Brenda K. Baumgart

Brenda K. Baumgart

Partner
Portland, OR
Overview

About Brenda

Brenda Baumgart devotes her practice to assisting companies of all sizes navigate the complexities of employment and labor laws. She partners with clients to provide day-to-day advice and compliance counseling, assisting them with finding practical solutions while minimizing litigation risk. Her litigation and trial work includes defending employers in federal and state courts in all areas of employment law (including single plaintiff cases and class/collective actions), handling appeals exclusively on matters of labor and employment law before appellate courts, including the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Oregon Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit, and administrative proceedings before various governmental agencies. Ms. Baumgart also has a strong traditional labor practice and represents clients in labor arbitrations and matters before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She conducts internal workplace investigations for private and public sector clients. Ms. Baumgart is a frequent speaker in the community and provides on-site client training on numerous topics including workplace harassment and discrimination, the intricacies of family medical leave laws, disability law, wage and hour compliance, and drug and alcohol issues. Although Ms. Baumgart supports clients across numerous industry sectors, she has extensive experience representing health care clients.

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Experience

Experience

Trial and Appellate Experience

  • Ronald H. Kramer v. Mary Cullinan and Southern Oregon University et al. – Successfully achieved reversal of the district court’s previous denial of qualified immunity to former SOU President before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Timothy James Mayo v. PCC Structurals, Inc. – Prevailed on behalf of PCC Structurals in a case of first impression before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding whether an employer can terminate an employee for making threats of violence in the workplace, even if the threats are disability-related. 
  • Nydigger v. Portland General Electric (PGE) – Defense verdict in two-week jury trial in which plaintiff claimed retaliation (whistleblower).
  • Brian Crane v. Lithia Motors, Inc. et al. – Following the district court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd Frank Act whistleblower retaliation claims, successfully achieved affirmance of the dismissal for Lithia before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Lenker v. The Racquet Club, et al. – Unanimous defense verdict in two-week jury trial in which plaintiff (former head tennis professional) asserted claims for breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing, and defamation.
  • Campbell v. McMenamins, Inc. – Successfully represented employer before the Oregon Court of Appeals, which upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of wrongful discharge.
  • Opsahl v. Pacific Maritime Association, et al. – Successfully obtained summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of age and disability discrimination, and represented defendant before the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s decision.

