Ann Holden Kendell

Ann Holden Kendell is a member at BrownWinick and serves as Co-Chair of BrownWinick's Employment Law practice group. Ann practices primarily in the area of employment law and commercial litigation.

Ann counsels employers in human resources policies and procedures; unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation; whistleblower issues; FMLA; Iowa state and federal wage and hour issues; restrictive covenants (non-competes, non-solicitation agreements and confidentiality agreements); and drug testing policies and procedures, as well as handles employment litigation. She conducts management training concerning drug testing and personnel issues and has served as an investigator for clients regarding misconduct, discrimination and harassment allegations. Ann represents her clients in front of administrative agencies, such as Iowa Workforce Development and the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and in arbitration, as well as state and federal courts. She has had successful jury trials obtaining defense verdicts on sexual harassment, gender discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and retaliation claims. Ann has also litigated and enforced restrictive covenants on behalf of employers and litigated other commercial disputes. Ann frequently speaks and writes articles on various employment law topics and is a trained and experienced mediator hired by other attorneys to assist in resolving cases.

Since 2010, Ann has been listed in Chambers USA(R) as a leading attorney in the area of Labor and Employment in the State of Iowa. In Best Lawyers of America(R), Ann has been listed in the areas of Litigation - Labor and Employment (2013); Employment Law - Management and Labor Law - Management (2012); Labor and Employment Law (2011) and Labor and Employment Law (2010) for the State of Iowa.

Ann is a member of the Polk County, Iowa State (Member, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections) and American (Member, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections) Bar Associations. She is a member of the Polk County Women Attorneys, where she served as its President in 2006 after serving on its Board in various capacities since 2000.

Ann received her B.S. degree in history from Iowa State University in 1995 and her J.D. from Drake University Law School in 1998. She was admitted to the Iowa bar, United States District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1998. After graduation, Ann clerked for Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Harris until she entered private practice in August of 1999.



At BrownWinick, we focus on anticipating and preventing employment problems before they result in litigation.

Our Employment and Labor Law practice group is a full-service group of leading employment attorneys that counsel and train both public and private employers on day-to-day employment issues such as discrimination in employment, termination and layoffs, wage and hour disputes, individual disciplinary problems and benefit-related matters.

We also conduct independent investigations into workplace complaints including, but not limited to, complaints of sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination complaints.

Because not all employment problems can be anticipated or resolved prior to litigation, we also defend employers in front of a variety of local agencies, and federal and state courts. Where appropriate, we represent employers in alternative dispute resolution forums, including mediation and arbitration.

Services Offered

Arbitration: BrownWinick’s experienced team of attorneys provide wise legal advice and bold representation in labor and employment arbitration matters, including strategy, case development, presentation, briefing and advocacy.

Employee Benefits: BrownWinick attorneys of the Employee Benefits practice group assist clients with a wide range of benefits-related matters, including litigation and disputes arising out of plans governed by ERISA, COBRA, the Taft-Hartley Act, Iowa government pension funds and similar statutes.

Employment Litigation: BrownWinick’s employment attorneys represent employers in state and federal courts, before state, federal and local agencies, and in arbitrations and mediations. The types of claims we handle include, but are not limited to, wrongful termination (discrimination and violations of public policy), sexual harassment, wage claims under state and federal law, ERISA claims, whistle-blower claims, violation of restrictive covenants (non-compete agreements), retaliation claims, workers’ compensation claims, breach of contract claims, interference with contract, interference with prospective business advantage, fraudulent misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, defamation and breach of fiduciary duty.

Federal Contractor Compliance: We assist employers in understanding the obligations required of them under federal contracts including, but not limited to, assistance with developing and maintaining compliant affirmative action programs.

HR Compliance & Training: At BrownWinick, we ensure that you’re always in compliance with state and federal laws such as workers’ compensation, occupational safety and health, wage and hour, and state and federal antidiscrimination laws such as Title VII, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Our lawyers provide on-site training on a broad spectrum of HR issues including hiring, disciplinary actions, drug testing, terminations and layoffs, employment and severance contracts, covenants not to compete, employee handbooks and prevention of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

HR Evaluation: Our employment law attorneys conduct a top to bottom review of your employment practices to determine whether your business is in compliance. This two-day diagnostic exercise assists companies in evaluating their human resources priorities and exposure. After the diagnostic is complete, we issue a summary report and work with your company to correct any issues.

Immigration: We advise employers with respect to their employment eligibility verification obligation under federal law (the I-9 process) and assist them in obtaining proper work authorizations for their foreign workers, including H-1B nonimmigrant visas where applicable. We also work with employers to ensure that they are able to hire and retain foreign workers and comply with the laws and regulations governing the employment relationship.

Labor Practices: We help employers understand the union organization process, including negotiation and drafting of collective bargaining agreements. We counsel employers in maintaining union-free workplaces and represent clients before the National Labor Relations Board, Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and similar Iowa state agencies.

Preventative Employee Relations: The BrownWinick team partners with you to audit your human resources processes to identify and target areas of concern and create efficiencies. We develop employee handbooks and personnel policies and procedures designed to increase compliance, minimize claims or avoid litigation and prevent union organizing. Our employment law attorneys provide strategic advice regarding workforce relations and management in mergers, asset sales and other business transactions. We also assist clients in negotiating employment agreements.

Workers’ Compensation: At BrownWinick, we work with employers to manage complicated workers compensation issues and handle the defense of claims. Our workers’ compensation attorneys have represented both employers and employees statewide before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, in district courts and in the appellate courts. We have extensive experience and expertise in handling litigated cases, providing advice regarding coverage issues and the administration of claims, working with employers to develop policies and procedures designed to minimize the risk of injury in the workplace.

Workplace Health and Safety: Our attorneys bring a holistic approach to handling workplace health and safety issues and represent employers in enforcement actions by OSHA and state agencies. BrownWinick also provides sound legal counsel on policy and preventive practice development and handling emerging workplace health and safety issues.

BrownWinick Law Firm
666 Grand Avenue, Suite 2000
Des Moines, Iowa 50309


Iowa Human Resources Manual