Aaron is the Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group and maintains an extensive national labor and employment practice, providing counsel to major clients who conduct operations throughout the United States. He has handled litigation as lead counsel in over 30 different states. Aaron has significant experience and expertise handling lawsuits involving non-competes, business torts, trade secrets, fiduciary obligations as well as benefit plans. His practice includes defending corporate clients in litigation brought by employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and other federal and state employment laws.
Aaron advises management in connection with personnel policies and decisions, executive and employment agreements, labor negotiations, national workforce reductions, strategic planning, workplace investigations and dealings with government agencies. In the area of labor law, Aaron represents the Omaha Construction Industry whose members include some of the largest construction contractors in the Midwest. Aaron handles labor negotiations on behalf of the industry with various trade unions including the Carpenters, Operating Engineers, Laborers, and Cement Masons. Aaron also serves as counsel for the Board of Trustees for the Omaha Construction Industry Pension Fund. Aaron frequently conducts seminars and presentations for professional groups and organizations on a variety of labor and employment topics.
Aaron is recognized for the excellence in his practice by Chamber USA, noting: “He was superb at trial. He did an excellent job of presenting facts in a way that won the case and destroyed the other side’s case.” “He was very knowledgeable and was always thinking of different aspects of the case to pursue.”
Aaron also has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Employment Law, Labor Law as well Labor and Employment Litigation and ERISA Litigation. Aaron is also listed in Super Lawyers and has received an “AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.
- Creighton University School of Law (J.D., Cum Laude, 1993)
- University of Nebraska at Omaha (B.S., 1990)
- Nebraska (1993: Sustaining Member)
- Iowa (2014)
- South Dakota (2014)
- U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska (1993)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit (1993)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit (2008)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (2008)
Under the direction of President Biden, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a proposed rule that will outlaw non-compete agreements in the workplace. Back in July 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14036 directing the FTC to either ban or limit employee non-competes in order to promote competition in the American economy, increase wages, make it easier for employees to change jobs, and eliminate aggressive tactics by large companies. Biden's Executive Order specifically focused on the "unfair use" of non-compete clauses and other clauses that "unfairly limit" worker mobility.
A new Nebraska law, passed as Legislative Bill 906 and signed by Governor Pete Ricketts, requires Nebraska employers who mandate COVID-19 vaccinations to grant religious and medical exemptions to most applicants and employees seeking such exemptions.
When employees decide to leave their employer and engage in competition, they frequently overlook their duty of loyalty. Absent a non-compete or non-solicitation restriction, an employee may believe that he or she can freely engage in discussions with clients and customers regarding their intention to leave employment and engage in a competitive business.
Recently, the General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), Jennifer Abruzzo, issued a memorandum responding to inquiries that became prevalent after the McLaren Macomb decision. In McLaren Macomb, the NLRB took aim at overbroad non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in severance agreements. The NLRB also found that simply offering a severance agreement to an employee can violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) if the agreement provides severance benefits in exchange for giving up statutory rights under Section 7 of the Act - NLRB Takes Aim At Severance Agreements.
- Omaha Bar Association
- Nebraska State Bar Association
- Iowa State Bar Association
- State Bar of South Dakota
- American Bar Association, Employment and Litigation Sections
- Board Member, Elkhorn Public Schools Board of Education (2008 – 2020)
- Board Member, Elkhorn Public Schools Foundation (2009 – 2020)
- Listed: Chambers USA, America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Nebraska, Labor & Employment – Band 3)
- Listed: Great Plains Super Lawyers (Employment & Labor, Business Litigation, Employee Benefits) 2012-2023
- Listed: “Best Lawyers in America“, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation – ERISA, Litigation – Labor and Employment
- Creighton Law Review
- Author: “Arbitrability of Disputes in Dual Contracts,” 25 Creighton Law Review 957 (1992)
- Listed: Martindale-Hubbell, AV/Preeminent Rating
- Dick v. Koski Professional Group, P.C., et al., 307 Neb. 599, 950 N.W.2d 321 (2020) - Lead counsel representing a shareholder pursuing claims against a professional corporation. The corporation pursued seven counterclaims against the shareholder including breach of fiduciary duties, utilizing confidential information and misappropriation of trade secrets and was seeking a multi-million dollar damages award. After a lengthy jury trial, a verdict was returned in favor of the shareholder and the jury rejected all of the counterclaims asserted by the corporation. The decision was appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court on 15 assignments of error. By unanimous decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict in its entirety and rejected the appeal in an 87-page opinion. The case will serve as precedent in Nebraska because it addresses numerous issues relating to the enforcement of shareholder agreements, fiduciary duties owed by shareholders and officers of a corporation, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information among other topics.
- Haffke v. Signal 88, LLC, 306 Neb. 625, 947 N.W.2d 103 (2020) – Counsel representing an employer in a lawsuit brought by an employee asserting whistleblower claims. After the jury trial, a verdict was returned in favor of the employer on all claims and the case was appealed to the Nebraska Supreme Court. In an unanimous opinion, the Nebraska Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict in its entirety.
