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Martin D. Kappenman

Phone: 952.921.4603
Fax: 952.896.1704
Martin Kappenman

Martin represents employers in connection with the full range of employment and labor law issues. He has successfully litigated claims relating to non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, shareholder disputes, accommodation and leave requests, employment contracts, discrimination, harassment, reprisal and retaliation in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. He works with employers to avoid costly and time consuming litigation by providing counsel regarding OSHA compliance, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Minnesota Human Rights Act, drug testing, and other employment matters.

Main Areas of Practice

  • Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements and litigation
  • Shareholder disputes involving family owned businesses
  • Responding to Department of Labor wage and hour investigations
  • MN-OSHA compliance and citation response
  • Defense of union fringe benefit fund contribution claims
  • Construction contract drafting
  • Disputes over pay to sales representatives and commissioned sales employees
  • Defense of employers against discrimination, harassment, reprisal and retaliation claims
  • Counseling employers regarding personnel policies and complex hiring, discipline and discharge decisions
  • Defense of employers in collective actions alleging overtime violations and wage theft
  • Trade secret litigation
  • Construction litigation

Representative Cases

  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota
    Obtained successful result for contractor in fringe fund case following two-week trial. Fringe funds had originally alleged that contractor violated RICO and ERISA as part of a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to cheat the fringe funds. The Court rejected the fringe funds’ claims and concluded that our client was “scrupulously honest.”
  • Anoka County District Court
    Obtained injunction preventing the termination of the existing officers and board of directors and prohibiting interference with planned distributions to shareholders.
  • Hennepin County District Court
    Defeated motion for temporary restraining order on behalf of hiring employer in a case arising out of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions of newly hired employees prior employment agreements.
  • Washington County District Court
    Convinced court to grant emergency injunctive relief prohibiting departing construction industry sales employee from working with client’s direct competitor within the State of Minnesota.
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota and United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
    Won summary judgment against defendant attempting to rescind contract based on alleged mistake of fact. The favorable judgment was upheld by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Administrative Agency
    Obtained a determination of No Probable Cause from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for employer facing multiple allegations of discrimination. Employees abandoned case after the determination and declined to further pursue the employer in Court.
  • Ramsey County District Court and Minnesota Court of Appeals
    Attained dismissal of lawsuit by employee who claimed the employee handbook was a unilateral contract that the employer had breached entitling the former employee to damages for future wages and benefits. The trial court determination was upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Recent Speaking Engagements

  • A Conversation About New Employment Law Issues in the Construction Industry presentation for Minnesota State Bar Association Construction Law Section (September, 2022)
  • Legalization of THC Edibles and What it Means for Your Business webinar for Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (July 21, 2022)
  • Managing Employees in Crisis: Dealing with Leave Requests and Accommodations presentation for Minnesota Subcontractors Association (May 20, 2021)
  • Covid-19 and Employee Retention Tax Credits: A Legal Perspective presentation for Hospitality Minnesota (March 24, 2021)
  • Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Legal Considerations for Employers in the Hospitality Industry presentation for Hospitality Minnesota (March 16, 2020)
  • Avoiding Sexual Harassment Lawsuits in A New Era, NFIB Webinar (December 12, 2019)
  • Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Law, NFIB Leadership Council Meeting (October 2, 2019)
  • Mechanics’ Lien Rights presentation for The Minnesota Electrical Association, Inc. (September 18, 2019)
  • A Response Guide to When MN OSHA Knocks Upper Midwest Employment Law Institute Webcast (July 16, 2019)
  • How to Comply with the New “Wage Theft” Law Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (June 20, 2019)
  • NLRA Changes Under the Trump Board Federal Bar Association Advanced Labor & Employment Traveling CLE (Rockford Chapter) (December 6, 2018)
  • Managing Employees in Crisis Minnesota Hospitality Conference & Expo (October 3, 2018)
  • Opioids in the Workplace Allied Against Opioid Abuse and St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Seminar (July 20, 2018)
  • Regulatory and Employment Law Roundup: An Update on Agency and Case Law Developments for Employers at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (May 23, 2018)
  • Architect Ethics and Professional Responsibility in the “Me too” Era presentation for the Construction Specification Institute (April 24, 2018)
  • Lien Rights, Lien Waivers, And Payment Terms presentation for The Minnesota Electrical Association, Inc. (April 20, 2018)
  • How to Stay Cool When “ICE” Arrives: Immigration Enforcement Audits and Your Hospitality Business presentation for the Hospitality Minnesota (October 5, 2017)
  • The Minneapolis and St. Paul Sick Leave Ordinances Minnesota Chamber of Commerce webinar (June 22, 2017)
  • Emerging Federal Employment and Regulatory Issues under the Trump Administration at Upper Midwest Labor Law Forum (May 3, 2017)
  • Law and Ethics in Employment as an Architect presentation for the Construction Specification Institute (February 28, 2017)
  • Wage Garnishments and the related legal issues for Payroll Professionals presentation at Northstar Chapter APA Meeting (February 16, 2017)
  • How to Respond to Government Investigations presentation for Fargo Moorhead Human Resource Association (February 7, 2017)

