Jan Michelsen

Shareholder Indianapolis

Jan Michelsen concentrates her practice in counseling and defending management in various labor and employment law matters, including employment discrimination litigation, EEOC charges and complaints, sexual harassment, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, WARN, in federal and state courts and before regulatory agencies.  She also counsels in the area of employment contract disputes, employee privacy issues, social media and Web 2.0, electronic communications, wage and hour issues, wrongful discharge claims, and other state tort claims, such as defamation.  She has been involved in labor/management relations; union avoidance training and campaigns; arbitrations; and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

She provides a wide range of employers with timely, practical advice on discipline, termination, reasonable accommodation, FMLA compliance.  Jan also conducts employment audits, reviews employee handbooks, works with clients to develop effective, enforceable personnel policies, and offers training to supervisors and managers on avoiding litigation and unionization.

Prior to her legal career, Jan directed communications, strategic planning, and marketing functions as Director of Business Development at Indiana University Medical Center.


Below are examples of experience and positive results:

Prevailed with Full Defense Verdict at Trial

  • On age discrimination, ERISA, and retaliation claim against a medical manufacturer
  • On retaliation claim against international oil company
  • On wage and hour claim against national retailer

Succeeded in Obtaining Case Dismissals

  • On Indiana worker's compensation retaliation claim for a large national retailer
  • On a claim for wages and wrongful discharge against a publishing company
  • On state law business interference tort for an environmental contractor
  • On several state wage payment and wage claims lawsuits
  • On race discrimination claim for an oil and lubricant distribution center for discovery abuses and litigation of meritless claims
  • On reverse race discrimination case against a utility billing processing center
  • On a case of worker's compensation retaliation as a result of bringing to Plaintiff's attorney attention new law that defeated his claim
  • On a claim of race discrimination against a hotel chain, case dismissed for failure to prosecute and discovery abuses
  • On a claim of race and religious discrimination against a national retailer, case dismissed as sanction

Obtained Sanctions from Opposing Party/Attorney

  • On intentional interference with contract case against a large environment and infrastructure company
  • On a claim for wrongful discharge and various torts against an international company, dismissed when court granted motion for $29,000 in fees and costs

Obtained Grants of Summary Judgment

  • On claim of sex harassment and retaliation against a long term care facility
  • On claim of sexual harassment, equal pay, and retaliation against a national manufacturer
  • On FMLA claim against national airline
  • On a claim of sex discrimination and retaliation against a national office products retailer
  • On sexual harassment claim against an airline
  • On age discrimination claim against a national retailer of women's apparel
  • On a claim of sex discrimination against a national distributor
  • On a claim of FMLA violations against a national building products wholesaler
  • On a claim of sex harassment and retaliation against a national manufacturer of textile products
  • On a claim of breach of contract and defamation against an international construction firm
  • On a claim of race discrimination against a national telecommunications company
  • On a claim of wrongful discharge and disability discrimination against a steel mill

Participated in successful union avoidance efforts and campaigns, including supervisor audits, employee relations training, and on-site campaign work including for:

  • Kentucky book manufacturing company
  • A distributor of educational books and materials
  • An electronics and computer peripheral distribution and repair center
  • An electronics manufacturer
  • A steel casting and foundry
  • A manufacturer of medical devices
  • A manufacturer of custom aeronautics
  • A regional hospital's long term care centers
  • A chain of long term care centers
  • A coal mine

Other Results

  • Succeeded in persuading arbitrator to deny grievance in 5-day arbitration against Steelworkers at an oil distribution center
  • Secured no probable cause determinations in hundreds of charges and complaints filed with federal and state civil rights and administrative agencies throughout the United States with less than 2% pursuing litigation post-dismissal
  • Obtained damages for health care provider by threatening defamation claim and breach of contract against purchaser of dental practice

Negotiated Settlements for Low Nuisance Value or Non-Monetary Settlement

  • On a 3-plaintiff national origin claim against a national retailer
  • On an FMLA claim against an Indiana manufacturer
  • On a case of disability discrimination against a sheet metal company
  • On a claim of race discrimination against a regional health care provider
  • On a claim of pregnancy discrimination against a national retailer
  • On a claim of age discrimination against a national retailer
  • On a claim of sexual harassment against a national construction corporation