- Travelex Insurance Services, Inc. v. Lynn Barty, 970 F.3d 1066 (8th Cir. 2020) - Counsel representing an employer in a lawsuit brought against a former manager alleging claims for breach of restrictive covenants under an employment agreement. After the district court concluded that the employment agreement was unenforceable as a matter of law, an appeal was filed. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's decision in favor of the employer and remanded the case for further proceedings.
- Gardea v. JBS USA, LLC et al., 915 F.3d 537 (8th Cir. 2019) - Lead counsel defending a pork producer against employment claims brought under the ADA. The litigation was dismissed on summary judgment in favor of the pork producer and the decision was appealed and affirmed by the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit addressed several key issues under the ADA including what evidence is sufficient to establish essential job functions and to what extent an employee is entitled to assistance from coworkers or the use of devices to perform job assignments as well as the duty to offer alternative positions as an ADA accommodation.
- Fenceroy v. Gelita USA, Inc., 908 N.W.2d 235 (Iowa 2018) - Counsel defending an employer against employment claims for race discrimination and harassment. During the course of the litigation, the case was appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court to address issues relating to the production of attorney-client privileged information. The case was later dismissed on summary judgment in favor of the employer and the plaintiff appealed. By unanimous decision, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer.
- Lipp v. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp., 911 F.3d 537 (8th Cir. 2018) - Lead counsel defending claims against a pork producer under the ADA and the Iowa Civil Rights Act for disability discrimination. After the case was dismissed on summary judgment in favor of the pork producer, the plaintiff appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit affirmed summary judgment while addressing several important issues under the ADA including accommodations for employees with episodic health conditions.
- Blahnik v. Box Office Ticket Sales, LLC, 2017 W.L. 1150914 (N.D. Ill.) – Lead counsel defending an employer in a wage and hour collective action in the Northern District of Illinois where sales employees sought overtime pay under the FLSA. On behalf of the employer, partial summary judgment was granted based on the court's finding that claims were barred because employees were exempt from overtime as commissioned sales representatives.
- Lacy v. Valmont Industries, Inc., 2016 W.L. 3014656 (D. Neb.) – Lead counsel in the District of Nebraska where the court granted a motion to dismiss in favor of the employer on claims asserted under ERISA for alleged violations of COBRA rights.
- Coleman v. Midland Carrier Transicold, 2015 W.L. 5159440 (E.D. Cal.) – Lead counsel in litigation in the Eastern District of California where the court granted summary judgment in favor of an employer on multiple claims under California state law including disability harassment, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, retaliation, failure to accommodate disability and engage in the interactive process and wrongful termination.
- Morris v. Pilgrim's Pride Corporation, 2014 W.L. 3514987 (W.D. Ark.) – Lead counsel in litigation in the Western District of Arkansas where the court granted summary judgment in favor of a poultry producer on claims under the FMLA and the ADA. The court held that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he provided sufficient notice of his need for FMLA leave and dismissed his claims for FMLA interference and retaliation. The court further held that plaintiff did not establish disability discrimination under the ADA or for failure to accommodate. Finally, the court rejected plaintiff's claims under state law for wrongful discharge and the tort of outrage.
- Reimers v. JBS USA, LLC, Case No. 8:13-cv-42 (D. Neb. 2014) – Lead counsel in the District of Nebraska where the court granted summary judgment in favor of an employer dismissing plaintiff's claims for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. The court found that plaintiff was not qualified to do her job based on medical restrictions and medications she was taking.
- Rico v. JBS USA, LLC, Case No. 8:13-cv-58 (D. Neb. 2014) – Lead counsel in the District of Nebraska where the court granted summary judgment in favor of employer dismissing claims for retaliation and disability discrimination.
- Parsow v. Parsow's Fashions for Men, Inc., 2013 W.L. 3776537 (D. Neb.) – Lead counsel in the District of Nebraska where the court granted summary judgment in favor of an employer in an action brought under ERISA for benefits under a profit-sharing plan. The court rejected plaintiff's claim for benefits and violations of fiduciary duties seeking civil penalties and equitable relief.
- Marshall v. Baggett Masonry, Inc., 616 F.3d 849 (8th Cir. 2010) – Lead counsel in connection with a successful appeal to the Eighth Circuit concerning claims brought against an individual defendant for unpaid contributions under an ERISA plan. The Eighth Circuit reversed a judgment against the defendant which held her individually liable for contributions, liquidated damages and attorney's fees. The court found that the complaint was insufficient as a matter of law to impose individual liability and the judgment should be set aside as well as the award for liquidated damages and attorney's fees.
- Tejada v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., 357 Fed.Appx. 805, 2009 W.L. 4884576 (9th Cir. 2009) – Lead counsel in the Eastern District of California where the court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer. Plaintiff appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment on plaintiff's disability discrimination claim under California state law.
- Luciano v. Monfort, Inc., 259 F.3d 906 (8th Cir. 2001) – Lead counsel before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals where the court ruled in favor of an employer dismissing claims for retaliation on summary judgment.
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