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Kaitlin A. Brown

Kaitlin A.
Brown

Shareholder

“Our people are down to earth. Ask them a question, and you’ll get an answer you can understand.”

Practices

Corporate and Business, Employment and Workforce Management

KAITLIN (KATIE) BROWN is a shareholder in our Corporate and Employment group and a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. Specializing in employment law, she focuses on counseling employers to take measures to prevent more costly claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and improper payment of wages.

Katie works closely with business owners, managers, and human resources directors to strategize best practices for managing employees, provide on-site training for employees and managers, and respond to employee concerns. She conducts investigations, prepares and negotiates severance agreements, drafts onboarding documents and employee handbooks, and defends against agency charges of discrimination and unfair labor practices. Katie also manages audits conducted by the Department of Labor, and attends hearings related to claims for unemployment insurance benefits.

Katie has worked with clients in many industries, including automotive, corporate, medical, educational, non-profit, and financial. Her experiences range from administrative agencies to large firm litigation.

At the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Katie worked in the Reconsideration Unit, evaluating and deciding appeals of administrative decisions. Her experience in complex insurance, contract, and constitutional cases makes her a skilled advocate who values the benefit of reaching mutually agreeable resolutions and understands the costs and risks associated with litigation. The success of her practice is driven by her hard work, active listening, investigative research, and organized analysis. She values professional relationships based on trust, authenticity, and respect.

Katie was recognized in the Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2020 and was named the 2018 Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer by the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section.  She has been recognized among Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2016 Up and Coming Lawyers, named a Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2014 to 2020, and received the Women’s Bar Association Member of the Year Award in 2017.

Katie has led the Oakland County Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee as Chair since 2019, during which time the organization has developed an anti-racism statement and partnered with several professionals to lead and deepen conversations that will have a meaningful impact on the legal and community landscape throughout Metropolitan Detroit.  For many years, Katie has been active in the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, where she currently serves on the Gender Equity Committee.

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recognized Katie with a Pro Bono Accomplishment Award. She has provided numerous pro bono services, including handling a prisoner’s rights case, volunteering at Homeless Experience Legal Protection and Common Ground’s Legal Clinic, and coordinating pro bono activities for the Women’s Bar Association.

Katie is admitted to practice law in Michigan, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and in Indiana.

Before beginning her legal career, Katie worked in New York City making documentaries for National Geographic International, The History Channel, and Discovery Health.

 

Representative Cases and Matters

  • Advised employees and employers on contractual concerns, disability rights, and claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
  • Updated and prepared employment policies and procedures, including onboarding documents.
  • Conducted management and employee training regarding leadership skills and compliance requirements.
  • Investigated sexual harassment complaints, employment disputes, and public safety concerns.
  • Negotiated severance agreements for executives.
  • Evaluated and revised employment contracts to assure legal compliance and protection of clients.
  • Reviewed civil rights charges, including working with investigators, to determine validity of claims.
  • Represented employers in investigations conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Michigan Department of Civil Rights, Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, and Michigan Wage and Hour Division.
  • Successfully protested and appealed claims for unemployment insurance benefits, resulting in denial of benefits.
  • Analyzed and handled complex litigation cases by reviewing voluminous records, preparing concise chronologies, conducting discovery/depositions, and resolving cases through case evaluation, facilitation, and dispositive motions.

Education
Washington & Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia, Juris Doctor, 2011

Washington & Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, BA – Studio Art Honors, magna cum laude, 2005

 

Professional Memberships

Oakland County Bar Association

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

State Bar of Michigan

Omicron Delta Kappa (National Honor Society)

 

Honors and Awards

Recognized in the Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Named Regeana Myrick Outstanding Young Lawyer by the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section

Nominated Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation

Named Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers® 2014-2020

Women’s Bar Association (Oakland County Region of Women Lawyers Association of Michigan) Member of the Year Award, 2017

Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s Up and Coming Lawyers, Class of 2016

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Pro Bono Recognition Award, 2013

John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Competition, Best Brief nominee, 2009, 2010

 

Community Leadership

Oakland County Bar Association

  • Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Committee, 2019-2021
  • Chair, Employment Law Committee, 2017-2018 (Recipient of OCBA Committee of the Year Award)
  • Vice Chair, Employment Law Committee, 2016-2017

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan

  • Gender Equity Committee, 2020-present
  • Membership Committee, 2017-2020

Institute for Continuing Legal Education

  • Labor & Employment Law Advisory Board, 2020-present
  • New Lawyers Advisory Board, 2013-2016

Washington & Lee University’s Alumni Association, Detroit Chapter

  • President, 2013-2017

 

Recognition

Presentations

  • “Michigan Causes of Action Formbook” (ICLE), Co-Editor (2020)
  • “Creating and Maintaining a Respectful and Inclusive Workplace” (2020 – 2021)
  • Understanding Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: The Business, Legal, and Moral Case – Why it’s Important and What You Can Do” (2020)
  • “Guidance on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies” (2020)
  • State Bar of Michigan Race and Justice Forum (2020)
  • COVID-19: The Parent Trap – Child Care and Caregiving Considerations in the Workforce” (2020)
  • COVID-19: Return to Work Preparedness & Response Plan” (2020)
  • COVID-19: Employer Plans and Responses to the Known and Unknown” (2020)
  • “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: In Action” (2019)
  • Management and Employee Trainings (2016 – 2021)
  • Respectful Workplace Training (2018 – 2021)
  • Workplace Investigations (2018 – 2019)
  • Employee Handbook Policies: The Importance of Regular Updates and Training” (2017 – 2019)
  • “Top Tips in Ten Minutes,” written for ICLE for their Partnership subscription. Topic: Complying with the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (2019).
  • Annual Manager & Supervisor Training, PowerPoint for multi-state client to develop leadership skills and promote legal compliance (2017).
  • “How to Maintain and Protect Confidential Information and Personnel Files,” PowerPoint presentation for American Payroll Association seminar (2017).
  • “Encouraging Optimal Performance as Individuals and as a Company,” PowerPoint presentation about employee handbook updates, legal obligations, and company expectations in regard to employee conduct and work rules (2016).
  • “A Financial Evaluation of How to Comply with the Wage & Hour Department’s New Overtime Rule” PowerPoint presentation to discuss employee classification and compensation structures (2016).
  • “Early Resolution of Employment Law Cases,” Moderator for discussion about how to save clients time and money by obtaining early resolutions to employment law cases (2016).
  • “Severance Agreements: Tax and Employment Considerations,” Joint PowerPoint presentation with Marc Wise to evaluate when severance packages are offered, terms to include in the contract, and related tax implications (2016).
  • “Pro Bono: Making the Connection,” PowerPoint presentation about how to handle pro bono cases and utilize resources available (2013).
  • “Getting Social: Use of Social Media as a Marketing Tool,” PowerPoint presentation to large firm (2013).
  • “The EOBR Mandate and its Potential Impact on Safety, Claims Handling, and Underwriting,” co-authored with Timothy Groustra & Jim Rodi, 15 The Transportation Lawyer No. 1, 47–52 (2013). Re-published in 30 Michigan Defense Quarterly No. 2, 11–16. (2013).
  • “Enhancement of Pro Bono Culture in Michigan: A Summary of the State Bar of Michigan’s Pro Bono Workshop,” State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section’s Newsletter, Inter Alia, 5–6 (2013).
  • “European Court of Human Rights & European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights,” Presentation (2010).
  • “Conference Report — The Transnationalization of Legal Cultures,” co-authored with Ronald Bruckmann, 10 German L. J. No. 10, 1399 (2009).

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