Bruce J. Douglas
Bruce J. Douglas is a shareholder in the Minneapolis office of Ogletree Deakins. He has more than 25 years of experience advising and defending employers in administrative and litigation matters in the full range of both traditional labor and employment law matters. He has represented clients in a wide range of industry lines, including manufacturing, baking, printing, resorts and lodging, finance, security, health care, insurance, communications, temporary personnel staffing, trucking, airlines, railroads, and business process outsourcing. Bruce has extensive experience in wage and hour matters and class and collective actions. He has conducted internal corporate investigations and frequently conducts training for managers.
Trial and Litigation Experience
Tried cases to verdict in both jury trials and bench trials. Cases include claims arising under Title VII and state human rights acts (Minnesota, New York, Texas and several other states), the ADA, the ADEA, whistleblower and retaliation statutes, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, claims of wrongful discharge, retaliation under section 11(c) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Experience includes class actions under Title VII and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Wage and Hour Experience
Represented employers in FLSA collective actions ranging from several hundred potential opt-ins to more than 10,000 opt-ins both in judicial and in arbitral forums. He has conducted audits to establish the exempt or non-exempt status of employees and has directed clients in responding to U.S. DOL audits as well as state labor department audits and complaints. Experience includes retail and non-retail, commissions and bonus plans, computer professionals, and interrelationship of wage and hour laws with federal labor laws and state labor laws.
Traditional Labor Experience
Represented employers in proceedings in the National Labor Relations Board, including hearings in representation cases, campaigns, hearings and appeals in unfair labor practice charge cases, and section 301 cases. Collective bargaining, including serving as chief spokesman in bargaining for employers, trials of labor arbitrations.
Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification Act
Advises and represents employers in reductions-in-force and layoffs and provides guidance for compliance with the federal WARN Act and state counterparts.
Non-Competition Litigation Experience
Prosecuted and defended covenants not to compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality and trade secret cases. Conducted hearings in motions for temporary restraining orders, temporary injunctions, and permanent injunctions following bench and jury trials.
Appellate Law Experience
Argued and briefed numerous appeals to the United States Courts of Appeals. Member of the Bar of the U. S. Supreme Court.
Employee Benefits Litigation
Represented ERISA plan administrators in denial of benefit claims in several federal district courts and U.S. Courts of Appeal.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Bruce has assisted clients and their corporate counsel in the complex area of labor and employment and benefits issues that arise in the context of stock or asset acquisitions of businesses. He is experienced in analyzing successorship issues under labor and employment statutes and identifying potential liabilities arising from multi-employer pension plans.
- Affirmance on appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit of summary judgment in favor of employer in a WARN Act case applying the “unforeseeable business circumstances” exception. USWA Local 2660 v. United States Steel Corporation, (8th Cir. 2012)
- Tried to defense verdict in favor of employer two-week jury case involving claims of religious discrimination and failure to accommodate need for daily prayers. Haliye, et al. v. Celestica Corporation and Adecco USA, Inc., (District of Minnesota 2010).
- Defeated motion to remand case under CAFA and achieved dismissal of claims under Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act for preliminary and postliminary activities based on federal labor law preemption. Zupancich v. United States Steel Corporation, 2009 WL 1474772 (D. Minn. 2009).
- Defeated conditional class certification under FLSA on behalf of a large employer in JAMS arbitration forum (2009).
- Summary judgment for employer in a Title VII sex discrimination/harassment case. Clardy v. Silverleaf Resorts, Inc. 2001 WL 1295480 (N. D. Tex. 2001).
- Achieved reversal of summary judgment for ERISA plan administrator after being retained for the appeal. Charter Canyon Treatment Center v. Pool Co., 153 F.3d 1132 (10th Cir.1998).
- Enforcement of arbitration agreement involving issues of first-filed doctrine and choice of law provisions. Airtel Wireless, LLC v. Montana Electronics Co., Inc., 393 F. Supp. 2d 777 (D. Minn. 2005).
Education and Honors
LL.M., in Labor Law, New York University School of Law, 1987
J.D., William Mitchell College of Law, 1977
B.A., University of Minnesota, 1973
- Super Lawyer, by Super Lawyers Magazine (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012)
- William Mitchell Law Review (1976-1977)
- AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Minnesota State Bar Association Board Certified Specialist in Labor & Employment Law
- Board Certified - Labor and Employment Law - Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Minnesota State Bar Association Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Law
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Member, Minnesota State Judges Association Civil Jury Instruction Guides Sub-committee on defamation and privacy.
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association
- State Bar of Texas
- Defense Research Institute
- Minnesota Management Attorneys Association
- MSBA Program - "Religious Discrimination and Accommodation in the Workplace" - Minneapolis - April 4, 2012
In The News
- June 6, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "Minnesota Legislature Grants Independent Child Care and Home Care Health Workers the Right to Unionize as “State Employees”"
- June 6, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Private Family Child Care and Home Health Care Providers Are “State Employees” Under New Law"
- May 10, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Ban on Hand-Held Cell Phone Use for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers—What Employers Should Know"
- October 2012 - Legal Series Radio Program - "Employment Law Hot Topics"