Jo Ellen Whitney
Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C.
Phone:(515) 246-7993
Address: 215 10th Street, Suite 1300
Des Moines, IA 50309

Membership: Membership•American Bar Association •Iowa State Bar Association •Polk County Bar Association •Polk County Women Attorneys •Society for Human Resource Management
University: Duke University, 1984, Duke University School of Law, 1988
Admitted: 1988, Iowa
Biography: CONCENTRATION Jo Ellen 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.Employment and Labor Law In the area of employment and labor law, Jo handles a variety of issues ranging from business planning and contracts, representation before administrative agencies such as the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the 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 Communications Alliance, Iowa Credit Unions, and the Iowa Health Care Association. Health Law Jo works extensively in the field of health care law, including privacy and confidentiality issues, for hospitals, clinics and small practices. She has worked with medical staffing, credentialing and privileging matters, as well as consent and risk analysis in the health care area. Jo also has practical experience in implementing HIPAA in her role as Davis Brown's privacy officer for data security compliance.Jo Ellen also works with clients health care clients on matters including:•HIPAA/HiTECH, privacy, security and record release and retention. •E-data release security and retention. •Medical research including NIH, FDA and privately funded research - compliance and ethics. •Consent to medical care, procedures, issues. •Specialty records - HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health and genetics. •Business planning and policies regarding staffing, discipline, and terminations Fair Housing Compliance Additionally, Jo works with clients on issues related to fair housing compliance in the construction, rental and sale phases for housing, apartments and condominiums. Her work has encompassed both state and local commissions including HUD, in the areas of construction compliance, special housing issues, long-term care, assisted living facilities, and manufactured housing, as well as more general fair housing issues. As part of her ongoing work involving civil rights commissions, Jo has served as a mediator, speaker, and case screener for the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.Representative Clients Jo works with a variety of clients including local service providers, such as telephone companies and agricultural cooperatives, hospitals, clinics, physician practices, and manufacturing facilities including West Liberty Foods, various credit unions, and technology companies. She has also worked regularly with the unique issues facing not-for-profit service organizations ranging from contract and policy issues to grant requirements for organizations such as Lutheran Services in Iowa and House of Mercy. PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION •AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell. An AV- certification mark is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him/her at the highest level of professional excellence. •Chambers USA, Labor and Employment Law, Iowa Ranked Band 3, 2015 •2014 Super Lawyers Business Edition, Employment & Labor •Best Lawyers' 2013 Des Moines Health Care Law Lawyer of the Year. •The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management and Health Care Law •2015 Great Plains Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor •Governor's Volunteer Award recipient in 2007 and 1997 in recognition of her volunteer service to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission SEMINARS, LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS 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, Iowa Podiatric Society, Telligen, 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 as well as national and local chapters of 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 and serves as editor of the Iowa Employment Law Letter .COMMUNITY •Volunteer: Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation •Volunteer: Iowa Center for Law and Civic Education PERSONAL Jo has won multiple Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbons for recipes including Plum BBQ Sauce and Parmesan Herb Crisps.Articles •Judith Lynn Boes and Jo Ellen Whitney selected for Drake University Law School Health Law Advisory Board •Senior Shareholder Jo Ellen Whitney Presents Day-Long Seminar to Mercy Health Network Leaders •Four Davis Brown Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year and 35 listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 •Eighteen Davis Brown Attorneys Named Great Plains Super Lawyers 2015 •16 Davis Brown Attorneys Among Best in the 2015 Chambers USA Rankings •Get Me A Whistle! Refereeing Family Visitation under the New Rules •Davis Brown attorneys lead FMLA Master Class •2015 Spring Seminar The Electronic Tether - Social Media Under the DOL and NLR •2015 Spring Seminar Drunk, Disorderly, or Just Out of Control - How to Respond (or Not Respond) to an Impaired Practitioner •2015 Spring Seminar When Good Policies Go Bad - Handbook Pitfalls and Best Practices •2015 Spring Seminar Why Can't We All Just Get Along - Provider Issues from Staff Interactions to Licensure Rules •It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It: The NLRB and Employee Manuals •Davis Brown Premier Sponsor of Leadership Education and Advancement Pipeline (LEAP) •Drug Testing: Dot Every i and Cross Every T •Health Law Blog: Infectious? Please, Just Go Home! •2014 Health Law Seminar - OCR, ONC, AG, EMR.What Does It Mean Now? •2014 Health Law Seminar - Just Get Off Your Phone! Issues with Social Media in a Healthcare Setting •Jo Ellen Whitney to Present and Moderate Panel