Heather also has a strong background in worker’s compensation law, and she frequently helps clients navigate the unique challenges associated with the Oregon Workers’ Compensation system and its intersection with employment law. She advises clients on high risk terminations involving workplace injuries, as well as the process of bringing injured employees back to work. Heather is aware the best course of action is different for every employer, and aims to accomplish each business’ unique goals while mitigating the risk of retaliation, ADA, and other protected class claims. Heather’s practice also focuses on the challenging and ever changing issues surrounding independent contractor classification. Heather advises businesses in various industries including professional services, delivery driving, and medical practice to ensure proper classification under state and federal law.
Heather graduated with her B.A. in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University, and received her J.D., cum laude, from Lewis & Clark Law School. Throughout her legal education and even prior to law school, Heather diversified her experience, working with the federal government, in private practice, and with in-house counsel at a professional services firm. While attending law school, she also served as a Faculty Research Assistant to Professor Amy Bushaw, as an Intern and Student Director with the Small Business Legal Clinic, and as a member of the Lewis & Clark Law School’s Moot Court Mock Trial team. Heather has a strong background in representing Oregon employers and effectively resolving disputes for a diverse group of clients across various industries.
As a recreational ultra-runner, Heather spends the majority of her free time in Forest Park training for her next trail race. She is also the Founder and President of the Barran Liebman Run Club.
- Secured dismissal with prejudice of complex employment lawsuit in federal court against Nonprofit Employer.
- Counseled employers on various unique concerns during COVID-19 pandemic including Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Emergency Family and Medical Leave, WARN notice requirements for plant closures, and reopening guidelines and recommendations such as temperature checking and mask requirements.
- Conducted workplace investigation for County Agency to assess claim of race discrimination.
- Advised employers on race discrimination concerns and relevant social media policies in light of current events and protests.
- Conducted workplace investigations for City Agency to assess claims of gender discrimination and harassment.
- Conducted workplace investigation for County Agency to assess claim of nepotism and violation of County policies.
- Defended age discrimination, disability discrimination, and retaliation claims against Private Employer; Obtained favorable settlement through mediation.
- Defended wage claim and advised Intellectual Property Law Firm on best practices for employee compensation structures.
- Mediated and defended age discrimination, retaliation, and breach of contract claims against University.
- Advised Businesses contracting with the federal government on hiring practices, reasonable accommodations, and terminations.
- Advised Oregon Businesses in food services, hospitality, and retail on scheduling policies and compliance with Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act.
- Counseled Oregon Businesses in health care industry on various personnel matters, including addressing performance concerns and implementing new policies.
- Advised Oregon Businesses with operations across state lines on compliance with state sick leave laws; Drafted handbooks and policies.
- Advised Small Businesses in the gig economy on independent contractor or employee distinction; Drafted independent contractor agreements.
- Advised Oregon Businesses with injured employees on employment and workers’ compensation implications including retaliation and discrimination risk analysis, providing reasonable accommodations, and navigating the Oregon workers’ compensation system.
- Secured favorable ruling from the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, for the appeal of an administrative decision.
- Represented Private Individual in an administrative agency hearing.
Professional Experience and Affiliations▲▼
- Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section CLE Committee: Member (2018-present)
- Multnomah Bar Association: Member (2017-present)
- Oregon State Bar Association: Member (2017-present)
- Oregon State Bar Association: Labor & Employment Section, Member (2017-present)
- Oregon Women Lawyers: Member (2016-present)
- Graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy: Trial Skills (2019)
- National Business Institute (NBI) HR Law Boot Camp: “Hiring & Firing: Legal Do’s & Don’ts for Crucial HR Functions,” Presenter (10/16/19)
- National Business Institute (NBI) Fall Conference: “Beyond the Basics of Wage & Hour Law,” Presenter (11/13/18)
- “Business Guide to OHA’s Updated Face Mask Rules,” Oregon Business Report, June 23, 2020
- “What Oregon Businesses Need to Know About OHA’s Updated Face Mask Requirements,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, June 22, 2020
- “Federal Contractors: Updated Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, May 13, 2020
- “Alternatives to Layoffs for Employers Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, March 26, 2020
- “Key Considerations for Conducting Workplace Investigations,” Cascade Business News, March 18, 2020
- “Wishing You a Happy and Healthy New Year,” The Multnomah Lawyer, January 2020
- “Washington Radically Expands Eligibility for Overtime,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, December 12, 2019
- Featured in “Encouraging Well-Being,” Oregon State Bar Bulletin, October 2019
- “Why Careful Independent Contractor/Employee Classification Still Matters,” Cascade Business News, September 18, 2019
- “Ninth Circuit: “But For” Causation Standard Applies to ADA Claims,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, August 21, 2019
- “Big Changes for Oregon Discrimination Claims,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, June 6, 2019
- “Tips for Oregon Employers Handling Workplace Injuries,” Daily Journal of Commerce, January 25, 2019
- “Portland Companies Owe $3.2 Million for Independent Contractor Misclassification,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, December 3, 2018
- “Changes on the Table: Legal Updates in the Restaurant Industry,” Cascade Business News, July 18, 2018
- “Supreme Court Rules Employment Agreements Barring Class Actions Enforceable,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, May 21, 2018
- “VEVRAA Hiring Benchmark Updated to 6.4%,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, April 2, 2018
- “After Member Disqualifications: NLRB Vacates Hy-Brand on Joint Employer Rule,” Barran Liebman Electronic Alert, February 27, 2018
- Portland Business Alliance Central City Standing Committee: Member (2019-present)
- Forest Park Conservancy Stewardship and Strategy Committee: Member (2019-present)
- Multnomah Bar Association Imprint Program: Volunteer (2019-present)
- Lewis & Clark Law School Mentor Program: Mentor (2018-present)
- The Portland Opera’s Young Patron Society: Member (2018-present)
- Small Business Legal Clinic: Pro Bono Attorney (2017-2018)