William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., 2006, Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List
St. Olaf College, B.A., 2001, Cum Laude, Dean's List
Bar & Court Admissions
- North Dakota
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
- U.S. District Court District of Nebraska
Ellen Brinkman is a member of the firm’s Employment, Benefits and Labor Section. Her practice focuses on defending employers and individuals in state and federal litigation and agency matters involving Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and various other federal and state employment statutes. She regularly represents employers seeking to enforce non-competition agreements and other post-employment restrictive covenants, and also defends against claims involving restrictive covenants.
Ellen also provides day-to-day counseling to clients on a wide variety of workplace issues including hiring, promotion, disability accommodation, compliance with wage-and-hour and leave laws, discipline and termination. She assists clients in drafting employment policies and handbooks, employee and executive contracts, and separation agreements.
Honors & Awards
- Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2011-2018
- Defended age discrimination and interference with FMLA claims brought by 71 year old sales person who sold credit services but had performance issues and was terminated.
- Defended cable and wire manufacturer against claims of personal injury and wrongful death for alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products.
- Defended claims by 3PL for nonpayment due to delays in delivery and challenge to purported lien rights for goods in transit.
- Defended employee and his new employer against claims of breach of non-compete agreement and tortious interference. The case went to trial, but after the Plaintiff presented its case, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.
- Represented employer in defending claims brought by Plaintiff employee -- three gender, age, and race EEOC discrimination and retaliation charges under Title VII and then sued for the same claims in federal court.
- Resolve threatened lawsuit by former manager against a regional bank alleging sex and pregnancy discrimination and workplace harassment.
- Succeeded on motion to dismiss homeowner's complaint against bank, alleging that bank violated the Home Affordable Modification Program by not giving homeowners a loan modification.
- Succeeded on motion to dismiss homeowner's complaint, alleging claims for violation of Minn. Stat. 58.13, breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud and misrepresentation, and violation of Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act.
- Successfully defended employees and their new employer against claims of breach of non-compete agreement and tortious interference.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing failure to pay overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of employer on Family and Medical Leave Act discrimination claim and state law claims alleging tortious interference with contract.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of employer in a Section 1981 retaliation claim and state law defamation claim.
Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member
- July 5, 2018
- July 10, 2017
- July 5, 2016
- July 21, 2014
- October 23, 2013
- June 8, 2012
- July 18, 2011
- Professional Liability Attorney Network New York Regional Meeting, Co-Chair and Presenter, “Insurance Coverage and the #MeToo Movement,” June 19, 2018
- 2018 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Presenter, “Defending the Disability Case—Strategies and Tactics,” May 22, 2018
- Professional Liability Attorney Network Hartford Regional Meeting, “Civil Litigation Ethics: From Depositions to Trial and Beyond,” Hartford, ConnecticutFebruary 15, 2018
- Professional Liability Attorney Network New York Regional Meeting, "Playing the Trump Card: What’s New in Employment Law in 2017," New York, New YorkJune 21, 2017
- 2017 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, Presenter, "Title VII Update – All the Important Cases and Their Impact," May 22, 2017
- Staying "In The Know" on Employment Trends in 2016August 16, 2016
- Professional Liability Attorney Network Webinar, Presenter, "Tips for Defending the Small to Mid-Size Employer in Wage and Hour Litigation," August 4, 2016
- THIS EVENT IS FULL.May 5, 2015
- Windows on Minnesota, 50th Floor, IDS Center, April 10, 2014
- "Drafting and Enforcement Issues Regarding Non-Compete Agreements," Webinar
Independent Contractor Misclassifications in Minnesota
New Tip-Pooling Rules on the Horizon