Jo Ellen Whitney
Jo Ellen is a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm. As the chair of the firm's Employment and Labor Relations Department, she has a general practice in, but not limited to, the areas of employment and labor law, health law, privacy and fair housing.
Employment and Labor Law
In the area of employment and labor law, Jo handles a variety of
issues ranging from business planning and contracts, representation
before administrative agencies such as the Iowa Civil Rights Commission,
the EEOC and local Human Rights Commissions, as well as state and
As a prior chair of the firm's Human Resources Committee, she brings
practical experience to bear on business planning, discipline and
termination issues for employers. She has extensive experience with contract development, as well as employee manuals, handbooks, and
internal policies and practices for employment issues and regulatory
compliance, including the ADA/ADAAA, FLSA, HIPAA and FMLA. She has developed
sample policies for a number of professional groups and organizations
including members of the Iowa Communications Alliance, Iowa Credit Unions, and the Iowa Health Care Association.
Jo works extensively in the field of health care law, including privacy and confidentiality issues, for hospitals, clinics and small practices. She has worked with medical staffing, credentialing and privileging matters, as well as consent and risk analysis in the health care area. Jo also has practical experience in implementing HIPAA in her role as Davis Brown’s privacy officer for data security compliance.
Jo Ellen also works with clients health care clients on matters including:
- HIPAA/HiTECH, privacy, security and record release and retention.
- E-data release security and retention.
- Medical research including NIH, FDA and privately funded research - compliance and ethics.
- Consent to medical care, procedures, issues.
- Specialty records - HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health and genetics.
- Business planning and policies regarding staffing, discipline, and terminations
Fair Housing Compliance
Additionally, Jo works with clients on issues related to fair housing compliance
in the construction, rental and sale phases for housing, apartments and
condominiums. Her work has encompassed both state and local
commissions including HUD, in the areas of construction compliance,
special housing issues, long-term care, assisted living facilities, and
manufactured housing, as well as more general fair housing issues.
As part of her ongoing work involving civil rights commissions, Jo has served as a mediator, speaker, and case screener for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.
Jo works with a variety of clients including local service providers,
such as telephone companies and agricultural cooperatives, hospitals,
clinics, physician practices, and manufacturing facilities including West Liberty Foods, various credit unions, and technology companies.
She has also worked regularly with the unique issues
facing not-for-profit service organizations ranging from contract and
policy issues to grant requirements for organizations such as Lutheran Services in Iowa and House of Mercy.