Adam T. Pankratz

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Mr. Pankratz represents local and national employers in a myriad of employment-related and complex commercial matters, including litigation involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour, wrongful termination, ADA and FMLA leave issues, and other matters in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Mr. Pankratz has experience successfully representing employers in executive termination, non-compete and unfair competition disputes, and often represents buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions. Recent successes include obtaining summary judgment in various employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits, and obtaining a positive decision on appeal before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Pankratz also regularly advises employers regarding workplace policies and procedures, and counsels employers on compliance with applicable federal, state and local employment laws and regulations. Mr. Pankratz is also an active speaker on various employment-related topics and provides training for supervisors and non-management employees.

Mr. Pankratz regularly represents employers in the manufacturing, retail, education, service, hospitality, healthcare, insurance, financial services, real estate, private equity, technology, and transportation industries. Mr. Pankratz has represented employers throughout the United States.

Mr. Pankratz also serves as co-chair of ODAlliance, Ogletree Deakins’ LGBTQ+ business resources group, and is a member of Ogletree Deakins’ Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee.

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Mr. Pankratz has first chaired a multiple-day employment discrimination arbitration, has first chaired contract dispute arbitrations, has first chaired a number of judge-tried trials, and has successfully argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of an order granting summary judgment. Mr. Pankratz also has significant experience in general commercial litigation and has second chaired a reinsurance arbitration regarding yearly renewable term rates resulting in a positive judgment for the client in excess of $100 million.

With respect to employment matters, Mr. Pankratz regularly engages in the following:

  • Counsel employers on a wide range of employment-related matters, including policies, terminations, severances, reductions in force, FLSA compliance and classification of individuals as employees or independent contractors, FMLA compliance, WARN Act compliance, Department of Labor investigations, and I-9 compliance and investigations.
  • Defend claims of sexual harassment and discrimination based on age, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, medical leave, pregnancy, nationality, religion, and other protected characteristics.
  • Represent employers in federal and state courts, as well as administrative agencies such as the EEOC, the U.S. DOL, OSHA and their state and local counterparts.
  • Defend clients against lawsuits alleging violations of restrictive covenants and claims under the FMLA, Davis-Bacon Act and the FLSA.
  • Draft and advise on employment policies, handbooks, contracts, restrictive covenants, executive compensation agreements, and severance agreements.
  • Counsel employers on reductions in force, and draft necessary documentation and agreements.
  • Represent and counsel buyers and sellers in the sale of business context and mergers & acquisitions related to employment matters and conducts due diligence on behalf of buyers.

Education

  • J.D., cum laude, Washburn University School of Law, 2006
  • B.B.A., cum laude, Wichita State University, 2002

Admittance to Practice

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington
  • US Court of Appeals, Second, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits

Professional Activities

  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Washington Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Greater Seattle Business Association
  • Centurions Leadership Program – Greater KC Chamber of Commerce (Graduate)
  • Kay Barnes Leadership Series (MAGLCC)
  • KCMBA Bar Leadership Academy (Graduate)
  • Beta Theta Pi – General Fraternity Volunteer – Assistant District Chief XXXI & former District Chief of District XXI

Speeches

  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Ever-Changing Legal Landscape of LGBTQIA+ Issues" - Phoenix - May 10, 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "State and Local HR Health Check" - Seattle - October 18, 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Avoiding Retaliation Claims … and How to Be in the Best Position to Defend Them When They Arise" - Seattle - October 28, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The Law and Language of Tolerance" - Seattle - October 28, 2016
  • National Association of Produce Market Managers - "Human Resources Training and Trends for Produce Market Managers" - Kansas City - April 9, 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Ethics Law Briefing" - Kansas City - June 18, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Professional Responsibilities Faced by In-House and Outside Counsel" - Omaha - June 2, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Professional Responsibilities Faced by In-House and Outside Counsel" - Des Moines - June 1, 2015
  • Enterprise University - "Is Your Employee Handbook Up-to-Date and Effective?" - Overland Park - April 17, 2015
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Employment Law Update: Same-Sex Marriage, and the Modern Workplace" - Kansas City - October 9, 2014
  • Enterprise University - "Is Your Employee Handbook Up-to-Date and Effective?" - Overland Park - October 2, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Nebraska Law Update & Current Status of Same Sex Marriage and Its Effects on Employers" - Omaha - September 30, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Iowa Law Update & Current Status of Same Sex Marriage and Its Effects on Employers" - Des Moines - September 29, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Ethics Law Briefing" - Kansas City - June 10, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "Nebraska Law Update" - Omaha - September 17, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "The ADA Reasonable Accommodations and Medical Information: Why Do You Ask?" - Des Moines - September 16, 2013
  • February 10, 2015 - SHRM.org - "Worker Fired for Poor Performance, Not for Alleging Race Bias, Sex Harassment"
  • December 16, 2014 - SHRM Online - "Mo.: Columbia Is First Missouri City to Approve 'Ban the Box' Legislation"
  • December 16, 2014 - SHRM Online - "Mo.: Columbia Is First Missouri City to Approve 'Ban the Box' Legislation"
  • December 2014 - SHRM Missouri eAuthority Online - "Ban the Box Requirements"
  • June 22, 2018 - Law360 - "3 Tips For Employers Looking To Back Worker Affinity Groups"
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (2012-present)
  • Best of the Bar – Kansas City Business Journal (2014-2016)
  • Washburn Law Journal, Staff Editor (2004-2006)

Insights by Adam T. Pankratz

Webinars & Seminars