Farrah Rifelj Photo

Farrah N.W. Rifelj

Sub-Practice Leader, Affirmative Action
Co-Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee
Management Committee Member


Farrah serves Michael Best in two capacities: as partner in the Labor and Employment Relations Practice Group and as a member of the Management Committee. Her practice focuses on employment counseling and employment litigation, with a particular emphasis on discrimination, noncompetition, and Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Farrah provides management with astute advice on employment topics such as:

  • Affirmative action
  • Disability accommodation
  • Discrimination
  • Employment contracts
  • Family and medical leave laws
  • Federal contractor/OFCCP regulations
  • Harassment
  • Hiring and termination practices
  • Non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Wage and hour law

Ever mindful of the best outcome for her clients, Farrah has successfully litigated discrimination, contract, family and medical leave, wage and hour, noncompetition and trade secret, and dealership issues in both state and federal courts. She also acts as a persuasive advocate before various administrative agencies.

Farrah is a 2015 recipient of InBusiness magazine’s “40 Under 40 Award.” She is a regular speaker at industry seminars and has written numerous articles on employment-related topics.


Representative work includes:

  • Federal jury trials and summary judgment proceedings defending against claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations
  • Litigating contracts where interpretation is at issue. For instance, one successful case dealt with enforcing a confidentiality provision and another involved the interpretation of ambiguous language using the canons of contract construction.   
  • State and federal court proceedings, including temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions regarding restrictive covenants, employee’s duty of loyalty, and the theft of trade secrets and proprietary information
  • Administrative proceedings before the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division, the City of Madison Equal Opportunities Commission, and the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Unemployment actions and appeals
  • Employment contract drafting and review, including restrictive covenants
  • Daily advising of employees regarding compliance with shifting federal and state employment laws
  • Reviewing employee handbook and employment policies

Honors & Recognitions

  • Women in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal, 2018
  • "Rising Stars," Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2008, 2010-2017
  • 40 Under 40, InBusiness Magazine, 2015

Professional Activities

  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, American Bar Association




Community Involvement

  • Former Board President, Family Service Madison, Inc.
  • Board Member, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison, Inc.
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