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Halunen Law attorney Stephen Premo represents employees who have been treated unfairly by their employer, focusing on matters involving discrimination and retaliation. He understands that besides being an effective advocate, a great litigator must also be a good counselor. Most clients have never been involved in any sort of legal process, which can be confusing, intimidating, and emotionally draining. Taking the time to demystify each stage of the litigation, Stephen helps clients feel informed, empowered, and at ease.
Stephen recognizes the critical role an employee plays in holding an employer accountable, often when no one else will. When employees stand up for themselves, they create opportunities to not only improve their own lives but also create systemic change that improves the lives of all workers. Having recovered millions on behalf of his clients, Stephen is committed to getting the best possible result for his clients and is driven by the real-life implications of each case he takes. In 2017, Stephen was recognized as a Minnesota Lawyer of the Year for his work on the Friedlander case, expanding protections for employees who report legal violations to their employers.
Before joining Halunen Law, Stephen had clerkships with Minnesota trial court judges, the Honorable Susan N. Burke, and Dale A. Wolf. His experience working on cases through trial provided valuable insight into the judicial process, civil procedure, motion practice, and the impact early strategic decisions have on a case’s outcome. All this practical experience plays a central role in Stephen’s aggressive client representation and his pursuit of justice on their behalf.
Stephen is a Board member of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association and has made presentations on employment law to that group. He hails from the East coast and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School where he served on the Minnesota Law Review and Constitutional Commentary.
“The opportunity to make a difference in my clients’ lives motivates me every day.”
Notable achievements include:
- Friedlander v. Edwards Lifesciences, LLC, et al. —N.W.2d—(2017). Obtained landmark ruling from the Minnesota Supreme Court expanding protections for employees who report illegal conduct to their employers under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act.
- Kidd v. Blue Sky Hospitality, LLC, et al. (2016). Briefed, argued, and won a motion to add a claim for punitive damages against two putative joint employers in a whistleblower case. Successfully defended against defendants’ motions for summary judgement.
- Marcotte v. Productive Quality, Inc. (2016). Briefed, argued, and defeated an employer’s motion for summary judgement in a workers’ compensation retaliation case.
- Thompson v. Izatys Acquistion Corp. (2015). Briefed, argued, and won a motion to compel discovery and recovered reasonable attorneys’ fees in a retaliation case under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
- Marchello v. C&J Energy Services, Inc. (2015-2017). Successfully defended against a motion to strike a Client’s request for punitive damages in a Title VII sex discrimination and retaliation case. Assisted the client in disentangling her employment lawsuit from bankruptcy proceedings.
Areas of Practice
- Employment Litigation – Employee
- Whistleblower Retaliation
- Employment Discrimination
- Sexual Harassment
- Wrongful Termination
- Severance Negotiation
U.S. District Court
University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, MN
- Juris Doctor-Cum Laude
- Minnesota Law Review, Staff Member
- Constitutional Commentary, Student Editor
University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA
Professional Associations and Memberships
- National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) – Minnesota Chapter
It’s About Sending a Message: Punitive Damages, MN-NELA (Nov. 14, 2017).
Friedlander: The Canary Does, In Fact, Sing Again, Hennepin County Bar Association (Nov. 9, 2017).
Stephen Premo, Reanimating Dead Law: Employer sorcery after the Minnesota Whistleblower Act amendments, Bench & Bar of Minn. (Jan. 2017).
Susan M. Coler and Stephen M. Premo, The MHRA Right to a Jury Trial—When Does It Apply?, MN-NELA (Oct. 15, 2014).
Matt A. Frank and Stephen M. Premo, Adverse Actions after Burlington, MN-NELA (Mar. 8, 2016).