John is a Member in Stoll Keenon Ogden’s Louisville office and has been with the firm since 2007. He has a track record of success in Labor and Employment Law spanning 35 years, and is honored to serve as Chair of the Kentucky State Labor Relations Board, which resolves disputes between public employers and their labor organizations.
He is responsible for creating binding legal precedent entitling employers to secure indemnity from other parties in harassment or retaliation cases. He has also established legal precedent holding that the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress is preempted by statute. In a class discrimination case, he prevailed in challenging a claim brought by the federal government that women were categorically excluded from coal mining jobs.
For his many accomplishments, John has been distinguished with multiple local, state and national recognitions, including more than eight consecutive years of being listed in the Best Lawyers in America® peer-review publication.
Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits: John’s extensive experience encompasses the full breadth of employment law, including traditional labor law, claims of harassment and retaliation, breach of contract disputes and enforcement of trade secrets.
Appellate: Once a trial court decision has been made, John is fully prepared to take cases to court at the state or federal level as necessary to obtain a satisfactory resolution. He has obtained favorable verdicts for both appellants and appellees.
SKO represented an insurance company that was being sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky by a paper products manufacturer for breach of an insurance contract. The manufacturer alleged that it had proven a covered loss under an employee theft policy and the insurer disagreed and denied many elements of the claim. At the trial court level, the manufacturer willfully violated multiple discovery orders and the court dismissed the manufacturer’s claims as a sanction. After the dismissal, the trial court denied the insurer’s motion for fees incurred litigating the dispute. The manufacturer appealed the trial court’s denial to the Sixth Circuit and the insurer cross-appealed the denial of fees. After briefing on the first appeal had concluded, the parties resolved all matters amicably. While the case did not result in an appellate decision, SKO was successful in preserving an important district court opinion levying a rare dismissal sanction for discovery misconduct.
SKO represented a manufacturer and distributor of auto supplies that was sued for workers’ compensation retaliation under the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act, KRS Chapter 342. The United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky entered summary judgment in favor of the manufacturer, from which the plaintiff did not appeal.
SKO represented a nonprofit in a suit brought by two women who claimed that they were victims of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The individuals sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. The nonprofit moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The gravamen of the motion to dismiss was that the plaintiffs could not state a claim for religious discrimination without at least contending that their own religious views or practices were adversely effected in some way. The motion was vigorously opposed by plaintiffs and their advocates. The United States District Court granted the nonprofit’s motion to dismiss in a published opinion that adopted SKO’s argument. A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal on the same rationale in another published opinion. Petitions for en banc review by the full Sixth Circuit and for writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court were later denied.