Brian Rochel and Phillip Kitzer Elected as MN-NELA Board Officers

Phillip Kitzer and Brian Rochel have both been elected to serve in leadership roles on the Board of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (MN-NELA). Brian Rochel has been elected the President of the Board, and Phillip Kitzer has been elected Secretary. Each will serve one-year terms.

Brian was elected to serve a three-year term the on the MN-NELA Board in 2021, and Phillip was elected to a three-year term in 2022. Phillip and Brian have each served on the MN-NELA Board in the past (with Phillip serving as a past President) and are proud to be able to do so again.

Brian Rochel and Phillip Kitzer Recognized as Super Lawyers

Kitzer Rochel is proud to announce that Brian Rochel and Phillip Kitzer have both been selected as a Minnesota Super Lawyer in 2022. Attorneys are selected based on their professional accomplishments and leadership skills.

Both Mr. Rochel and Mr. Kitzer are highly dedicated attorneys who practice on behalf of employees involved in a wide variety of employment-related legal disputes. They represent whistleblowers and other employees who are wrongfully terminated, discriminated and/or retaliated against. Mr. Rochel serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, and Mr. Kitzer serves on the Governing Counsel for the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Mr. Rochel and Mr. Kitzer are each certified as Labor and Employment Law Specialists by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

If you would like to consult with Mr. Kitzer or Mr. Rochel, please contact us today.

Minnesota is an At-Will Employment State. What Does That Mean?

When you hear that Minnesota is an “at-will” employment state, you may wonder what that means for an employee. It simply means you can quit your job for any reason at any time; you do not have to give notice nor a reason to your employer for leaving your position.

However, it also means an employer can terminate your employment for any reason at any time, as long as the reason for termination is not illegal. For example, it is illegal for an employer to terminate employment based on an employee’s race, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or religion.

It is also illegal to terminate an employee in retaliation for a few very specific things. For example, it is illegal to retaliate against an employee because the employee reported something illegal (whistleblowing), because the employee requested FMLA, because the employee filed for workers’ compensation benefits, or because the employee reported illegal discrimination. However, it is not illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for most other reasons.

Being an “at-will” employment state makes it easy for an employee and their employer to part ways if the position is not working for one or both of the parties. But, if you feel you have been wrongfully terminated based on discrimination or retaliation, contact us at Kitzer Rochel. Our experienced employment law attorneys would be happy to discuss your case and help you understand your legal rights and options.

Phillip Kitzer Presents on COVID-19 Legal Panel

On November 16, 2021, Phillip Kitzer participated on a panel titled “COVID Update – Developing Issues, Impacts, and Legal Implications of COVID in the Workplace.” The panel, hosted by the Minnesota State Bar Association, discussed vaccine mandates by employers, disability accommodations, religious accommodations, whistleblower implications, safety implications and updated guidance from the EEOC. The panel also discuss recent litigation trends related to COVID-19.

If you have been discriminated in the workplace related to COVID-19, our attorneys at Kitzer Rochel can help. We advocate on behalf of employees facing discrimination, retaliation and whistleblower issues in the workplace.

Phillip Kitzer Participates on #MeToo Panel at FBA National Conference

On September 14, 2018, TKKR Employment Attorney Phillip Kitzer spoke on a panel sponsored by the Labor & Employment Section of the FBA at the Federal Bar Association’s National Conference in New York City. The panel, titled “#MeToo: Implementation and Administration of an Effective Anti-Harassment Policy,” discussed various legal issues arising out of the #MeToo movement, including addressing complaints in the workplace, effective training of employees and management, responding to EEOC charges, and recent tax law changes involving settlements of claims involving sexual harassment and abuse. The panel was moderated by Donna Currault of Gordon, Arata, Montgomery, Barnett LLC in New Orleans, LA, and included the Hon. Lisa M. Smith, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York, and Mary A. Smith, Principal at Jackson Lewis, P.C. 

Brian Rochel Named to 2017 Up and Coming Attorneys List

Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel is proud to announce that partner Brian Rochel has been named to Minnesota Lawyer’s list of 2017 Up & Coming Attorneys. Mr. Rochel was among one of only 23 honorees this year, all chosen by an outside panel consisting of past Honorees. Attorneys were selected based on their professional accomplishments, leadership and service to their community and profession, and achievements in their first 10 years of practice.

Mr. Rochel practices on behalf of employees in employment-related legal disputes. He has held numerous leadership roles in the legal community, including Vice President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), a board member of the 8th Circuit NELA Chapter, a board member of the Federal Bar Association’s (FBA) national Younger Lawyers Division, and co-chair of the FBA Labor and Employment Section’s Publications and Public Relations Committee. Mr. Rochel has written and spoken on a wide variety of topics in employment law and has been instrumental in organizing several employment law conferences throughout the country. Mr. Rochel also contributes to his community by serving as a volunteer facilitator and board member of the Seward Longfellow Restorative Justice Partnership since 2011. This program is a pioneering non-profit organization that utilizes restorative justice to address the harm caused by juvenile offenders through South Minneapolis by facilitating meetings between victims and offenders as an alternative to traditional juvenile justice. Mr. Rochel has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers every year since 2012, and most recently was selected as “Author of the Year” by the Federal Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Section for his outstanding work.

Please join Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel in congratulating Brian on this wonderful achievement! If you would like to consult with Brian or another of our attorneys, please contact us (https://kitzerrochel.com/contact-employment-whistleblower-attorneys-minneapolis/) today.

 

 

Phillip Kitzer Moderates Panel on Race and Religious Discrimination at Federal Bar Association National Conference

On September 16, 2016, Teske Katz Kitzer & Rochel attorney Phillip Kitzer moderated a panel on discrimination at the Federal Bar Association’s annual national conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  The program, entitled “Race and Religious Discrimination in the Workplace,” addressed the history of race and religious discrimination claims over the past 40 years. The panelists also discussed Nobach v. Woodland Village Nursing Home Center, Inc. one of the first religious discrimination cases to reach an appellate court after EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores.  Finally, the panel discussed the various types of discrimination currently faced in the workplace by the American Muslim community.  The panel included attorney Danielle Brewer, The Brewer Law Firm, Craig Cowart, Jackson Lewis, and Roula Allouch, the current chair of the board of directors for the Council For American-Islamic Relations (“CAIR”).

 

If you believe you have experienced race or religious discrimination at work, please contact our firm to learn about your rights.