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Jennifer L. Gokenbach

Before forming The Workplace Counsel, Ms. Gokenbach was a shareholder with an Am Law 100 national labor and employment law firm.  In 2012, Ms. Gokenbach left "big law" and founded her boutique labor and employment defense firm. Ms. Gokenbach wanted to create a law firm that would allow businesses of any size to retain experienced and passionate attorneys who provide individual and focused attention to each matter in order to achieve the best possible resolution at a reasonable cost.

Ms. Gokenbach is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell -- the highest peer review rating for professional excellence for legal expertise, communication standards and ethical standards.  In 2021, she was named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Colorado by Super Lawyers Magazine.  She is currently the Chair of the Amicus Committee and the Diversity Committee for Worklaw® Network, an international network of more than 350 attorneys in 35 offices across the United States and in Canada, Europe and India, with practices focused on management-side labor and employment law.

Jennifer enjoys staying current on influential topics in employment law that affect her clients. Her insight is published on her legal blog, Colorado Employer’s Law.  You can also follow her on Twitter, @employmentlawUS.

Education

University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 2003

University of Denver Daniels College of Business, M.B.A., 2003

San Diego State University, B.S., Statistics, 1996

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 2003
Florida, 2013
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2003
U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2003
U.S. District Court, District of North Dakota, 2006
U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, 2009
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2013
U.S. District Court, District of Utah, 2015

Notable Cases

Ms. Gokenbach's trial experience includes the following:

  • Successfully argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the U.S. District Court's dismissal of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action lawsuit for alleged tip pooling violations, including invalidity of the U.S. Department of Labor's tip pooling regulation
  • Prevailed on civil theft claim in favor of media industry employer against former executive after 5-day jury trial
  • Prevailed on behalf of real estate developer employer in wage dispute after 3-day bench trial
  • Prevailed on behalf of employer in case alleging unpaid overtime wages after 2-day arbitration
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action lawsuit against LoDo restaurant/bar
  • Prevailed on behalf of medical services employer in appeal of benefits claim involving allegations of disability discrimination after 3-day administrative hearing
  • Obtained summary judgment and order of sanctions for discovery abuses in favor of energy company in case alleging Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 race discrimination
  • Obtained dismissal of misappropriation claim against former executive and new employer in non-compete litigation
  • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit against fast food restaurant employer for alleged Title VII national origin discrimination and ADEA age discrimination
  • Successfully argued before the Colorado Court of Appeals to reverse and remand unemployment tax liability determination involving salon workers
  • Successfully resolved lawsuit brought by Colorado Civil Rights Division for discrimination/harassment against farm employer due to the Division's failure to follow its own rules
  • Successfully resolved class and collective action against convenience store chain for alleged Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations
  • Successfully resolved whistleblower claim involving the False Claims Act against a medical billing employer

Accolades

  • AV Preeminent Rating®, Martindale-Hubbell, 2013-2022
  • Thomson Reuters, Colorado Super Lawyers, Employment Litigation: Defense, 2015-2022
  • Top 50: Women Colorado Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Top Rated Lawyer – Business Litigation & Labor and Employment, Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer, 2014 & 2020
  • Rising Star, Thomson Reuters, Colorado Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor, 2009 & Employment Litigation: Defense, 2010-2013
  • Up & Coming Lawyer, Law Week Colorado, September 2009
  • Woman of Accomplishment, Law Week Colorado, July 2009 

