Gigi O'Hara

(402) 661-8652
Partner
(402) 346-1148 Fax
Gigi.OHara@KutakRock.com

Ms. O’Hara is an accomplished trial attorney whose first-chair trial successes include securing a full defense verdict for her client in under one hour from a 12-person jury in a sex and pregnancy discrimination lawsuit pending in federal court. She has also resolved many cases through successful dispositive motion practice, and she has an exemplary track record achieving “no cause” findings for employers from the EEOC, as well as state and local administrative agencies. In addition, she has successfully handled employment arbitrations pending before FINRA and JAMS, and defended management in discharge grievances and labor arbitrations before the FMCS.

Her labor and employment defense practice routinely involves counseling clients and litigating claims brought under a broad range of legal theories, including:

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Title VII
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1981
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • The Family Medical Leave Act
  • The Equal Pay Act
  • The National Labor Relations Act
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Constructive Discharge
  • Whistleblower Retaliation
  • Defamation
  • Breach of Contract
  • Tortious Interference
  • Unfair Competition
  • Unjust Enrichment
  • Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

A significant portion of Ms. O’Hara’s practice focuses on wage and hour law and compliance, emphasizing issues relating to minimum wage, overtime compensation, independent contractor classification, exemptions, deductions, child labor requirements, and donning and doffing. She has defended wage and hour class and collective actions across the United States, including California, as well as single-plaintiff wage claims brought by employees. She also helps employers in preventive efforts by drafting policies and performing internal position audits, and she defends clients against wage and hour investigations initiated by the U.S. Department of Labor.

She also has an active practice defending employers against public accommodation claims filed under Title III of the ADA.

Her labor practice includes the defense of management in labor arbitrations following discharge grievances. She has also investigated and successfully defended against unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board involving various allegations of retaliation and discrimination, including claims related to threats made, or adverse action taken, as the result of union activity, organization or sympathies. Ms. O’Hara’s advice and counseling includes guidance on protected concerted activity in the workplace and avoidance of NLRA violations.

Ms. O’Hara is a frequent presenter on various employment topics for in-house counsel, SHRM members and other HR professionals, and regularly trains company managers and employees on compliance with employment discrimination laws, including sexual harassment, and wage and hour laws.

She has been nationally recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a leading female litigator in its “Top 250 Women in Litigation” for three consecutive years, and was selected as a “Local Litigation Star” in 2018. She was also selected by Chambers USA as a Recognized Practitioner in Labor & Employment. She earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of “AV Preeminent,” and is considered by her peers to be at the highest levels of professional excellence, which contributed to her election as Chair of the Labor Relations & Employment Law section of the Nebraska State Bar Association in 2017 and 2018.

Professional Associations/Achievements

  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell (2014-present)
  • Recognized Practitioner, Labor & Employment, Chambers USA (2018)
  • Local Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation (2018)
  • Top 250 Women in Litigation, Benchmark Litigation (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Chair, Nebraska State Bar Association, Labor Relations and Employment Law Section (2017-2018)
  • Executive Committee Officer, Nebraska State Bar Association, Labor Relations and Employment Law Section (2015-2017)
  • Member, Robert M. Spire American Inn of Court (2017-2018)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Partnership 4 Kids (2011-present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts (2018-present)

Representative Experience

  • Lead trial counsel in Title VII lawsuit in Nebraska federal court; secured defense verdict from 12-person jury in under an hour.
  • Lead trial counsel achieving dismissals in state and federal courts across the United States on various employment claims, such as, for example, Title VII, the ADA, the FLMA, § 1981 and the ADEA, outrage/IIED, breach of contract, ERISA, negligence, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and tortious interference with business relationship or expectancy.
  • Lead trial counsel in wage and hour lawsuit in Nebraska state court; secured dismissal and created new law regarding proper classification of independent contractor satellite installers.
  • Achieved decertification of class of drivers claiming misclassification as independent contractors in wage and hour collective action in Pennsylvania state court.
  • Achieved decertification of class of hourly employees claiming unpaid overtime for off-the-clock hours in wage and hour collective action in Arkansas state court.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of wage and hour class action in California state court brought by retail workers claiming unpaid overtime, wage statement violations, untimely wage payments, PAGA violations and unlawful business practices.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of banking and insurance client in Nebraska federal court filed by former employee under the ADA, ADEA and FMLA.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of financial services client in FINRA arbitration filed by former employee for breach of employment contract and violation of New Jersey wage payment law.
  • Co-trial counsel in negligence lawsuit in Nebraska state court; secured favorable verdict from 12-person jury; successfully defended before Nebraska Supreme Court on appeal; created new law regarding application of OSHA regulations.