People: Kara Goodwin, Associate

Photo of Kara Goodwin, Associate

Kara Goodwin

Associate

Chicago
Direct: (312) 460-5829
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Kara Goodwin is a member of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Labor and Employment Department and Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group where she focuses a significant portion of her practice on representing employers across the United States in the defense of complex wage and hour claims arising under federal and state laws. Ms. Goodwin also provides preventative counseling and works with employers to minimize their exposure to investigation and litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws. Ms. Goodwin has significant experience conducting large-scale audits of employer workforces to assess and, where necessary, change wage and hour policies and practices to bring employers more clearly into compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Ms. Goodwin’s wage-hour experience also includes second chairing a federal bench trial, resulting in a complete defense verdict based on the outside sales exemption against a collective action claim that plaintiffs were misclassified as exempt and were entitled to overtime pay. 

In addition, Ms. Goodwin has successfully represented employers before state and federal courts, the EEOC, and state administrative agencies in matters involving all aspects of employment issues, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and related state laws. 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Ms. Goodwin served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Kara Goodwin is a member of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s Labor and Employment Department and Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group where she focuses a significant portion of her practice on representing employers across the United States in the defense of complex wage and hour claims arising under federal and state laws. Ms. Goodwin also provides preventative counseling and works with employers to minimize their exposure to investigation and litigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws. Ms. Goodwin has significant experience conducting large-scale audits of employer workforces to assess and, where necessary, change wage and hour policies and practices to bring employers more clearly into compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws. Ms. Goodwin’s wage-hour experience also includes second chairing a federal bench trial, resulting in a complete defense verdict based on the outside sales exemption against a collective action claim that plaintiffs were misclassified as exempt and were entitled to overtime pay. 

In addition, Ms. Goodwin has successfully represented employers before state and federal courts, the EEOC, and state administrative agencies in matters involving all aspects of employment issues, including discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and related state laws. 

Prior to joining Seyfarth Shaw, Ms. Goodwin served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Education

  • J.D., Chicago-Kent College of Law, with highest honors (2009)
    Order of the Coif; Dean's List
    Labor and Employment Certificate Recipient
    Excellence Awards for Highest Performance in Legal Writing II, Legal Writing III, Appellate Advocacy, and Trial Advocacy
    Moot Court Honor Society
    Chicago-Kent Law Review

  • B.A., Northern Illinois University, summa cum laude (2006)

Admissions

  • Illinois

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court of Colorado
     

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Mark Staehely Pediatric Cancer Foundation (Board Member - Secretary)

