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Overview

Concentrating his practice in the area of labor and employment law, A.J. helps clients resolve the many workplace issues that confront private and public employers, either by counselling clients through difficult personnel decisions or defending against administrative complaints and lawsuits.

A.J. has significant experience in defending against complex wage-and-hour class/collective actions, as well as representing clients in discrimination cases before state and federal agencies and in state and federal court. A.J. has also obtained favorable results before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Before joining the firm, A.J. was a law clerk to the Honorable Duane Benton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and before law school, he taught high school English and chemistry in McAllen, Texas.


Industry

Services

Education

  • J.D., Notre Dame Law School
    • magna cum laude
    • Dean’s List
    • Notre Dame Law Review, Editor-in-Chief, 2010-2011; staff member, 2009-2010
  • B.A., Yale University
    • English

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois

Clerkship

The Hon. Duane Benton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2011-2012

Experience

Wage and Hour

  • Briefed summary judgment and appeal for Conagra in Lyons v. ConAgra Foods, a collective action filed by employees seeking compensation for time spent changing clothes and dressing before work. In a novel decision, Conagra prevailed, with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling that Conagra did not violate the FLSA.
  • Defended multiple large employers in wage and hour investigations by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
  • Briefed summary judgment and successfully argued appeal in Garrison v. ConAgra Foods. ConAgra had been sued in a class and collective action filed by supervisors who sought overtime compensation because they allegedly were misclassified as "exempt" under state and federal wage and hour laws. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for ConAgra and found that the supervisors satisfied all tests for the "executive" exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state law.

Wrongful Discharge

  • Obtained summary judgment for a global ammunition manufacturer against claims of workers' compensation retaliation and wrongful discharge.

Healthcare – Disability Discrimination

  • Successfully defended senior care facility against claims of failing to properly accommodate patient’s deafness.  Judge dismissed four of the plaintiff’s claims on a successful motion for summary judgment; federal jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on the remaining six claims. 
Case Studies
Conagra Brands

Workers from Conagra’s Russellville, Arkansas facility filed a wage-and-hour class and collective action lawsuit alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA), claiming that they should have been paid for time spent donning and doffing before and after shifts.

Webinar | June 10, 2020
Labor and Employment Virtual Program
Seminars | February 12, 2020
Labor and Employment Seminar - Chicago
Webinar | November 2019
Dialing In on Dialing Up Salaries: Practical Steps for Adapting to the New DOL Overtime Rule

Hiring to Firing and Everything in Between Webinar Series

Seminars | October 30, 2019
Fall Labor and Employment Seminar - St. Louis
Seminars | October 10, 2018
Labor and Employment Seminar Fall 2018

Please join Husch Blackwell attorneys for our fall labor and employment law update.

Seminars | May 23, 2018
Labor and Employment Seminar
Seminars | November 2, 2017
Labor and Employment Seminar
News Releases | December 10, 2018
Husch Blackwell Elects 25 to Partnership
Media Mentions | August 16, 2018
Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs (8/16/18)

Law 360 highlighted Husch Blackwell as a "Legal Lion" as a result of the Eighth Circuit's dismissal of a proposed class action accusing ConAgra of not paying workers at an Arkansas facility for time they spent donning and doffing protective gear.

News Releases | August 09, 2018
Husch Blackwell Secures Appellate Victory for ConAgra in FLSA Litigation

A Husch Blackwell appellate victory successfully ended a proposed class action that alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Arkansas Minimum Wage Act (AMWA). 

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