LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad featured in MPR News

Millions of Americans will be subject to new vaccine mandates issued by President Joe Biden, including more than 1.4 million workers in Minnesota.

The announcement this week comes as the highly contagious delta variant continues to sweep the nation, putting unvaccinated people at higher risk of hospitalization and death.

Biden only described his plan in broad strokes during a White House press conference Thursday, but the strategy is already drawing applause from some corners — and a lot of questions from others.

On one hand, the mandate gives employers who are hesitant to battle employees over vaccines cover, said Susan Ellingstad, a partner with Minneapolis-based firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen.

“I think there are a lot of employers who have really wanted to [issue vaccine mandates] and […]

2021-09-13T11:21:03-05:00Sep 13, 2021|

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad featured in StarTribune

Minnesota employers, many of whom had been wary of instituting vaccine mandates of their own, were scrambling on Friday to understand how and when they will have to implement new federal guidelines that will require them to do just that.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced sweeping new federal regulations that will require employers with more than 100 workers to require immunizations or weekly testing. It’s a big move aimed at curbing the recent surge in COVID cases and hospitalizations mostly among the unvaccinated.

In Minnesota, the new orders will affect about 4,800 businesses which employ about 1.4 million Minnesotans, according to Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). That is about half of the state’s total workforce.

Amid a tight labor market, […]

2021-09-13T10:23:19-05:00Sep 13, 2021|

14 LGN Attorneys Named Super Lawyers and Rising Stars for 2021

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce that fourteen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as 2021 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. Super Lawyers recognizes the top 5% of outstanding lawyers in each state, who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, from more than 70 practice areas.

The Rising Stars recognition is given to the top 2.5% of up-and-coming attorneys in the state who are either 40 years or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less.

The selection process is multi-phased including independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.

2021-07-20T10:30:25-05:00Jul 20, 2021|

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad featured in StarTribune

Following a closely watched legal battle over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for staff at a Houston health system — a battle that the hospital won — no hospital or nursing home in Minnesota has imposed a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on its workers, people in the industry say.

Though vaccine mandates appear legal, trade groups representing hospitals and nursing homes in the state are not urging their members to implement them now. The Minnesota Department of Health hasn’t taken a position.

“That should not be construed to suggest that it isn’t incredibly important that people be vaccinated,” MDH spokesman Doug Schultz said in a statement. “It is VERY important to get everyone vaccinated.”

Minnesota reached a vaccine milestone last week, surpassing 3 million residents with […]

2021-06-21T13:26:55-05:00Jun 21, 2021|

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad featured in Wall Street Journal

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article discussing the role that employers have in ensuring a high percentage of the population gets vaccinated in an effort to curb the pandemic.

Lockridge Grindal Nauen in March mandated that our 100-person staff get vaccinated, barring an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Employees weren’t asked to provide proof but to notify our firm’s human resources director when they were fully vaccinated to help determine when we could reopen our offices or schedule more in-person gatherings. Ms. Ellingstad said there was no resistance, and all employees have complied.

“We’re never going to get past this until we have enough people vaccinated,” Ms. Ellingstad said. “Employers have a role to play in this.”

Read the full article here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-push-employees-to-prove-they-are-vaccinated-11623672001

2021-06-21T13:03:05-05:00Jun 14, 2021|

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad to Present at the 2021 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute

LGN partner Susan Ellingstad will be presenting at the 2021 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute on Monday, May 24thaddressing Hiring 101 – What Can Companies Do and Say?

Susan will cover such topics as: What can companies do and say when posting job positions, recruiting and screening job applicants, and interviewing individuals for a job? How can employers ask for the information they need about a candidate without violating state and federal discrimination laws?  Can they review applicant social media posts?  If so, how far can they go?  What about pre-employment background checks?  What are an employer’s obligations once a hiring decision is made?  And what are the risks of hiring remotely as many employers have done during COVID? The hiring process is fraught with legal risks and you don’t want to miss this session.

Register here: https://www.minncle.org/seminar/2033212101

2021-05-21T08:39:44-05:00May 21, 2021|

Lockridge Grindal Nauen Opening Doors to All in July

Lockridge Grindal Nauen announced it’s fully opening its downtown Minneapolis office on July 6. The firm mandated Covid-19 vaccinations for employees — with some exemptions for medical or religious reasons, but despite those everyone at the firm already has at least one shot, according to Susan Ellingstad, a partner with the firm who’s spearheaded its Covid-19 response efforts.

By the end of June, the firm expects everyone will have had at least two weeks since their second vaccine shot.

Employees who have childcare issues can still work remotely and even after the pandemic subsides. But most of the firm’s employees will be in a hybrid model where they can work a day or two each week at home.