Representative Engagements

  • Aldi, Inc. adv. Honey, et al., 1:12-cv-8815 (N.D. Ill.) (defended company on collective and class action claims that cashiers worked off-the-clock)
  • Aldi, Inc. adv. McNelley, et al., 1:09-cv-01868-PAG (N.D. Ohio.) (amicably resolved nationwide collective action claiming that Store Managers are misclassified as exempt under the executive exemption)
  • Aldi, Inc. adv. Santiago, et al., 8:13-cv-01186-AEP (M.D. Fla.) (amicably resolved collective action claiming that Store Managers are misclassified as exempt under the executive exemption)
  • Alta Colleges, Inc. adv. Burke, et al. 1:11-CV-029990-WYD-KLM (D. Colo.) (on strength of outside sales exemption, obtained completed defense verdict on trial for educational institution against collective action claim that field admissions representatives were misclassified as exempt; obtained transfer of venue of related case)
  • Bank of America, N.A. adv. Spencer, 1:15-cv-1877 (N.D. Ga.) (defending bank on putative collective action brought by mortgage loan specialists claiming to be misclassified as exempt)
  • Baxter Healthcare Corp. adv. Wheeler, et al., 4:11-cv-00263 (W.D. Ark.) (defeated conditional collective action certification and then obtained summary judgment in company’s favor in donning and doffing claim)
  • Caesars Entertainment, Inc., et al. adv. Joseph, 10-cv-6293 (D.N.J.) (amicably resolved collective and class action claiming that Table Games Supervisors are misclassified as exempt)
  • Clarence Davids & Co. et al. adv. Vergara, et al. 1:12-cv-07245 (N.D. Ill.) (amicably resolved collective and class action claim alleging off-the-clock work)
  • Dover Artificial Lift, LLC, et al., adv. Jones, et al., 4:15-cv-00608 (S.D. Tex.) (defending putative collective action claim brought by oil field workers claiming to be misclassified as exempt under the Motor Carrier Act exemption)
  • Eldorado Trading Group, LLC adv. Vranjkovic, 1:14-cv-06810 (N.D. Ill.) (obtained dismissal based on arbitration agreement of collective and class action claim alleging failure to pay overtime)
  • Hub Group Trucking adv. Lubinski, 14-2843 (W.D. Tenn.) (defending putative class action claim brought by owner-operator driver claiming to be misclassified as independent contractor under Illinois wage law; obtained transfer of venue pursuant to contractual forum-selection clause)
  • Hub Group Trucking adv. Robles, 15-2228 (W.D. Tenn.) (defending putative class action claims brought by owner-operator drivers claiming to be misclassified as independent contractors under California wage laws; obtained transfer of venue pursuant to contractual forum-selection clause)
  • Iowa College Acquisition Corp. and Kaplan University Group adv. Slayton, 09-cv-06977 (N.D. Ill.) (defeated class certification motion in class action claim of off-the-clock work by admissions advisors)
  • Kaplan, Inc. adv. Freeman, 14 C 10265 (N.D. Ill.) (defending putative collective and class action claim brought by bar review test prep Student Representatives claiming to be employees)
  • Staffing Network Holding, LLC adv. Barrera, No. 13-CV-5889 (N.D. Ill.) (amicably resolved wage & hour class action alleging unpaid vacation pay, violations of the Illinois Minimum Wage Act, and miscellaneous wage & hour violations)
  • Staffing Network Holding, LLC adv. Martinez, No. 13-CV-6501 (N.D. Ill.) (amicably resolved class action claims by temporary workers alleging unpaid wages and overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Act)
  • Staffmark Investment, LLC adv. Howard, 1:12-cv-03308 (N.D. Ill.) (amicably resolved class action claim alleging failure to pay vacation pay upon termination of employment)

Presentations

  • “To notice or not to notice, that is the question,” National Wage and Hour Litigation Practice Group Meeting, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (September 20, 2017)
  • “Update on Illinois Labor & Employment Law - What Employers Need to Know,” Breakfast Briefing, presented by Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, IL (September 11, 2017)
  • “Wage and Hour Litigation on the Rise: Tips for Staying Out of Trouble in 2017,” Webinar, presented by EPAY (April 6, 2017)
  • “They’re Here: The DOL’s Exempt Status Regulation Changes,” presentation to SHRM Kankakee, IL Chapter (October 18, 2016)
  • “Rulings, Expansions & Trends: Employment Agency Actions in 2015 and the Implications for Employers in 2016,” Breakfast Briefing, presented Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, IL (December 9, 2015)
  • “2015 Wage and Hour Update,” Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (September 15, 2015)

Publications

  • “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - The Supreme Court May Decide Whether Payments for Meal Breaks Can Offset Alleged Off-The-Clock Work,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (June 6, 2017)
  • “Meowing Dogs and Barking Cats: Supreme Court’s Grant of Cert on Exempt Status of Automobile Service Advisors May Result in Reminder that Exemptions Are Functional and Flexible,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (January 26, 2016)
  • “Agents Can’t Insure Class Treatment - Varied Experiences Require Decertification,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 6, 2015)
  • “Full Disclosure to Plaintiffs: Failure to Prevail in an FLSA Case Could Cost You,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (December 15, 2014)
  • “District Courts Make Plain Mistake in Applying a Heightened Burden of Proof for Establishing an FLSA Exemption,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (July 20, 2012)
  • “Wage and Hour Cases - Not Going Away Anytime Soon,” Wage & Hour Litigation Blog, Seyfarth Shaw LLP (April 25, 2012)
  • Contributing Author, Wage & Hour Collective and Class Litigation, ALM Law Journal Press (2012). Definitive treatise on wage and hour litigation.
  • Contributing Author, “Defense of Lawsuits Claiming Wage and Hour Violations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act,” Law Journal Press (2011 Edition)