How I represent clients at Schwabe
With more than 30 years of experience, I help manufacturers and technology-focused employers solve problems to complicated employment scenarios. I have broad expertise in litigation, mediation, and settlement of employment and business tort claims. I am fluent in all areas of state and federal employment, wage and hour, discrimination, and leave laws. These skills make me effective at training managers and employees in employment compliance.
Track Record of Success
- Leadership – Highly skilled mentor and advisor at all levels.
- Committed to Manufacturing and Technology – As the Secretary/Treasurer on the Board of the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, I have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by Oregon manufacturers. Jean is also involved with and has spoken on several panels for the Technology Association of Oregon.
- Litigation Budgeting – Well-versed in managing detailed budgets for complicated litigation matters.
- Communications – Adept creator of collaborative written and oral communications with clients, courts, administrative agencies, colleagues, and opposing counsel.
- Writing – Skilled in written advocacy, including drafting briefs, EEOC and state administrative charge responses, and in contract drafting, including, but not limited to, employment agreements, separation agreements, non-disclosure/non-solicitation agreements, and intellectual property agreements.
- Affirmative Action Plans – Experience creating and developing Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) Affirmative Action Plans, Wage Hour Audits, and Equal Pay Audits for clients in a variety of industries.
“Michael Garone and Jean Back are who I work with most. They are always on top of current employment & case law decisions. They tailor their advice based on my company’s existing policies, practices, and culture so that I can easily apply it to our current work environment. They quickly grasp complex issues and come back with a logical solution or the right document that I need for every situation. Their fast responses & expertise saves me time & based on a proven track record, I am always confident I’ve got the best advice from them.”
Trusted Advisor, Collaborator
Jean’s practice is split between advice and litigation. Acting as a legal advisor, Jean gets to know your organization and industry and takes on the role of a trusted and knowledgeable extension of your business. Armed with this knowledge, Jean can step in quickly to provide advice regarding risks and strategies to tackle key problems. Examples of Jean’s work include:
- Stepped in after three key employees left an organization, set up a competing company with a similar name, and solicited employees. The new organization’s advertisements and web page were similar in appearance to the client’s, which caused confusion for the client’s customers. Jean quickly sent a cease and desist and Complaint to attorneys for the competing employees. The matter was resolved in mediation, avoiding expensive litigation.
- Drafted a cease and desist letter to employees who left a design firm and were using the firm’s trade secrets and work product for their new employer. Jean was successful in obtaining agreements to cease using any work product from the original employer, and in obtaining affidavits from each employee regarding their agreement not to compete in the future.
- After complaints of harassing and bullying behavior by one employee who claimed to be disabled, Jean met with the key company managers involved in employment compliance and provided advice on discipline for the employee, whether a harassment investigation was warranted by behavior, and talking points for future interactions. Jean provided step-by-step advice that resulted in the company’s ability to stop bullying behaviors and to retain a key employee.
- Ryman v. Sears Roebuck and Co. (achieved complete summary judgment in Federal District Court for Sears on Plaintiff’s OFLA, FMLA, and wrongful termination claims).
- Masons Supply Co. v. Lindsey (prevailed in a preliminary injunction hearing on behalf of Masons to enforce its non-competition agreement with a departing employee).
- Dixon v. Western States Insurance Agency (achieved a complete walk-away and dismissal of all claims by the Plaintiff after summary judgment briefing).
- Carson Oil v. Snyder (achieved a favorable settlement that included adherence to a non-solicitation provision preventing solicitation of Carson’s customers by Snyder, a former employer).
- University of Oregon, School of Law, Juris Doctor degree (1991)
- University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, minor in French (1983)
- Oregon State Courts
- Washington State Courts
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court - District of Oregon
- U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Washington
- U.S. District Court - Western District of Washington
- Defense Research Institute
- Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Secretary Treasurer
- Bar People, Oregon State Bar Bulletin (July 2020)
Legislative Update: What Manufacturers Need to Know, webinar, Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, October 23, 2015
Mandatory Statewide Paid Sick Leave, webinar, Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership, October 22, 2015
- Speaker, SW Washington SHRM, legal updates
- Speaker, Tribal In-house Counsel Association Annual Meeting – Privacy Issues in the Workplace
- Speaker, NBI seminar, “Business Attorneys Guide to Information Technology”
- Moderator, Schwabe 2017 Manufacturing Symposium
- Speaker, Schwabe 2017 Manufacturing Roundtable on Legal Updates.
- Judge, Classroom Law Project “We the People” contest
Getting my Zen on and paddle boarding during my COVID summer.
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