Neil Goldsmith counsels employers on labor relations issues and handles complex employment litigation matters as well as day-to-day advising questions for large and small companies both locally and nationally. Neil takes a pragmatic, proactive approach in his practice, always keeping his clients’ business priorities and risk tolerance in mind when advising on litigation strategy and employee relations issues.
Neil has worked with clients across several industries, including health care, manufacturing, retail, food service, agribusiness, energy, transportation, hospitality, and higher education. Neil also has unique experience in the restaurant and “gig economy” space, serving as primary labor and employment counsel to major restaurant groups and a publicly-traded “gig economy” company.
He has successfully defended employers before state and federal trial and appellate courts, the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights, St. Paul Department of Human Rights, and numerous state and local agencies.
Neil has substantial experience in traditional labor law. He has represented unionized companies in labor arbitrations and collective bargaining across the country. He regularly represents non-unionized companies in union campaigns and in unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board. He provides regular training and counseling on various labor law topics.
In addition, Neil has also successfully litigated several non-compete and trade secret cases. He has represented companies and executives in both affirmative and defensive lawsuits, often obtaining injunctive relief at the early stages of litigation. Neil also advises companies and executives on how to avoid such litigation by taking appropriate protective measures.
Neil helps employers navigate a variety of difficult employment matters, including discrimination/harassment charges and litigation, whistleblower/retaliation lawsuits, wage and hour compliance, as well as leave, accommodation, and disability issues.
He regularly drafts and advises on key employment-related documents, such as handbooks, policies, employment agreements, non-compete agreements, and independent contractor agreements. Neil also routinely provides HR training to clients on how to prevent and respond to harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
- Counseled publicly-traded “gig economy” company through its transition of over 10,000 employees to independent contractors across dozens of markets in over 25 states
- Obtained summary judgment for employer in federal whistleblower action and successfully defended employer before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- Represented large Midwest retail furniture company in successful union representation campaign
- Obtained temporary injunction against former employee who solicited former employer’s clients in violation of non-solicitation agreement
- Obtained complete defense victory at trial in OSHA retaliation case before U.S. Department of Labor
- Represented college in union representation challenge involving full-time and adjunct faculty members, conducting contested hearing just days after filing under the NLRB “quickie election” rules
- Obtained summary judgment and Sixth Circuit appellate victory for university in federal student discrimination case
- Advised theater company in responding to allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior of high-profile employee
- Conducted detailed analysis of national energy company’s exempt employees in response to threatened claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage and hour laws
- Defended multiple employers in wage and hour class/collective action lawsuits
- Represented international transportation client in high-profile race discrimination and harassment case
- Represented Minnesota university in Title IX student harassment litigation, forcing favorable settlement before case was publicly filed
- Represented Illinois school district during collective bargaining and teachers’ union strike
- Assisted in defense of large public school system in class action lawsuits alleging disability and race discrimination
- Advised large, unionized retail grocer in sale and shutdown of Chicago-area stores
- U.S. District Court District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court District of Northern Illinois
- U.S. District Court District of Central Illinois
- U.S. District Court District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court District of Minnesota
- U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit
- "Minnesota Rising Star," Thomson Reuters, 2019
- “North Star Lawyers,” Minnesota State Bar Association, 2016
- March 26, 2020
- October 3, 2019
- National Association of College and University Attorneys, NACUA NOTES Editorial Board Member, 2016-present; CLE Committee Member, 2019-present
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law, adjunct professor, 2015-2017
- Camp Fire Minnesota, Board Member
- Twin Cities Cardozo Society, member/volunteer, 2014-present
- Presenter, “Whistleblowing Post-Friedlander: Who Isn’t a Whistleblower These Days?, Minnesota CLE Labor and Employment Conference, November 2019
- Presenter, Student Employment: An Essential Guide to New Developments and Key Issues Concerning Student Employees, NACUA Higher Education Employment Law: Essential Updates, Emerging Issues, and New Challenges, March 22, 2018
- Co-presenter, Labor Law Update: How the NLRB is Changing Under the Trump Administration, Minnesota College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, February 22, 2018
- Co-presenter, Legal Update, MNCUPA-HR Spring 2017 Conference, June 15, 2017
- Presenter, Labor Issues in Agriculture: The Dos and Don’ts of Hires in Ag Today, East Central Irrigators Association Annual Meeting, January 17, 2017
- Presenter, Labor & Employment Supreme Court Review, Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Labor & Employment Law Section, September 26, 2013
- January 2, 2020
- July 5, 2019
- May 18, 2017
- March 25, 2016
- Employment Law Alert: The Pendulum Swings Back: NLRB Issues Sweeping Decisions Affecting Union and Non-Union Businesses10/3/2019
- “Bargaining With Your Students: The Unionization of Student Assistants in the Aftermath of the NLRB's Columbia University Decision,” co-author, NACUANOTES7/21/2017
- “Hey Teacher, Leave those [Teaching and Research Assistants] Alone!: Unionizing Higher Ed,” co-author, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Committee on the Development of the Law Under the NLRA2/28/2017
- “NLRB’s Relentless Attack on Employment Policies Continues,” Business Management Daily7/10/2015
- “The NLRB’s Recent Focus on Non-Union Employers and its Impact on Common Employment Policies at Colleges and Universities,” NACUANOTES7/30/2013
80 South Eighth Street500 IDS CenterMinneapolis, MN 55402
Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2010
University of Wisconsin, B.A., with distinction, 2007