Martin D. Kappenman's Profile Image

Martin D. Kappenman

Phone: 952.921.4603
Fax: 952.896.1704

Martin represents employers in connection with the full range of employment and labor law issues. He has successfully litigated claims relating to non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, shareholder disputes, accommodation and leave requests, employment contracts, discrimination, harassment, reprisal and retaliation in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. He works with employers to avoid costly and time consuming litigation by providing counsel regarding OSHA compliance, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, drug testing, and other employment matters.

Main Areas of Practice

  • Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and litigation
  • Shareholder disputes involving family owned businesses
  • Responding to Department of Labor wage and hour investigations
  • MN-OSHA compliance and citation response
  • Defense of union fringe benefit fund contribution claims
  • Contract drafting and disputes in the construction industry
  • Disputes over pay to sales representatives and commissioned sales employees
  • Defense of employers against discrimination, harassment, reprisal and retaliation claims
  • Counseling employers regarding personnel policies and complex hiring, discipline and discharge decisions
  • Defense of employers in collective actions alleging overtime violations and wage theft
  • Trade secret litigation
  • Construction litigation
  • Disability accommodation litigation

Representative Cases

  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota
    Obtained successful result for contractor in fringe fund case following two-week trial.  Fringe funds had originally alleged that contractor violated RICO and ERISA as part of a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to cheat the fringe funds.  The Court rejected the fringe funds’ claims and concluded that our client was “scrupulously honest.”
  • Anoka County District Court
    Obtained injunction preventing the termination of the existing officers and board of directors and prohibiting interference with planned distributions to shareholders.
  • Hennepin County District Court
    Defeated motion for temporary restraining order on behalf of hiring employer in a case arising out of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions of newly hired employees prior employment agreements.
  • Washington County District Court
    Convinced court to grant emergency injunctive relief prohibiting departing construction industry sales employee from working with client’s direct competitor within the State of Minnesota.
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota and United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    Won summary judgment against defendant attempting to rescind contract based on alleged mistake of fact. The favorable judgment was upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Administrative Agency
    Obtained a determination of No Probable Cause from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for employer facing multiple allegations of discrimination. Employees abandoned case after the determination and declined to further pursue the employer in Court.
  • Ramsey County District Court and Minnesota Court of Appeals
    Attained dismissal of lawsuit by employee who claimed the employee handbook was a unilateral contract that the employer had breached entitling the former employee to damages for future wages and benefits. The trial court determination was upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • Regulatory and Employment Law Roundup: An Update on Agency and Case Law Developments for Employers at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (May 23, 2018)
  • Architect Ethics and Professional Responsibility in the “Me too” Era presentation for the Construction Specification Institute (April 24, 2018)
  • Lien Rights, Lien Waivers, And Payment Terms presentation for The Minnesota Electrical Association, Inc. (April 20, 2018)
  • How to Stay Cool When “ICE” Arrives: Immigration Enforcement Audits and Your Hospitality Business presentation for the Hospitality Minnesota (October 5, 2017)
  • The Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick Leave Ordinances Minnesota Chamber of Commerce webinar (June 22, 2017)
  • Emerging Federal Employment and Regulatory Issues under the Trump Administration at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (May 3, 2017)
  • Law and Ethics in Employment as an Architect presentation for the Construction Specification Institute (February 28, 2017)
  • Wage Garnishments and the related legal issues for Payroll Professionals presentation at Northstar Chapter APA Meeting (February 16, 2017)
  • How to Respond to Government Investigations presentation for Fargo Moorhead Human Resource Association (February 7, 2017)
  • Mental Health Issues in the Workplace presentation for LCHRA (November 10, 2016)
  • New FLSA Overtime Rules & White Collar Exemptions Minnesota Chamber of Commerce webinar (October 3, 2016)
  • Avoiding, Preparing For And Defending Against Employee, Government, Union And Other Third Party Initiated Audits, Investigations And “Inquiries” presentation at Central Dakota Human Resources Association (June 28-29, 2016)
  • 2016 Regulatory Developments presentation at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (April 27, 2016)
  • Your Ethical Obligations and Legal Rights in A World of Frequent Career Change presentation at CSI–MSP Expo (February 9, 2016)
  • How to Stop Lawsuits From Destroying Your Small Business NFIB Special Event (July 30, 2015)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act: Minimize the Lawsuit Risks to Your Business Minnesota Chamber of Commerce webinar (July 29, 2015)
  • Regulatory Roundup: An Update on Agency Developments for Employers presentation at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (March 5, 2015)
  • Non-Competes and Other Employment Law Topics for the Insurance Industry presentation for Twin Cities Insurance Club (December 8, 2014)
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law presentation for CPCU Society (September 18, 2014)
  • Avoiding the Mistakes Made by Employers in the Construction Industry presentation for Associated Builders and Contractors Minnesota/North Dakota Chapter (August 14, 2014)

Employer Advisor Articles

  • "Minnesota Supreme Court Allows Private Cause of Action for Employees Terminated for Refusing to Share Tips," Employer Advisor, October 2017.
  • "President Donald J. Trump, A Preview for Employers," Employer Advisor, January 2017.
  • "Minneapolis Enacts Paid Sick Leave Effective July 1, 2017," Employer Advisor, May 2016.
  • "Executive Order Requires Federal Government Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave," Employer Advisor, September 2015.
  • "How to Manage Parenting Leave in Minnesota," Employer Advisor, August 2015.
  • "2014 Minnesota Legislative Review," Employer Advisor, June 2014.
  • "Minnesota Minimum Wage Update," Employer Advisor, April 2014.
  • "Minnesota Legislative Update: 5 Things Employers Should Know," Employer Advisor, June 2013.
  • "Recently Proposed Legislation Stands to Significantly Change Business in Minnesota," Employer Advisor, March 2013.
  • "Drug Testing: Right for Olympians, Right for Your Workplace?", Employer Advisor, August 2012.
  • "DOL and IRS Announce Crack Down," Employer Advisor, September 2011.

View Martin's Employer Advisor articles on our website.

Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota
  • United States District Court, District of Nebraska
  • State of Minnesota
  • State of North Dakota
  • State of South Dakota

Education

  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2002
  • University of Oklahoma, Magna cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa, 1999

Professional and Community Involvement

  • National Federation of Independent Business
  • Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
  • Leadership Saint Paul Class of 2007
  • Associated General Contractors of Minnesota
  • Minnesota Restaurant Association
  • Minnesota Builders Exchange
  • Minnesota Electrical Association
  • Ramsey County Volunteer Attorney Program

Honors and Distinctions

Martin has been repeatedly recognized as a “Rising Star” by Law and Politics and Twin Cities Business magazine.

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