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Susan Eberle Stahlfeld

When a client comes to me with a legal problem, I am committed to finding a way to solve their problem, not just tell them what they can’t do. Workplaces are complicated and I strive to help employers find solutions that they can live with and allow their business to thrive. Quotation mark
Susan Eberle Stahlfeld
Susan Eberle Stahlfeld
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About Susan

Susan Stahlfeld co-chairs Miller Nash’s employment law and labor relations practice group and brings nearly 30 years of experience and strategic thinking to employers facing their most challenging workplace problems. Susan’s ability to clearly and pro-actively advise employers about their legal obligations, while also helping them evaluate the risks involved, makes her a valued counselor in and out of the courtroom. She regularly advises clients on a wide range of workplace issues, including discrimination, noncompetition agreements, wrongful discharge, wage and hour rules, and employment torts litigation.

Susan counsels employers across the state on the multitude of personnel issues they face day-to-day—working with them on key policies and procedures, discrete employment-related issues, and matters concerning compliance with ever-changing local, state, and federal laws. She regularly helps clients navigate regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as state and local agencies. Susan also frequently provides trainings for supervisors and managers.

Leveraging her experience, Susan uses a measured, client-centric approach when helping employers evaluate the impact of fighting claims in court. She has successfully guided clients through pre-litigation negotiations, complex mediations and arbitrations, as well as numerous trials and appeals. Throughout her career, she has defended employers responding to disputes in the areas of discrimination claims, wage and hour law, joint-employment, torts, and miscellaneous statutory claims; class-actions; and appellate advocacy. She regularly appears in state and federal court on behalf of clients and is known for her steady command of complex cases and appeals.

She has worked with mid-size to large companies from many industries, including retail, sales and service, maritime, healthcare, education, tribal entities, financial services, restaurants, and transportation-related companies.

Susan serves as the firm’s Washington State representative with Employment Law Alliance, a national and international alliance of employment and labor attorneys. Every year since 2015, she has been named to Washington Super Lawyers’ “Top 50 Women—Washington.”

Representative Experience

  • Wage and Hour Class-Action Litigation Plus
    • Successfully defended retail chain through seven-week trial against wage and hour “joint employer” class-action claims by employees of vendor. Affirmed on appeal.

    • Defended national pharmacy chain against rest and meal break class action by pharmacists, ending in positive settlement before trial.

    • Represented transportation company in successfully resolving class-action claims for failure to accrue paid sick leave under Seattle and SeaTac ordinances.

    • Defended retail chain through favorably resolved claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.

    • Defended retail chain and successfully obtained summary judgment ruling on multiple claims asserted by plaintiff, including allegations of retaliation under Washington’s Industrial Insurance Act and disability discrimination.

    • Represented employer in obtaining a no probable cause finding in a claim of religious discrimination.

    • Obtained summary judgment on claims against natural resources company for breach of contract by at-will employee.

    • Summary judgment granted on claims of violation of Family and Medical Leave Act and wrongful discharge in violation of public policy on claims against national retail outlet.

    • Assisted company with complicated collective bargaining agreement in crafting policies for compliance with various state mandates.

    • Successfully assisted retail chain in responding to and complying with premium deduction rules under the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Act.

Services

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia, Dillard Fellow, 1992
  • B.S., University of Alabama, summa cum laude, 1982

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1992

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, 1992
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1992

Additional Information

(SITE) COVID 19 Contributor ELA Washington Rep

Activities

Professional Plus
  • King County Bar Association
    • Labor Section, member
  • Washington State Bar Association
    • Labor and Indian Law Sections, member
  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • Employment Law Alliance, Washington State representative
  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers Association Employment Law Committee, member
  • Federalist Society, member
Civic Plus
  • Jennifer Dunn Leadership Institute
    • past secretary-treasurer
    • past board of directors member
  • Washington Human Rights Commission work group, participant
  • Burien Food Drive, volunteer
  • Seattle Alumni Friends of Alabama, member
    • past office

Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Seattle, WA)
    • Employment Law—Management, 2012-present
    • Litigation—Labor and Employment, 2013-present
  • Selected for inclusion as a Washington Super Lawyer, 2009-present
    • Top 50 Women Washington Super Lawyers, 2015-present
  • Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell®

Insights from Susan

Susan frequently writes on various topics. Following is a listing of presentations since 2015. A complete list is available upon request.

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

  • “Communicating with Employees: Who Can Say What?” Washington State SHRM, Employment Law & Human Resources Conference, pre-conference webinar (Mar. 2021)
  • “Getting Up to Code and Following the New Rules: 2020 Washington Employment Law Update,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Dec. 2020)
  • “Fast 15: Families First Leave—Intermittent, Supplementation, and Exceptions,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, On-Demand Employment Law Webinar Series (May 2020)
  • “Raising the Nautical Flag and Avoiding Rough Waters: Identifying and Managing HR Risks,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2019)
  • “Introduction to Labor and Employment Law for Attorneys and HR Professionals,” The Seminar Group, 22nd Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference (Aug. 2019)
  • “Using Social Media, Smartphones, and More in Employment Disputes,” National Business Institute (Nov. 2018)
  • “Introduction to Labor and Employment Law for Attorneys and HR Professionals,” The Seminar Group, 22nd Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference (Aug. 2019)
  • “Whodunit? The Mystery of Gig Economy Classification,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2018)
  • “Sexual Harassment in the #MeToo Era,” The Seminar Group, 21st Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference (Aug. 2018)
  • “Local, State, Federal, and Labor Law Updates,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2017 and Nov. 2017)
  • “Spinning Straw Into Gold: Wage and Hour Compliance in the Wake of DOL’s Updated Exemption Regulations,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Nov. 2016)
  • “RIFS, Reorganizations, and Redundancies Around the World,” Employment Law Alliance, Annual Conference (Oct. 2016)
  • “Employment Practice Lightning Round - Best Practices and ‘What Happens If...?’” Risk Management Society (RIMS), Western Regional Conference (Sept. 2016)
  • “Independent Contractor or Employee?” Employment Law Alliance, A Year in Review: Key U.S. Labor and Employment Law Developments in 2015 and What to Expect in 2016 (Jan. 2016)
  • “Strange as It May Seem: That Independent Contractor May Be Your Employee,” Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Employment Law Seminar (Oct. 2015)
Collaborations