Successful Arbitrations – Confidential Parties

  • Following a week-long arbitration, secured a complete defense award for a multinational biomedical company in a case involving claims of age and gender discrimination by a former sales representative seeking a multi-million damages award.
  • Prevailed in discharge and contract disputes for a large health care system, including cases involving discharge of RN for violation of patient privacy and confidentiality policies, pay rate classifications, and RN scheduling.
  • Prevailed in a discharge arbitration for large hospital involving a long-term registered nurse who was discharged for patient abuse.
  • Arbitrator upheld the discharge of a paper mill employee who violated the company’s drug and alcohol policy.
  • Arbitrator found discharge of pharmacist working for community-based, non-profit health organization was for just cause.
  • Paper mill’s discharge of a 30-year employee for insubordination and violation of mill rules upheld.
  • Successfully represented timberlands employer in contract dispute involving dispatching of log truck drivers where union was represented by its international office.
  • Employer’s decision not to promote employee with DUI history to a truck driver position upheld by arbitrator.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Employment Law-Management, Litigation-Labor & Employment), 2013-2018
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Labor & Employment), 2014-2018
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Employment Litigation: Defense), 2013-2018
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Employment Litigation), Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2009-2012
  • Member, Oregon State Bar
  • Past Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Committee Member, Labor and Employment Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Past Chair, Vice-Chair, and Publications Liaison, Employment Practice Group and Current Member, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Minimizing Risk of Labor Grievances & Employment Litigation Through Best Management Practices,” OSU College of Forestry, April 2018
  • “Journey to a Better Workplace: Ending Workplace Harassment,” (private client training), March 2018
  • “Lightning Round: Stay Anchored With Top 10 Practical Tips,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 16th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Feb. 2018
  • “Navigating the Modern Workforce,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 16th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Feb. 2018
  • “Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace: Taking a Closer Look,” (private client training), Jan. 2018
  • “Reasonable Accommodation - Beyond the Basics,” Stoel Rives Breakfast Briefing Seminar, Jan. 2018
  • “Navigating Reasonable Accommodation Law in the Modern Workplace,” NWEEO, Nov. 2017
  • “Update on Employment Law,” (private client training), Sept. 2017
  • “Minimizing Risk of Labor Grievances & Employment Litigation Through Best Management Practices,” OSU College of Forestry, April 2017
  • “Wage and Hour Update (Focus on New Oregon Paycheck Law and Check-in on DOL Exempt Status Rules),” SHRM/Stoel Rives 15th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2017
  • “Advanced FMLA/ADA,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 15th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2017
  • “Significant Wage and Hour Pitfalls,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2016
  • “The ADA Interactive Process: Lessons Learned,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 2016
  • “Conducting Workplace Investigations of Employment Issues,” 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
  • Tips for Employers on Weathering the Storm This Winter” (coauthor), News & Views, the Portland Human Resource Management Association newsletter, March 2014
  • “Guest Opinion: Don’t Like Stoned Employees? Say No” (coauthor), Portland Business Journal, Aug. 2013
  • “The Smoke Clears: Zero-Tolerance Drug Policies Enforceable” (coauthor), Portland Business Journal, July 2013
  • “Minimizing Risk of Labor Grievances & Employment Litigation Through Best Management Practices,” Forest Products Management Development, OSU College of Forestry, April 29, 2013
  • “Insiders’ Guide to Conducting Internal Investigation,” NWEEO, Feb. 21, 2013
  • Moderator, “Dealing with Micro-Inequities in the Workplace,” 11th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, SHRM Oregon State Council, Feb. 2013
  • “Back to School: Employment Law Hot Topics and Updates,” Breakfast Briefing Series, Sept. 2012
  • “Minimizing Legal Risk When Disciplining or Discharging Employees,” Rogue Valley SHRM, May 2012
  • “Discipline & Discharge Meetings & Dealing with Situations Involving Aggressive or Difficult Employees,” SHRM Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, March 8, 2012
  • “Training Managers to Avoid Cat’s Paw Liability,” Sept. 2011
  • “Legal Compliance in the Workplace: What Every Employer Needs to Know About FMLA, OFLA & the ADA,” Xenium, June 2011
  • “Harassment & Discrimination in the Workplace: What Every Employer Needs to Know,” American Association of Orthopaedic Executives Webinar, May 2011
  • “NLRB’s Take on Terminating for Taboo Tweets,” Daily Journal of Commerce, May 2011
  • “Headache-Free Performance Management Documentation,” Sept. 2010
  • “Minimizing Legal Risk and Protecting Company Trade Secrets When Ending the Employment Relationship,” Presented to Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2010
  • “Minimizing Legal Risk in Post-Recession Hiring Decisions,” Daily Journal of Commerce, May 2010  
  • “Occupational Therapy Session: Proper Steps When Terminating an Employee,” presented by Pacific Printing & Imaging Association, Sept. 2009
  • “Managing Off-Duty Conduct,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Annual Conference, June 2009
  • “Employment Law 101,” IPMA Conference, April 2009
  • “How to Respond to an EEOC Complaint,” Salem SHRM, Jan. 2009
  • “Laws Affecting Employment Agencies,” Oct. 2008
  • “Employer Regulation of Off-Duty Conduct,” Sept. 2008
  • “Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace: A Legal Perspective,” PHRMA Employee Relations Group, Jan. 2008
  • “Legislative Update,” 2007
  • PPI Annual Conference, Sept. 2007
  • “FMLA Update,” Council on Education Management, Aug. 2007
  • “Retaliation, Immigration Top Issues in Employment,” Portland Business Journal, Dec. 2006
  • “Ninth Circuit Finds Employer Unlawfully ‘Interfered’ with the New Mother’s FMLA Baby Bonding Time,” HR Watch, Council on Education Management, Dec. 2003
  • “Court Finds Employer Unlawfully ‘Interfered’ With the New Mother’s FMLA Baby Bonding Time,” Daily Journal of Commerce, Nov. 2003
  • “Recent Decisions” (coauthor), OADC, Spring 2002
  • Case Note, “Claim Sounding Only in Tort Does Not Constitute an Action ‘Upon Any Policy of Insurance’ Entitling Plaintiff to Attorney Fees Under ORS 742.061,” OADC, Winter 2002



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