Employer Advisor Articles

  • "Employer Deadline to Provide Frontline Worker Notice is June 23, 2022," Employer Advisor, June 2022.
  • "OSHA Vaccine ETS at the Supreme Court," Employer Advisor, January 2022.
  • “Covid-19 Stimulus Essentials For Employers,” Employer Advisor, December 2020.
  • “Tax Credits and COVID-19: The IRS Weighs In,” Employer Advisor, April 2020.
  • “DOL Issues Q&A Guidance to Assist Employers in Complying with the FFCRA; Also, the CARES Act: What Employers Need to Know About the Newest U.S. Coronavirus Response,” Employer Advisor, March 2020.
  • “W-4MN Compliance Reminder,” Employer Advisor, February 2020.
  • “Minneapolis Wage Theft Ordinance Imposes New Burdens on Employers Even Employers Without Facilities in Minneapolis,” Employer Advisor, October 2019.
  • “Minnesota Legislative Session Employment Law Summary,” Employer Advisor, May 2019.
  • "NLRB Reinstates Pre-2014 Independent Contractor Test," Employer Advisor, February 2019.
  • "Minnesota Supreme Court Allows Private Cause of Action for Employees Terminated for Refusing to Share Tips," Employer Advisor, October 2017.
  • "President Donald J. Trump, A Preview for Employers," Employer Advisor, January 2017.
  • "Minneapolis Enacts Paid Sick Leave Effective July 1, 2017," Employer Advisor, May 2016.
  • "Executive Order Requires Federal Government Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave," Employer Advisor, September 2015.
  • "How to Manage Parenting Leave in Minnesota," Employer Advisor, August 2015.
  • "2014 Minnesota Legislative Review," Employer Advisor, June 2014.
  • "Minnesota Minimum Wage Update," Employer Advisor, April 2014.
  • "Minnesota Legislative Update: 5 Things Employers Should Know," Employer Advisor, June 2013.
  • "Recently Proposed Legislation Stands to Significantly Change Business in Minnesota," Employer Advisor, March 2013.
  • "Drug Testing: Right for Olympians, Right for Your Workplace?", Employer Advisor, August 2012.
  • "DOL and IRS Announce Crack Down," Employer Advisor, September 2011.

View Martin's Employer Advisor articles on our website.

Bar Admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court, District of Nebraska
  • United States District Court, District of South Dakota
  • United States District Court, District of North Dakota
  • State of Minnesota
  • State of North Dakota
  • State of South Dakota


  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 2002
  • University of Oklahoma, Magna cum Laude; Phi Beta Kappa, 1999

Professional and Community Involvement

  • National Federation of Independent Business, Leadership Council
  • Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Workplace Management Policy Committee Chair
  • Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, Board of Directors
  • Minnesota Subcontractors Association
  • Ramsey County Volunteer Attorney Program