profile headshot of Danielle D. Smid

Specialties

When people ask what type of lawyer I am, I respond that I am the type of lawyer that helps employers balance their most valuable assets, i.e. their employees, with their business needs.  I am the lawyer that understands that personnel decisions are not black and white and must be made from both a human, business and legal perspective.  Depending on the situation, I may be leading an investigation in your workplace, walking you through a crisis personnel situation over the phone or sitting next to you in the boardroom seeking board approval for important personnel decisions.  I can give you detailed legal analysis on personnel matters which incorporates the business perspective and avoids future litigation.  I will help you manage your most valuable assets in an efficient and high performing manner. 

My Approach

I have learned in my practice that personnel decisions cannot be made on legal risk alone.  Employers have to continue to run their business efficiently and profitably while maintaining a workplace that incentivizes employees to perform up to their highest potential while maintaining a work/life balance.  My job as an employment lawyer is to work directly with human resources and leadership to make personnel decisions that maintain that balance but also avoids unnecessary legal risk and prevent future litigation.  I work alongside employers to see the big picture risks, to investigate concerns and to make decisions that allow their businesses to succeed in today's market as well as in the future.  In addition, and in the unfortunate circumstances that litigation arises,  I assist employers with all of their administrative agency matters, including but not limited to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as well as defend employers in state and federal courts. 

More About Me

Before returning to BrownWinick, in January 2019, I was a managing attorney for a utility working directly with leadership on labor and employment matters as well as litigation management.  My experience in-house provided me with the business perspective that I needed to help employers approach important personnel decisions. 

I began my legal career at BrownWinick as an associate after graduating from Drake University Law School in 1998.  While at BrownWinick both as an associate and eventually as a member, I practiced primarily in the labor and employment arena both on the counseling and litigation side.  Prior to attending law school at Drake University I graduated from Iowa State University  with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1995.  I am currently admitted to the Iowa bar and the Wisconsin bar.

I am a Board member of Hope Agency in Des Moines and serve on the City of Grimes Planning and Zoning Commission. 

My Specialties

  • Employment counseling
  • Employment litigation
  • Employment and Restrictive Covenant Agreements
  • Labor issues
  • Administrative Law

Employee Retention During the Great Resignation

08-19-2022 In late 2020 and early 2021, employees began voluntarily exiting their jobs at unprecedented numbers in what has been coined “The Great Resignation,” “The Big Quit,” and “The Great Reshuffle.” In 2021, a record average of 4 million workers quit their job each month, surpassing the 3.5 million record set in 2019. This phenomenon has left employers...
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Addressing Burnout in the Workplace

08-5-2022 Workplace burnout has become a significant concern in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the working world’s expectations on how to prevent and address workplace burnout. The flexibility of working from home and employees reassessing their idea of a work-life balance has left employers that are unwilling to adapt, in the dust. The...
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Rights as a Transgender Person in the Workplace

06-22-2022 It is not always clear what rights you have in the workplace as an employee. This task becomes more challenging when your rights have been a topic of controversy in the media. To provide clarity on this matter, we have provided explanations for the workplace rights transgender people have in Iowa.   The Iowa Civil Rights Act prohibits...
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Vaccinations in the Workplace

08-12-2021   As the COVID-19 Delta variant spreads, many employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the health and safety of their workforce and have again begun looking toward additional safety measures to combat COVID-19 in the workplace. Such measures include but are not limited to mandatory vaccinations (showing proof of their vaccination...
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New EEOC Guidance on Vaccinations

06-21-2021   As Americans continue to be vaccinated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to CDC recommendations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) updated its COVID-19 guidance on May 28, 2021, regarding employers and COVID-19 vaccines.  The new EEC guidance on vaccinations update is in the form of Q&As relating to mandatory...
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OSHA Issues New Standards for Healthcare Employers and Updated its Guidance for Non-Healthcare Employers Regarding COVID-19

06-13-2021 On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health and Administration (OSHA) issued new standards for healthcare employers and updated its guidance for non-healthcare employers regarding COVID-19. For non-healthcare employers, the updated guidance relies on and is consistent with the CDC’s recent recommendations that fully vaccinated people may...
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Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

08-27-2020 Diversity and inclusion in the workplace are vital to the success of every business. Diversity and inclusion is a company’s mission, strategies, and practices to support a diverse workplace where individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life are able to participate and contribute comfortably and equally. Successful implementation will improve...
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Webinar: COVID-19 & Unemployment Law changes in Iowa

03-25-2020   Click HERE to view webinar BrownWinick attorney Dani Smid explains the changes to unemployment law in Iowa due to the impact of COVID-19. Dani Joins Daniel Beenken from Advance Iowa & the UNI Center for Business Growth and Innovation.   
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Option for Avoiding Total Layoffs During COVID-19

03-18-2020   This is not a new program but has new features to assist employers in trying to avoid layoffs. Iowa Workforce Development describes its “Voluntary Shared Work Program Unemployment Insurance Benefits” (VSW) below: “The program is intended for use as an alternative to layoffs and can be an effective tool for Iowa businesses experiencing a...
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Attorneys Danielle Smid and Margaret Hibbs Promoted to Members

01-19-2021   Two attorneys have recently been promoted to members at BrownWinick. This class of shareholders includes attorneys from the Employment & Corporate Transaction practices. BrownWinick would like to congratulate Dani and Maggie for recently being voted in as members to the firm and for their continued pursuit of excellence in service to our...
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Returning Employees to the Workplace? We’ve Got You Covered.

05-28-2020   BrownWinick's Employment Practice Group has prepared a “Return to Work Playbook” to assist employers in returning employees to the workplace during this unusual and unprecedented time. The people contributing to this effort include Megan Moritz and Danielle Smid. The “Return to Work Playbook” (or Playbook) will be used as a tool with attorney...
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Assistant

Jakkie Guerrero

515-248-6627

Undergraduate

Iowa State University

B.S., 1995

Legal

Drake University Law School

J.D., with honors, 1998

Admitted

Iowa, 1998;

Wisconsin, 2012

 

Memberships & Associations

  • Polk County Bar Association
    Member
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    Member 
  • American Bar Association
    Member; Labor and Employment Section
  • Polk County Women Attorneys
    Member
  • Hope Agency in Des Moines
    Board Member
  • City of Grimes Planning and Zoning Commission