In her labor and employment practice, Fran Haas encounters a fair share of difficult cases, but in each matter, she’s determined to reach a conclusion that satisfies her clients. “I’m able to handle all the issues my clients might encounter,” she says. “It’s about being resourceful.”
Fran litigates for employers in cases related to harassment, discrimination, retaliation, Family and Medical Leave Act, equal pay, and wrongful termination. She negotiates collective bargaining agreements on behalf of management, as well as other labor disputes. She also takes on higher education cases in matters involving Title IX, Title VII, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. These cases often involve difficult facts relating to sexual misconduct or assault by employees or students—facts that she understands make people uncomfortable. “There are certain ways to handle cases that have delicate issues, and it often requires a soft touch and a lot of nuance,” she says.
While Fran enjoys litigating, she emphasizes consulting before issues arise. Whether she consults through a phone call, conducts in-person training, or reviews policies or anticipated employee terminations, she’s with the client from start to finish. “It’s not just about pointing out the problem but getting them to the finish line so they don’t have to worry about it at all.”
In addition, Fran leads webinars and speaks frequently on employment and higher education issues, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse issues in the workplace.
On a daily basis, Fran takes satisfaction in seeing the legal system at work. As a former law clerk for a federal judge, Fran saw firsthand how the court provides an important service to citizens, something that drives her in her practice. “It’s very rewarding to me when the system works the way it should and we get the outcome for the client,” she says. “It’s not just winning but being part of a process that works.”
First in class at UNI
Order of the Coif, University of Iowa
Jessup International Moot Court Competition
Moot Court Judge
Research Assistant for Dean Linda McGuire
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS
Iowa State Bar Association
Federal Practice Committee
- Chair, 2018–2019
- Vice Chair, 2017–2018
Wisconsin Bar Association
Linn County Bar Association
Appointed to the Federal Practice Committee for the Northern District of Iowa
Appointed to Advisory Committee for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
Multiple appointments to Magistrate Selection Committee for Northern District of Iowa
Edwards v. Des Moines Public Schools (Polk County Dist. Ct. of Iowa, 2019). First-chair defense verdict in jury trial involving claim of wrongful termination.
Bandstra v. Covenant Reformed Church (Iowa Supreme Court 2018). Favorable outcome on appeal of multiple tort claims in clergy sexual abuse case.
Smock v. Muscatine Center for Social Action (Muscatine Cnty. Dist. Ct. of Iowa 2017). Obtained summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims for wrongful discharge claim in violation of public policy and breach of contract.
Banks v. John Deere & Co., Case No. 15-2058 (8th Cir. 2016). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the employer on the plaintiff's race discrimination and harassment claims under Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act.
Massey-Diez v. University of Iowa Community Medical Services, Inc., Case No. 15-2924 (8th Cir. 2016). The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the employer on the plaintiff’s FMLA entitlement and discrimination/retaliation claims.
Dindinger v. Allsteel, Inc., 860 N.W.2d 557 (Iowa 2015). Obtained favorable answers to two certified questions of law on wage discrimination claims before the Iowa Supreme Court.
Ackelson v. Manley Toy Direct, LLC, No. 12-0442 (Iowa 2013). The Iowa Supreme Court held that punitive damages are not available in employment discrimination claims under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.