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Naomi Haslitt

My approach always begins from the client perspective. While the issues that we navigate can be complex and dynamic, I believe that understanding the client’s mission sets an important foundation for effective legal counsel. Quotation mark
Naomi Haslitt
Naomi Haslitt
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About Naomi

Naomi advises and defends public and private employers in all areas of employment and labor law. She regularly counsels employers on day-to-day personnel issues and provides training to managers and employers. Naomi supports organizations in developing compliance- and governance-related employment policies and practices, including federal and state regulatory compliance, and handling employment issues arising in complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.

Naomi defends claims against entities for employment discrimination, disability discrimination and accommodation, wrongful discharge, and wage-and-hour, as well as other tort claims, in litigation and administrative agency proceedings. Naomi has obtained defense verdicts and decisions in numerous trials and arbitrations. She also represents private and public employers on traditional labor issues, including arbitrating grievances, addressing unfair-labor-practice charges, and advising on collective bargaining agreements and the collective bargaining process. Naomi’s board and business experience provides special insight into the practical issues that face businesses and educational institutions.

Naomi has extensive experience in advising public and private higher education institutions and public school districts on issues relating to employment, accommodation under state and federal law, students, and other federal and state compliance. She is a regular speaker at the national and state level for education organizations that include the National Association for College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and the Oregon School Board Association, providing trainings on issues such as implicit bias, bullying, addressing faculty misconduct, and how to conduct effective investigations.

Naomi has been recognized by national, state, and local organizations, including in Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hotlist, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, and Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under 40. Naomi was also featured in the Portland Business Journal’s Higher Education Thought Leader Forum in 2018 and 2019.

Representative Experience

  • Education Plus
    • Advised higher education institution on policy and underlying process documents, as well as navigating investigations and grievance processes, under Title IX regulations.

    • Successfully represented university in tenure hearing regarding a professor’s just dismissal after allegations of bullying and harassment. The decision, first issued by the university committee, was then appealed to the university’s Board of Trustees, and then upheld by the circuit court.

    • Conducted investigation of discrimination claims raised in EEOC complaint against public university, prepared response, and received favorable decision dismissing all allegations.

    • Conducted internal review for private university regarding departmental conflict and bullying complaints, and provided conclusions and recommendations based on findings.

    • Conducted investigation for public college regarding an internal complaint of race discrimination, whistleblowing, and retaliation.

    • Obtained directed verdict for a school district at trial on negligence claim arising from alleged student-on-student bullying.

    • Reviewed and analyzed employee positions to determine exemption status with regard to overtime regulations provided in the Federal Labor Standards Act.

    • Crafted a global sales incentive compensation plan for manufacturer with distribution capabilities in more than 110 countries.

    • Won a jury verdict after a four-day trial defeating all claims arising from plaintiff’s termination of employment. Plaintiff alleged that he had been discriminated and retaliated against for utilizing the workers’ compensation system after an injury on the job.

    • Our client (the employer) won a unanimous jury verdict in a case brought by plaintiff, a disabled worker, for discrimination and retaliation in her employment. The judgment was affirmed by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

    • Favorable decisions from Bureau of Labor and Industries/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for various public entities (including school districts) and private employers.

    • Obtained summary judgment for employer in workers’ compensation discrimination/failure-to-reinstate case.

    • Received favorable employer decisions in representation and classification hearings for Employment Relations Board.

    • Received favorable employer decision in binding interest arbitration regarding collective bargaining agreement dispute.

    • Obtained decision for employer in employee grievance arising from contract interpretation dispute.

    • Oversaw investigation of whistleblower complaint alleging hostile work environment and financial and project management concerns.

    • Prepared complex executive employment and noncompete agreements in several acquisitions made by a regional bank holding company with more than fifteen bank divisions.

    • Prepared employment agreements and offer letters for a merger between two bank holding companies, with twenty subsidiaries collectively.

    • Routinely advises companies, both large and small, on employment-related issues such as leave laws, disability and accommodation, and wage-and-hour, and conducts performance reviews, as well as assists companies in developing internal investigation protocols and reviewing internal workplace policies.

    • Regularly provides training to employers on a variety of issues, including harassment, discipline and discharge, protected leave, performance evaluations, and social media.

    • Provided union awareness training to managers and supervisors in numerous manufacturing and service settings.

