Karen L. O'Connor

Experience

Karen O'Connor is a partner in the firm's Labor and Employment group. Her practice includes counseling and litigation on complex employment issues including leave laws, workplace harassment and discrimination, discipline and documentation, and drug and alcohol issues. She represents clients before Oregon and Washington state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings. Karen co-teaches in the human resources program at Portland State University and is a frequent speaker in the community.

 

Before joining Stoel Rives, Karen was a partner at Barran Liebman LLP (1999–2012), an associate at Foster Pepper & Shefelman LLP (1997-1999), and served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Malcolm F. Marsh, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (1995-1997).

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Labor & Employment), 2010-2014
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® (currently: Labor Law–Management, Employment Law–Management), 2010-2014
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Employment Litigation: Defense, Employment & Labor), 2008-2014, listed in Top 25 Women Lawyers, 2008-2014

  • Member, Oregon State Bar Association
  • Mentor, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Member, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Washington State Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association

Presentations

  • "Family Leave & Reasonable Accommodations: Beyond the Basics," SHRM Rogue Valley Chapter May Legal Seminar, May 15, 2014
  • "Hot Topics: New Developments in Labor and Employment Law," SHRM Rogue Valley Chapter May Legal Seminar, May 15, 2014
  • "Practical ADA Inquiries," 11th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, SHRM Oregon State Council, Mar. 2012
  • "Common Mistakes Employers Make," Tenth Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, SHRM Oregon State Council, Mar. 2012
  • "Recent Changes in Labor and Employment Law: What Employers Need to Know," NW EEO Seminar, Oct. 2011
  • "The Protected-Class Approach to Antidiscrimination Law: Logic, Effects, Reform," Lewis & Clark Law School 16th Annual Business Law Fall Forum, Sept. 2011
  • "Employment and Labor Law Update," Barran Liebman LLP Annual Seminar, Sept. 2011
  • Employee & Labor Relations Course, Portland State University Professional Development Center, June 2011
  • "Employment & Labor Law Update," Oregon NHRMA HR Foundation Conference, June 2011
  • "Annual Employment Law Update, Oregon Law Institute (OLI) CLE, June 2011
  • "The New ADAAA and GINA Regulations: Keeping Up With The EEOC," Barran Liebman LLP 2011 Food For Thought Breakfast Seminar, May 2011
  • "Employment & Labor Law Update," Oregon NHRMA HR Foundation Conference, Apr. 2011
  • "Employment Law Update," Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety & Health (GOSH) Conference, Mar. 2011
  • "Employment Law Update," Annual West Coast Roundtable, Mar. 2011
  • "Employment Law Update," NW EEO/Affirmative Action Association, Jan. 2011
  • BOLI's 26th Annual Employment Law Conference, Dec. 2010
  • Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, Nov. 2010
  • "Social Networking Tips," Barran Liebman LLP Annual Seminar, Sept. 2010
  • Employee & Labor Relations Course, Portland State University Professional Development Center, June, July 2010
  • "Train the Trainer: Harassment," Barran Liebman LLP Breakfast Seminar, Mar. 2010
  • "Circle of Life: Annual Employment Case Law Update," Barran Liebman LLP Annual Labor & Employment Seminar, Sept. 2009
  • "Dealing with a Bad Economy: Reductions in Force," LGPI Annual Conference - Sept. 2009
  • Annual Employment Law Update, OLI, June 2009
  • "NHRMA Presents: Human Resource Foundations - A Guide to Professional Development," Apr. 2009
  • "New FMLA Regulations: Time to Update Your Forms and Policies," Mar. 2009
  • "Understanding the New FMLA Regulations: What Every Employer Needs to Know," Jan. 2009
  • BOLI Employment Law Conference, Dec. 2008
  • "2008 Election Results and Employers: How Will Businesses Be Affected?," Nov. 2008
  • "Finding the Path Through Messy Terminations," Annual Employment & Labor Law Seminar, Sept. 2008
  • Employee & Labor Relations, Portland State University, Aug. 2008
  • "OFLA/FMLA Update," Barran Liebman LLP Breakfast Seminar, Mar. 2008

Civic Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors, Audubon Society of Portland, 2008-present
  • Member, University of Oregon Law Student Mentoring Program, 2002-present
  • Member, University of Oregon Law School Alumni Board, 2002-2005
  • Mentor, Multnomah Bar Association Mentor Program, 2002-present

Publications

  • "Follow the Law and Go Hands-Free," The Daily Journal of Commerce, Jan. 2010
  • Quoted in The Daily Journal of Commerce, "Ten Sticky Issues: Portland Attorneys Offer Their Unique Takes on 10 Key Legal Issues Impacting Employers and Their Staffs," Aug. 2009
  • "What to Expect from the ADA Amendments Act," Portland Human Resource Management Association, Nov. 2008

Education

  • University of Oregon, J.D., 1995
    Editor-in-Chief, Oregon Law Review
    Wayne Morse Memorial Scholarship for Leadership and Achievement, 1994, 1995
  • Mt. Holyoke College, B.A., 1988

Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Courts for the District of Oregon and the Western District of Washington

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