150 South Fifth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Tracey Holmes Donesky devotes her practice to employment and labor issues, and serves as assistant practice group leader of the firm’s Labor and Employment law group.
Tracey has a variety of class and collective action experience, litigating Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective and state law class actions. Clients have engaged her to represent them in various states involving federal and state wage and hour claims relating to off-the-clock work, donning and doffing, overtime pay, minimum wage, gratuity and expense reimbursement claims. She also counsels clients on a variety of wage and hour issues including classification determinations and assistance with DOL audits. Based on her skills and experience representing management in the defense of wage and hour litigation, Tracey was selected for membership in the Wage and Hour Defense Institute (WHDI). The WHDI serves as a nationwide network and meeting ground for selected practitioners who regularly practice wage and hour litigation and provides an established resource to employers on wage and hour matters. A popular presenter on a variety of FLSA topics, Tracey recently spoke on wage and hour issues at the MinnCap conference, the firm’s annual Construction Law Seminar, the Southern Minnesota Society for Human Resources Management, and spoke as a panelist on “Recent Trends in FLSA Collective Actions” at the 2010 Federal Bar Association (FBA) Seminar held at the Guthrie Theater.
Tracey also represents a variety of clients on counseling issues related to hiring, discipline, medical leaves of absence, requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Tracey also represents clients in state and federal court as well as before administrative agencies on a variety of employment issues, including employment discrimination, noncompete/nondisclosure claims and OSHA whistleblower claims under 49 U.S.C. 20109. Tracey also regularly counsels and represents clients in litigation relating to noncompete, nonsolicitation and nondisclosure claims.
With a particular expertise in the railroad and transportation industries, Tracey is currently a member of the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association’s (ASLRRA) General Counsel Committee, where she serves as the designated representative for railroad OSHA whistleblowerrelated matters. She has assisted railroad industry clients with claims brought before OSHA and the Department of Labor on such claims.
Tracey is a frequent speaker on the above-referenced subjects, including in particular the OSHA whistleblower topic, about which she has spoken at numerous railroad-industry focused conferences and meetings, including theAAR General Claims Conference, Boulder, CO, (September 2011); Railroad Liability Conference, Milwaukee, WI, (June 2011); Central and Pacific ASLRRA Regional Meeting in Kansas City, MO, and the ASLRRA National Convention.
Tracey was named an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer in 2008 and was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers®-Rising Stars from 2004 to 2009 and 2012 to 2013. In the 2012 and 2013 editions of Benchmark Litigation, Tracey was recognized as a future star by her peers and clients.
Prior to joining the firm, Tracey served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable John. R. Tunheim, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Before attending law school, Tracey graduated from the University of Kentucky where she earned a B.A. in English and played as a scholarship athlete on the Women’s Division I NCAA Collegiate Golf Team from 1991-1995. She was the 1996 NCAA Walter Byers Post Graduate scholarship recipient which is awarded to just one female and one male student athlete each year for graduate studies.
Professional and Civic Activities
- Officer, Federal Bar Association-Minnesota Chapter, Vice-President Legal Education (2009-2011)
- Officer, Federal Bar Association-Minnesota Chapter, Chair, Annual Golf Tournament Committee (2012-2013)
- Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
- Wage and Hour Defense Institute (WHDI)
- Committee Member, Federal Practice Committee (2008-2011 term)
- American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), General Counsel Committee Member
Publications and Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, “Wage and Hour Issues,” 2013 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute (forthcoming May 2013)
- Speaker, “OSHA Whistleblower Update,” ASLRRA Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia (forthcoming April 2013)
- Author, “OSHA whistleblower claims: No signs of slowing,” Railway Age, April 2013
- Co-author, 2013 Mid-Winter FMLA Report, American Bar Association, February 2013
- Chapter Author for Wage and Hour Laws – A State by State Survey 2012 Supplement (covering Minnesota wage and hour laws)
- Author, “Starbucks’ Tip Pool Held Unlawful In Massachusetts—Uncertain in New York,” Wage & Hour Defense Institute, December 2012
- Author, “Call to Discuss Wage Deduction That “Ended Nicely” Not a Protected Complaint Under the FLSA,” Wage & Hour Defense Institute, December 2012
- Speaker, “Hiring Practices,” ASLRRA Finance and Legal Administration Seminar, Kansas City, Missouri, November 2012
- Speaker, “Hiring and Pre-Hiring Issues,” ASLRRA Central and Pacific Regional Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2012
- Speaker, “OSHA Update and Pre-Employment Matters,” Joint Meetings with Legal, Safety and Security, Denver, Colorado, August 2012
- Speaker, “Exempt or Non-Exempt? Classify Your Workers Correctly,” 2012 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute webinar, June 2012
- Speaker, “OSHA Whistleblower Update,” ASLRRA Annual Conference, Indianapolis, Indianna, April 2012
- Speaker, OSHA Developments - AAR General Claims Conference, Boulder, Colorado, September 2011
- Speaker, “OSHA Update on 49 U.S.C. 20109 claims against Railroad Entities,” Railroad Liability Seminar, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 2011
- Speaker, “OSHA Update on 49 U.S.C. 20109,” MN Regional Railroad Association Conference, Brainerd, Minnesota, July 2011
- Speaker, “OSHA Whistleblower Update,” ASLRRA Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, May 2011
- Co-Presenter, “FLSA Coverage Basics: Is Your Business Covered? Are Your Workers? Are Your Independent Contractors?,” 2011 Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute, May 2011
- Speaker, “OSHA Whistleblower Amendments,” ASLRRA Central Pacific Regional Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, November 2010
- Panelist, “Recent Trends in FLSA Collective Actions,” 36th Annual Federal Court Practice Seminar, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2010
- Author, “Federal Court in Minnesota Denies Conditional Certification in a Meal Break Case,” Wage & Hour Defense Institute, October 2009
- Co-author, with Stephen F. Befort, “Reassignment Under the Americans With Disabilities Act: Reasonable Accommodation, Affirmative Actions, or Both?” Washington Law Review, Fall 2000
- J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 2000
Order of the Coif
Managing editor, Minnesota Law Review, 1999–2000
- B.A., summa cum laude, University of Kentucky, 1996
Member, Phi Beta Kappa
Scholarship Member NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Team, 1991-1995
1996 Walter Byers Post-Graduate Scholarship Recipient
- State of Minnesota, 2000
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 2009
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 2002
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 2009
- U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, 2006