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David E. Schlesinger

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Nichols Kaster, PLLP
80 S 8th St, Suite 4700
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-355-6599
Fax: 612-338-4878
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2022
Selected to Rising Stars: 2012
Licensed in Minnesota Since: 2006
Practice Areas: Employment Litigation: Plaintiff, Employment & Labor: Employee, Business Litigation
Attorney Profile

David Schlesinger, a partner at Nichols Kaster, PLLP, is an experienced and skilled advocate for employees. With more than fifteen years of experience, David is an MSBA Certified Employment Law Specialist. For the last decade, he has been named a “Super Lawyer.” He has also been named a “Best Lawyer in America,” a “Best Lawyer in Minnesota,” and to the “Minnesota Power 30” list, among other accolades.

For David, there is nothing more professionally meaningful than when he is able to substantially improve his clients’ lives through his advocacy. His clients have awarded him a 10.0 "Superb" peer review rating through Avvo.

David serves as the chair of the Legal Advisory Committee and on the board of directors of Gender Justice. He also taught Law in Practice at the University of Minnesota Law School, is the former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association and serves as Vice President of the Labor and Employment Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

David has successfully litigated a wide variety of employment claims, including several significant cases involving gender, race and disability discrimination. His practice includes an emphasis on the intersection of employment and business disputes, including litigation of breach of fiduciary duty and minority shareholder claims. He has effectively defended employees from non-compete and trade secret claims brought by their former employers.

David is frequently asked to deliver presentations on employment law matters to groups of fellow attorneys. Topics have included employment agreements, equal pay rights, religious discrimination, hostile work environments, and wage and hour violations.

Practice Areas
  • 60%Employment Litigation: Plaintiff
  • 30%Employment & Labor: Employee
  • 10%Business Litigation
Focus Areas

Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Wage & Hour Laws, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Trade Secret, Non-Compete Agreements

Selections

10 Years Super Lawyers
1 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2022
  • Rising Stars: 2012

Certificates and Credentials

About David E. Schlesinger

First Admitted: 2006, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: http://www.nka.com/lawyer/david-schlesinger/

