Michele L. Warnock Brott

Michele is a forward-thinking, practical employment attorney. Her first goal is to help her clients — multi-state employers, small businesses, start-ups, corporations, franchises, and municipalities — avoid litigation. When that’s not an option, she’s ready to defend them before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Iowa Workforce Development, and other administrative bodies all the way through trial.

Labor and Employment

Michele advises and educates employers, HR professionals, and management about employee policies to mitigate liability including hiring, discipline, and discharge. She defends employment claims and provides legal guidance related to:

  • Civil Rights Claims (Iowa Civil Rights Commission and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
  • Discrimination
  • Drug testing
  • Harassment and retaliation claims
  • Termination
  • Whistleblowers
  • Non-competes
  • Wage & hour claims
  • FMLA
  • ADA
  • Unemployment claims
  • Social media
  • COVID-19
  • Trade secrets

Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI)
Michele defends insurance companies when their insureds are accused of wrongful termination, retaliation, or other discrimination claims. Insurance companies also hire Michele to defend lawsuits and claims involving personal injury, product liability, asbestos exposure, construction defect claims, and coverage disputes, including bad faith insurance claims.

COVID-19 Litigation
Michele was on the forefront of helping clients figure out how to safely return to their physical workspaces with the Return to Work guide. She is now representing employers in some of the first COVID-19-related litigation including wrongful termination and unsafe work environments.

Business Litigation
Michele has litigated contract disputes in state and federal courts. Companies turn to Michele to draft contracts including non-compete clauses, non-solicit clauses, and protections for trade secrets. They rely on her experience in defending those clauses in court, obtaining judgments for breached contracts. Michele also develops methods to ensure judgments are paid to her clients.

Representative experience

Michele has defended businesses and employers in various industries including insurance, hospitality/restaurants, manufacturing, municipalities, and real estate. Below are a few recent examples of positive outcomes Michele obtained for her clients.

  • Provided appropriate steps to remedy a harassment situation and settled a discrimination lawsuit - a favorable outcome for a well-known retail company.
  • Complete dismissal on behalf of a multi-state engineering employer of a three-count petition, asserting equitable indemnity, tortious interference with a contract, and gross negligence in a wrongful death claim.
  • Complete dismissal on behalf of a manufacturer of a four-count petition, asserting negligence, product liability for design defect, manufacturing defect, and failure-to-warn claims by summary judgment motion.
  • Complete defense verdict after an eight-day trial in favor of a leasing company against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duties, and conspiracy.
  • Complete recovery in a AAA large commercial dispute, successfully enforcing the terms of a contractual indemnification provision.
  • Complete defense decision. Prevailed on summary judgment against claims of intentional interference with an employment contract and conspiracy to breach fiduciary duties.
  • Litigated the extent of protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act when in conflict with local restrictions affecting service animals and successfully gained preliminary injunctive relief.
  • Complete defense verdict after a two-day trial against claims of breach of contract.