Amy Jones Photo

Amy Schmidt Jones

Partner
Practice Group Chair, Labor & Employment Relations

Overview

Clients look to Amy to provide pragmatic, strategic counsel in managing the full spectrum of legal issues that arise out of the employment relationship. Amy collaborates with her clients to identify and understand their objectives, which serve as the touchstone in every engagement.

Amy is an accomplished employment litigator whom clients rely on for high stakes employment disputes. She practices extensively in state and federal court and in contested proceedings before administrative agencies. Amy has successfully represented clients at trial (jury and non-jury) and through the appellate process, having obtained precedent-setting victories before the Seventh Circuit and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Clients in manufacturing, higher education, health care, social services, and financial services value Amy’s ability to apply the “lessons learned” from litigation to help proactively manage workforce issues. Clients rely on Amy as a trusted advisor on complex employee relations issues, workforce restructurings, personnel investigations, policy development, and management training. In all of these contexts, Amy helps clients navigate the legal requirements and inter-personal dynamics that often fuel litigation.

 

Amy also has significant experience representing institutions of Higher Education in compliance and litigation matters, including:

  • Investigations by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
  • Title IX, Clery Act, and Violence Against Women Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act (Section 507)
  • Whistleblower cases (including False Claims Act)
  • Faculty litigation (tenure, faculty appointment, discrimination/retaliation)
  • Student litigation (academic dismissals, Title IX, disability)

Experience

Winning at the Wisconsin Supreme Court in ground-breaking employee classification case

We successfully represented a leading medical school before the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a case of first impression concerning the employment status of an educational intern. The educational intern sought to assert a whistleblowing claim under the Health Care Worker Protection Act, by claiming that her role and responsibilities, and the public policy behind the Act, brought her within the Act’s definition “employee.” We successfully defeated the claim through rigorous statutory interpretation arguments, as well as policy arguments on the potentially chilling effect of a contrary ruling on the willingness of health care institutions to provide voluntary educational internships.

Mounting an effective defense in EEOC enforcement actions

When confronted with an EEOC enforcement action (single plaintiff or class actions), clients look to us to provide a rigorous defense, tailored to the client’s business objectives. Through thoughtful discovery plans, strategic motion practice, effective trial advocacy, and tactical negotiation, we have helped out clients obtain highly favorable results

Implementing workforce change, without litigation

We teamed with a global manufacturer in implementing a multi-phased business relocation to a new state. Working closely with human resources leadership and in-house counsel, we provided valuable counsel concerning severance agreements, retention agreements, confidentiality agreements, individual position eliminations, and Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notices. With our guidance, the client avoided legal landmines and steered clear of costly litigation.

Blocking court intervention in academic decision-making

When a medical resident filed for a temporary injunction to block his dismissal from the training program, the graduate medical institution turned to us to protect its right to determine the trainee’s suitability for the program. The institution had determined that the trainee had engaged in egregious professional misconduct. Through expedited briefing and compelling oral argument, the Court denied the injunction and dismissed the resident’s complaint in its entirety.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Leading Labor and Employment Lawyer, Chambers USA, 2012-2013, 2016-2017
  • Women in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2016 
  • "Lawyer of the Year" in Employment Law – Management, The Best Lawyers in America,  2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Labor and Employment Law, 2009-present
  • “Leading Lawyers,” Milwaukee's M Magazine, 2012-2015
  • Who’s Who Legal: Labour and Employment, ABA section International Law, 2015
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, Employment Litigation Defense, Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-present 

Professional Activities

  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Wisconsin State Bar
  • Yellow Belt Certified, Legal Lean Sigma

Education

Admissions

Community Involvement

  • Board of Directors, Milwaukee Ballet
  • Secretary Executive Committee, Milwaukee  Ballet
  • Co-Chair, Education and Outreach Committee, Milwaukee Ballet
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