Denise Drake

Polsinelli - Missouri


900 W. 48th Place, Suite 900
Kansas City, MO 64112

816 360 4357

Labor and employment Star

Local Litigation Star

Top 250 Women in Litigation

Practice area:

Labor and employment

Denise Drake is known for her creative and practical approach to employment law issues, as well as her sincere interest in helping employers improve their workplaces, proactively avoid litigation, and strategically defend against lawsuits. As chair of the firm’s Employment Disputes, Litigation and Arbitration practice, Denise has significant experience defending companies in employment lawsuits, including collective, class, multi-plaintiff, and multi-defendant employment actions. She has obtained defense verdicts in trials and arbitrations involving:

  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Sex, race, disability, and age discrimination
  • Retaliation and whistleblower claims

While Denise counsels clients in many industries, she has extensive experience and knowledge that allows her to advise clients on unique issues pertaining to certain industries, including legal, financial services, insurance, health care,  banking, food and beverage, retail, construction, technology, manufacturing, and retail.

Denise has also successfully obtained dismissals or summary judgments in cases filed across the nation. She has successfully defeated nationwide certification of wage and hour class and collective actions; convinced plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss actions; and advantageously used offers of judgment and other strategic tools to appropriately position cases for efficient resolution. 

Select Key Matters:

  • Defeated nationwide conditional certification in FLSA wage & hour collective actions, including  lawsuits by health care employees claiming unpaid off-the-clock work, supervisors claiming misclassification, security officers claiming unpaid pre-shift work, and tipped employees claiming lack of tip credit notice.
  • Summary judgment on sexual harassment and jury verdict on retaliation claims in spite of trial testimony from plaintiff’s manager (and alleged harasser) which was intentionally supportive of plaintiff. Strategic determinations, including allowing admittance of harassment evidence at trial contributed to success.
  • Jury verdict in race discrimination failure to hire case against national retail clothing store in spite of evidence assistant store manager used racial epithets.

Last updated September 2019