Mary L. Lohrke focuses her practice on employment law litigation and counseling and educating employers on compliance with employment laws and best practices to avoid disputes. Mary represents employers in litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies involving claims of wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Mary has extensive experience representing local and national corporate clients with respect to claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Oklahoma’s Anti-discrimination Act (OADA). She also handles litigation involving wage and hour disputes under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Oklahoma’s wage statute as well as state law statutory, tort, and contract claims arising in the employment context.
Mary assists employers in all phases of litigation and has defended clients in appeals before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. She regularly represents employers in retaliatory discharge claims before the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission and claims investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Oklahoma Office of Civil Rights Enforcement, and the Department of Labor.
In addition, Mary frequently assists employers in conducting internal investigations of employee complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. She also provides day-to-day counseling and advice to employers on all employee issues, including hiring, discipline, discharge, wage and hour issues, handbooks and policies, drug and alcohol programs, leave and return to work issues, and requests for accommodation. Additionally, Mary drafts employment agreements, employee handbooks and policies, non-solicitation agreements, and severance agreements. Mary regularly provides on-site client training in areas such as harassment, retaliation, employee leave and return to work issues, and accommodating disabled employees.
- Defended a national corporate client in a multi-plaintiff gender and age discrimination lawsuit resulting from a reduction-in-force. Obtained summary judgment as to all but one claim and obtained a defense judgment after a bench trial on the remaining claim.
- Obtained a defense jury verdict in a federal lawsuit involving a claim of pregnancy discrimination.
- Obtained judgment as a matter of law after a jury trial in a federal lawsuit involving a claim under the FMLA, which was subsequently affirmed by the Tenth Circuit.
- Obtained numerous dismissals and/or summary judgments for local and national corporate clients in discrimination and retaliation cases brought under Title VII, ADEA, FMLA, the ADA, and the OADA as well as wage and hour cases brought under the FLSA and Oklahoma’s wage statute.
- Obtained a favorable settlement with OSHA following a fatality.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for an employer during a wage and hour audit by the United States Department of Labor involving allegations of employee misclassification and failure to pay overtime wages.
- Obtained numerous “no cause” findings from the EEOC.
- Negotiated numerous nominal and favorable settlements to resolve litigation disputes.
- Assist clients in drafting and negotiation of severance agreements, employment agreements, and non-solicitation agreements.
- Train and counsel clients on day-to-day employee issues and compliance with employment laws.
“EEOC Takes the Lead in Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, forthcoming 2016
“Final ADAAA Regulations Take Effect,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, October 8, 2011
“DOL Overhauls Family and Medical Leave Act Regulations: Important Changes You Should Know About,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, February 2009
“The New, Broader Americans with Disabilities Act: Congress Enacts Substantial Changes,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, January 2009
“Admissibility of ‘Me, Too’ Evidence in Employment Discrimination Cases,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, August 2008
“U.S. Supreme Court Narrows Time Period to File Title VII Pay Discrimination Lawsuits,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, September 2007
“Tenth Circuit Applies Agency Principles to Find Employer Liability for a Supervisor’s Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, December 1997
“Collier v. Insignia: The Oklahoma Supreme Court Makes U-Turn and Expands the Public Policy Tort Exception to Employment At-Will,” co-author, July 1999
“Supervisors Not Individually Liable Under Title VII,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, October 1996
“Recent Decisions Limit Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, January 1996
“Supreme Court Rules on the After-Acquired Evidence Doctrine,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, March 1995
“New EEOC Guidelines Baffle Employers,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, October 1994
“Title VII Comes Into Play Before the Harassing Conduct Leads to a Nervous Breakdown,” co-author, Oklahoma Bar Journal, March 1994
- Oklahoma Self Insurers Association
– Getting a Handle on Retaliation Cases Under the Administrative Workers’ Compensation Act
- National Business Institute
– Employment Law: Recent Developments & Emerging Issues
- Tulsa County and Oklahoma Bar Associations
– Privacy in the Workplace
- Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office
– Avoiding and Investigating Sexual Harassment Complaints
- Titus Hillis Reynolds Love
– The Americans With Disabilities Act
– Basics of EEOC Investigations
– The Family Medical Leave Act
– Avoiding and Investigating Sexual Harassment Complaints
– Using Temporary Employment Agencies