Skip to Main Content

"Barb provided practical, yet strategic, advice throughout the entire litigation process. She has a great ability to remain calm under pressure and handle even the most difficult situations and people with grace. We always felt like Barb was willing to go that extra mile to listen to us, to understand what we really needed, and to get it done."

Joyce Saffel, Human Resources Director, Columbine Health Systems

Overview

Barb represents employers and employees inside and outside the courtroom.

She consults proactively with employers regarding workplace issues, such as hiring, discipline and terminations, harassment, discrimination and retaliation, privacy and social media, medical and non-medical leave, reductions in force, executive employment, wage and hour matters, drug testing and cannabis, and employment handbooks, policies and training.

In the circumstances where claims cannot be avoided, she frequently represents employers in agency, state and federal court, and arbitration proceedings related to all aspects of the employment relationship, as well as in proceedings involving non-competition agreements, theft of trade secrets and other business-related claims.

She is often hired to conduct internal workplace investigations on a wide variety of topics. The clients Barb has worked with over her career span across industries include healthcare, senior living, hospitality and resort, food service, light manufacturing, professional and financial services, engineering, transportation, publishing, retail, real estate sales and investment and development, and cannabis.

"Barb provided practical, yet strategic, advice throughout the entire litigation process. She has a great ability to remain calm under pressure and handle even the most difficult situations and people with grace. We always felt like Barb was willing to go that extra mile to listen to us, to understand what we really needed, and to get it done."

Joyce Saffel, Human Resources Director, Columbine Health Systems

Labor & Employment Star.
See how we move clients forward 

Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star - West, 2018-2020
  • The Best Lawyers In America, Commercial Litigation, Employment Law - Management, 2016-2020
  • Colorado Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2011-2019; Top 50 Women, 2012
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Education

  • J.D., University of Colorado Law School
      • Order of the Coif 
      • University of Colorado Law Review
  • B.A., College of William and Mary

Admissions

  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Faculty of Federal Advocates, 2006-present
Featured Experience

Strategic defense of a healthcare system against EEOC avoids trial.

After years of investigation and a failed conciliation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed claims against a healthcare system alleging systemic disparate impact discrimination, disparate treatment and retaliation under Title VII resulting from written health and safety tests given to care providers. Barb and the Husch Blackwell team guided the client through the extensive discovery and aggressive litigation tactics employed by the EEOC prosecutors to establish a strong statistics-based expert defense to the EEOC’s claims. After Barb and the team defeated the EEOC’s motion for summary judgment, rather than taking the risk of a public loss in front of a jury, the EEOC quickly agreed to settle the case.


Additional Experience

Healthcare Labor & Employment

  • Obtained favorable settlement in litigation brought by the EEOC on behalf of five former employees against health system alleging systemic race and national origin discrimination in which EEOC sought injunctive relief and back pay and compensatory damages.
  • Resolved on favorable terms multiple probable cause findings by the Colorado Civil Rights Division against hospital related to "English only" policies
  • Tried case against owner/physician alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and civil conspiracy against medical practice and our client, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Jury came back with complete defense verdict for the CEO.
  • Defeated claims of discrimination, retaliation, unlawful discharge, unfair labor practices, and wage and hour violations against a variety of companies including those in healthcare sector.
  • Routinely provided regular advice and counsel to faith-based, non-profit healthcare organization on wide range of employment‐related matters.
  • Advised variety of specialized healthcare providers (hospitals, surgery centers, rehabilitation centers, physician practices) on day-to-day employment matters.
  • Defeated injunction requested by pharmacy management company in "bet the company" non-compete case against specialty pharmacy and pharmacist.

Other Labor & Employment

  • Obtained favorable settlement of multiyear wage and hour collective action lawsuit brought by remote workers on behalf of employer and its executives.
  • Defended healthcare investment company and hospital developer in seven-day bench trial involving allegations related to non-compete agreements, tortious interference with contract and with prospective business advantage, and theft of trade secrets. Obtained complete defense judgment.
  • Obtained successful resolution of arbitration proceedings among financial brokerage firms concerning hiring of employees and "raid" claims.
  • Regularly provided advice and counsel to national food and beverage company, several food service franchisors and national hotel management company on wide range of employment matters.

Title III ADA

  • Obtained favorable resolution of lawsuit against healthcare provider related to hearing-impaired patients.
  • Obtained favorable settlements in variety of lawsuits involving website accessibility.
  • Defended national developer in lawsuits regarding accessibility issues in parking lots and other paths of travel.
  • Defended national retailer in disabilities-access litigation concerning shopping center access.

Cannabis Labor & Employment

  • Advised variety of employers in cannabis industry on day-to-day employment matters.
  • Defended cannabis security company against claims of wrongful discharge and breach of contract by former executive.
  • Routinely provided advice to non-cannabis employers about compliance with evolving state laws regarding legalization.

Commercial Litigation

  • Obtained substantial award in multiday arbitration in favor of client in business "divorce" case.
  • Defeated permanent injunction requested by adjacent landowners against ski area owner and operator concerning construction of tubing hill.
  • Obtained favorable judgment and award of enhanced punitive damages at trial on behalf of beneficiaries of trust alleging fraud and breach of fiduciary duty against trustee.
  • Obtained substantial award and defeated $14 million counterclaim on behalf of international real estate marketing and sales company in arbitration.
  • Handled numerous cases involving adverse possession, quiet title, partition and escrow disputes.
Thought Leadership
Community Leadership

Barb is Raising the Bar throughout Colorado.

Barb is active with the American Red Cross-Mile High Chapter and supports fundraisers such as Behind the Red, which raised money for a disaster-response vehicle. She is also the President of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation and was guest speaker at the 12th Annual Raising the Bar dinner and awards reception, honoring women lawyers who make a difference in Colorado communities.

  • The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD), Trustee, 2016-2019
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Director, 2013-present; President, 2016-present
  • American Red Cross-Mile High Chapter, Director, 2009-2015
  • Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Access Denver, Class of 2008; Leadership Denver, Class of 2013
  • Easter Seals Colorado, Board of Directors, Chair, 2007-2009; Governance Committee, 2005-2007; Director, 2003-2009
  • University of Colorado School of Law, Colorado Health Equity Project, Supervising Attorney, 2014-present