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OVERVIEW

Richard P. Winegardner
Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P 317-231-7512

F 317-231-7433

OVERVIEW

Richard P. Winegardner
Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P 317-231-7512

F 317-231-7433

Labor and employment law litigator and counselor Rick Winegardner represents a broad range of employers across the country in every phase of the employment relationship. He delivers a combination of in-depth knowledge of the law and practical solutions to achieve his clients’ business goals.

OVERVIEW

Richard P. Winegardner Partner

Indianapolis

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3535

P : 317-231-7512

Labor and employment law litigator and counselor Rick Winegardner represents a broad range of employers across the country in every phase of the employment relationship. He delivers a combination of in-depth knowledge of the law and practical solutions to achieve his clients’ business goals.

An experienced trial lawyer who defends employers of all sizes in a range of industries, including defense, food, and trucking companies, against unsubstantiated accusations, Rick’s litigation practice takes him to courts throughout the U.S. He litigates a wide range of employment matters, including discrimination and harassment; Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); breach of contract; golden parachute agreements; wage and hour laws (exemptions, overtime, commissions, etc.); wrongful termination; and employee privacy. He prosecutes and defends unfair competition claims, including the misappropriation of trade secrets, employee raiding, computer sabotage, and client solicitation.

Rick also advises and defends federal contractors subjected to litigation under the False Claims Act. Whether defending against retaliation claims or underlying fraud allegations, Rick frequently leads a team of assertive litigators who have been assembled to achieve the client’s goals. Furthermore, Rick assists clients in the design, drafting and implementation of employment contracts, practices, policies, employee handbooks and noncompetition agreements, as well as in designing restructurings and reductions in force.

In addition, Rick represents clients at all levels of administrative proceedings, including matters before the EEOC, the DOL and the NLRB. He works diligently with employers to design and implement preventative training programs that mitigate the potential for unionization. Where preventive measures are not enough, Rick aggressively defends against unfair labor practice charges and helps clients in resisting union organizing drives and campaigns.

EXPERIENCE
  • A former field engineer alleged racial discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act after he was terminated for violating the employer's "zero tolerance" policy regarding the use of company-issued equipment. During an audit of two of the employee's company-issued laptops, the employer used a software program which detected pornographic images accessed at times when the employee was at work and off of work. Barnes & Thornburg successfully assisted the client in obtaining summary judgment on all of the plaintiff's claims.
  • Client-employer obtained summary judgment on a former employee's ADEA damages claim because the employee did not discharge her duty to mitigate damages; a full-time bartending job was not comparable to the former managerial job in terms of duties and earnings.

    Hazelene Hutton was employed by Sally Beauty Company, Inc. (Sally Beauty) until her termination in 2001. Hutton was 58 years old. Hutton subsequently brought a lawsuit against Sally Beauty arguing that she was terminated based on her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Sally Beauty moved for summary judgment based on damages, arguing that even if Hutton were able to prove age discrimination, she would not be entitled to damages due to her alleged failure to mitigate these damages.

    In support of its motion for summary judgment, Sally Beauty submitted a collection of classified ads from local newspapers demonstrating that comparable retail management job openings were available in the geographic region where Hutton lived. For example, there were openings for video store managers, store team leaders, an office manager for a winery, managers for a Hallmark store, merchandising managers and store managers for a clothing store.

    The Court observed that Hutton had not made any attempts to secure comparable employment. Additionally, Hutton introduced no evidence in support of a good faith effort to secure comparable employment. The Court observed that Hutton’s full-time bartending job was not comparable in terms of duties and responsibilities or in terms of earnings. Accordingly, the district court granted Sally Beauty’s motion for summary judgment.
  • Defended Adminastar in Miller's appeal of summary judgment for Adminastar in employment discrimination suit; court affirmed lower court's decision.
  • Judgment in favor of client-employer in a case where the plaintiff filed a diversity action against his former employer. Defendant’s motion to dismiss on grounds of res judicata was granted by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed judgment in favor of client-employer, based on the Supreme Court’s Colorado River abstention doctrine.
  • Represented Dow in Glenn's appeal of preliminary injunction in claim based on non-competition agreement; court reversed lower court's ruling based on determination that non-competition agreement was overly broad and against public policy. Trans granted and appeal dismissed, 869 N.E.2d 462 (Ind. 2007).
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