding to grievances, defending employers facing charges and assisting with CBA interpretation and application of rules. Nicole also assists her unionized employers with contract negotiations, both at the table and behind the scenes.
Nicole regularly travels to deliver anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for employers of all sizes across various industries, and she conducts internal investigations of workplace complaints (both as a company advisor and as a neutral investigator). She also trains employers across a wide variety of industries on positive employee relations, preparing for negotiations, and general labor relations topics.
As part of her pro bono work, Nicole has written amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the ACLU of Minnesota and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in cases seeking greater government transparency and accountability. She also regularly works with the Firm’s Deinard Legal Clinic on pro bono family law matters.
Nicole serves on the Minneapolis Recruiting Committee and is focused on, and committed to, the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts in this regard.
In her practice, Nicole has successfully obtained summary judgment dismissal of a reverse-gender discrimination claim and OSHA whistleblower (FRSA) claim against railroad client (Federal District Court, Northern District of Illinois). Obtained affirmance of the same on appeal to the Seventh Circuit.
She has negotiated favorable settlements of state age discrimination claims against a national network of health & human services providers and a distributor of construction/mining equipment throughout the Upper Midwest (Minnesota and Iowa, respectively).
Nicole has also obtained numerous no-probable-cause findings for clients across various industries for claims of discrimination and retaliation before the EEOC, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and the Department of Labor (OSHA).
News & Insights
- Press Release06.13.2019
- Firm Events01.23.2020
MSBA Labor & Employment Section Excellence in Employment Law award winner representing William Mitchell College of Law, 2015
Professional & Civic Activities
Professional & Civic Activities
Minnesota State Bar Association
Hennepin County Bar Association
American Bar Association
Federal Bar Association
Member of NACUA, National Association of College and University Attorneys
Midwest Gymnastics Booster Club, President of the Board, 2019 to Present
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, Board Member, 2019 to Present
Practices & Industries
- Minnesota, 2015
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2015
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2018
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2018
William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, 2015
- William Mitchell Law Review, Executive Editor, (2014-15), Staff Writer, (2013-14)
- Research Assistant for Professors Ted Sampsell-Jones and Daniel S. Kleinberger
- Kirwin Award for Professionalism
University of Florida, B.A., 2001