Melissa A. Schilling

Melissa A. Schilling
699 Walnut Street
Suite 1600
Des Moines, IA 50309
Support Team
515.244.2600 x597



Melissa Schilling represents public and private sector employers in labor and employment matters.  In that role, she has successfully represented clients in state and federal cases involving a broad range of labor and employment laws, including Title VII, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  Melissa also has extensive experience investigating and handling matters filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and related federal and state agencies.  Her work before these agencies includes assisting clients at the early charge stage, during governmental investigations, and throughout any subsequent litigation. 

In addition to her litigation experience, Melissa has experience counseling employers on a wide range of labor and employment issues, including cyber security issues, discrimination, harassment, FMLA and medical issues in the workplace, technology issues, and discipline matters.  In her counseling practice, she takes a proactive approach to responding and resolving various employment issues and assists her clients in establishing policies and procedures necessary to comply with the ever-changing law. 

In addition to labor and employment law, Melissa represents real estate companies, condominium associations, and homeowner associations before the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.  Melissa’s practice also includes representing real estate companies, banks, and insurance companies in commercial litigation. 

As part of her proactive approach to helping clients, Melissa also regularly conducts training for employers on a wide range of employment matters, including prevention of discrimination and harassment, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act, hiring and recruitment practices, cybersecurity risks and strategies, discipline, supervisor best practices, and appropriate investigation techniques. 

Prior to joining Dickinson law, Melissa Schilling practiced labor and employment law with a Chicago law firm, where she represented primarily municipal employers in state and federal litigation, grievance arbitration, and matters pending before the Illinois Labor Relations Board. 

Honors & Awards

Chambers USA

Selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as an “Up and Coming” leader in the area of Labor & Employment Law in the state of Iowa.


Admitted to Practice in the Following States:

  • Iowa
  • Illinois

Admitted to Practice Before the Following Federal Courts:

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa

Reported Cases and Representative Matters

  • James Coppoc v. Iowa State University, et. al., No. 4:15-cv-00398 (S.D. Iowa 2018) Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of individual defendant on Plaintiff’s constitutional claims (First Amendment, Due Process), Title VII claims, sexual harassment and retaliation claims under the ICRA, whistleblower claims, and tort claims (intentional infliction of emotional distress and interference with business relationships and prospective business advantage). 
  • Annett Holdings, Inc. v. Iowa Economic Development Authority, Case No. CVCV052929 (Polk County, IA; March 20, 2017).  Successfully obtained motion to dismiss on behalf of Intervenor ABC Trust on Petitioner’s Petition for Judicial Review.  
  • Anderson Tooling v. Libertyville Savings Bank, Case No. LALA 003998 (Jefferson County, Ia; November 22, 2016). Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of Bank on Plaintiff’s conversion claim.  
  • Ellis v. Iowa Christian Academy, Inc., Case No. LACL 133897 (Polk County, IA). Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of School on Plaintiff’s Iowa Code Chapter 91A claim (Iowa’s Wage Payment and Collection Law). 
  • Relco Locomotives Inc. and SMART, Cases 18-CA-153845, 156999 (NLRB February 22, 2016). Successfully obtained formal settlement on behalf of individual employee, including full award of backpay plus interest.
  • Timber Products Inspection, Inc. v. Allsup Manufacturing, Inc. & Cory J. Larson, No. 4:15-cv-148 (S.D. Iowa 2016). Successfully obtained default judgment, permanent injunction, and an award of attorney fees in favor of Plaintiff on claims for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and description, unfair competition, and breach of contract.
  • Kevin Williams v. Mid-Iowa Equipment, Inc., No. 4:13-cv-416 (S.D. Iowa 2015). Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract, fraud and buyer’s unilateral mistake.
  • Mark Swanson v. Village of Flossmoor, Il., No. 11 CV 4421 (N.D. Ill. 2014) affirmed Swanson v. Village of Flossmoor, Il., No. 14-3309 (7th Cir. 2015). Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff’s discrimination and retaliation claims arising under Title VII and the ADA.
  • Village of Lombard v. IL FOP Labor Council, No. 12 MR 101 (DuPage County, Il). Represented the Village in successfully obtaining a decision to vacate an arbitration award.
  • Larry Hall v. Village of Flossmoor, No. 11-cv-5283 (N.D. Ill. 2012) affirmed Hall v. Vill. of Flossmoor, Il., 520 F. App’x 468 (7th Cir. 2013). Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff’s discrimination claims arising under Title VII, Section 1981 and Section 1983.
  • Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union No. 33 Retirement Trust and the Trustees thereof, et. al. v. Carroll Plumbing LLC, et. al. No. 4:17-CV-00353 (S.D. Iowa 2019).  Successfully obtained judgment in favor of plumbing contractor on plaintiffs’ ERISA claim for unpaid contributions. 

Memberships & Activities

  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Litigation Section
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Iowa State Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • Litigation Section
    • Young Lawyers Division
  • Polk County Bar Association
  • Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys – member

Articles & Presentations