“The way we have outlined it, we’ve realized people can work pretty efficiently from home,” Ellingstad said. “We’re gonna leave it up to department […]

2021-05-18T16:03:47-05:00May 18, 2021|

EMPLOYERS’ BIG DECISION – WHETHER TO MANDATE VACCINATION FOR EMPLOYEES

Now that three COVID-19 vaccines have finally received emergency use authorization (“EUA”) from the Federal Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) and President Biden just announced that all eligible adults should be able to sign up for a vaccine appointment by May 1, the question employers have pondered for some time is ripe for decision: Can employers require their employees to get vaccinated? And the related questions: Can employers ask employees for proof of vaccination? Can employers prohibit employees from coming to the workplace without having been vaccinated? And can employers terminate employees who refuse to be vaccinated?

The short answer to all of the above is yes. But as with every employment decision, it comes with lots of caveats, careful navigation through the legal landscape, risk assessments, and employee morale considerations.

The Legal Landscape

Several federal laws govern these questions, including the Americans with […]

2021-03-17T13:39:41-05:00Mar 15, 2021|

The Importance of High Quality Masks

With the high level of community spread of COVID-19 and now new, more transmissible strains of the virus, it is more important than ever to wear a high-quality mask when you are out in public or inside around anyone who does not live with you. Because medical quality masks were in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, and N95 masks (which offer the best protection and can filter out at least 95% of infectious particles) were needed for health care workers, the public was advised to use cloth masks. For some time now, medical/surgical masks have been available and are superior to cloth masks. But scientists say even surgical masks, which do not fit tightly, may not be enough to protect against these new variants of the virus, especially when people are indoor spaces with other people, such as grocery stores. The recommendation now is, at a minimum, […]

2021-02-04T20:36:35-06:00Feb 2, 2021|

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad recently chaired a full-day Employment Law program through Minnesota CLE on various topics relating to COVID-19

Ms. Ellingstad presented a session on Workplace Safety, including implementing and revising safety protocols and policies to reflect the evolving science and knowledge about COVID-19. Much of what we are learning about COVID-19 will impact our work environment long after the pandemic is over. This important discussion centered on creating best practices and proactive measures and evolving them as information rapidly changes.

Susan E. Ellingstad
Partner
seellingstad@locklaw.com
(612) 596-4074

2021-01-19T16:31:55-06:00Jan 19, 2021|

Yvonne Flaherty Named a Best Lawyers® 2021 Lawyer of the Year; 4 Other LGN Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2021

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce that five of the firm’s attorneys were named by Best Lawyers® to their 2021 Best Lawyers in America© list.

A special congratulations to LGN partner Yvonne Flaherty who was named Best Lawyers® 2021 Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” in Minneapolis.

Susan Ellingstad, Richard Lockridge, Charles Nauen, and Karen Hanson Riebel were also recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2021.

Recognition by Best Lawyers® is based entirely on peer review. This year’s Best Lawyers rankings were based on an analysis of over 9.4 million peer nominations submitted earlier this year which are divided by geographic region and practice areas before evaluation on the basis of professional expertise. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo an authentication process to make sure they are currently practicing and in good standing.

Super Lawyers recognizes the […]

2020-08-20T15:39:24-05:00Aug 20, 2020|

16 LGN Attorneys recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, including two of the state’s Top 100 MN Super Lawyers and three of the Top 50 MN Women Super Lawyers

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce that sixteen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as 2020 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

A special congratulations to LGN partners Susan Ellingstad and Karen Hanson Riebel who were named as two of Minnesota’s Top 100 Super Lawyers.

Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, and Karen Riebel were named as three of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Minnesota for the third year in a row. We are proud that this is the sixth year in a row in which at least three of LGN’s women partners have been recognized in this category.

LGN’s Super Lawyers

W. Joseph Bruckner, Brian Clark, Susan Ellingstad, Gregg Fishbein, Yvonne Flaherty, H. Theodore Grindal, Richard Lockridge, Charles Nauen, Karen Hanson Riebel, Robert Shelquist, and […]

2020-07-22T12:38:38-05:00Jul 22, 2020|

EMPLOYER BEST PRACTICES AND PROACTIVE MEASURES FOR REOPENING

As part of Minnesota’s and other states’ reopening measures, state and local governments are requiring employers – before opening – to implement preparedness plans which adopt guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and state Departments of Health to combat the spread of COVID-19. These safeguards include:

  • Personal hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
  • Engineering and administrative controls for social distancing;
  • Housekeeping – cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination;
  • Prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
  • Communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and
  • Management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

In addition to meeting the minimum requirements to comply with executive orders and recommended guidelines, employers need to be proactive leaders in reducing the risk of future outbreaks […]

2020-05-07T17:14:38-05:00May 1, 2020|

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DURING COVID-19

CARES ACT:

The CARES Act created three benefits programs to provide and expand unemployment benefits:

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
    Provides an additional 13 weeks after regular unemployment compensation benefits are exhausted. Ends 12/31/2020
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
    Extends benefits to self-employed, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors. Ends 12/31/2020
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
    Provides an additional $600 per week above the current state benefit. Ends 7/31/2020.

Expanded Unemployment Income (UI) Benefits:

The Act provides an additional federally-funded $600 of UI benefits per week on top of the weekly benefit amount determined by the state. This additional $600 per week is taxable and will expire on July 31, 2020.