Educational Background

  • Mary Washington College, B.A., Honors: cum laude, 2001

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • “What you need to know regarding the Biden Administration’s Covid-19 Action Plan,” Minnesota CLE Webinar, September 2021., Co-presenter, What you need to know regarding the Biden Administration’s Covid-19 Action Plan, Minnesota CLE, 2021
  • Covid-19 Employment Litigation, Minnesota Association for Justice Annual Convention, August 2021, Co-presenter, Covid-19 Employment Litigation, MAJ, 2021
  • Problem Employees: When the Problematic Behavior Stems from a Mental Health Condition, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, July 2021., Panelist , Problem Employees: When the Problematic Behavior Stems from a Mental Health Condition, Minnesota CLE, 2021
  • "New Minnesota Cases Strengthen Employee Rights – Top Takeaways from Diverse Perspectives,” 2021 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2021., Co-presenter, New Minnesota Cases Strengthen Employee Rights – Top Takeaways from Diverse Perspectives, Minnesota CLE, 2021
  • Advising Employees in the Wake of Covid-19, Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, May 2020., Panelist , Advising Employees in the Wake of Covid-19, Minnesota CLE, 2020
  • "Employment Discrimination Overview,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019., Co-presenter, Employment Discrimination Overview, Minnesota CLE, 2019
  • “Minnesota Appellate Courts Strengthen Employee Protections,” MSBA Public Law and Appellate Sections, October 2020, Presenter, Minnesota Appellate Courts Strengthen Employee Protections, MSBA, 2020
  • "Winning Discovery Strategies," NELA National Convention, July 2020., Panelist , Winning Discovery Strategies, NELA, 2020
  • "The Intersection of Legal Ethics and Mental Health – Our Clients, Our Colleagues, Ourselves,”  Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019., Panelist , The Intersection of Legal Ethics and Mental Health – Our Clients, Our Colleagues, Ourselves, Minnesota CLE, 2019
  • “Business Litigation: The Big Impact of the New Amended Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure – 7 Ways They Are Changing Discovery Practice,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, 2019., Co-presenter, Business Litigation: The Big Impact of the New Amended Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure – 7 Ways They Are Changing Discovery Practice, Minnesota CLE, 2019
  • “Sex Harassment After #Metoo – The Latest Cases, Laws and Practices.” Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2019., Co-presenter, “Sex Harassment After #Metoo – The Latest Cases, Laws and Practices", Minnesota CLE, 2019
  • Co-presenter, “Practical Overview: Sexual Harassment Claims and Complaint Policies, Training and Response,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2018., Co-presenter, “Practical Overview: Sexual Harassment Claims and Complaint Policies, Training and Response, 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2018
  • "Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness," Minnesota CLE Webcast, July 2018., Panelist , Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness , Minnesota CLE , 2018
  • Co-presenter: Outside-The-Box Discovery Tools: Getting Creative With Discovery In The Era Of Proportionality,” National Employment Lawyers Convention, Chicago, June 2018., Panelist , Outside-The-Box Discovery Tools: Getting Creative With Discovery In The Era Of Proportionalit, NELA, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Winning the Harassment Case – Strategies and Tactics,” 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, May 2018., Co-presenter, Winning the Harassment Case – Strategies and Tactics, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Rectifying Representation and Wrongdoing: Ethical Obligations and Aspirations of Whistleblowing,” Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota, May 2018., Co-presenter, Rectifying Representation and Wrongdoing: Ethical Obligations and Aspirations of Whistleblowing, Guthrie Theater, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “How to Manage Chronic Illnesses in the Legal Workplace,” Workers’ Compensation Institute, Minneapolis, April 2018., Co-presenter, How to Manage Chronic Illnesses in the Legal Workplace, Workers’ Compensation Institute, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, “New Developments in Pay Equity Law,” ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Nassau, Bahamas, February 2018., Panelist , New Developments in Pay Equity Law, ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Eighth Circuit Employment Law Update,” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, Minneapolis, April 2018., Panelist , Eighth Circuit Employment Law Update, Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, 2018
  • Co-presenter, “Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, August 2017., Panelist , Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness, Minnesota CLE, 2017
  • Moderator/Presenter, “Employment Agreements 101: The Tips and Tricks Every Lawyer Should Know”, ABA Webinar, July 2017, Moderator/Presenter, Employment Agreements 101: The Tips and Tricks Every Lawyer Should Know, ABA, 2017
  • Co-Presenter, “Title VII & The Equal Pay Act: Dynamic Duo When Challenging Sex Discrimination in Compensation”, National Employment Lawyers Association, Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, June 2017, Co-presenter, Title VII & The Equal Pay Act: Dynamic Duo When Challenging Sex Discrimination in Compensation, NELA, 2017
  • “The Art of Trial Preparation” National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015, Panelist , The Art of Trial Preparation, NELA, 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “The Evolving Landscape of Equal Pay Legislation, Litigation and Regulation”, 2017 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2017, Panelist , The Evolving Landscape of Equal Pay Legislation, Litigation and Regulation, ABA, 2017
  • “Pay Equity: Increasing Enforcement and Emerging Issues”, ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 2017, Panelist , Pay Equity: Increasing Enforcement and Emerging Issues, ABA, 2017
  • Co-Presenter, “Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, August 2017., Panelist , Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness, Minnesota CLE, 2017
  • “Federal Litigation 101”, National Business Institute Video Webcast, 2015, Panelist , Federal Litigation 101, NBI, 2015
  • “How NELA Affiliates Operate”, National Employment Lawyers Association Affiliate Leader Training, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015, Panelist , How NELA Affiliates Operate, NELA, 2015
  • “The Art of Trial Preparation”, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015, Panelist , The Art of Trial Preparation, NELA, 2015
  • “Equal Pay Act Update”, American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2015, Panelist , Equal Pay Act Update, ABA, 2015
  • “Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trends”, Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association, 2014, Panelist , Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trend, Minnesota NELA, 2014
  • “The Art of Trial Preparation”, Eighth Circuit National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, 2014, Panelist , The Art of Trial Preparation, Eighth Circuit NELA, 2014
  • “Mental Health and the Legal Workplace”, Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2014, Panelist , Mental Health and the Legal Workplace, Minnesota CLE, 2014
  • “Remembering my father, and the struggle for civil rights in 2017”, MinnPost, January 18, 2017, Author, Remembering my father, and the struggle for civil rights in 2017, MinnPost, 2017
  • “Fair Pay or Comparable Worth? California’s New Fair Pay Act”, PLI’s Seminar: Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2016: The California Difference, San Francisco, California, 2016, Panelist , Fair Pay or Comparable Worth? California’s New Fair Pay Act, PLI, 2016
  • Co-author of “Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Issues”, published in The FMLA Handbook, Second Edition, 2016 (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education), Co-author , Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Issues, Minnesota CLE, 2016
  • “Turning the Tables on Employer Counterclaims”, Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016, Panelist , Turning the Tables on Employer Counterclaims, NELA, 2016
  • “Equal Pay Act Collective Actions”, American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2016, Panelist , Equal Pay Act Collective Actions, ABA, 2016
  • “Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases”, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, 2012, Panelist , Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases, NELA, 2012
  • “Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trends”, Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association, 2014, Panelist , Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trends, NELA, 2014
  • "20 Tips to Make Litigation Practice Just a Little Easier", Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2013, Panelist , 20 Tips to Make Litigation Practice Just a Little Easier, Minnesota CLE, 2013
  • Co-author of “The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act”, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (September 2013, Volume LXX, Number VIII at 14-18), Co-author , The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, Bench & Bar of Minnesota, 2013
  • “Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Employment – Returning to Work”, Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2012, Panelist , Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Employment – Returning to Work, Minnesota CLE, 2012
  • "Your Boss Did What? Employment Law 101 and the ABC's of Finding a Good Case", Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2012, Co-presenter, Your Boss Did What? Employment Law 101 and the ABC's of Finding a Good Case, Minnesota CLE, 2012
  • The Voice of Experience in Employment Arbitration, National Academy of Arbitrators Panel, 2012, The Voice of Experience in Employment Arbitration, 2012
  • “Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases”, National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, 2012, Panelist , Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases, NELA, 2012
  • "Religious Discrimination and Accommodation in the Workplace", MSBA Program, 2012, Panelist , Religious Discrimination and Accommodation in the Workplace, MSBA , 2012
  • "Appeals in Employment Law Cases", Minnesota CLE Webcast Panel, 2011, Panelist , Appeals in Employment Law Cases, Minnesota CLE, 2011
  • "Kasten: The New FLSA Retaliation Standard", Thomson Reuters Webinar Panel, 2011, Panelist , Kasten: The New FLSA Retaliation Standard, Thomson Reuters, 2011
  • "Hot Issues in Debtor-Creditor Practice: Successor Liability and Fraudulent Transfer: Risks for the Successor Business", Minnesota CLE, 2010, Panelist , Hot Issues in Debtor-Creditor Practice: Successor Liability and Fraudulent Transfer: Risks for the Successor Business, 2010
  • "Labor and Employment Law Section: Litigating Against the Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under State and Federal Law", Hennepin County Bar Association, 2010, Presenter, Labor and Employment Law Section: Litigating Against the Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under State and Federal Law, Hennepin County Bar Associatiom, 2010
  • The Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under Minnesota Law, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (July 2010, Vol. LXVII, No. VI at 30 - 34, 2010), Author, The Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under Minnesota Law, Bench & Bar of Minnesota , 2010

