Forrest T. Rhodes, Jr.

Forrest T. Rhodes, Jr.

Partner

Wichita

1551 N Waterfront Pkwy #100
Wichita, KS 67206

T: 316.291.9555
F: 866.347.5132

frhodes@foulston.com

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Profile

Forrest brings legal expertise with a down-to-earth approachable style to partner with clients to help identify and resolve issues before they become legal problems and effectively address difficult employment situations to avoid or minimize legal risk.

A cornerstone of Forrest’s practice is assisting employers with the review and development of employment policies and other day-to-day preventative measures, including working through challenging discipline situations, the proper handling of employee absences that may implicate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and military leave under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). He also has significant experience defending employers in government audits brought by the Department of Labor (FLSA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as those agency’s state counterparts.

Where employment litigation cannot be avoided, Forrest defends the client’s interests through practical legal advice and advocacy with the goal of resolving the matter in a way that is effective as well as cost efficient.

Forrest counsels employers on labor-management issues, including union organizing efforts, labor contract negotiations, and responding to unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Forrest also represents employers through all aspects of the safety and health compliance process, including inspections brought by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the negotiated resolution of any proposed penalties, and, where necessary, defense of litigation brought before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).

In 2013 and 2014 Forrest was selected by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers in the area of Employment Law. He has been selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment. Forrest is a frequent speaker on employment law issues, especially the complicated and evolving requirements under the FLSA and other aspects of wage and hour compliance.

Education

  • University of Kansas (J.D., 1999)
    Order of the Coif; Staff Member - Kansas Law Review
  • University of Kansas (B.S. in Business Administration, 1991)
    With Distinction

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (2000)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (2010)
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (2008)
  • Kansas (2000)
  • Missouri (2008)
Community Involvement
  • El Dorado YMCA, Advisory Board, 2004-present (Board President 2013-14)
  • First Presbyterian Church of El Dorado, Personnel Committee, 2007-present
    Session Member, 2010-present
  • Butler Community College Foundation, Board of Directors, 2014-present
Relevant Experience
  • Represented employers in a wide variety of industries including hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, retail, and health care, with wage and hour (FLSA) compliance investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Served as defense counsel for numerous hospitality industry (restaurant) employers in federal court litigation regarding tip credit compliance and delivery driver reimbursements under the FLSA and state wage and hour laws.
  • Defended several different manufacturing companies in lawsuits stemming from allegations of employment discrimination and/or retaliation, with cases resolving on client-friendly terms, including summary judgment and favorable settlements.
  • Provided cost-effective defense for employers in wide variety of industries facing employment discrimination investigations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or equivalent state agency. Successfully resolved every charge while minimizing interference on client’s business operations.
  • United States Navy, Cryptologic Division Officer - Led teams of cryptologic support sailors and marines in support of national military requirements and surface and subsurface naval units deployed in the Mediterranean Sea and western Indian Ocean.
  • United States Navy, Cryptologic Officer, Naval Space Support Teams - Provided support and training on military space systems to shore training facilities and operational naval units.
Professional Memberships, Affiliations, and Honors
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2015-2018
  • Identified by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer in the United States America’s Leading Lawyers in the area of Employment Law, 2013-2016
  • American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section and Federal Labor Standards Committee
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Wichita Bar Association
Presentations

2015

  • How the Proposed Changes to the White-Collar FLSA Exemptions WILL Impact Your Business (Foulston Siefkin LLP, Employment Law Seminar)
  • FLSA Potpourri (Foulston Siefkin Employment Seminar)
  • Labor and Federal Agency Employment Laws (Wichita Bar Association Business Law CLE)
  • Proposed Amendments to the White Collar Exemptions – what they mean and how they’ll impact your business (Foulston Siefkin HR Box Lunch Series)

2014

  • What Do I Do When My Competitor Is Hiring My Employee, or I'm Hiring Theirs? (Foulston Siefkin LLP, Employment Law Seminar)
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law (Foulston Siefkin LLP, HR Box Lunch Series)
  • The NLRB and the Non-Union Employee (Foulston Siefkin LLP, HR Box Lunch Series)
  • Best Hiring Practices (Kansas County Counselors Conference)
  • Wage and Hour Update (Foulston Siefkin HR Box Lunch Series)

2013

  • Best Hiring Practices (Kansas Human Rights Commission Employment Law Seminar)
  • Wage and Hour Compliance (InfoComm Live)

2012

  • An FLSA Audit Is Coming – Be Prepared Before DOL Arrives (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
  • Alphabet Soup of Employment Law, from FLSA to FMLA to COBRA (Kansas County Clerk’s Conference)
  • Equal Pay Act – Compliance and Audit Preparation (Foulston Siefkin HR Lunch Series)

2011

  • OSHA Compliance (Foulston Siefkin OSHA Workshop, Overland Park)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (Foulston Siefkin, Foulston Siefkin HR for Health Care Providers Workshop)
  • National Labor Relations Act (Foulston Siefkin, Foulston Siefkin HR for Health Care Providers Workshop)
  • National Labor Relations Act – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt Your Business (S.E. Kansas Manufacture’s Network)

2010

  • OSHA Compliance (Foulston Siefkin OSHA Workshop, Wichita)
  • Advanced FLSA: Understanding, Preparing for, and Defending Wage and Hour Audits (Foulston Siefkin, Employment Law Seminar - Wichita)

2009

  • Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA): Learn How It Works Before It Is Too Late (Foulston Siefkin Seminar)
  • The Brave New World of Employment and Labor Law: The Employee Free Choice Act (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
  • The Employee Free Choice Act "EFCA" (Kansas Manufacturers Network)

2008

  • Military Leave and USERRA Issues (Foulston Siefkin Summer HR Box Lunch Series)
  • Unemployment – How it Works and How to Avoid Awards (Foulston Siefkin Employment Law Seminar)
  • Executive Compensation (Foulston Siefkin HR Box Lunch Series)

2007

  • Exempt or Non-Exempt? Applying the FLSA White Collar Rules to the Health Care Industry (Foulston Siefkin LLP, Kansas Health Law Institute)
Publications

2015

2014

2012

  • Kids in Candyland: DOL audit reminds employers about child labor
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2011

  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
    -ABA Section of Labor & Employment, Cumulative Supplements 2010 and 2011, 2nd ed.
  • Employers with Salaried Non-Exempt Employees Beware! New DOL Regulations Change How You May Pay These Employees
    -Foulston Siefkin Issue Alert
  • New Notice Rule Reaches out to Union and Nonunion Employers Alike
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2010

  • Road map for whether Kansas wage and hour laws apply to you
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2009

  • When Free Isn't Free: The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2005

  • When a 'fixed salary' Can Change
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2003

  • Dot the i's and cross the t's - ensuring your agreement is enforceable
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • Title VII: Race Discrimination through the promotion of minorities
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2002

  • Bonuses: Don't let overtime pay requirements Grinch your holidays
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • Can a pregnant employee use FMLA leave to avoid overtime
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2001

  • FMLA individual liability - not necessatily limited to one individual
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • Is arbitration the answer for Kansas Employers?
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • Keeping a former employee quiet - where to draw the line?
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • Navigating channels of military leave - and avoiding the mines
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

2000

  • Assistant secretary for OSHA discussed construction safety
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • In addition to ships, loose lips can sink companies
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter
  • 'Talking the talk' but not 'walking the walk' results in punitive damages
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

1999

  • From Topeka with love
    -Kansas Employment Law Letter

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