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Schlesinger Wht_2003
David E. Schlesinger

Phone: 612.256.3277
Fax: 612.338.4878
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David E. Schlesinger

David Schlesinger is an experienced attorney who has been recognized for the quality of his work for employees. He is an MSBA Certified Employment Law Specialist who has been selected as a Super Lawyer for the last five years. He teaches Law in Practice at the University of Minnesota Law School and is the former president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association. David has successfully litigated a wide variety of employment claims, including several significant cases involving gender discrimination, cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and many other claims. His practice also includes an emphasis on the intersection of employment and business disputes, including litigation of breach of fiduciary duty and minority shareholder claims. He has effectively defended employees from non-compete and trade secret claims brought by their former employers.


  • Arizona Supreme Court
  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court – District of Arizona
  • U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court – District of North Dakota
  • J.D. University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude
  • B.A. Mary Washington College, cum laude
Publications / Speaking Engagements
  • Co-presenter, “The Evolving Landscape of Pay Equity Litigation and Legislation,” Minnesota State Bar Association, Minneapolis, December 2017.
  • Co-presenter, “Elimination of Bias: Understanding Chronic Illness,” Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, August 2017.
  • Moderator/Presenter, “Employment Agreements 101: The Tips and Tricks Every Lawyer Should Know,” ABA Webinar, July 2017.
  • Co-Presenter, “Title VII & The Equal Pay Act: Dynamic Duo When Challenging Sex Discrimination in Compensation,” National Employment Lawyers Association 2017 Annual Convention, San Antonio, Texas, June 2017.
  • Co-Presenter, “The Evolving Landscape of Equal Pay Legislation, Litigation and Regulation,” 2017 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2017.
  • “Pay Equity: Increasing Enforcement and Emerging Issues,” ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee Midwinter Meeting, Playa del Carmen, Mexico, 2017.
  • “Remembering my father, and the struggle for civil rights in 2017,” MinnPost, January 18, 2017.
  • “Fair Pay or Comparable Worth? California’s New Fair Pay Act,” PLI’s Seminar: Cutting-Edge Employment Law Issues 2016: The California Difference, San Francisco, California, 2016.
  • Co-author of “Joint Employer and Independent Contractor Issues,” published in The FMLA Handbook, Second Edition, 2016 (Minnesota Continuing Legal Education).
  • “Turning the Tables on Employer Counterclaims,” Eighth Circuit NELA Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, 2016.
  • “Equal Pay Act Collective Actions,” American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, San Juan, Puerto Rico 2016.
  • “Federal Litigation 101,” National Business Institute Video Webcast, 2015.
  • “The Art of Trial Preparation” National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015.
  • “How NELA Affiliates Operate,” National Employment Lawyers Association Affiliate Leader Training, Atlanta, Georgia, 2015.
  • “Equal Pay Act Update,” American Bar Association, Midwinter Conference of the Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 2015.
  • “Mental Health and the Legal Workplace,” Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2014.
  • “The Art of Trial Preparation,” Eighth Circuit National Employment Lawyers Association Conference, 2014.
  • “Wage and Hour 301: Wage and Hour Cases in Minnesota and Developing Trends.” Minnesota National Employment Lawyers Association, 2014.
  • Coauthor of “The Canary Sings Again: New Life for the Minnesota Whistleblower Act,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota (September 2013, Volume LXX, Number VIII at 14-18).
  • "20 Tips to Make Litigation Practice Just a Little Easier." Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2013.
  • “Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Employment – Returning to Work.” Minnesota Employment Law Series CLE Webcast, 2012.
  • "Your Boss Did What? Employment Law 101 and the ABC's of Finding a Good Case." Strategic Solutions for Solo and Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN, 2012.
  • “Top 10 Tips to Maximize Economic & Compensatory Damages in Employment Cases.” National Employment Lawyers Association Annual Convention, San Diego, CA, 2012.
  • National Academy of Arbitrators Panel: The Voice of Experience in Employment Arbitration, 2012.
  • "Religious Discrimination and Accommodation in the Workplace." MSBA Program, 2012.
  • "Appeals in Employment Law Cases." Minnesota CLE Webcast Panel, 2011.
  • "Kasten: The New FLSA Retaliation Standard." Thomson Reuters Webinar Panel, 2011.
  • The Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under Minnesota Law, Bench & Bar of Minnesota (July 2010, Vol. LXVII, No. VI at 30 - 34, 2010).
