Frances E. Baillon

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Employment Litigation Attorney in Minneapolis, MN

Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP
 | 100 South Fifth Street, Suite 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: 612-252-3570
Fax: 612-252-3571
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019
Selected to Rising Stars: 2004 - 2005, 2008 - 2009, 2011 - 2013
Licensed Since: 1998
Practice Areas:
  • Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (60%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (30%),
  • Civil Rights (10%)
Attorney Profile

Frances E. Baillon is a recognized advocate for those who have been treated unfairly by the practices of their employers. A founding partner of Baillon Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP, Frances litigates and tries employment cases in state and federal court involving sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation. She has also successfully argued cases before the Minnesota state and federal district courts, the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Frances has consistently been named to the lists of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by her peers and has made the lists of Top 50 Minnesota Women Super Lawyers, Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America repeatedly. Frances is a certified employment law specialist and a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law where she was both a competitor and board member of the Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court Competition. Frances is on the Governing Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Labor & Employment Law Section and is the former president and current amicus committee chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association.

 
Practice Areas

Employment Litigation: Plaintiff (60%)
Employment & Labor: Employee (30%)
Civil Rights (10%)

Employment Litigation (60%): Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation

Employment & Labor (30%): Employment Law - Employee, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment

Civil Rights (10%): Americans with Disabilities Act, Race Discrimination, Disability, Discrimination

Focus Areas

Employment Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, Retaliation, Employment Law - Employee, Whistleblower, Sexual Harassment, Americans with Disabilities Act, Race Discrimination, Disability, Discrimination

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 7 years

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019 Rising Stars: 2004 - 2005, 2008 - 2009, 2011 - 2013

Certificates and Credentials

MSBA Board Certified Specialists

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About Frances Baillon

Admitted: 1998, Minnesota

Professional Webpage: https://www.baillonthome.com/team/frances-e-baillon

Honors/Awards:

  • Competitor and Board Member of Rosalie E. Wahl Moot Court Competition, William Mitchell College of Law

Special Licenses/Certifications:

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Governing Council Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Solo and Small Firm Section, Member
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter, Member and Circuit Update Contributor
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Civil Jury Instruction Committee on Employment Law
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Minnesota Chapter, Amicus Committee Chair and Former Chapter President
  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Eighth Circuit Conference Board Member

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Project Homeless Connect Volunteer

