With more than 30 years of experience, Madalene Witterholt assists clients in the full spectrum of employment law issues. Starting with employee hiring and I-9 compliance, employer policy development and day-to-day advice she provides employee training as well as the defense of administrative charges. Madalene’s regional practice has given her experience in the full gamut of employment litigation.
Madalene has a hands-on approach to total representation of her clients. Madalene immerses herself in her client’s culture whether it is on the factory floor, in the oil field or in the halls of Fortune 500 companies. Her cost effective approach to client representation has the goal of keeping clients in the forefront of compliance with not only current law but with an eye towards future trends in employment law. Madalene believes the best way to win a lawsuit is to prevent it from ever happening! With risk management as her ultimate goal, she is as comfortable with a foreman as she is with a corporate executive. She is well received by employees at all levels whether she is providing traditional EEOC training, assisting in internal investigations or working with employees to implement policy changes.
Known for her down-to-earth style, Madalene understands that employment clients have needs 24/7 and is available to clients at any time, whether it is for the most routine situations or a major crisis. Madalene is experienced in dealing with scheduled and unscheduled OSHA, EEOC and DOL investigations. Unique among employment lawyers, Madalene also handles workers’ compensation defense for high deductible clients. This enables her to have an established reputation in this specialized practice area. She is able to give practical and seasoned advice regarding the injured worker and the interplay of state and federal laws.
Should an employer be sued, Madalene stands ready to defend all types of employment law claims. Being both aggressive and respectful, she prepares her clients for not only depositions but also trial testimony. She has had experience and success at both summary judgment motions as well as jury trials.
Madalene is a well-known luncheon and seminar speaker who educates on current law topics, policy and procedure development as well as the employment law horizon. Prior to joining Crowe & Dunlevy, Madalene served as a law clerk to the Honorable James O. Ellison, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma. She has served as Chairman of the Labor and Employment law section of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Areas of Emphasis
Federal and State Court Litigation
Title VII discrimination, harassment and retaliatory discharge
Americans with Disabilities Act
Fair Labor Standards Act; individual as well as multi plaintiff cases related to over time, bonuses and exemptions
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
WARN Act Litigation
Retaliatory Discharge under state and federal laws
Federal Railroad Workers Act Defense
Personal Injury Defense
Truck Accident Defense
General Civil litigation
Workers’ Compensation Defense
Oklahoma Supreme Court
10th and 5th Circuit Courts of Appeals
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission–EEOC
Position statements, charge defense and mediations
Department of Labor–DOL
Investigation defense, negotiations and advice. Has handled matters involving independent contractors, bonuses, overtimes issues, employee exempt/non-exempt classifications and FMLA compliance
Occupational Safety and Health Administration–OSHA
Safety audits, workplace safety complaints, whistleblower retaliation and serious injury claims
Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court and Commission
Traditional compensation defense as well as own risk certificate assistance, reserves analysis, CMS compliance, MSA allocations and state licensing
Development of handbooks, policies and forms
Employee and Executive training
Employee discipline and counseling
Employment Agreements, non-compete trade secret agreements
Evaluation and restructuring of employee jobs and wages including transition from exempt to non-exempt
General OSHA compliance and reporting
I-9 Compliance and Audits
Internal investigations for allegations of harassment, discrimination, fraud, theft and safety
Job description development
Return to work issues including ADA accommodations, FMLA and compliance with state workers’ compensation laws
Reduction in force assistance and WARN ACT advice
Resignations and Release of Claims Agreements
Pro hac vice Admissions
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division
United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Kansas City Division
United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Kansas City Division
United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, Little Rock and Hot Springs Divisions
Decisions of Interest
Love, Beal, & Nixon, P.C. v. Best Buy Co., Inc. and ADP, LLC, Western District of Oklahoma
Summary Judgment granted to Defendants
Meadows v. Latshaw Drilling, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Upholding the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division Order Granting Summary Judgment to Drilling Company employer under the WARN Act.
Maldonado v. Greenleaf Nursery, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
Employer relieved of liability due to horseplay
Gaff v. St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Western District of Oklahoma
Summary Judgment granted to Employer on issues of sex discrimination and retaliation.
Affirmed, 10th Circuit
Frantz v. Albertson, Western District of Oklahoma
Summary Judgment granted to Employer on issues of FMLA, ADA and Retaliatory Discharge.
Carder v. U. S. Beef Corporation, Western District of Missouri, Kansas City Division
Summary Judgment granted to Employer on Age Discrimination Claim.
Hooks v. Oklahoma Safety Equipment Co., Inc., Northern District of Oklahoma
Summary Judgment granted to Employer on Race Discrimination Claim.
Cobb v. OSU–Tulsa/Follett College Book Co., Northern District of Oklahoma
Motion to Dismiss granted to Follet on Age Discrimination Claim.
Whitfield v. Lincoln Mountain Life Insurance, Northern District of Oklahoma
ERISA–Trial Court upholds Plan Administrator’s decision.
Williams v. Universal Health Systems, Western District of Oklahoma
Summary Judgment granted to Employer on Race Claim.
Affirmed, 10th Circuit
Pinnacle Rehabilitation Hospital v. Rivera–Villareal, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
Court of Appeals overturns lower court denial of attorneys’ fees to medical providers and grants fees and costs as an exception to the American Rule
Jefferson Hampton v. Gerdau Ameristeel, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals
Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals, de novo, reviewed the relationship between Sheffield Steel and Gerdau Ameristeel and affirms that Sheffield’s name only was changed and not the actual employer of Claimant thus allowing for a significantly lower compensation rate for Workers’ Compensation disability.
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