Brenda K. Baumgart

Brenda K. Baumgart
Portland, OR

About Brenda

Brenda Baumgart focuses her practice on employment-related counseling and litigation, as well as appellate work. Her litigation and trial work includes representing employers in both federal and state courts in all areas of employment law, as well as handling administrative proceedings and charges before various governmental agencies, including the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor. Brenda also represents clients in labor arbitrations and matters before the National Labor Relations Board. She conducts internal workplace investigations for private and public sector clients. Brenda frequently speaks in the community and provides on-site client training on numerous topics including workplace harassment and discrimination, family medical leave laws, wage and hour compliance, and drug and alcohol issues.

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  • Nydigger v. Portland General Electric (PGE) – Defense verdict in two-week jury trial in which plaintiff claimed retaliation (whistleblower).
  • 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 Labor Arbitrations – Confidential Parties

  • 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 & 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), 2014-2017
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Employment Litigation: Defense), 2013-2017
  • Listed among Rising Stars (Employment Litigation), Oregon Super Lawyers®, 2009-2012
  • Member, Oregon State Bar
  • Chair, Labor and Employment Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Employment Practice Group Leader (Publications), 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

  • “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, Mar. 2017
  • “Advanced FMLA/ADA,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 15th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Mar. 2017
  • “Significant Wage and Hour Pitfalls,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Mar. 2016
  • “The ADA Interactive Process: Lessons Learned,” SHRM/Stoel Rives 14th Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference, Mar. 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, Mar. 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, Apr. 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, Mar. 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, Apr. 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

Related News & Publications

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