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Kelsey K. Crosse

Kelsey zealously represents her clients in both state and federal court and counsels them on how to minimize their liability exposure prior to and during litigation. Her clients are diverse, including insurance companies, businesses, and employers of all sizes from start-up and emerging companies, to Fortune 500 Companies, banks, and non-profit organizations.

Employment Law

Kelsey advises, represents, and defends employers on virtually all aspects of the employment relationship:

  • Civil rights claims
  • Hiring and background checks
  • Discipline 
  • Termination
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation  
  • Severance agreements
  • Drug and alcohol testing 
  • Breach of contract/non-compete agreements
  • Unemployment benefits
  • Social media 
  • Wage and hour
  • OSHA compliance  

Kelsey helps her clients navigate how to comply with state and federal laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and Title VII.

Litigation and Insurance Defense
When Kelsey is not counseling employers, she maintains a litigation practice where she continues to advocate and defend businesses of all sizes during mediations, arbitrations, and trial. Her work includes, but is not limited to, insurance defense, insurance coverage, business litigation, commercial litigation, and other complex litigation. 

Kelsey represents employers through their employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies for wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination/harassment, fair housing discrimination, and civil rights.  She also helps her clients with other matters pertaining to insurance policies, including coverage inquiries, property damage, and business-related contract and tort claims. 

Representative Experience

Kelsey has assisted numerous employer clients in a variety of ways, she:

  • Defended an international company against claims of discrimination resulting in a jury returning a complete defense verdict in favor of the employer.
  • Helped an employer minimize long-term and short-term risks when she successfully negotiated a favorable settlement to reclassify and reduce penalties imposed by OSHA.
  • Defended a federal wage and hour dispute for a national hotel chain franchisee by successfully negotiating a favorable settlement agreement before the DOL. The dispute involved allegations of improper employee classifications and inaccurately paying employees’ overtime. 
  • Represented a national construction company in a lawsuit involving claims of discrimination and wrongful termination pertaining to race and disability. Thanks to Kelsey’s work, the employer was not held liable and did not have to pay fines or damages. 
  • Helped an employer resist a temporary injunction and an award of legal fees when it wanted to retain a valuable employee that was formerly subject to a non-compete agreement.
  • Represents and negotiates favorable resolutions for employers and landlords facing discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and hostile work environment claims.
  • Successfully argued before state and federal courts throughout Iowa, including the Iowa Court of Appeals and in federal court, and has won attorney’s fees on behalf of her clients.
  • Counsels clients operating in multiple states and drafts policies to ensure state and federal law compliance.

Presentations & Publications

Kelsey is a frequent speaker and author on issues affecting employers, businesses, and HR professionals, often presenting to clients, Iowa employers, and at HR conferences and seminars.

  • Things to Know When Hiring Someone, Small Business Success Summit, November 2018.
  • The Law Says What? Managing HR When You Are Managing a Practice & No Really, You Can’t Say That: Basic Rules for Social Media, Iowa Chiropractic Society Fall Symposium, October 2018.
  • Quoted, Era of #MeToo and Tell-All Books Triggering New Thinking About NDAs, HR Daily Advisor, September 2018.
  • Top Five for Small Business - Things to Know about Protecting Intellectual Property from Employees when they Leave your Company, with Matt Warner-Blankenship, Greater Des Moines Partnership, July 2018.
  • Reasonable Accommodation or a Request for Five Star Amenities?, Iowa Employment Conference, April 2018. 
  • Reasonable Accommodation or a Request for Five Star Amenities?, Davis Brown Spring Seminar, April 2018. 
  • Religious and Ethnic Issues in the Workplace, Central Iowa Society of Human Resource Management, October 2017. 
  • Top Five Things to Know When Hiring Someone, with Maggie Hanson, Greater Des Moines Partnership, October 2017.
  • FMLA Bootcamp, with Deb Tharnish, Davis Brown Spring Seminar, April 2017.
  • Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Madison County Employer's Council of Iowa, June 2016.
  • Discipline Do’s, Don’ts, and Shouldn’ts, Iowa Tourism Leadership Institute, April 2016.
  • Recharging Batteries or a Revolving Door?  Preventing Misuse and Abuse of Employee Leave, Iowa Employment Conference, April 2016.
  • Social Media in the Workplace, 24th Annual CI-SHRM Legal and Legislative Conference, February 2016.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act - What You Need to Know & Why, Iowa Health Care Association, December 2015.
  • “It’s time for Walmart to roll back its approach to workplace violence,” Iowa Employment Law Letter, Vol. 22, No. 7, November 2015.
  • Religious & Ethnic Issues in the Workplace, Central Iowa SHRM, October 2015.
  • Why is Your Business if I’m Pregnant? Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning Seminar, Iowa Department of Public Health, September 2015.