An associate in Dorsey’s Labor & Employment Group, JoLynn Markison makes a specialty out of litigation involving race, gender, national origin, religion, disability and age discrimination. Her focus area, however, developed over a period of years. After some time working in a residential treatment program for delinquent and emotionally disturbed teenage girls, she decided law school would be a welcome challenge. Markison then did general litigation at another Minneapolis firm for seven years before deciding to specialize.
“I found that I really enjoyed employment cases,” she said. “I wanted to join a firm and a practice group where that was all I did.”
In addition to sexual harassment and wage and hour claims, Markison also often represents employers and employees in claims involving enforcement of restrictive covenants. She also works with corporations on employment-related issues, and helps employers investigate and respond to internal complaints.
“I like to offer advice to clients on the front end so they can avoid litigation,” she said. “I like it when they call me about something that’s on the verge of becoming a situation and I can help defuse that.”
A summa cum laude graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law, Markison has also shown a flair for sharing her knowledge, publishing numerous articles and books. In addition, she goes out of her way to make time for volunteer work, recently receiving the Child Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics, Minnesota Chapter, for her pro bono work related to a newborn screening case.
She also recently applied her skills to a pro bono matter in which she helped a mental health organization navigate the process of conducting an internal investigation.
“There was no basis for the discrimination claim that was brought to their attention,” she said. “I found that really gratifying to help them get back to the business of helping their clients with mental health issues rather than deal with problems in the office.”