Tom Cunningham is a shareholder in the Labor and Employment
Department at Nyemaster Goode. Tom represents management of private and public sector employers, ranging from small and medium-sized businesses to publicly traded Fortune
500 companies in Iowa and throughout the Midwest. Tom has litigated discrimination and civil rights cases, and wrongful termination, FMLA, ADA, wage/hour, OSHA, and trade secret/non-competition matters in jury and non-jury trials in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies. In addition, Tom represents employers in the traditional labor law arena, having advised employers in union avoidance tactics and organizational campaigns. Tom has defended employers in audits conducted by the Department of Labor, EEOC, OFCCP, and Wage/Hour Division. He also assists employers in affirmative action plan design and development. Tom has published numerous articles and addressed many legal and industry groups on labor and employment law topics, including wrongful termination of at-will employment; discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; occupational safety and health; wage/hour issues; affirmative action compliance; employment policies, discipline and documentation; enforcement of non-competition covenants; and employment contracts.
Shareholder, Pingel & Templer, P.C., West Des Moines, Iowa, 1989-2003
Associate, Watson, Ess, Marshall & Enggas, Kansas City, Missouri, 1984-1989
Plumrose USA, Inc., Case No. 17 RD-1803, National Labor Relations Board (2010). Co-counsel for management in successful union decertification election.
Gries v. Akal Security, Inc., 2007 WL 2710034 (N.D. Iowa 2007). Summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims of wrongful termination in violation of public policy, retaliation under the FLSA and defamation.
Amar v. Vaad Hakashrus of Crown Heights, Inc., No. LACV024225 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Allamakee County 2006). Summary judgment on Plaintiff’s claims for wrongful termination and tortious infliction of emotional distress. Decision for defense upon bench trial on Plaintiff’s Petition to Enforce Arbitration Award granting reinstatement.
Vitera v. Jeld-Wen, Inc., No. 4:02-cv-60101 (S.D.Iowa 2003). Partial summary judgment to employer on Plaintiff's claim of constructive retaliatory discharge under FMLA.
Engstrand v. Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l, Inc., 946 F. Supp. 1390 (S.D.Iowa 1996), aff’d per curium without opinion, 112 F.3d 513 (8th Cir. 1997). Affirming summary judgment in favor of employer in gender and age discrimination action.
Westendorf v. Target Stores, No. 72725 (Iowa Dist. Ct. Black Hawk County 1994). Wrongful termination of at-will employee. Judgment for defendant-employer at close of Plaintiff’s evidence.
Diversified Fastening Sys. v. Rogge, 786 F. Supp. 1486 (N.D.Iowa 1991). Order granting preliminary injunction in favor of employer and against former corporate officer in case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty.
Boge v. Ringland-Johnson-Crowley Co., 976 F.2d 448 (8th Cir. 1992). Determining standards for legal sufficiency of charge of discrimination, affirming summary judgment in favor of employer.
"Exemptions," "Special Issues," "Ethical Considerations," and "Litigation of Wage and Hour Claims," in Fundamental Wage and Hour Issues in Iowa, CLE Materials, NBI (2005).
Wage-Hour Issues in the Construction Industry (Chapter 12) and Employee-Employer Rights in the Workplace (Chapter 13), Contractor's Guide to Construction Law, J. Stone & J. Rowings, eds., Iowa State University Press (1997).
Confessions of a Management Trial Lawyer: The Solutions to the "Legal" Problem and the Business Issue are the Same, Iowa Employment Law Letter (February 1995).
Nixon v. Fitzgerald: A Justifiable Separate of Powers Argument for Absolute Presidential Civil Damages Immunity?, 68 Iowa L. Rev. 557 (1983).