Full and part-time workers who are laid off, furloughed, or have their hours reduced because of COVID-related impact on the business may be eligible to receive UI benefits under the Act. Upon application, each state will determine whether an employee should receive full or partial benefits. It […]

2020-05-07T17:23:37-05:00Apr 13, 2020|

MINNESOTA’S NEW STAY AT HOME ORDER – WHAT CHANGED?

On April 8, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-33 extending the stay at home period that was put in place by Executive Order 20-20 to 11:59 p.m. on May 3, 2020.  Executive Order 20-33 and the guidance issued by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) contain some notable changes from the prior Order, which has been rescinded.

The exceptions for certain personal activities identified (e.g., shopping for food and supplies, seeking medical help and caring for others) remain largely unchanged from prior Order with a few notable additions:  (1) travel to purchase materials to make homemade personal protective equipment; (2) voting; (3) moving to a new residence; and (4) attending funerals so long as there are no more than 10 attendees.  As before, when engaging in any of the exempt personal activities, Minnesotans must follow the Minnesota Department of Health Guidelines to the maximum extent possible, including maintaining […]

2020-05-07T17:33:56-05:00Apr 9, 2020|

MINNESOTA’S STAY AT HOME ORDER – COMPLIANCE IS MORE THAN LOOKING AT A LIST

On March 25, Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-20 ordering all Minnesotans to stay in their homes until April 10, 2020. There are exceptions for certain personal activities identified in the Order (shopping for food and supplies, seeking medical help and caring for others among others). In addition, there is an exemption for “Critical Sector Work.”

To determine whether your business fits within this exception and whether any of your employees qualify as “Critical Workers,” businesses need to look to the following three resources:

  1. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security’s Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response
  2. Governor’s Executive Order
  3. List of NAICS Codes determined to be critical industries

If your business clearly meets the definition of a critical industry in one of the resources above, then some of your employees may […]

2020-05-07T17:32:39-05:00Apr 1, 2020|

WAITING FOR THE CARES ACT?

THE SBA AND STATE OF MINNESOTA HAVE PROGRAMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE NOW

While the loan and relief programs under the CARES Act are extensive, there are three programs that small businesses can access now—the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Express Loan program and the State of Minnesota’s Small Business Emergency Loan Program.

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN PROGRAM

This program offers up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.

The loans are available with long-term repayment schedules in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. The terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based […]

2020-05-07T17:31:04-05:00Apr 1, 2020|

Five LGN Partners Named to 2020 Best Lawyers in America

Congratulations to LGN partners Richard Lockridge, Charlie Nauen, Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, and Karen Hanson Riebel for being named by Best Lawyers to their 2020 Best Lawyers in America list. They were recognized for their work in the following areas:

  • Richard Lockridge – Securities Litigation
  • Charles Nauen – Environmental Law & Environmental Litigation
  • Susan Ellingstad – Employment Law – Individuals & Employment Law – Management
  • Yvonne Flaherty – Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs
  • Karen Hanson Riebel – Class Actions – Plaintiffs

This year’s Best Lawyers rankings were based on an analysis of over 8.3 million peer nominations submitted earlier this year which are divided by geographic region and practice areas before evaluation on the basis of professional expertise. Those who receive high peer reviews undergo an authentication process to make sure they are currently practicing and in good standing. […]

2019-08-16T08:06:55-05:00Aug 16, 2019|

13 LGN Attorneys recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, including four of the state’s Top 100 MN Super Lawyers and four of the Top 50 MN Women Super Lawyers

Lockridge Grindal Nauen is proud to announce that thirteen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as 2019 Minnesota Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

A special congratulations to LGN partners Charles Nauen, Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, and Karen Hanson Riebel who were named as four of Minnesota’s Top 100 Super Lawyers. This is the seventh year in a row that Charles Nauen has been named as a Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyer.

Susan Ellingstad, Yvonne Flaherty, Karen Hanson Riebel, and Heidi Silton were named as four of the Top 50 Women Super Lawyers in Minnesota for the second year in a row. We are proud that this is the fifth year in a row in which at least three of LGN’s women partners have been recognized in this category.

LGN’s Super Lawyers

W. Joseph […]

2019-07-08T15:43:16-05:00Jul 8, 2019|

Susan Ellingstad speaks on panel regarding federal and state Equal Pay Act litigation

LGN Partner Susan Ellingstad recently participated in a panel at the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee’s 2019 Midwinter Meeting. The panel discussed litigating and defending pay discrimination class action cases under state and federal law.

Ms. Ellingstad leads the firm’s employment law practice, representing business and governmental clients in federal and state courts as well as before administrative agencies in Minnesota and throughout the country. Ms. Ellingstad’s practice includes claims involving employment discrimination and harassment under Title VII, the MHRA and other federal and state employment statutes, wage and hour violations, commercial litigation, and class actions.

2019-02-27T11:06:27-06:00Feb 27, 2019|
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