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Kjersten H. Turpen

Kjersten Turpen defends domestic and international companies from all employment law claims and counsels employers on workplace risks and how to avoid them. She has successfully litigated in federal and state courts as well as before administrative agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the State of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Her extensive experience has resulted in favorable verdicts and settlements for clients during all phases of litigation and over a variety of industries.

Kjersten regularly provides counseling to employers on managing risk in the workplace and avoiding claims, including drafting policies and employee handbooks, separation agreements, and executive agreements. She provides comprehensive counseling for hiring and separating employees, managing worker hours and providing disability accommodations. She also partners with the corporate practice group to assist clients with employment matters related to mergers and acquisitions.

She regularly delivers workforce trainings on topics including sexual harassment prevention, and has led internal employment investigations involving allegations of hostile work environment, racial discrimination, and retaliation.

Kjersten frequently speaks to groups and authors articles on employment law issues. Recent topics include COVID-19 implications for the workplace, and new legislation and case law impacting employers.

Prior to joining the firm, Kjersten was a partner at a U.S. law firm where she represented companies in employment litigation matters in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. Prior to entering private practice, she was a judicial clerk for two federal judges, earning the Distinguished Service Award for exemplary service to the judiciary.

  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
    • Board of Directors (2020)
    • Employment Practice Group Chair (2019)
    • Employment Practice Group Vice Chair (2018)
    • Employment Practice Group Publications Liaison (2017)
  • Oregon Women Lawyers: Member (2019-present)
  • National Association of Women Lawyers: Member (2020-present)
  • Society for Human Resource Management: Member (2019-present)
  • Oregon State Bar, Labor and Employment Section
  • California State Bar, Labor and Employment Section
  • Multnomah Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter – Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Defense Research Institute, Labor & Employment Law Committee
  • Panelist, "Who’s Ready to Go Back? Round-Robin Discussions on Returning to Work and Employee Engagement," Financial Executives International (2021)
  • Presenter, “Updates on COVID-19 Vaccines and the Legal Implications of New Workplace Protocols,” USI Insurance Services and K&L Gates Return to Work Webinar (2021)
  • Presenter, “Trends in COVID-19 Employment Law Litigation,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (2020)
  • Presenter, “Return to Work – Practical Employment Law Advice When Managing Employees During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Financial Executives International (2020)
  • Moderator, “Implications for Employers as We Return to Work Following COVID-19,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Webinar (2020)
  • Moderator, “Impact of COVID-19,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel Webinar (2020)
  • Panelist, “Careers in Civil Defense/Litigation,” Lewis & Clark Law School (2020)
  • “Managing Employee Absences Under OFLA and FMLA,” Bureau of Labor and Industries Annual Conference (2019)
  • “New Oregon Legislation of Importance for Employers,” Oregon Association of Defense Counsel (2019)
  • “Understanding and Avoiding Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace,” Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (2019)
  • "Pay Equity in Oregon," Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (2018)
  • "Documentation, Discipline & Discharge," Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (2018)
  • “Ethics in Settlement for Class and Complex Litigation,” ABA Litigation Section Roundtable (2015)
Additional Thought Leadership Pages
  • “Opinion: 6 bills that could change the way Oregon employers run their offices,” Portland Business Journal, April 2021
  • “Return-to-Work Planning—A Constant Evolution,” The Verdict, 2020 Issue 3.
  • “The ABCs of Associate Success,” The Verdict, 2020 Issue 3.
  • “Employers are Required to Monitor and Ensure That Hourly Employees Take Meal Breaks,” The Verdict, 2020 Issue 1.
  • “Recent U.S. Supreme Court Rulings Impact Oregon Employers that Use Arbitration Agreements,” The Verdict, 2019 Issue 3.
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