Elizabeth Odian Photo

Elizabeth A. Odian

Senior Counsel

Overview

Beth defends businesses in employment litigation matters involving discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and retaliation under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) and other state and federal laws. She also defends state and federal wage and hour claims, unreasonable refusal to hire claims under the Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Act, and other actions brought by employees such as unemployment, breach of contract, and defamation claims.

In addition to litigation matters, Beth counsels employers on FMLA and disability leave, accommodations, and the interactive process, terminations, discipline, drug testing, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaints, employer policies and handbooks, employment and non-compete agreements, and other related matters.

Beth represents clients from varied industries including manufacturing, banking, retail, healthcare, insurance, and consumer services, as well as non-profits and municipalities.

Along with her employment law practice, Beth defends companies in claims arising from consumer statutes such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Wisconsin Consumer Act, as well as commercial disputes involving breach of contract and fraud, and insurance coverage issues on behalf on insurers. She is experienced in handling both trial and appellate cases in state and federal courts and before administrative bodies.

 

Prior to joining Michael Best, Beth was a partner at a full-service law firm where she practiced in employment litigation, consumer litigation, and insurance coverage. After completing her Juris Doctor degree in 2011, Beth served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia Gorence and the Honorable William Callahan, both of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. 

While in law school, Beth held a number of judicial clerkships and internships. She interned for the Honorable Shirley Abrahamson, Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and for the Honorable Lynn S. Adelman of the United States District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. She also had an externship at Nike, Inc.

Employment Litigation

  • Sex Discrimination and Retaliation: Shared responsibility for preparation and administrative trial of a case alleging the plaintiff's employer unfairly disciplined the plaintiff because of her sex and later terminated her employment because of her sex and in retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination. Plaintiff's final demand was in excess of $500,000. The ALJ found in favor of the defense on all claims.
  • Age Discrimination: Obtained summary judgment in favor of an employer who terminated the oldest worker in his job classification, for legitimate non-discriminatory reasons, as part of a reduction in force.
  • Employment Contract/Wage & Hour: Successfully appealed a decision from the Wisconsin Labor & Industry Review Commission, which held the employer failed to pay bonuses due under an employment contract.
  • Sex Discrimination and Sex-Based Harassment: Obtained summary judgment in a case alleging the employee's manager harassed her because of her sex on grounds that she could not prove she was treated differently than male employees.

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

  • Obtained summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal, in a series of actions alleging a form collection letter's validation language was misleading.

Insurance Coverage

  • Obtained summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, in an insurance coverage action involving application of a CGL policy's fungi or bacteria exclusion.
  • Obtained summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, in an insurance coverage action involving the question of whether incorporation of a defective ingredient constituted property damage caused by an occurrence under a CGL Policy.

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association

Education

Admissions

Community Involvement

  • Volunteer, Hunger Task Force
  • Volunteer, Miracle League of Milwaukee
  • Volunteer, Milwaukee Volunteer Legal Clinic
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