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Sara Gullickson McGrane is an experienced litigator who has handled hundreds of matters in both the federal and state courts of many states, including Minnesota and North Dakota. She has tried numerous cases to jury verdict, and has tried one or more cases to verdict in eight of the last nine years. Sara focuses her practice on employment law and is certified as a specialist in Labor & Employment Law by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Sara has extensive experience handling complex litigation in both the employment and commercial arena and significant experience in all aspects of employment litigation, including cases involving breach of contract, discrimination (including age, disability, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation), defamation, harassment, non-competes, and wage and hour. She has handled approximately 20 appeals to state and federal appellate courts.

Sara also has significant experience in handling class action and multi-party litigation, including FLSA collective and Rule 23 class actions. She frequently lectures and trains on employment and litigation topics. She also investigates allegations of discrimination and harassment for employers.

Sara is currently president of the Firm.

Before joining the firm, Sara served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of North Dakota.

Watch Gullickson McGrane's Employment Law QA on ReelLawyers.com
Sara Gullickson McGrane Shares How She Got Into Practicing Employment Law
Sara Gullickson McGrane Discusses What She Enjoys About Employment Law
Sara Gullickson McGrane Talks About Her Practice Group At Felhaber Larson

Additional Videos

Basic Terms

What Is The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)?
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)?
What is an FLSA “collective action” remedy?
What is a class action?
What is disparate treatment?
What is disparate impact?

Leaves As A Form Of Accommodation Under The ADA

How much leave is an employee entitled to under the ADA?
Does leave have to be for a certain amount of time under the ADA?
As an employer, how do I make sure I am adhering to the ADA?
How do I know if the ADA applies to my small business?
How do I know if I am entitled to more leave than my employer suggests?
If I take leave under the ADA, am I entitled to the same employment position when I return?
What is considered undue hardship to an employer?

Class Actions Involving Disparate Treatment V. Disparate Impact

How do I know if I’ve suffered disparate treatment or disparate impact in the workplace?
What is Title Vll?
What is a protected class?
What do I need to establish a claim for disparate treatment?
What do I need to establish a claim of disparate impact?
What is an example of an employer’s discriminatory actions by motive?

Social Media And The Workplace

Can an employer prohibit the use of social media at the workplace?
Can an employer use social medial to eliminate candidates for an employment position?
Can employees make public comments on social media about their employer?
Can employers monitor employee computer activity?
Who owns a LinkedIn profile when an employee is terminated?
What are the rights of an employer if an employee posted incorrect information about the company on social media?
Should an employer have a social media policy?


Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation
    • General Corporate Litigation
    • Class Action Law
    • Complex Multi-Party Litigation
  • Employment Law
    • Breach of Contract, non-compete
    • Employment Discrimination Claims (all types)
    • Defamation
    • Harassment
    • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Collective and Rule 23 Class Actions
    • Non-Compete Claims
    • Retaliation
    • Wage and Hour Disputes
    • Whistleblower
    • Higher Education Law
  • Appellate Law
    • Appeals to the State and Federal Appellate Courts
  • Energy Law
    • Electrical Cooperative Utilities

Professional Certifications, Awards and Designations

  • Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers®
  • Top 50 Women Minnesota Super Lawyers®
  • Certified Labor and Employment Specialist in Minnesota by the MSBA
  • Appointed as a Leader in her Field by the Chambers USA Guide
  • Numerous accolades from Super Lawyers®  including Top Women Lawyer and Top Labor & Employment Lawyer
  • Four times named a “Rising Star” of the legal profession, Minnesota Law & Politics
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” (highest rating) by Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory
  • 2015 North Star Lawyer, MN State Bar Association
  • Experienced Litigator
  • Former Assistant Attorney General – North Dakota