  • "Hot Issues in Debtor-Creditor Practice: Successor Liability and Fraudulent Transfer: Risks for the Successor Business." Minnesota CLE, 2010.
  • "Labor and Employment Law Section: Litigating Against the Magically Disappearing Defendant: Successor Liability Under State and Federal Law." Hennepin County Bar Association, 2010.
Selected Results
  • Sexual Harassment: Johnson et al. vs. Links on the Mississippi, Inc. and William C. Doebler, 82-cv-15-4079 (Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. 2017) (first chaired a trial in which 4 former employees and the state were awarded $150,000 on harassment and retaliation claims); Jenkins v. University of Minnesota and Ted Swem, 2013-cv-01548 (D. Minn. 2017) (second chaired jury trial in which graduate student prevailed on her sexual harassment claim against her harasser).
  • Minority Shareholder Rights: Second-chaired a jury trial in which our client was awarded $700,000 on minority shareholder claims (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2013); Garamella v. Intrepid U.S.A., et al. (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2007) (denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment on employee’s claims for breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference with contract).
  • Gender Discrimination: Cox v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharm., Inc., Civ. No. 13-CV-1138, 2014 WL 2197031 (D. Minn. May 27, 2014) (denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment on equal pay act and Title VII claims); LaMont v. Independent School Dist. No. 728, 814 N.W.2d 14 (Minn. May 16, 2012) (argued before the Minnesota Supreme Court, established a claim for hostile work environment prohibiting sex-based but non-sexual conduct under the Minnesota Human Rights Act); Rasmussen v. Two Harbors Fish Co., --N.W.2d. ----, 2013 WL 2221487 (Minn. May 22, 2013) (counsel for amicus curiae Minnesota Chapter National Employment Lawyers Association).
  • Whistleblower: Swanson v. State, 2009 WL 671039 (Minn. Ct. App. March 17, 2009) (reversal of summary judgment of employee’s whistleblower claim).
  • Successor Liability: Schwartz v. Virtucom, Inc., 2009 WL 1311816 (Minn. App. May 12, 2009) (trial and appellate victory for the employee in a successor liability claim); Teed v. Thomas & Betts Power Solutions, L.L.C., 711 F.3d 763, 764 (7th Cir. 2013) (counsel for Amicus Curiae National Employment Lawyers' Association in case establishing standard for successor liability under the FLSA).
  • Discrimination based on Religion: Haliye v. Celestica Corp., 717 F.Supp.2d 873 (D. Minn. 2010) (denial of employer’s motion for summary judgment of religious discrimination claims of twenty Muslim workers).
  • Non-compete: Schlief v. Nu-Source, Inc., 2011 WL 1560672 (D. Minn. April 25, 2011) (granting employee’s motion to dismiss employer’s non-complete and trade secret claims); Genesis 10 v. ValueWise, et al., (Minn. Dist. Ct. 2011) (denial of employer’s motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to prevent employees from joining a new company).
  • Federal Railway Safety Act: Bertrang v. Wisconsin Cent., Ltd., Civ. No. 14-0133, 2014 WL 4199710 (D. Minn. Aug. 22, 2014) (granting motion to compel Rule 30(b)(6) deposition).
  • Fair Labor Standards Act: Knaak v. Armour-Eckrich Meats, LLC, 991 F. Supp. 2d 1052, 1053 (D. Minn. 2014) (granting conditional certification and denying employer’s motion to dismiss breach of contract claim); Russell v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., Inc., 721 F.Supp.2d 804 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (denial of decertification of employees’ off-the-clock claims at four call centers); Russell v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., 575 F. Supp. 2d 930 (N.D. Ill. 2008) (granting conditional certification to call center employees); Bishop v. AT & T Corp., 256 F.R.D. 503 (W.D. Pa. 2009) (same); Hargrove v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc., 2012 WL 463442 (E.D. Va. February 13, 2012) (same); Robinson v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc., 2012 WL 505856 (S.D. Ala. January 19, 2012) (same); Swarthout v. Ryla Teleservices, Inc.,2011 WL 6152347 (N.D. Ind. December 12, 2011) (same).
Titles / Awards / Memberships
  • MSBA Certified Labor and Employment Law Specialist. According to the MSBA, “The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and can use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials. . . This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3% of all licensed Minnesota attorneys.”
  • Named to the Super Lawyers list, Minnesota Super Lawyers, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business, 2013-2017
  • Associate Adjunct Professor teaching Law in Practice, University of Minnesota Law School, 2011 to 2014, 2016
  • Former President, Minnesota Chapter National Employment Lawyers Association
  • Governance Committee Member, National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”)
  • Treasurer, Eighth Circuit NELA
  • Named to the Rising Stars list, Minnesota Super Lawyers, Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, and Twin Cities Business 2012
  • American Bar Association Member
  • Federal Bar Association Member
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Member