Speaking Engagements

  • Monthly Webinars (in partnership with Human Resources Plus): 
    • Preparing for Two New Colorado Laws: Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) and Colorado Secure Saving Program (CSSP), May 3, 2022
    • COVID-19 Update for Colorado Employers, Jan. 27, 2022
    • Required COVID-19 Pay Update, Sept. 30, 2021
    • Q&A: Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order, and COVID-19, Jun. 10, 2021
    • Colorado Employment Laws You Must Know, Apr. 29, 2021
    • Employee Handbook Mistakes and Live Q&A, Mar. 10, 2021
    • Learn to Create a Paid Leave Policy in Compliance with the Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFHW), Nov. 18, 2020
    • Provisions of and Preparation for Colorado's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, Sept. 30, 2020
    • COVID-19 Wage Claims on the Rise: Are You Properly Paying Out Mandated Federal and State Sick Leave?, Aug. 19, 2020
    • Understanding the Latest Colorado Public Health Order and Changes to the Colorado HELP Law, May 7, 2020
  • Closing Arguments, National Institute of Trial Advocacy - BuildingTrial Skills Program, Denver, Colorado, Dec. 14, 2021
  • The Changing Employment Law Landscape in a Post-COVID Era, Colorado Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section CLE, Oct. 21, 2021
  • Closing the Gender Gap: Doing More for the Workplace, Denver, Colorado, Nov. 21, 2019
  • Workplace Investigations: Practitioners' Perspectives, Worklaw® Network Spring Meeting, Miami Beach, Florida, May 3, 2019
  • U.S. Supreme Court Update, Worklaw® Network Fall Meeting, Charlotte, North Carolina, Oct. 5, 2018
  • The #MeToo Movement – Confidentiality Provisions in Sexual Harassment Settlements, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver Law Women's Coalition – Panel Moderator, Apr. 3, 2018
  • EEOC Settlement Agreements & Updates to National Origin Discrimination and Retaliation Guidelines, Colorado Bar Association Labor & Employment Section CLE, Dec. 2, 2016
  • The EEOC and Transgender Issues, Worklaw® Network Spring Meeting, Louisville, Kentucky, Apr. 30, 2016
  • Employment Law Considerations: Marijuana and the Workplace, SLS Seminar, Grand Hyatt Denver, Colorado, May 7, 2015
  • Marijuana and the Workplace, Worklaw® Network Spring Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 3, 2014
  • The Latest in FLSA Litigation & Enforcement, Sheraton Hotel, Denver, Colorado, Jul. 13, 2011
  • Managing the Employee Relationship, University of Denver, Global Human Resources Masters Program Course: Legal, Ethical and Employment Issues in Human Resources, Denver, Colorado, May 11, 2011
  • Effective Closing Arguments, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, Rocky Mountain Trial Skills Program, Boulder, Colorado, Apr. 14, 2011
  • Hot Employment Law Topics – What Happened in 2010 & What's Next for 2011, Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA), CFO Roundtable, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Mar. 25, 2011
  • Legal Update – 2011 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions, Boulder Area Human Resource Association, March 2011 Chapter Program, Boulder, Colorado, Mar. 17, 2011
  • Emerging Trends With the Fair Labor Standards Act, Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado, Oct. 14, 2010
  • Wage and Hour Pitfalls & Practical Advice to Avoid Expensive Liability, Boulder Area Human Resource Association, Boulder, Colorado, Aug. 19, 2010
  • “Legal Update from 2009 & Beyond,” Colorado Human Resource Association (CHRA) Annual Conference, Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver, Colorado, January 2010
  • Keeping Current and In Compliance with Rapidly Changing Employment Laws, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Nov. 2009
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: HR & Employment Law Issues, Watson Wyatt Worldwide Seminar, Denver, Colorado, Sept. 2009
  • Hot Topics in Employment Law, Sterling Education Series, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Nov. 2007
  • Negotiating Separation Agreements in Difficult Termination Situations, Sterling Education Series, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Nov. 2007
  • Successfully Managing Today's Problematic Employees: Enforcing Disciplinary Action While Avoiding Expensive Liability, Council on Education in Management, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Aug. 2007

 Current Professional Activities

  • Faculty, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA)
  • Mentor, Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP) 
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association (Labor and Employment Section) 
  • Member, Denver Bar Association 
  • Member, Faculty for Federal Advocates

Past Professional Activities

  • Boulder Area Human Resource Association (Speaker, 2010-2013)
  • Colorado Human Resource Association (Speaker, 2010-2012)
  • Defense Research Institute (Articles Editor, The Job Description, 2007-2012)
  • Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (Impact Denver Leadership Program Graduate, 2010)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Colorado (Board of Directors, 2008-2012)
  • Metro Volunteer Lawyers Association (Volunteer Lawyer, 2004-2008)
  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law (Adjunct/Trial Team Coach, 2007-2009)

Publications

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The Workplace Counsel is committed to providing high quality and effective legal representation in all matters involving workplace law issues. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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