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Inns of Court Foundation, Washington DC (Member Board of Trustees for 8 years; Seventh Circuit Trustee, Pupil Trustee, Strategic Planning Committee, International Programs Committee)
  • Participant, 2011 Amity Visit invitee, the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, London
  • Sagamore American Inns of Court (Bencher, Barrister)
  • Indianapolis American Inns of Court (Pupil, Barrister)
  • American Bar Association (Section of Legal and Employment Law, Section of Litigation)
  • Indiana State Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Indianapolis Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section, Women and the Law Division)
  • Madame Walker Theatre Center (Board Member, Chair, Real Estate Committee)
  • Founding Member of MBA Women's Advisory Committee (Kelley School of Business at Indiana University)
  • Volunteer Federal Civil Assistance Panel, United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division (pro bono contributions)
  • Member Alumni Association Kelly School of Business at Indiana University
  • Diversity Roundtable of Central Indiana
  • Business Leaders in the Next Generation (BLING) (youth entrepreneur mentorship)
  • Volunteer, Hamilton County Humane Society (animal welfare)
  • Indiana Canine Assistance Program (ICAN) (training of assistance dogs)
  • Coburn Place (transitional housing for women)
  • Public Advocates in Community Reentry (PACE) (offender reentry)


  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Regulating Individual Expression In and Out of the Workplace'' - Indianapolis - October 10, 2013
  • Indiana State Bar Association's Women's Bench and Bar Meeting - ''Employment Law Risks and Reward of Social Media'' - Culver - March 2012
  • Widener University School of Law - ''Technology and the Law'' - Video Presentation - January 05, 2012
  • ExecSense Webinars - ''Establishing a Computer Usage Policy for Your Company Covering Social Media Sites, Personal Emails, IM/Texts & More - Tips Techniques and Examples of Policies Being Used by Top Administrative Executives'' - Webinar - 2012
  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum - ''Recent Developments in Employment Law, Social Media in the Employment Law Context'' - Indianapolis - December 09, 2011
  • Annual Indiana State Bar Association Meeting (Joint CLE of Hispanic/Labor & Employment Sections) - ''The Social Media Revolution: The Risks and Rewards for Employees, Employers, and Their Attorneys'' - French Lick - October 20, 2011
  • American Society of Association Executives/The Center for Association Leadership, 2011 Annual Association Law Seminar - ''Social Media & New Technology: The Rewards—and Legal Risks—for Employers'' - Washington, D.C. - September 16, 2011
  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum/Indiana State Bar Association - ''Government Practice & Procedure Seminar, What's the Buzz: Social Media Issues'' - Indianapolis - August 19, 2011
  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum - ''E-Discovery and Employment Law – The Employee and Employer Perspective'' - Indianapolis - July 22, 2011
  • PAMCO (Personnel Association of Multi Cultural Companies) Bi-Monthly Meeting - ''Social Media'' - Indianapolis - June 15, 2011
  • NLRB Seminar at IU School of Law - ''Social Media & New Technology: The Rewards—and Legal Risks—for Employers'' - Indianapolis - June 10, 2011
  • WFYI - No Limits Show - ''Social Media'' - Indianapolis - June 09, 2011
  • Public Relations Society of America Monthly Meeting - ''Diversity'' - Indianapolis - June 08, 2011
  • Indiana Chamber, 47th Annual HR Conference - ''This is Not Your Mother's Handbook'' - Indianapolis - May 04, 2011
  • Ultimate Software Interactive HR Workshop: Essential Strategies from Industry Leaders in an Era of Change - ''Managing the Impact of Social Media in Employment Decisions'' - Indianapolis - April 07, 2011
  • American Inns of Court Foundation, 2011 Symposium on the Legal Profession - ''Special Challenges to 21st Century Lawyers: The Use and Misuse of Technology'' - Washington, D.C. - April 02, 2011
  • ExecSense Webinar - ''Creating a Social Media Policy for Risk Management Executives'' - January 21, 2011
  • Blue River SHRM Chapter Monthly Meeting - ''Social Media & New Technology: Legal Risks for Employers'' - Shelbyville - January 11, 2011
  • ExecSense Organizing Webinar - ''What Compliance Executives Need to Know About Creating a Social Media Policy for Your Company'' - December 17, 2010
  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum - ''Recent Developments in Employment Law, Social Media in the Workplace'' - Indianapolis - December 14, 2010
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Distinguished Speakers Series Panel - ''Ethical Issues w/Social Networks for Employment & Labor Law Attorneys'' - Indianapolis - December 09, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Web 2.0 & the Workplace: The Legal Risks & Rewards'' - Merrillville - November 10, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Retaliation Litigation – The Risk Escalates'' - Indianapolis - October 05, 2010