Industries Served

Practice Areas

Education

  • J.D., Willamette University College of Law, cum laude, 2007
    • Symposium Editor, Willamette Law Review
  • B.S., University of Montana, business administration

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon, 2007

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, 2007
         

Activities

Professional Plus
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), member
  • Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair, Steering Committee, member, 2021
  • Oregon Women Lawyers, member
  • Multnomah Bar Association, member
  • Oregon State Bar, member
  • American Bar Association, member
  • Oregon Chapter of the National Bar Association
    • board member
    • past vice president
  • Employment Law Alliance, Annual Conference Planning Committee, cochair, 2020
Civic Plus
  • Women on Boards Global and Local Conversations on Board Diversity, Oregon Leadership Committee, member, 2020
  • Open School, board of directors
  • DePaul Treatment Centers, board of directors, 2008-2016

Recognition

  • Named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hotlist, 2018-2021
  • Named a “Labor & Employment Star” by Benchmark Litigation, 2019-present
  • Named to Portland Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 list, 2017
  • Named an Honoree for Lawyers of Color’s Western Region Hot List
  • Named an Honoree for the Daily Journal of Commerce’s Up & Coming Lawyers list
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in Litigation-Labor and Employment, 2020-present
  • Selected for inclusion as an Oregon Super Lawyer, 2020-present
    • Selected to Rising Stars, 2010-2019

Insights from Naomi

Naomi is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics. Following is a listing of presentations since 2015. A complete list is available upon request.

  • “Higher Education Employment Issues: During and After the Pandemic,” United Educators, co-speaker (May 2021)
  • "Disability and Accommodation Through COVID-19: The Fundamental Nature of Academic Programs and Essential Functions of Jobs As We Plan to Return to Campus," National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), Spring CLE, co-speaker (Apr. 2021)
  • "Employment Trends in Higher Education," United Educators, webinar, speaker (Apr. 2021)
  • "Employment Issues relative to RIFS, Furloughs, and Mergers," National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), NACUA half-day workshop, discussion facilitator (Mar. 2021)
  • “Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair,” Oregon Diversity Legal Job Fair, promotional video, speaker (Jan. 2021)
  • “Measure Twice, Cut Once: Blueprint for Constructive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Dec. 2020)
  • “Recognizing Design Possibilities and Challenges: Equity Issues in the Remote Environment,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Dec. 2020)
  • “Reinforcing the Structure: Employee Mental Health and Mental Health Accommodations in Times of Enhanced Societal Pressures,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Dec. 2020)
  • “Intersection of Title IX, Sexual Harassment, and Related Requirements of Oregon School Districts,” Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, 40th Annual Oregon School Law Conference, co-speaker (Dec. 2020)
  • Various speaking engagements, Employment Law Alliance, annual conference, co-chair (Oct. 2020)
  • “The Narcissistic Executive,” Employment Law Alliance, annual conference, moderator (Oct. 2020)
  • “Reopen, Restructure, Rebuild: Meeting Today’s Extraordinary Operational Challenges in Higher Education,” Employment Law Alliance, webinar, panelist (June 2020)
  • “Investigations: Tips and Traps for Managing and Conducting Effective Investigations,” Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, Oregon School Law Conference (Dec. 2019)
  • “Piloting the Ship on the #MeToo Wave: Navigating Discrimination and Harassment Claims,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2019)
  • “Legal Update on Sexual Misconduct in the Employment Setting: The Application of Title IX and Title VII for Employees,” CUPA-HR, Annual Conference and Expo (Oct. 2019)
  • “Addressing Faculty Misconduct,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, webinar (Mar. 2019)
  • “Disciplining and Firing Employees,” National Business Institute, Human Resource Law from A to Z seminar (Nov. 2018)
  • “Workplace Behavioral Issues: Appropriately Handling Thorny Situations,” National Business Institute, Human Resource Law from A to Z seminar (Nov. 2018)
  • “Discipline and Discharge—Necessary Documentation,” National Business Institute, Human Resource Law From Start To Finish Seminar (Oct. 2017)
  • “Wage and Benefit Issues,” National Business Institute, Human Resource Law From Start To Finish Seminar (Oct. 2017)
  • “Termination of Tenured Faculty for Cause: Obligations and Risks,” National Association of College and University Attorneys, Annual Conference (June 2017)
  • “Effectively Using the Law to Accelerate Equity, Inclusion, and Safety for All Students,” Oregon Leadership Network, Spring Leadership Institute (Apr. 2017)
  • “Becoming an Experienced Litigator: Art of Drafting Complaints and Answers,” Oregon New Lawyers Division and Oregon State Bar, CLE Event (Nov. 2016)
  • “Following the Breadcrumb Trail: Managing Social Media in the Workplace,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Nov. 2016)
  • “Effective Performance Management,” Willamette Valley Higher Education Consortium, Management Development Seminar (Dec. 2015)
  • “Lawfully Managing Student Records Without Violating Privacy Rights,” National Business Institute, CLE Seminar (Dec. 2015)
  • “OCR Investigations: Title IX and Beyond,” Oregon School Board Association, School Law Conference (Dec. 2015)
  • “Top Legal Issues for K-12,” Oregon School Board Association, School Law Conference (Dec. 2015)
  • “Strange as It May Seem: That Independent Contractor May Be Your Employee,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2015)
  • “Complaint and Answer Drafting,” Oregon State Bar, Fundamentals of Civil Trial Procedure CLE (Sept. 2015)
Collaborations

Outside the Office

Naomi enjoys many outdoor activities, including skiing and hiking. She also enjoys the arts and all types of music.