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Kpou v. Supervalu, 556 F.Supp. 3d 940 (Denial of summary judgment on race discrimination hostile work environment claims). , 2021
  • Campbell v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 2020 WL 5300734 (D. Idaho Sept. 4, 2020)(Denial of employer's motion for summary judgment on disability discrimination claims). , 2020
  • Wingate v. Metropolitan Airports Commission, Hennepin County District Court (Co-first chaired a trial resulting in a $150,000 jury verdict for our client), 2019
  • Harris v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 329 F.R.D. 616 (D. Neb. 2019) (granting class certification to thousands of railroad employees on ADA discrimination claims). , 2019
  • Jenkins v. University of Minnesota and Ted Swem, 2013-cv-01548 (D. Minn. 2017)(second chaired jury trial in which graduate student prevailed on her sexual harassment claim against her harasser)., 2017
  • Johnson et al. v. Links on the Mississippi, Inc., and William C. Doebler, 82-cv-15-4079 (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2017)(first-chaired a trial in which 4 former employees and the state were awarded $150,000 on harassment and retaliation claims), 2017
  • Knaak v. Armour-Eckrich Meats, LLC, 991 F. Supp. 2d 1052, 1053 (D. Minn. 2014)(granting conditional certification and denying employer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract claim)., 2014
  • Cox v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharm., Inc., Civ. No. 13-CV-1138, 2014 WL 2197031 (D. Minn. May 27, 2014)(denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment on equal pay act and Title VII claims)., 2014
  • Bertrang v. Wisconsin Cent., Ltd., Civ. No. 14-0133, 2014 WL 4199710 (D. Minn. Aug. 22, 2014)(granting motion to compel Rule 30(b)(6) deposition)., 2014
  • Rasmussen v. Two Harbors Fish Co., N.W.2d., 2013 WL 2221487 (Minn. May 22, 2013) (counsel for amicus curiae Minnesota Chapter National Employment Lawyers Association)., 2013
  • Teed v. Thomas & Betts Power Solutions, L.L.C., 711 F.3d 763, 764 (7th Cir. 2013)(counsel for Amicus Curiae National Employment Lawyers' Association in case establishing standard for successor liability under the FLSA)., 2013
  • Hargrove v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc., 2012 WL 463442 (E.D. Va. February 13, 2012), 2012
  • LaMont v. Independent School Dist. No. 728, 814 N.W.2d 14 (Minn. May 16, 2012)(Argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court, established a claim for hostile work environment prohibiting sex-based but non-sexual conduct under the Minnesota Human Rights Act), 2012
  • Robinson v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc., 2012 WL 505856 (S.D. Ala. January 19, 2012)(granting conditional certification to call center employees)., 2012
  • Swarthout v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc., 2011 WL 6152347 (N.D. Ind. December 12, 2011)(granting conditional certification to call center employees), 2011
  • Schlief v. Nu-Source, Inc., 2011 WL 1560672 (D. Minn. April 25, 2011)(granting employee’s motion to dismiss employer’s non-complete and trade secret claims)., 2011
  • Genesis 10 v. ValueWise, et al., (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2011)(denial of employer’s motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to prevent employees from joining a new company)., 2011
  • Haliye v. Celestica Corp., 717 F.Supp.2d 873 (D. Minn. 2010)(denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment of religious discrimination claims of twenty Muslim workers)., 2010
  • Russell v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., Inc., 721 F.Supp.2d 804 (N.D. Ill. 2010)(denial of decertification of employees’ off-the-clock claims at four call centers), 2010
  • Schwartz v. Virtucom, Inc., 2009 WL 1311816 (Minn. App. May 12, 2009) (trial and appellate victory for the employee in a successor liability claim), 2009
  • Bishop v. AT & T Corp., 256 F.R.D. 503 (W.D. Pa. 2009)(granting conditional certification to call center employees), 2009
  • Swanson v. State, 2009 WL 671039 (Minn. Ct. App. March 17, 2009)(reversal of summary judgment of employee’s whistleblower claim)., 2009
  • Russell v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., 575 F. Supp. 2d 930 (N.D. Ill. 2008)(granting conditional certification to call center employees), 2008
  • Garamella v. Intrepid U.S.A., et al. (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2007)denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment on employee’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference with contract)., 2007