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Medical Cannabis in the Workplace: What Protections Do Employees Have?, Federal Bar Association's Rising Professionals Symposium, Presenter, 2019
  • Mediation Panel, Fourth Annual Professional Skills Program, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, panelist with Susan Tsui Grundmann, J.McGrath and Bill Allen, Oct. 19, 2018
  • Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of HIV/AIDS: What Protections Do Employees Have?, Minnesota Lavender Bar Association Conference, Panelist with Cassie Navarro, 2019
  • Meet the Magistrates, MSBA Labor & Employment Law Section, Moderator, 2019
  • Sexual Harassment Update, Minnesota State Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section, Speaker with Sheila Engelmeier, 2013
  • Minnesota Marital Status - March Madness?, Minnesota State Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section, Speaker with V. John Ella, 2012
  • The First Amendment: Churches Seeking Sanctuary for the Sins of the Fathers, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 31, 2004
  • When Clergy Fail Their Flock - Innovative Strategies for Prevention, Healing and Justice, American Association for Justice, 2003
  • Perspectives on FMLA Litigation Developments From Both Sides: Pitfalls to Avoid and Opportunities to Seize, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute,Panelist, 2013
  • Cutting Edge Issues in Discrimination: Marital Status, Caregiver and Appearance, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute,Panelist, 2013
  • How to Litigate Whistleblower and Retaliation Cases Post Bahr and Kidwell, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Speaker, 2010
  • Starting a Solo or New Law Firm: Going Solo or Small Boot Camp, Minnesota State Bar Association Solo & Small Firm Section, Speaker, 2011
  • Sexual Harassment Law and Practice, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association Employment Law Handbook
  • West Metro CLE Co-operative, Panelist, 2014
  • The Changing Landscape of Retaliation Claims: Applying the “But-For” Causation Standard after Gross and Nassar, 8th Circuit National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Panelist, 2014
  • BNA/Employment Law Aspects of Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (Minnesota Section), Reviewer, 2014
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Labor & Employment Section Newsletter, FLMA Section, Contributor, 2013
  • Who's the boss?, Minnesota Lawyer, Co-author with Gina Janeiro, 2014
  • Is McDonnell Douglas Too Burdensome? Circuits Question the Utility of the Decades Old Burden-Shifting Model, Federal Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Co-author with Brian Rochel and Phillip Kitzer, 2015
  • Understanding Recent Changes in Employment Law, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Speaker, 2013
  • Law Office Management for the Plaintiffs' Employment Lawyer, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Panelist and Moderator, 2015
  • Investigator Training - Pretext or Reality: An Analysis of the Pretext State in Federal, State, and Municipal Claims, Minnesota State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Speaker with Joe Schmitt, 2016
  • Lawyers as Employers: Employment Law Primer for Solo/Small Firms, MSBA Solo/Small Firm Section, Panelist with Matthew Frank, 2016
  • ADA Litigation in 2016 - The Biggest Issues, Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Sara McGrane, Gina Janeiro and Doug Micko, 2016
  • Growing Your Practice, Minnesota State Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Section, Panelist with Sheila Engelmeier, 2017
  • Effectively Identifying and Successfully Prosecuting Joint Employment and Employee Misclassification Claims, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Panelist with Leslie Lienemann and Justin Cummins, 2017
  • The Workplace Bully: The Law and Practical Tips for Managing the Conduct, Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, Panelist with Sheila Engelmeier, Kevin Lindsey and Jessica Roe, 2017
  • Drafting Employment Settlement Agreements, Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association, Panelist with Adrianna Shannon, 2017
  • False Claims Act (Qui Tam) Claims: What Every Plaintiff’s Employment Lawyer Should Know, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Moderator, 2017
  • Wait…That Happened at Work?: When Inappropriate Workplace Conduct Becomes Actionable, Mitchell Hamline School of Law Alumni CLE Series, Panelist with Joni Thome, 2018
  • Appellate Practice in Employment Law Cases, Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, Panelist with Steve Smith, Brad Lindeman and Leslie Lienemann, 2018
  • Eighth Circuit Employment Law Update, Eighth Circuit National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Panelist with David Schlesinger and Kelly Brandon, 2018
  • Federal District Court and 8th Circuit Update, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Co-presenter with Andrew Tanick, 2018
  • Modern Employment Law: Sexual Orientation Discrimination and Title VIIUpdate, Fourth Annual Professional Skills Program, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, Presenter, Oct. 19, 2018

Representative Clients:

