John Gardner: A Trusted Partner for Employment and Labor Law


John Gardner, an esteemed partner at DeWitt LLP, one of Wisconsin’s largest law firms, brings his expertise in labor and employment law to the table. As the Chair of the Firm’s Labor and Employment practice group, he also contributes to the Litigation and Eminent Domain practice groups.

Employment | Labor Law and Related Specialties

John specializes in labor and employment law, working primarily on the management side. Since 2004, he has represented employers nationwide in a wide range of lawsuits. These include violations of wage and hour laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), breaches of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and claims related to discrimination, harassment, and leave/accommodation laws. Additionally, John handles breach of contract cases.

Moreover, John provides invaluable guidance to employers during collective bargaining negotiations and labor-related arbitration proceedings. His understanding of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) helps him advocate for employers effectively. However, John understands the financial burden of litigation and strives to help employers avoid it altogether. He offers tailored advice on legal compliance issues within the realm of employment and labor law.

Day-To-Day Employment Counseling

One of John’s main areas of expertise lies in day-to-day employment counseling. He provides ongoing legal advice to employers across Wisconsin and beyond, assisting them in handling emergency disciplinary issues, addressing safety concerns (including compliance with OSHA regulations), and dealing with employee theft cases. Additionally, John helps employers navigate complex scenarios involving long-term employee leave and strategically implements policy changes. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been instrumental in advising employers on the evolving legal landscape and the government’s responses.

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Restrictive Covenants/Covenants Not-to-Compete

John possesses a deep understanding of restrictive covenants, such as non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality provisions. He advises employers on how to structure and deploy these covenants effectively, ensuring adherence to legal limits. John has successfully represented employers across the country in cases involving the enforcement or avoidance of these agreements.

Employer Clients and Representative Laws

Throughout his career, John has represented employers of all sizes and across diverse industries, including construction, trucking, agriculture, religious education, restaurants, cable installation, manufacturing, healthcare, software, engineering, redistribution, staffing services, and financial services, among others. From Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses with just a handful of employees, John has provided counsel and representation to a wide range of clients.

He has expertise in various laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Wisconsin Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA), the Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA).

Eminent Domain, Licensing Representation, and other Litigation

Apart from his employment law practice, John lends his expertise to other civil disputes. He represents businesses and individuals in various cases, including intellectual property litigation, commercial breach of contract actions, and defamation proceedings.

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Additionally, John has developed two distinct legal specialties. Firstly, he represents landowners involved in condemnation or eminent domain disputes. He handles cases initiated by governmental entities, utilities, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, cities, towns, villages, and other authorities with condemning power.

Secondly, John regularly assists Wisconsin licensees, such as chiropractors, veterinarians, and physicians, in disciplinary actions brought by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. He also advises and represents these professionals in complaints filed with other Wisconsin agencies, such as the Wisconsin Department of Consumer Protection.

With his vast experience and relentless dedication, John Gardner has emerged as a trusted partner for employers seeking expert guidance in employment and labor law matters. For more information, visit Garrity Traina.