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Overview

Shawna is a labor and employment attorney with an inside perspective on Human Resources.

Shawna began her career not as an attorney, but as a human resource professional with a graduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology. As a human resource professional, she worked closely with human resource leaders and employment attorneys, and soon decided to pursue a law degree. As an attorney, Shawna has extensive experience in litigation and counsels clients on day-to-day employment matters.

Today, Shawna represents clients before administrative agencies and in all aspects of employment litigation in both federal and state courts. She regularly handles complex employment matters such as:

  • Wage and hour disputes
  • Class and collective actions
  • Allegations of discrimination and retaliation
  • Disability accommodations
  • Medical leave administration

She has also managed investigations and responded to administrative complaints, including before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Colorado Civil Rights Division. In addition, Shawna provides regular counsel on routine labor and employment matters, including employment agreements, employee handbooks, franchisor operations, restrictive covenants, reductions in force, sick leave, performance management and various company policies.

With nearly 10 years of experience as a litigator, Shawna manages cases throughout the entire litigation and trial or settlement process. She knows the court system, its procedures and the best strategies inside and out. She focuses her practice on clients in the healthcare and cannabis industries and previously worked with one of the first cannabis-related companies to go public.

Shawna is known among clients for her communication skills and her responsiveness, as well as for the perspective her HR background gives her: she knows not just the law, but also the HR considerations and business concerns at the center of a client’s world.


Industry

Services

Education

  • J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law
    • Denver University Law Review
    • Workplace Law Certificate
  • M.A., University of Colorado Denver
    • Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • B.A., University of Nevada, Reno

Admissions

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

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Colorado Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Co-Chair/Executive Council, 2018–present
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association, 2012–present
  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, 2017–present
  • Colorado Bar Association, 2012–present
  • Denver Bar Association, 2012–present
  • Denver MAMAs (Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association), 2012–present
Experience
  • Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a franchisor in a federal collective action brought by several franchisees alleging wage and hour misclassification and violations.
  • Successfully mediated and settled a large complex class action involving allegations of fraudulent transactions and negligence.
  • Advised clients with national and international operations as well as small local employers on day-to-day employment matters.
  • Routinely obtains findings of "no probable cause" for employers based on the submission of position statements to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Colorado Civil Rights Division.
  • Attained dismissal of state action brought against a hospital involving wrongful termination in violation of public policy and whistleblower claims.
  • Defended to resolution claims of discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour violations against a variety of employers.
  • Negotiated favorable terms on behalf of employers for employment and independent contractor agreements.
Outside the Office

Shawna and her family enjoying spending time outdoors.

With two young sons, Shawna stays active and can often be found enjoying Colorado’s many beautiful hikes with her children and the family’s black Lab. She also spends much of her time cheering on her kids’ sports teams.

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