Honors/Awards

  • , Named one of “The Best Lawyers in America”, Best Lawyers, 2022
  • , 10.0 Avvo Rating, Avvo, 2022
  • Named to Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers list, 2020-2022, 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment & Civil Rights Lawyers list, Lawdragon , 2022
  • , Power 30 List for Employment Lawyers, Minnesota Lawyer, 2021

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Chair, Legal Advisory Committee and Board Member, Gender Justice, 2018 - present., 2022
  • Associate Adjunct Professor, 2011-2018: Taught Law in Practice, a class that exposes first year law students to real-world legal skills like depositions, mediation and negotiation, and engages students regarding the related ethical rules., 2018

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist, Minnesota State Bar Association (2016-present), 2022

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Vice President of the Labor and Employment Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association., 2022
  • Eighth Circuit NELA, Treasurer, 2022
  • Secretary/Treasurer of the Labor and Employment Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association., 2021
  • Minnesota NELA, President, 2014-2016, 2014
  • Minnesota NELA, Vice President, 2013
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan
  • National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”), Governance Committee, Member
  • 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • 11th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member
  • Federal Bar Association, Member
  • U.S. District Court – District of North Dakota
  • U.S. District Court – District of Arizona
  • Arizona Supreme Court
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Office Location for David E. Schlesinger

80 S 8th St
Suite 4700
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-355-6599

Fax: 612-338-4878

Last Updated: 6/24/2022

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