  • Gilbert v. MetLife Auto and Home, Civ. No. 09-1990 (D. Minn. Mar. 14, 2011 and Oct. 7, 2011) (district court denied summary judgment determining issues of fact remained whether employer violated the MHRA by discriminating against disabled employee with cancer when she was only employee not rehired after reorganization; plaintiff-employee later died during pendency of her case and district court found employees MHRA disability discrimination claim survives her death for purposes of recovering special damages)
  • Bahr v. Capella Univ., 765 N.W.2d 428 (Minn. Ct. App. 2009) cert. granted (June 18, 2009) (setting standard for statutorily protected conduct in retaliation cases under the MHRA)
  • Schutz v. Minneapolis Sch. Dist. Special Sch. Dist. No. 1, No. 27-CV-06-474 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Jan. 24, 2007) (following trial, judgment entered in favor of plaintiff on her claim of reprisal in violation of the MHRA, awarding damages in the amount of $149,000 plus damages for emotional distress in the amount of $50,000, attorney’s fees and costs)
  • Hayes v. Dapper, 2008 WL 4301018, No. A07-1878 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 23, 2008) (reversing dismissal of whistleblower case because a report need not be formal to constitute protected conduct and questions of fact remained whether the report was made in good faith)
  • Schmitz v. United States Steel Corp., 2010 WL 4941668 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 7, 2010) (reversing dismissal and recognizing a cause of action for a “threat” claim where employer told employee that if he filed workers compensation claim he would be fired) 
  • Harnan v. Univ. of St. Thomas, 776 F.Supp. 2d 938 (D. Minn. 2011) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s FMLA interference claim where genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff suffered from a serious health condition and whether plaintiff was entitled to the benefits of theFMLA; and denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment for plaintiff’s FMLA retaliation claim where genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s proffered reason for termination was pretext for plaintiff’s termination)
  • Hollenkamp v. Jennie-O, No. 07-CV-04725 (D. Minn. June 1, 2009) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of disability discrimination because genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s reasons for firing plaintiff were pretextual, where defendant fired plaintiff, a longtime employee, shortly after plaintiff became disabled) 
  • Ritter v. Auntie Ruth's Furry Friends, Case No. A14-1044, (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 9, 2015) (reversing dismissal of MHRA age discrimination case wherein just 45 days after new owners of the business took control, plaintiff’s manager made derogatory comments about plaintiff’s age, including complaining to plaintiff that “you cost a lot” (referencing her insurance premiums) and “we can't afford you,” criticizing plaintiff’s clothing as being “from the 70s,” and being told by the manager repeatedly that plaintiff was not close enough in age to the rest of the staff to relate to them, and that there were “generational things” or “generation gaps” between Plaintiff and the younger employees)
  • Frieler v. Carlson Marketing Group, 751 N.W.2d 558 (Minn. 2008) (setting precedent that a plaintiff alleging sexual harassment by a supervisor in violation of theMHRA is not required to prove employer knew or should have known about the harassment and failed to take timely and appropriate action; and setting precedent that employer is subject to vicarious liability for an actionable hostile environment created by supervisor with immediate or successively higher authority over victimized employee)
  • Kaufenberg v. Schwans Home Services, Inc., 2009 WL 234014, No. A08-0214 (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 3, 2009) (genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether employee’s  termination for the alleged falsification of medical records was pretext where employee presented legitimate explanation for the omissions on her medical report, employer had a policy of not terminating employees for mistakes and termination followed worker’s compensation claim)
  • Adamson v. Mattamy Homes, No. 27-CV-13-2612 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Oct. 17, 2013) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim for age discrimination under the MHRA because genuine issues of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s reasons for termination were pretext where two younger employees replaced plaintiff after she was terminated)
  • Lemon v. City of Minneapolis, No. 27-CV-08-11976 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Dec. 1, 2009) (following a bench trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of plaintiff on her claims of reprisal in violation of the MHRA and reprisal under the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Act, finding that defendant’s insults, demotion, and attempt to fire plaintiff demonstrated a “campaign of retaliatory actions” toward her based on her complaints about her work environment)
  • Schaich v. Int’l Seals, Inc., No. 27-CV-06-16894 (Dist. Ct. Minn. Sept. 12, 2007) (denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim of retaliation under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act because a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether defendant’s reason for terminating plaintiff was pretextual where the facts indicated defendant terminated plaintiff shortly after he refused to unload boxes containing dead animals because he believed it was unsafe and voiced his opposition to defendant; subsequently, judgment entered for plaintiff following jury trial and award of damages)
  • Bahr v. Capella Univ., 788 N.W.2d 76 (Minn. 2010) (establishing that employee need not prove underlying merits of a discrimination/hostile environment to prove retaliation claim under the MHRA; employee need only demonstrate that she had a good faith reasonable belief that conduct she opposed was a violation of the MHRA)
  • Moore v. Epperson Underwriting Co., 2007 WL 2332755, No. Civ. 06-2563 (D. Minn. Aug. 15, 2007) (denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment where questions of fact remained regarding disability claim and violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA))

Educational Background:

  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, B.A. in English

Comments

  • “Exceptional attorney. One of the best appellate attorneys in Minnesota.”

These comments were made by fellow attorneys during the annual nomination process.

Office Location for Frances E. Baillon

100 South Fifth Street
Suite 1200
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Phone: 612-252-3570

Fax: 612-252-3571

Frances E. Baillon:

Last Updated: 2/14/2019

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