  • Indiana Manufacturers Association Social Media Webinar - ''Web 2.0 And The Workplace'' - September 29, 2010
  • Delaware State Bar Association - ''Ethics of Social Networking and Email Seminar, Ethics of Social Networking and Email Seminar'' - Wilmington - May 07, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Breakfast Briefing - ''New Technology in the Workplace – Increasing Efficiency or Liability?'' - Indianapolis - April 13, 2010
  • Wabash Valley Human Resources Association Monthly Meeting - ''Web 2.0 and the Workplace: The Employment Law Challenges of Blogs, Social Media and Virtual Worlds'' - Terre Haute - January 13, 2010
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce Employment Law Compliance Seminar - ''Employment Audits'' - Indianapolis - April 2006
  • Tippecanoe Area Personnel Association (TAPA) - ''Federal Legislation on Comp Time and Flex Time'' - Lafayette - June 2004
  • Lorman Education Services - ''Individual Liability for Employment Claims'' - Indianapolis - March 6 - March 7, 2002
  • Indiana Health Care Association, 56th Annual Convention and Trade Show - ''Violence in the Workplace'' - Indianapolis - November 15, 2000
  • Indiana Broadcasters Association, 52nd Annual Conference - ''Some Things Indiana Broadcasters Should Know About Workplace Violence'' - Indianapolis - October 10, 2000
  • ADP "Blueprints" Series - ''Recordkeeping'' - Indianapolis - October 2000
  • Association of Indiana Counties - ''Legal and Ethical Issues DIPLOMA Class'' - Indianapolis - June 01, 2000
  • Eli Lilly Second Annual Legal Seminar for HR Professionals - ''Employee Privacy'' - Indianapolis - May 02, 2000
  • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum - ''Employee Handbooks for the Law Office, Help or Hindrance?'' - Indianapolis - April 13, 2000
  • National Pool and Spa Institute, Mid-America Pool and Spa Show - ''Avoiding Employment Litigation'' - Chicago - February 16, 2000
  • Indiana Chapter, National Spa & Pool Institute - ''Avoiding Employment Litigation'' - Indianapolis - February 07, 2000
  • Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Radio Program - ''Inside the Chamber'' - Indianapolis - February 2000
  • Personnel Law Update 1999, Council on Education in Management - ''What You Can Do Tomorrow to Ensure Your Managers' Discipline and Termination Practices Aren't Laying the Groundwork for Liability'' - Indianapolis - June 14 - June 15, 1999
  • Private Client Seminar - ''What You DO Know (about unions) Can Help You'' - Indianapolis - May 1999
  • Health Facility Administrator Course, Indiana Health Care Association - ''Current Issues in Labor Law: ADA and Employee Access'' - Indianapolis - May 1999
  • Indiana Wesleyan University - ''Employment Aspects of Hiring and Firing for Supervisors and Administrators'' - Indianapolis - October 1998
  • Employment Relations Team Associate Training - ''Counseling a Client About Employee Termination'' - Indianapolis - October 1998
  • Long Term Care Nurse Management Seminar, Indiana Health Care Association - ''Managing Healthcare Personnel in Accordance with Federal and State Law'' - Indianapolis - June 08, 1998
  • Indianapolis Inn of Court - ''Legal London'' - Indianapolis - May 1998
  • American Inns of Court Foundation - ''Reclaiming a Noble Profession'' - Washington, D.C. - 1998 - 1999
  • Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce - ''Sexual Harassment'' - Indianapolis - 1998 - 2000
  • Indiana Nursery and Landscaping Association Seminar - ''Avoiding Employment Litigation'' - Indianapolis - 1998
  • Clarks Solicitors - ''An Introduction to U.S. Employment Law'' - London - March 1997
  • Blade Communications meeting of broadcast station managers from across the U.S. - ''Employment Practices Liability'' - Lowville - 1997 - 1998
  • Channel 16 - ''Scales of Justice'' - Indianapolis - October 18, 1996
  • Personnel Law Update 1996, Council on Education in Management - ''An Employer's Right to Access Employees' Private Information'' - Indianapolis - October 1996
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce 5th Annual Employment Law Seminar, Pre-Conference Workshop - ''The ADA Maze: Recent Twists, Turns, Trends & Dead-Ends'' - Indianapolis - May 1996
  • Midwest Head Start Association - ''ADA and FMLA: What You Need to Know'' - Indianapolis - May 1995


Media Quotes

July 28, 2014 - SHRM.org - "One Use of Racial Epithet Not Enough for Title VII Harassment"
January 21, 2011 - The Shelbyville News - "Human Resource Group Learns Impact of Social Networking"
December 2010 - January 2011 - Practical Law, The Journal, Volume 2, Issue 10, Labor and Employment: Use of Social Media Sites in Company Hiring Processes - "GC Agenda, A Round Up Of Major Horizon Issues For General Counsel"

Published Works