Case Results †

  • Barbara Peterson v. HealthEast Care System
    Case No. 62-CV-12-1017.  Successfully moved for and obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims of whistleblower and/or violation of public policy and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Complete dismissal of case.  Affirmed by Minnesota Court of Appeals.
  • Timothy Henry v. Fairview Health Services
    Case No. 27-CV-14-3526.  Successfully obtained complete defense verdict on claims of reprisal.
  • PKM Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Otter Tail Power Company
    Successfully resolved matter post-hearing.
  • Steven Kiester, D.P.M. v. Allina Health
    Case No. 27-CV-14-16036.  Successfully moved for and obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims of breach of contract.  Complete dismissal of case.
  • John Trenter v. Fairview Health Services
    Lead counsel. Case No. 27-CF-12-3837. Obtained complete dismissal of former employee’s age discrimination, disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and reprisal claims. Case was appealed to Court of Appeals, received complete affirmance.
  • Julie Moseley v. Fairview Health Services
    Lead counsel. Case No. 27-CV-12-15562. Successfully opposed motion for class certification, and successfully moved for summary judgment and obtained complete dismissal of current employee’s breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and intentional misrepresentation claims.
  • Garrett Vincent v. Fairview Health Services
    Lead counsel. Case No. 27-CV-12-24261. Successfully moved for summary judgment and obtained complete dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims of defamation, wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and the whistleblower.
  • Steven Jamison v. Allina Health
    Case No. 12-CV-00427. Successfully obtained complete defense verdict in front of jury on claims of age discrimination and retaliation.
  • Bonnie Carlisle v. Allina Health
    Case No. 27-CV-13-3463. Successfully moved for and obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims of age discrimination and reprisal. Complete dismissal of case.
  • Debbie DuPont v. Allina Health
    Case No. 12-CV-02126. Successfully obtained complete defense verdict on jury trial of claims of disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, reprisal, retaliation, and age discrimination.
  • Sandra White v. Allina Health
    Case No. 62-CV-13-4745. Successfully moved for and obtained summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims of Whistleblower and alleged violation of public policy. Complete dismissal of case.
  • Gloria Walker v. Park Nicollet Health Services
    Case No. 27-CV-11-2174 (Hennepin County District Court, June 11, 2012). Obtained complete defense verdict of former employee’s race discrimination and retaliation claims.
  • Peter Weesner v. U.S. Bancorp d/b/a U.S. Bank,
    Case No. 10-CV-2164 (D. Minn. Sept. 26, 2011). Obtained summary judgment for U.S. Bank on all counts of disability discrimination and reprisal.
  • City of Moorhead v. Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association, et al.,
    Case No. 14-CX-06-002515 (Clay County District Court, May 31, 2011). The jury awarded Red River Valley the full amount of damages they were seeking from a taking of property, resulting in a complete verdict for our client. The City appealed, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s verdict.
  • Oswaldo Cruz, et al. v. Lawson Software, Inc., et al.
    Case No. 08-CV-4704 (SDNY). Successfully moved to have the case de-certified after conditional certification had been granted, and then successfully moved for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiffs were properly classified as exempt. Summary judgment granted; case dismissed in February of 2011.
  • Tyrone Earl Garner v. Supervalu, Inc. and Jason Robert Holm 
    Case No. 27-CV-09-28839 (Hennepin County District Court, November 23, 2010). Represented SuperValu in a multiple count complaint including claims of defamation, battery and invasion of privacy. Successfully moved for summary judgment and all counts were dismissed.
  • Rick Newland v. Connexus Energy 
    Case No. 02-CV-08-5925 (Anoka County District Court, March 9, 2010). Represented Connexus Energy in a multiple count complaint involving breach of contract and common law claims for promissory estoppel and defamation from an exiting executive. Successfully moved for summary judgment and all counts were dismissed. The executive appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of all counts in February of 2011.

† Cases and descriptions are intended solely to illustrate the attorney’s professional experience, not to suggest that a particular result will be achieved in similar cases. The results of any particular case are governed by the specific facts and legal circumstances of that case.

Bar Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court, 1999
  • United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, 1995
  • United States District Court, Minnesota, 1993
  • Minnesota, 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1992
  • United States District Court, North Dakota, 1991
  • North Dakota, 1991
  • United States Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, 1991
  • United States District Court, Colorado, 1990
  • Colorado, 1990

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • North Dakota State Bar Associations

Education

  • J.D., University of Minnesota, 1990
  • B.A., Moorhead State University, summa cum laude, 1987

 

Articles

  • Quarterly publication for Minnesota State Bar Association on Employment Law Section on FLSA from 2008 to 2012

Presentations

  • Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2015, Important Employment Law Issues in the Health Care Field
  • Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2014, Cutting Edge ADEA Issues in Litigation: How to Overcome Significant Obstacles and Prevail in Establishing Age Discrimination
  • Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, 2013, Perspectives on FMLA Litigation Developments From Both Sides: Pitfalls to Avoid and Opportunities to Seize
  • Presented at Minnesota Employment Law Institute on successful mediation strategies, May, 2012
  • Presented at over 100 seminars on topics including Unlawful Harassment, Discrimination in the Workplace, A Practical Guide to
    Conducting Investigations, Privacy in the Workplace, Equitable Hiring Practices and Cultural Diversity
  • American Conference Institute (ACI) Wage and Hour Seminar in San Francisco, CA, September of 2011
  • Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2010 and May 2011, Employment Law Litigators Update
  • Googling My Facebook Makes Me Twitter: The Employment Law Implications of Social Networking, Fargo-Moorhead Human Resource Association (FMHRA), March 2, 2010
  • Social Media – Update on Implications for Civil Litigators, Minnesota State Bar Association, Annual Civil Litigator’s Short Course, February 5, 2010
  • Saving a Few Minutes Might Cost You a Lot of Money – Guarding Against Time Clock Violations that Will Cost You, Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt, P.A., Fall Labor & Employment Law Seminar, November 6, 2009
  • Updating your ADA Litigation Strategies in Light of the New Law, Minnesota State Bar Association, Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 28, 2009
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act – What Do You Need to Know to Avoid Liability? Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt, P.A., Fall Labor & Employment Law Seminar, October 10, 2008
  • Governing Council of the Minnesota State Board Association (MSBA)
  • Labor and Employment Section, Board Member
  • Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, Board member, 2010 – present,
  • Chair of the Governance Committee, 2011 – present
  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance, Board member, 2011 – present

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