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Jo Ellen - Web
E-mail Contact
Phone: (515) 246-7993
Fax: (515) 243-0654
215 10th St., Suite 1300
Des Moines, IA 50309

Jo Ellen Whitney

  • Emerging Companies
  • Employment Law and Labor Relations
  • Health Law
  • Insurance Defense
  • Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

About Jo Ellen's Practice

Jo Ellen Whitney is a senior shareholder of the Davis Brown Law Firm. As the chair of the firm's Employment and Labor Relations Department, she has a general practice in, but not limited to, the areas of employment and labor law, health law, privacy, and fair housing.

In the area of employment and labor law, Jo handles a variety of issues ranging from business planning and contracts, and representation before administrative agencies such as the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and local Human Rights Commissions as well as state and federal court.

As a prior chair of the firm's Human Resources Committee, she brings practical experience to bear on business planning, discipline, and termination issues for employers. She has extensive experience with contract development, as well as employee manuals, handbooks, and internal policies and practices for employment issues and regulatory compliance, including the ADA/ADAAA, FLSA, HIPAA, and FMLA. She has developed sample policies for a number of professional groups and organizations including members of the Iowa Telecommunications Association and the Iowa Healthcare Association.

As part of her ongoing work involving civil rights commissions, Jo has previously served as a mediator, speaker, and current case screener for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC). In recognition of her work with the ICRC, she was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Award for "outstanding contributions of volunteer service to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission." Awards are granted to people or groups who volunteer their time with a city or state government agency, or an Iowa non-profit organization. Jo Ellen received the Governor's Volunteer Award in 2007 and 1997.

  • Duke University, 1984
  • Duke University School of Law, 1988

Major Publications & Speaking Engagements

The author of multiple editions of the Iowa Guide to Medical Records, Jo speaks consistently on HIPAA, medical records privacy, physician issues, and consent matters relating to the provision of medical care. She is a regular speaker at the Iowa Health Care Association, Iowa Health Information Management Association, Iowa Medical Society, and other groups dealing with issues relating to long term care, the provision of medical services, medical practitioners, and privacy.

Jo provides seminars and lectures regularly for both individual employer training sessions and speaks at larger trade associations and educational groups including the National Telephone Cooperative Association and the Society for Human Resource Management. She is also a regular contributor to various professional and trade magazines, newsletters, and legal bulletins in the areas of employment law, privacy, and health law.

Professional Recognition
  • AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers' 2013 "Des Moines Health Care Law Lawyer of the Year."
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Health Care Law
  • Great Plains Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor
  • 2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition, Employment & Labor

Admitted to Practice
  • Iowa, 1988

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