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Kelly Riggs

Overview

How I represent clients and Schwabe

As an employment lawyer, and member of Schwabe’s talented Healthcare and Life Sciences and Natural Resources industry groups, I’m dedicated to providing outstanding legal representation and proactive advice and counseling to help businesses navigate complex employment, healthcare, and other legal matters to minimize the risk of litigation and advance key business goals. I have a strong record of helping my clients avoid litigation in the first place, but when necessary I also defend businesses in lawsuits and administrative proceedings before state and federal courts and agencies. Ultimately, I understand that businesses are made of people, and people have ‎unique backgrounds, perspectives, motivations, goals, and ‎feelings that inevitably impact their relationships, ‎interactions, and decisions in the workplace and other ‎business settings. 

Diverse background to help supplement stronger counsel

For more than a decade, I have represented, advised, and provided litigation defense services to public and private employers of all sizes, with a particular focus working within the healthcare industry, and with nonprofits and small local and regional businesses. Some of the other industries I have counseled within include technology, insurance, food processing, construction, transportation and logistics, energy, and utilities.

Throughout my career, I have guided clients through compliance matters on state and federal employment laws; prepared and revised employee handbooks and personnel policies; defended claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination; and given direction on medical malpractice, HIPAA, and other data privacy laws. My diverse experience enables me to identify strategically the most effective approach to my clients’ needs while keeping their objective front of mind.

Experience

Experience

Healthcare law experience

▪ Advises on HIPAA, health information privacy, and other data privacy laws

▪ Oversees and advises on retaliation and whistleblower claims related to patient health and safety

▪ Counsels employers on employee performance and discipline issues related to clinical practices

▪ Guides employers through medical malpractice litigation defense

▪ Provides risk assessment from both a corporate and clinical perspective

Employment advice and counseling

▪ Represents and advises employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws including family and medical leave, paid family medical leave, paid sick time, pay equity, wage and hour, predictive scheduling, workplace safety, and COVID-related regulations

▪ Assists with disability/religion accommodation requests and the interactive process

▪ Prepares and revises employee handbooks, personnel policies, and HR/supervisor training

▪ Consults on internal investigations of employee misconduct or complaints

▪ Counsels on employee performance and disciplinary matters and separations, including drafting and negotiating separation agreements

▪ Consults risk assessments and advises regarding employment, contract, and related business matters

▪ Guides human resources and management personnel to improve internal processes and prevent and resolve disputes

▪ Drafts employment and non-competition/non-solicitation/non-disclosure agreements and helps resolve post-employment disputes

▪ Advises on I-9 employment eligibility verification compliance and federal agency investigations

▪ Drafts responses to subpoenas and requests for information

Employment litigation and administrative matters

▪ Defends claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour, leave law violations, and contract disputes

▪ Counsels on witness interviews, case assessment, defense strategy development and implementation, and project and case management and supports clients through the litigation process

▪ Drafts and advises on pleadings and position statements

▪ Drafts and advises on discovery, e-discovery, and document review

▪ Drafts and advises on procedural, discovery, and dispositive motion practices

▪ Takes and defends depositions

▪ Conducts mediations and informal negotiations

▪ Thoroughly experienced with trial and arbitration

Memberships & Awards

Memberships

  • American Health Lawyers Association (2018-2022)
  • Oregon State Bar Health Law Section (2010-2022)
  • National Association of Women Lawyers (2022-present)
  • 100+ Women Who Care East County (2022-present)

Resources & Ideas

“Employee Handbooks” and “HIPAA Best Practices for HR,” National Business Institute Human Resource Law Boot Camp Webinar, October 2021

“Oregon Employee Leave Entitlements for Absences Due to Child’s COVID-19-Related Illness, School Closures, and Quarantine Orders,” September 2021

“Oregon OSHA Enacts Emergency Rules to Protect Workers From Extreme Heat,” July 2021

“Oregon Enacts Employment Protections for Hairstyles and Other Physical Characteristics Historically Associated With Race,” June 2021

“Oregon Updates and Expands Oregon Family Leave Act,” June 2021

“Employee Handbooks” and “HIPAA Best Practices for HR,” National Business Institute Human Resource Law Boot Camp Webinar, October 2019

Get It Right: Gender Pronouns In The Modern Workplace,” Portland Business Journal, May 2019

What Employers Need To Know About Protecting Employee Health Information,” Portland Business Journal, April 2018

Protecting Employee Health Information,” Employee Benefits Adviser, March 2018

What The Uncertain Future Of DACA Means For Employers,” Portland Business Journal, October 2017

Services

Education

Admissions

Oregon State Courts (2009)

U.S. District Court, District of Oregon (2010)

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington (2015)

U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (2014)

Washington State Courts (2014)

Outside The Office