Madalene A.B. Witterholt

Director

Office: Tulsa
Email: m.witterholt@crowedunlevy.com

Phone: 918.592.9809
Fax: 918.599.6325
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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
• F.C.R.A. matters
• Federal Railroad Workers Act Defense
• Personal Injury Defense
• Truck Accident Defense
• General Civil litigation
• Workers’ Compensation Defense

Appellate Practice
Oklahoma Supreme Court
10th and 5th Circuit Courts of Appeals

Administrative Law
• 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

Employment Advice
• 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
• Safety Programs

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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Professional Experience

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District, Law Clerk to Honorable James O. Ellison, Judge

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Chairperson, 1996)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Member)
  • American Bar Association (Member, EEOC Committee)
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section (Member)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Oklahoma Bar Association, Workers Compensation Section
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • American Bar Association, Workers Compensation Section
  • National Railroad Trial Lawyers Association

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America in Employment Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, Workers' Compensation Law – Employers (2008 - Present)

Published Works

  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky Inc. v. Ella Williams - The Supreme Court Clarifies the ADA
  • Revisiting the Vortex-The Collision of the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Act, the FMLA and the ADA

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Law Update", Tulsa Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinators Association, December 4, 2013, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, "Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation: Past, Present & Future—Reading the Tea Leaves," The Road Map to Employment Law Issues, April 17, 2014, Tishomingo, OK
  • Speaker, "Workers' Compensation Overhaul," Annual OCHRS Seminar, April 24, 2014, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, "Changes to Workers' Compensation Regulations," Oklahoma City Metro Employer Council, September 16, 2014, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, "The Status of Oklahoma’s Workers’ Compensation System—Did the Legislature Hit a Hole-in-One, or is the “Caddyshack” Gopher Still on the Course?," 2014 Crowe & Dunlevy Labor & Employment Seminar, October 2, 2014, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, "How to Avoid Common Wage and Hour Mistakes," McAlester Labor & Employment Seminar, October 21, 2014, McAlester, OK
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Labor and Employment Laws," Tulsa Area SHRM Law Seminar, November 6, 2014, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, "How to Work with the Department of Labor," Ponca City Area SHRM Monthly Meeting, November 12, 2014, Ponca City, OK
  • Speaker, "Changes and Updates to the State's Workers' Compensation Laws," Western Oklahoma Human Resource Organization Monthly Meeting, November 13, 2014, Weatherford, OK
  • Speaker, "Fair Labor Standards Act," Western Oklahoma Human Resource Organization Monthly Meeting, March 26, 2015, Weatherford, OK
  • Speaker, "Top 10 HR Compliance Cases in 2014," Tulsa Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinators Association, April 1, 2015, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, "How to Avoid Common Wage and Hour Mistakes," Oklahoma Human Resources State Conference & Expo, April 16, 2015, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, "Department of Labor Do’s and Don’ts," Southeast Oklahoma Labor & Employment Roadshow, May 14, 2015, Tishomingo, OK
  • Speaker, "Employment Law Update," Stillwater Area SHRM Monthly Meeting, May 21, 2015, Stillwater, OK
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Employment Law," Hugo Labor & Employment Seminar , July 16, 2015, Hugo, OK
  • Speaker, "Pearls in the Oysters of Employment Law," Crowe & Dunlevy Labor & Employment Seminar, September 2015, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, Tulsa Area SHRM Monthly Luncheon, September 16, 2015, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, Great Plains SHRM Chapter Meeting, October 14, 2015, Lawton, OK
  • Speaker, Tulsa Area SHRM Monthly Luncheon, February 3, 2016, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, "Spring into Action—Changes to Wage and Hour Law Expected in 2016," Southeast Oklahoma Labor & Employment Roadshow, April 12, 2016, Tishomingo, OK
  • Speaker, "Fear Not the FLSA," Oklahoma Human Resources State Conference & Expo, April 2016, Tulsa, OK
  • Panelist, "Legal Q&A," Oklahoma Human Resources State Conference & Expo, April 2016, Tulsa, OK
  • Speaker, Muskogee SHRM Chapter Meeting, July 8, 2016, Muskogee, OK
  • Speaker, "Smartphone Overtime: Monitoring Wage & Hour Issues in the Modern Workplace," HR Matters, September 13, 2016, Stillwater, OK
  • Speaker, Oklahoma Bar Association 2016 Labor and Employment Law Update, September 15, 2016, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, "A Spectators Sport: Recent Court Decisions Give Insight into Best Practices," Crowe & Dunlevy Labor & Employment Seminar, September 2016, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK
  • Speaker, Annual Muskogee Area SHRM Law Seminar, October 14, 2016, Muskogee, OK
  • Speaker, Annual Enid Area SHRM Law Seminar, October 13, 2016, Enid, OK

Classes Taught

  • Employment Law Topics, Council on Education – Lorman
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