Susanne J. Fischer

Minnesota lawyer Attorneys of the Year 2015
High-Ethical-Standing

Sue provides proactive counseling and legal advice to employers on a broad range of human resources and employment matters. She frequently counsels employers on performance management; effectively managing leaves, employees with disabilities and reasonable accommodations; employment contracts, reductions in force; and how to avoid and defend against allegations of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Sue also assists businesses to stay up-to-date and in compliance with its employee policies and handbooks. Sue also advises employees on executive contracts, non-compete obligations, separation agreements, and issues related to discrimination and retaliation. Ultimately, her goal is to assist employers and employees resolve issues and avoid litigation.

Over the last decade, utilizing her experience working for both employees and employers, Sue has frequently served as an impartial third-party investigator into workplace complaints and problems. By doing so, she assists employers in meeting their obligations to conduct investigations and to take appropriate remedial action if necessary.

In addition to employment counseling, Sue advises clients in the early childhood education industry on licensing requirements and compliance with government regulations. She has successfully represented clients in appeals and contested hearings to reverse findings of maltreatment.

Sue along with Sheila Engelmeier, was a substantial contributor and primary developer of the premier training tool, RESPECT EFFECT tm. Based on a past professional career as a teacher and coach, Sue especially enjoys training groups of managers and employees as a positive approach to providing and participating in a safe work environment free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Additional training topics include: appropriate communications and conduct in the workplace; diversity and inclusion in the workplace; and for managers' performance management and disciplinary practices, managing employees with disabilities and providing reasonable accommodations. She also provides one-on-one boundary coaching to individuals related to appropriate conduct in the workplace.

Areas of Practice:

  • Employment Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Early Childhood Education Industry

Bar Admissions:

  • State of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Education:

  • William Mitchell College of Law, J.D. magna cum laude
  • University of Arizona, M.S., with honors
  • St. Cloud State University, B.S., with honors

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association

Articles and Presentations:

  • Unjust and Embarrassing: Lessons Learned from Ewald v. Royal Norwegian Embassy, Hennepin County Bar Association, February 24, 2015 (co-presenter)
  • Enforcing Non-Compete Agreements in States That Won't Enforce Them, 41st Annual Labor and Employment Law Institute, November 2014 (co-presenter)
  • "Employers' Resolutions for Best Practices in 2013, Managing the Disabled Employee Effectively", Paychex Seminar, January 2013 (co-presenter)
  • "Adapting to Change" . . . ADAAA and Mental Health Issues in the Workplace , Engelmeier & Umanah Seminar, November 2012, Co-Author
  • "Performance Management Training for Managers," Step By Step (January 2012)
  • "MDVA Programs and Services Annual All Staff Training," Minnesota Department of Veteran's Affairs Training, December 2011, (co-presenter)
  • "Hot Topics in Employment Law," Early Childhood Director's Seminar, November 2011 (co-presenter)
  • " It's Not Just About Sex Anymore: Effective Employment Law Training - 2011 & Beyond," 2011 Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity (March 2011)
  • " Hot Issues in the Employment Law World," Trinity Baptist Director's Seminar, October 2010 (co-presenter)
  • " Dealing With Employee Performance Issues Before a WC Injury," DOLI Workers' Comp Seminar (June 2010)
  • "Respectful Workplace or Hostile Environment? What Does Your Team Look Like and What Must the Employer Do," MN Symposium on Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness (M-STEP), November 2009 (co-presenter).
  • "Warning Signs and Strategies for Dealing with Workplace Violence," MN Symposium on Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness (M-STEP), November 2009 (co-presenter).
  • "Tips for Planning and Implementing a Reduction in Force," May 2009.
  • "Addressing the Leaves of Change-The 6 Toughest FMLA Issues - Suggested Solutions for Employers," Moss & Barnett Employment Law Seminar, November 7, 2007(co-presenter).
  • "Rotating the Crops-Everything Employers Need to Know Today about Disability Accommodation," Moss & Barnett Employment Law Seminar, November 7, 2007 (co-presenter).
  • "Training to Create a Respectful Work Environment," Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, February 21, 2007 (co-presenter).
  • "Avoiding FMLA/ADA/Work Comp Overlap Traps," Council on Education in Management, January 31, 2007.
  • "Tricky FMLA/ADA Issues," Rider Bennett Labor & Employment Law Seminar, September 21, 2006 (co-presenter).
  • "Performance Management and Other Employment Issues," Minnesota Child Care Association's Annual Administrators Conference, May 2006.
  • "Avoiding Squeeze Plays & Brushbacks: Discrimination & Harassment Training," Rider Bennett Labor & Employment Law Seminar, September 2005 (co-presenter).
  • "Identity Theft Prevention for Employers," Rider Bennett Labor & Employment Law Seminar, September 2005.
  • "Preventing Identity Theft in the Workplace," IOMA (BNA) National Audio Conference, August 24, 2005 (co-presenter).
  • "Information, Security and Identity Theft Prevention for Employers," Risk Seminar Series, Acordia Risk & Regulatory Services, May 24, 2005 (co-presenter).
  • "Legislative Update in the Child Care Industry and Recent Wage and Hour Changes," Minnesota Child Care Association's Annual Administrators Conference, May 2005.
  • Article: "Employment Law Implications of Identity Theft," April 2005.
  • "Harassment for Co-Employers," Staffing Association of Minnesota, March 2005.
  • "Employment Law Implications of Identity Theft," Rider Bennett Labor & Employment Law Seminar, September 2004.
  • Article: "The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act Exempts Restrictions on Third-Party Investigations of Employee Misconduct," August 2004.
  • "Avoiding and Defending Reprisal and Retaliation Claims," Rider Bennett Labor & Employment Law Seminar, September 2003.

Community Involvement and Recognition

  • Pro bono work with Chrysalis Women's Organization.
  • Develop training materials: "TEAM Up to Manage Risk for High School Coaches" with the Minnesota State High School League.
  • Presentations to Minnesota State High School Cheer Coaches Association: "Guidelines to Understanding Legal Liability as a Coach."
  • Rising Star, Minnesota Law & Politics.
  • Executive Women's Golf Association.