Kelsey K. Crosse

Kelsey, a shareholder at the firm, zealously represents her clients in state and federal courts and before governmental agencies and counsels them on how to minimize their liability exposure prior to and during litigation.

Kelsey’s clients are diverse, including insurance companies, businesses, and employers of all sizes from start-ups to Fortune 500 Companies, banks, and non-profit organizations. She helps her clients avoid court proceedings by minimizing legal risks or negotiating favorable settlements when desired. Kelsey also has experience serving as their committed advocate at trial.

Her clients have praised her work ethic and demeanor and describe her as “incredibly smart and quick on her feet.” Others commend her ability to successfully handle all aspects of a complex case through trial.

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, federal, and local laws such as OSHA, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA/ADAAA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Kelsey counsels clients operating in multiple states, conducts manager and employee trainings, assists with investigations, and drafts policies to ensure compliance.

Kelsey also has experience with labor issues for unionized workplaces, including bargaining, negotiations, cameras, and disciplinary issues.

Litigation and Insurance Defense

When Kelsey is not counseling employers, she advocates for and defends businesses and insurers during mediation, arbitration, and trial. Her work includes insurance defense, insurance coverage, business litigation, commercial litigation, and other complex litigation.

Kelsey represents businesses through their employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies for wrongful termination, retaliation, discrimination/harassment, fair housing discrimination, and civil rights.

Insurance Coverage

She also helps individuals, businesses, and insurers with other matters pertaining to insurance policies, including coverage inquiries, property damage, and business-related contract and tort claims. She evaluates the risk to the insurers and business clients and advises them on how to attain their desired outcome.

Representative Experience

  • First chaired a multi-million dollar trial defending a Fortune 500 Company against allegations of harassment, constructive discharge, constitutional violations, and punitive damages which resulted in a complete defense verdict for the employer
  • Earned summary judgment (a dismissal of the lawsuit by the court) on a negligent supervision claim against an employer
  • Defended and settled a near million-dollar EPLI claim for under $50,000
  • Represented a business at trial and earned a favorable result by settling the case part-way through trial, before any of her client’s witnesses testified
  • Defended an international company against claims of discrimination resulting in a jury returning a complete defense verdict in favor of the employer
  • Obtained an emergency ex-parte injunction to protect an employer from concerns of improper disclosure of confidential information
  • Earned an award of summary judgment for an employer and its insurer to end a lawsuit without the necessity of paying any settlement proceeds (the claims involved included whistleblower, False Claims Act, and violation of public policy allegations)
  • Helped employers minimize long-term and short-term risks by successfully negotiating favorable settlements 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 before the DOL regarding overtime and classification issues
  • Successfully defended a national construction company involving discrimination and wrongful termination (race and disability) claims. Thanks to Kelsey’s work, the employer was not held liable and did not have to pay any 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
  • Successfully argued appellate cases including before the Iowa Court of Appeals
  • Won attorney’s fees on behalf of her clients

Presentations & Publications

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

  • Understanding Psychological Issues in the Workplace: A Practical Approach to Navigating Mental Health at Work, Iowa Employment Conference, April 2019.
  • 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 and 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.
  • How to Tackle Tough FMLA Issues, with Deb Tharnish, Iowa Employment Conference, 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.