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Mark S. Kittaka

  • 888 S. Harrison Street
    Suite 600
    Fort Wayne, IN 46802
  • 41 S. High Street
    Suite 3300
    Columbus, OH 43215-6104

Mark S. Kittaka is a partner and the administrator of the Labor and Employment Law Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Fort Wayne, Indiana office. He also practices out of the firm's Columbus, Ohio office. Mr. Kittaka’s practice covers all areas of labor and employment law including federal and state litigation concerning discriminatory practices and retaliation claims, including, but not limited to: Title VII race, sex, color, and religious discrimination claims; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (disability discrimination, reasonable accommodation, interactive process); Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

In addition, Mr. Kittaka handles wrongful discharge claims under state laws (including worker’s compensation retaliation claims); covenants not to compete and trade secret disputes, collective bargaining negotiations; collective bargaining agreement administration; representation in grievance and arbitration proceedings; and represents clients before a variety of administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Department of Labor (DOL), Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (MHRC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

In addition to litigation in judicial and administrative forums, Mr. Kittaka also conducts supervisory training for employers in the following areas: anti-harassment training, documentation and discharge, FMLA administration, union-free training and handling the marginal performer. Mr. Kittaka is also a regular speaker at both in-house and public seminars. Mr. Kittaka also provides proactive advice with respect to employment agreements (including noncompete agreements, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements, etc.), policies, procedures and handbooks. He also regularly consults with employers on issues relating to leave of absence issues (i.e., FMLA, ADA, short term disability or worker’s compensation overlap), OSHA compliance, Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) and Reduction in Force (RIF) planning.

Since 2017, Mr. Kittaka has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in employment law - management.

Mr. Kittaka has significant experience representing clients in OSHA matters involving serious injuries and/or deaths in both state plan and federal OSHA states across the United States. This includes regulatory compliance, representation in on-site inspections, informal conferences, formal administrative appeals, and defense of whistleblower claims. He has also represented clients in consumer product safety recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as well as recalls with automobile equipment dealing with the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Mr. Kittaka is a member of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, the Indiana State Bar Association, the Allen County Bar Association, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). He graduated in 1989 from Indiana University with a B.A. in English Literature and Japanese. He received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in 1992. Mr. Kittaka is admitted to practice in the states of Indiana and Ohio, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, as well as the 7th and 11th Circuits.