Sonja L. Lengnick

Attorney | slengnick@kohp.com | V-Card
T 248.645.0000 | F 248.645.1385

Ms. Lengnick has a substantial counseling practice, advising employers in a variety of preventive contexts including sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace discipline, wage and hour issues, non-compete and trade secrets issues, and personnel policy reviews.  She has developed a special expertise on issues related to the Family and Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ms. Lengnick has successfully defended employers in individual and class action litigation in state and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings.  Her clients have ranged from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations in a variety of industries, and have included Big Three automakers, automotive finance companies, suppliers, a global aerospace corporation, a major internet retailer, a large state university, a mid-sized private college, and a variety of non-profit entities.

Ms. Lengnick obtained her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 1995, where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and was Note and Comment Editor for the Minnesota Law Review.  She obtained her undergraduate degree cum laude from Williams College in 1988, where she was the scrum captain and four-time MVP on the women’s rugby team.  Ms. Lengnick also received a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1994, where her studies focused on law, psychology, and statistics.  Before joining Kienbaum Opperwall Hardy & Pelton, she was a partner in the labor and employment group at Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington.  Prior to that, she was an associate at Sidley & Austin in Chicago.

Practice Highlights

  • Obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, tortious interference with employment contract and business relations, defamation and misrepresentation against an auto finance company and related corporate and individual defendants.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a major insurance company in a lawsuit alleging failure to accommodate and disability discrimination brought by an insurance adjuster.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for one of Detroit’s largest law firms in a lawsuit brought by a secretary alleging violations of the FMLA, sexual harassment, and race and sex discrimination. The dismissal was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Obtaining dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a class of temporary employees of a major automaker alleging novel claims that they should have been treated as regular employees under the UAW collective bargaining agreement.
  • Defeating class certification in a race discrimination case brought on behalf of 800 employees against a Detroit Three automaker under Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act.
  • Obtaining summary judgment for a global aerospace corporation in a case alleging sex harassment, retaliation, and constructive discharge. The dismissal was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Bar and Court Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Illinois
  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals,  Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals,  Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington

Memberships and Activities

  • Oakland County Bar Association, Board of Trustees
  • State Bar of Michigan, Labor and Employment Section
  • Lighthouse of Oakland County, Board of Trustees

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