John A. Klassen

  • Managing Partner





John is the founder of the Minneapolis employment and civil rights litigation firm of John A. Klassen, P.A. He received law degrees from the University of British Columbia (1992) and Seattle University (1993).

Since 1994, John has practiced exclusively in the areas of employment and civil rights law. He has represented employees and victims of civil rights violations throughout the United States, in the areas of harassment and discrimination law, False Claims Act/Qui Tam claims, whistleblower law, wage and hour disputes, class action claims, employment contract disputes, and sexual abuse. Employees consult with him on a regular basis in regard to their severance agreements and non-competition agreements.

John's cases have received international press coverage, including recent stories by the New York Times, the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune. His cases have been featured on CNN and Minnesota Public Radio. In 2006 and 2007, John successfully litigated cases against the Minneapolis Fire Department and its fire chief for alleged sexual harassment and retaliation. This series of three related cases included this country's first known reverse sexual orientation discrimination case against the head of a large public agency. Past victories on behalf of victims of workplace discrimination and harassment include million dollar-range results for his clients.

John lives and works in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is married and has two children.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Litigation - Employee
  • Whistleblower
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Discrimination in Employment
  • Age Discrimination
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Race Discrimination
  • Qui Tam/Whistleblower and Medicare/Medicaid Fraud
  • Retaliation
  • Severance Agreements
  • Non-competition Agreements
  • Civil Rights
  • Sexual Abuse

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1997


  • University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, Vancouver, British Columbia
    • LL.B. - 1992
  • Seattle University, School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1993
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Honors: Member of the Honors Division
    • Major: International Relations

Published Works

  • Race, Color and National Origin Discrimination, Employment Law Handbook, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, February, 2002
  • Defamation in Discipline and Discharge, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Spring, 2003
  • Discovery Issues in Employment Litigation, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Fall, 2003
  • The Duty of Loyalty - What Employees Owe to Their Employers, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Summer, 2004
  • The Accidental Federal Court Litigator, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Fall, 2004
  • Sexual Harassment Cases After Duncan v. GMC, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Spring, 2005
  • Public Employee Protections Against Retaliation for Free Speech - The Right to Speak About Matters of Public Concern, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Spring, 2006
  • Negotiating and Drafting Severance Agreements, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Winter, 2006
  • Statute of Limitations Issues in Hostile Work Environment Cases, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Magazine, Winter, 2007

Representative Cases

  • Stanina v. Blandin Paper Co., 2006 WL 2069203, D.Minn., (JRT/FLN) July 26, 2006
  • Predzik v. Shelter Corporation, Inc., Slip Copy, 2006 WL 2794368, 12 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d (BNA) 13, D.Minn., (JRT/FLN) Sept. 27, 2006
  • Modtland v. Mills Fleet Farm, Inc., 2004 WL 2730100, D.Minn., (PAM/RLE) Nov. 28, 2004
  • Jensen v. AstraZeneca, LP, 2004 WL 2066837, D.Minn., (JRT/FLN), 2004


  • Cutting Edge Topic in Sexual and Racial Harassment, Hennepin County Bar Association, 2006 to 2007
  • Settlement Agreements in Employment Law Cases, Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, 2005 to 2007
  • Employment Law Clinic, University of Minnesota
  • Human Resources Class, University of St. Thomas MBA Program

Honors and Awards

  • Minnesota Super Lawyers, 2003 - 2022
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2001 - 2002
  • Who's Who of Minnesota Employment Law, 2002 - 2007

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Employment Lawyers Association, Member, 1999 to Present
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Neaton Puklich & Klassen, PLLP, Partner, 2001 to 2004

Fraternities / Sororities

  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
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