Katherine A. Manuel

Associate Chicago

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Ms. Manuel practiced at an employment litigation firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she handled discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, whistleblower, qui tam, breach of contract, defamation, tort, medical leave, and licensing matters.

Since joining Ogletree Deakins in August 2013, Ms. Manuel has advised, litigated, and negotiated on behalf of companies across all industries in a variety of labor and employment matters in state and federal courts and agencies in Illinois and Wisconsin. Ms. Manuel was named as an Illinois Rising Star in 2015, 2016, and 2017, which is a distinction awarded to attorneys under the age of 40 based on peer recognition and professional achievement.

During law school, Ms. Manuel was a member of Hamline University's National Moot Court Competition team and served as a research assistant for one of her professors. Ms. Manuel also worked as a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judges Michael J. Davis and Donovan W. Frank in the District of Minnesota.


Experience

Ms. Manuel has extensive experience drafting and arguing non-dispositive and dispositive motions and appeals, taking and defending depositions, mediating settlements, participating in administrative agency investigations, fact-finding conferences and hearings, and issuing and responding to discovery, in single-plaintiff and multi-plaintiff matters and class and collective actions. Ms. Manuel practices in both federal and state court, and her courtroom experience includes second-chairing three jury trials and motion practice. Most recently, in a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Ms. Manuel won a defense verdict for the defendant university on the plaintiff's retaliation claim.

Representative Matters at Ogletree Deakins

Employment Litigation

  • • Defended former vice chancellor of university against Title VII/Section 1981 failure to promote race discrimination claims brought by former engineer in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee’s claims at summary judgment. Jones v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Ill., et al., Case No. 16-cv-10258 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 22, 2018).
  • Defended pet products retailer against ADA disability discrimination and failure to accommodate claims brought by former distribution center employee in the Northern District of Illinois. Partially dismissed employee’s claims (disability discrimination) at summary judgment. Kottke v. PetSmart, Inc., Case No. 16-cv-08849 (N.D. Ill. July 6, 2018).
  • Defended online mobile application-based technology company against a variety of claims brought by former ride sharing driver in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed driver’s claims at summary judgment. Mohammed v. Lyft, Inc., Case No. 16-cv-02470 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 27, 2017).
  • Defended multinational telecommunications corporation against former employee’s race discrimination claim in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee's claim at summary judgment. Brown v. Illinois Bell Tel. Co., No. 14 C 9160, 2017 WL 3189342 (N.D. Ill. July 27, 2017).
  • Defended former athletic club supervisor against former employee’s tortious interference and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee’s complaint. Rees v. Freewalt, No. 16 L 5920 (Cook Cnty. Cir. Ct. Mar. 31, 2017).
  • Defended university against Illinois Human Rights Act retaliation claim brought by former police officer in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee’s claim at summary judgment. Heard v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Ill., Case No. 2015 L 008517 (Cook Cnty. Cir. Ct., Mar. 3, 2017).
  • Defended pet products retailer against former employee's Family and Medical Leave Act and disability discrimination/accommodation claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee's claims at summary judgment. Upheld by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. McQuillen v. PetSmart, Inc.,  No. 15 C 9953 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 16, 2017), aff'd, No. 17-1456, 2017 WL 3432405 (7th Cir. Aug. 10, 2017).
  • Defended university against police officer’s remaining Title VII/Section 1981 retaliation claim at jury trial in the Northern District of Illinois.  Successfully obtained defense verdict for the university.  Robinson v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Ill., et al., Case No. 13 C 4859, (N.D. Ill. Apr. 29, 2016), aff’d in part, 894 F.3d 818 (7th Cir. July 2, 2018).
  • Defended athletic club against former employee’s retaliatory discharge claim in the Northern District of Illinois.  Successfully dismissed employee’s complaint.  Rees v. LTF Club Mgmt. Co. LLC, Case No. 15-cv-10411 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2016).
  •  Defended multinational telecommunications corporation against current employee’s race discrimination and retaliation claims in the Northern District of Illinois.  Successfully dismissed all but 1 of employee’s claims in the complaint.  Brown v. Illinois Bell Telephone Co., Case No. 14-cv-9160 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 18, 2015). 
  • Defended university against discrimination and retaliation claims brought by two police officers in the Northern District of Illinois.  Successfully dismissed 8 of 9 claims at summary judgment. Spangler and Robinson v. Bd. of Trustees of Univ. of Ill., et al., Case No. 13 C 4859, 2015 WL 6784339 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 6, 2015).
  • Defended insurance company against former employee’s age discrimination, breach of stock option agreement and wage claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed employee’s claims at summary judgment.  Schneider v. Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc., No. 13 C 06108, 2015 WL 5731852 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 30, 2015).
  • Defended electropolishing company against former employee’s retaliatory discharge claim in Illinois state court. Successfully dismissed employee’s claim at summary judgment. Ragona v. Able Electropolishing Co., Inc., No. 13 L 008861 (Cook Cnty. Cir. Ct., Jan. 8, 2015).
  • Defended insurance company against former employee’s disability discrimination, failure to accommodate and retaliation claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed a portion of claims in complaint, resulting in a stipulated dismissal with prejudice. Freeman v. Travelers Companies, Inc., 63 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. 2014).
  • Defended for-profit college against former employee’s age, disability and gender discrimination, equal pay, failure to accommodate, FMLA, breach of contract and tort claims in the Northern District of Illinois. Successfully dismissed a portion of claims in complaint, resulting in a non-monetary dismissal with prejudice. Britton v. ITT Technical Institute, Case No. 13-cv-6547, 2014 WL 1568684 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 17, 2014).

Charges

  • Defended numerous clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Labor, and Illinois and Wisconsin state agencies against current and former employees’ discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, commission, OSHA and other labor and employment related claims.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • State Bar of Wisconsin

Speeches:

  • Chicago Roofing Contractors Association Webinar - ''Workplace Harassment Training'' - November 2018
  • Ogletree Deakins Attorney Training Webinar - ''2017 Illinois Law Update'' - December 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Attorney Training - ''To Leave or Not To Leave: Navigating the ADA and the FMLA'' - Chicago - April 2017
  • Chicago Franchise Association Training - ''Fair Labor Standards Act Update'' - Chicago - December 2016
  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce Webinar - ''What to Expect When Your Employee is Expecting: Pregnancy in the Workplace'' - May 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Attorney Training - ''What to Expect When Your Employee is Expecting: Pregnancy in the Workplace'' - Chicago - August 2015
  • National Business Institute Webinar - ''Hiring and Firing Law'' - March 2015
  • National Business Institute Webinar - ''Hiring and Firing Law'' - June 2014
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Investigator Training - ''The ADA, FMLA and Workers' Compensation'' - Minneapolis - March 2013
  • Institute for Paralegal Education Webinar - ''A Paralegal's Guide to Federal Court'' - February 2013
  • Southern Minnesota Area Human Resource Association Employment Law Seminar - ''The Enemy's Point of View: Hot Topics in Employment Litigation from the Perspective of an Employee's Attorney'' - Mankato - June 2012
  • Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute - ''Public Sector Employee Speech: Whistleblowing and the First Amendment'' - Saint Paul - May 2012
  • Minnesota Chapter of Legal Nurse Consultants - ''Whistleblower Litigation: Martyrs and Tattletales'' - Minneapolis - May 2010
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