Employment Law Sean represents employees in state courts and federal courts on issues ranging from wage and hour, illegal terminations, FMLA, ADA, restrictive covenants, to whistleblower matters. Additionally, Sean regularly practices before the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges, a federal administrative court that adjudicates whistleblower retaliation claims in the transportation, financial, and consumer product sectors.
ERISA & Life, Health and Disability Insurance Sean regularly represents individuals in disputes over life, health, and disability insurance (group and individual policies). He stands up to insurance companies including Aetna, Blue Cross, Cigna, Guardian, Hartford, Lincoln National, MetLife, Mutual of Omaha, Prudential, Reliance Standard, Standard Insurance, and Unum. Sean helps clients with pension & retiree benefit denials as well. Through this experience, Sean is familiar with the ERISA claims and litigation process.
Plaintiffs v. USD No. 507 Haskell County, Kansas, Case No. 20-CV-01162-TC-GEB (D. Kan. 2022) ($490,000 settlement and public retraction of terminations for two school employees fired in retaliation for pursuing charges against students who assaulted a family member).
Settlement - Americans with Disabilities Act, 2022. Obtained a $550,000 pre-litigation settlement for a client in a failure-to-accommodate and retaliation matter. The employee had medical issues that prevented him from performing his occupation, and the employer did not transfer the employee to a position he could perform before firing him.
Favorable settlement, OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program, 2021 Our client, a yard manager for a large trucking company, was terminated for opposing the operation of a truck by an impaired driver. Obtained a favorable settlement for our client after filing a charge with OSHA under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act.
Louthan v. Newman University, Inc., 6:18-cv-01180-JWB (D. Kan. 2020) (Obtained a jury verdict for $801,000, including $725,000 in punitive damages, in a Title VII / Title IX retaliation case)
Gardner v. Newman University, Inc., 2018-cv-002767-CE (18th Judicial District, Kansas, 2020) (public retraction of termination and $175,000 settlement for wrongfully terminated faculty member)
Plaintiff v. Board of Trustees of the Police & Fire Retirement System of Wichita,Kansas (2020) (recovered $449,000.00 for our client, a disabled firefighter, in a nine-year protracted litigation over entitlement to his disability pension benefits; the representation involved two trips to the Kansas Court of Appeals and a federal civil rights action to redress the Board’s illegal conduct)
NRLB Matter vs. Hospital (2019) (Represented HR leader who was fired for refusing to violate the National Labor Relations Act; obtained reinstatement order, backpay, and also a settlement of Title VII claims)
Plaintiffs v. City of Wichita, Kansas, Case No. 6:17-CV-01316-EFM-GLR (D. Kan. 2018) (obtained a full three-year recovery of unpaid overtime, plus liquidated damages and attorneys fees, for six fire investigators who were misclassified under 29 U.S.C. Sec. 207(k))
Yinger v. Postal Presort, Inc., Case No. 6:15-CV-01106 (D. Kan.) (obtained reversal of summary judgment at the Tenth Circuit, tried case in 2018 and obtained verdict under the Americans with Disabilities Act for our client, who was not given a six day unpaid leave of absence to recover from pacemaker surgery).
Owings v. United of Omaha, 873 F.3d 1206 (10th Cir. 2017) (reversing summary judgment in favor of insurance company and entering summary judgment for our client in an ERISA lawsuit over the appropriate amount of monthly LTD benefit)
Smith v. Millennium Rail, Inc., Case No. 15-CV-1304 (D. Kan. 2017) (FMLA and ADA lawsuit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars, reached favorable settlement after cross examination of two defense witnesses on the third day of jury trial; summary judgment denied at 241 F. Supp. 3d 1183)
McMullen v. Figeac Aero North America, Case No. 2015-AIR-00027., ARB No. 2017-0018 (ARB Mar. 30, 2020) (prevailed in federal whistleblower case against French aviation company that fired client in retaliation for reporting violations of Federal Aviation Administration regulations; $165,000.00 recovery plus attorneys fees).
Favorable settlement with reinstatement, OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program, 2016. Our client, a truck driver, was terminated because he refused to drive a truck for safety reasons. Just before OSHA was prepared to issue findings adverse to the employer, the parties reached a settlement favorable to our client. As part of the settlement, our client was reinstated to his employment.
Plaintiff v. Dearborn National Life Ins. Co., Case No. 15-CV-1356 (D. Kan. 2016) (favorable settlement of ERISA disability lawsuit following an abusive claim denial).
Thornton et al. v. Washington County Financial Management Company, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-CV-01473-JWL-GLR (D. Kan. 2014) (Recovered more money in FLSA collective action than the amounts recommended by the United States Department of Labor).
Tabor v. Hawker Beechcraft Corp. Pension and 401(k) Committee, et al., Case No. 13-CV-1057-JTM (D. Kan. 2013) (represented client in connection with successful appeal of administrator’s determination that client was not disabled; resolved ERISA 502(a)(1)(A) and 502(a)(1)(C) claims in litigation).
Plaintiffs v. Equity Bank, Case No. 12-CV-1348-MLB-KMH (D. Kan. 2013) (favorable settlement in a lawsuit brought by two former mortgage loan officers against bank for unpaid overtime).
Armstrong et al. v. Genesh, Inc., Case No. 11-CV-1161-EFM-KMH, (D. Kan. 2012) (settlement for Salaried Assistant Managers against Burger King franchisee with class members receiving more than $100.00 per workweek during class period).
Palsmeier v. Textron Master Retirement Plan & Textron, Inc., Case No. 11-CV-1384-EFM-KGS (D. Kan. 2012) (obtained disability retirement benefits for client through ERISA appeal process, with back award of benefits, and additional money to settle lawsuit).
Clopton et al. v. TSS, Inc. et al, Case No. 10-CV-1229-JAR-JPO (D. Kan. 2010) (27 plaintiff collective action seeking unpaid wages due to misclassification; plaintiffs received 100+ cents on the dollar plus attorneys fees).
Wills v. Mike Steven Motors, Inc., Case No. 06 CV 4542, Sedgwick County District Court, Kansas, 2008 (plaintiff’s jury verdict finding breach of employment contract and willful Kansas Wage Payment Act violations).
*past results do not guarantee future results.
Sean McGivern & Joseph Schremmer, Is it Time to Revisit Qualified Immunity?, J. Kan. Trial Lawyers Assn., Nov. 2020, at 29.
Sean McGivern & Donald N. Peterson, II (chapter authors), Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, Kansas Employment Law 3d ed. 2016.
Sean McGivern & Tim Sipe, Kansas Supreme Court Delivers Clarity to Worker Misclassification, J. Kan. Assoc. Justice, Jan. 2015, at 6.