Spencer Fane LLP Logo

Sue K. Willman

Partner

Spencer Fane attorney Sue Willman

T 816.292.8162
F 816.474.3216
swillman@spencerfane.com


Sue Willman is an employment attorney who represents management exclusively on workplace legal issues. She is primarily a “preventative” employment attorney whose primary focus is to help employers: (1) prevent employment-related claims from arising by adopting legally sound, effective, and innovative HR policies, practices, and programs; and (2) make lawful, strategic and practical HR decisions on employee-specific matters that will result in a sound defense position should a claim be asserted.

Sue: (1) provides counseling on HR issues and best practices (e.g., discipline/discharge, FMLA, ADA, harassment, discrimination, wage/hour); (2) conducts HR audits; (3) develops compliance programs (e.g., ADA, FMLA and affirmative action); (4) prepares/reviews HR policies, handbooks and forms; (5) develops and conducts training programs on employment law topics; (6) advises on government audits (e.g., OFCCP, DOL, FLSA, and FMLA); and (7) defends employers on claims filed with government agencies (e.g., EEOC, DOL/WHD, and state agencies).

Sue understands business, the HR profession, and the importance of providing practical and innovative advice and options that meet a client’s needs, risk profile, and budget. She is a leading “go to” resource for employers on many employment issues with more than 35 years of experience. She has a unique combination of legal and HR experience as an employment lawyer in private practice, as an in-house employment attorney, and as an HR professional.

Sue focuses her practice in the following areas:

  • Labor and Employment
  • HR Counseling and Policy Development
  • HR and Supervisory Training
  • HR Audits and Compliance Programs
  • Defense of Employment Charges/Claims Filed with Government Agencies

Highlights of Sue Willman’s experience include:

  • Sue has developed innovative ADA compliance programs for employers. These programs include disability accommodation policies, a variety of user-friendly forms and checklists (e.g., for accommodation requests, evaluation of accommodation options, medical certification forms, leaves of absence, fitness for duty evaluations, direct threat/safety evaluations, forms, and other materials).
  • Sue has extensive and in-depth knowledge about and experience handling FMLA issues and regularly assists employers with FMLA compliance challenges and attendance issues. She was actively involved in seeking FMLA regulatory reform on behalf of employers for many years. She testified in 2002, 2005, and twice in 2007 before two U.S. Senate committees and the Department of Labor regarding the FMLA.
  • Sue is a frequently-requested trainer and presenter on HR and legal topics (including harassment, discrimination, FMLA, ADA, discipline/discharge, FLSA, best HR practices, avoiding the courtroom, and others). She has provided training for employers for more than 25 years and during that same period has made more than 250 professional presentations.

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers – Women in the Law 2016 for Labor and Employment Law
  • Certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) by the Human Resources Certification Institute, 1998-Present
  • Certified as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP®) by the Society for Human Resource Management, 2015 to Present
  • Recipient of the 2015 Baron of the Boardroom lifetime achievement award for business lawyers by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Recipient of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Greater Kansas City Business Leadership Network (GKC-BLN)
  • Selected for inclusion in Chambers Leading Lawyers® in Labor and Employment Law, 2012-Present
  • Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® in Labor and Employment Law, 2007-Present
  • Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Best Lawyers® in Labor and Employment Law, 2008-Present
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, 2009-Present
  • Selected for AV Preeminent Lawyer® Rating in Martindale-Hubbell, 1991-Present
  • Selected for Preeminent Women Lawyers® in Labor and Employment Law, 2013-Present
  • Recipient of the 2002 Contributor of the Year Award from SHRM-KC
  • Recipient of the 1992 President’s Award from SHRM-KC

Contact Sue Willman at 816.292.8162 or swillman@spencerfane.com.