at Iowa HIMSS Chapter Meeting •Employment Law Blog: Pregnancy Discrimination & The Accommodation Debate •Employment Law Blog: Employee Identity Theft - Responses and Obligations •2014 Employment Law Seminar - What Crawled Out From Under the Rock? Background Checks and Due Diligence •2014 Employment Law Seminar - No Good Deed Goes Unpunished - Tax Issues Relating to PTO Buy-Back, Donation and Other Employee Gifts •2014 Employment Law Seminar - When Things Go Wrong: I-9s, Wage Hour and Workers' Comp - Anticipating and Responding to Employee Identity Issues •Employment Law Blog: Why Do I Need a Business Associate Agreement? Ensuring Your Business is HIPAA and HITECH Compliant •Employment Law Blog: Minimum Necessary and the Breach Standard •Employment Law Blog: OCR Announces the Results from it's Pilot Audit and it's Plans For Next Year •Employment Law Blog: HIPAA Impaired Providers and the ER - What Happens When Your Employee Becomes Your Patient? •Employment Law Blog: The NLRB Weighs in Again on Civility - Civility Loses •Employment Law Blog: Severance Agreements - Clarity and Simplicity Are Best •Employment Law Blog: To Reference or Not to Reference? - That is Almost Always the Question •Webinar - Health Law Seminar - EMR, HIPAA and Managing Change (Whether You Want to or Not) in the Health Care Setting •Webinar - Health Law Seminar - Exempt or Not? Independent Contractors and Wage Hour in the Hospital Setting •Webinar - Health Law Seminar - HIPAA Horror Stories - Don't Let This Happen to You! •Employment Law Blog: Preferential Hiring Beyond the OFCCP - Goodbye Employment-At-Will •Jo Ellen Whitney Celebrates 25 Years of Service •33 Davis Brown attorneys named Best Lawyers in America •Employment Law Blog: The Perils of PTO (or too much alliteration) •Employment Law Blog - Lucky 13 - The Office of Civil Rights Enters into its 13th Corrective Action Plan •Employment Law Blog: Settle One, File Another - The EEOC Enforces GINA •Employment Law Blog: Regzilla Stomps Another One! - Idaho State University and the Compliance Gap Analysis •Employment Law Blog: The Price of Generosity - PTO Donation Policies •Employment Law Blog: My Pregnant Girlfriend's Mother Needs a Ride to the Doctor. Is That FMLA? •Webinar - Employment Law Seminar - That's it - You're Gone. Making a Termination Decision and Actually Firing Someone •Webinar - Employment Law Seminar - My Pregnant Girlfriend's Son Had an Accident and I Have Migraines: Complex Issues Under the FMLA •Employment Law Blog: NLRB who? Why do I care if I don't have a union? •Webinar - Regzilla: The New HIPAA Mega Rule •Jo Ellen Whitney to present webinar on Regzilla - the new HIPAA mega rule •Health Law: HIPAA Omnibus Regulation - I Want to Comply but What Exactly is Compromised Information? •Employment Law: Don't Mess with Mama-The DOL Issues Guidance on FMLA for Adult Children •Health Law: Family Feud Redux - The Release of Information to Family Members - HIPAA 164.510(B) & the New Standard •Health Care Reform Blog: Who is a Business Associate and Why Do We Care? •Health Law: OCR Has Been Busy - New Rules and Ability to Release Information in an Emergency •Employment Law Blog: Keep These Resolutions...or Else! •Employment Law Blog: FMLA and Holiday Absences •Employment Law Blog: Eggnog, Hangovers, & the Employee Christmas...I Mean Holiday Party •Webinar - Health Law Seminar - I'm Better Than You! Protecting the Brand You Have Worked So Hard to Build •Webinar - Health Law Seminar Year-in-Review •Webinar - Health Law Seminar - The Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN): What You Need to Know Now •Health Law Blog: Gossip, Rumor or Whistle Blowing - The Court of Appeals Decides •Employment Law Blog: Witches, Warlocks....and Santa? Religious Accommodations During the Holiday Season •Employment Law Blog: The Perils and Pitfalls of Drug Testing in Iowa •Employment Law Blog: HIPAA and the Evolution of Portable Devices •Employment Law Blog: Harrassment in the Workplace: The Three Take-Aways •Employment Law Blog: As they say on Project Runway - Make it Work (for you): The Intersection of Work Comp and the Family and Medical Leave Act •Health Care Reform Blog: ONC Releases Web-based Privacy and Security Training Game •Employment Law Blog: ONC Releases First Web-based Security Training Game •Employment Law Blog: Iowa Wage Hour Law - The Three Take-Aways •Six Davis Brown Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers •Employment Law Blog: Substance Abuse Testing in Iowa - The Three Take-Aways •Three Davis Brown Attorneys to Present at 2012 FMLA Master Class for Iowa Employers: Overcoming Compliance and Employee Leave Challenges •Employment Law Blog: It's 10:00 p.m. - Do You Know Where Your Employees Are? •The Joyful Event of Pregnancy Leave & FMLA - The Three Take-Aways •Breastfeeding: Private Action & Public Rights •32 Davis Brown Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America 2013 •What Do I Want You to Remember About the FMLA? Oh Let Me Count the Ways... •Jo Ellen Whitney Receives AV - Preeminent Rating • ADAAA - The Three Take-Aways •Mark Twain Was Right - Training is Everything •PTO - A MINE, MINE, MINE •Every Termination Starts with a New Hire •Exempt or Non-Exempt •Welcome to the Davis Brown Employment and Labor Law Blog •FCC Proposes Bandwidth for Wireless Medical Monitoring •Mismatched Socks Won't Get You Sued •Updates on Recent EEOC Guidance on Criminal Background Checks •SHRM Special Report on EEOC Criminal Background Check Guidance •HIPAA/HiTECH - Changes on the Way for Covered Providers •Webinar - Inspectors in the Exam Room: Treating Victims of Medical Identity Theft •Twitter, Tweet and Facebook: The Pitfalls and Benefits of Social Media in the Workplace •The Davis Brown Law Firm Congratulates Jo Ellen Whitney for 20 Years of Service •Jo Ellen Whitney honored with the Governor's Volunteer Award