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 Telecommunications Association and the Iowa Healthcare Association.
As part of her ongoing work involving civil rights commissions, Jo
has previously served as a mediator, speaker, and current case screener
for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. In recognition of her work with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Jo Ellen was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award for "outstanding contributions of volunteer
service to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission." Awards are granted to
people or groups who volunteer their time with a city or state
government agency, or an Iowa non-profit organization. Jo Ellen received
the Governor's Volunteer Award in 2007 and 1997.
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 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.
Jo works with a variety of clients including local service providers,
such as telephone companies and agricultural cooperatives, hospitals,
clinics, physician practices, manufacturing facilities, and social
service agencies. 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 Easter Seals of Iowa, Lutheran Services in Iowa and House of Mercy.