Elizabeth Bowersox

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  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

Elizabeth Bowersox represents employers because “people do wild things at work. I love that every day brings a new challenge, and I can act as a business partner with my clients to navigate through whatever unique workplace issue they are facing.”

Recently, Elizabeth’s practice particularly focuses on the representation and counseling of employers and managers with regard to sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement, workplace violence, whistleblower retaliation, diversity and inclusion, and website accessibility. In addition to her traditional legal work, she also acts as an independent outside investigator for businesses investigating allegations of discrimination, harassment, ethical issues, FLSA wage and hour issues, or workplace misconduct.

Elizabeth’s practice encompasses both representing employers in lawsuits and government investigations, and also counseling and advising employers when no lawsuit has been filed. In court, Elizabeth has experience with all the full “alphabet soup” of federal employment laws, including the ADA, ADEA, ERISA, FLSA, FMLA, OSHA, and Title VII. “I’ve been fortunate to have a wide variety of trials or trial-like experience in my career, including jury, bench, and administrative trials, as well as both private arbitrations and public-sector union arbitrations.” Outside of court, Elizabeth counsels and trains employers on best practices and risk avoidance on a wide variety of employment law topics, including wage and hour issues.

Elizabeth is a frequent speaker on employment law topics and is a contributing author to the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, Midwest Employment Law Letter, HRlaws.com, and EmployerLINC, a legal blog dedicated to employers and workplace issues.  Her achievements have earned her inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (labor and employment law – management; labor and employment litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys.

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Representative Experience

Workplace Investigations:

  • Acted as independent outside investigator for non-profit in allegation of racial discrimination made by independent contractor.
  • Investigated allegations of age and gender discrimination during hiring process for publicly traded technology company.
  • Partnered with large private employer’s human resources department to conduct multiple on-site investigations into complaints of managerial misconduct and unethical practices.
  • Investigated anonymous complaint of gender discrimination for large Oklahoma company.
  • Acted as investigator for client into complaint of workplace bullying.
  • Provided on-site investigation for multiple employee complaints of disability and FMLA retaliation.

Litigation:

  • Achieved a favorable settlement in large FLSA collective action involving healthcare client and allegations of unpaid wages.
  • Won an administrative law judge bench trial for manufacturing client sued by two former truck driver employees for whistleblower retaliation.
  • Obtained jury verdict of nearly $6 million for client against a former executive and former distributor involving allegations of fraud, unfair competition, breach of contract, tortious interference, conversion, deceptive trade practices, and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Won a directed verdict for hospital client in state court on breach of contract claims.
  • Won summary judgment for a manufacturing client in a gender, age and national origin discrimination case.
  • Successfully defended large multinational energy services company in arbitration challenging the employer’s drug testing policy under the Oklahoma Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act.
  • Successfully defended a national restaurant chain in a gender discrimination claim.
  • Obtained a dismissal for a large manufacturer on a workers’ compensation retaliation claim.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of corporate officer for Oklahoma trucking company on claims of unpaid wages and breach of employment agreement.
  • Defended multiple oil and gas industry clients in FLSA collective actions alleging independent contractor misclassification issues.

Labor matters:

  • Achieved favorable arbitrator opinions on behalf of management in numerous discipline and discharge labor grievances for Oklahoma municipalities, government contractors, and private employers, in cases involving dishonesty, insubordination, social media, fitness for duty, sexual harassment, threats of violence, and violations of company policy.
  • Successfully argued in favor of an Oklahoma government contractor that former employee could not arbitrate job separation when the employee was found to have resigned.
  • Successfully obtained a ruling that a matter was non-arbitrable for an Oklahoma municipality.

Counseling, Advice, Advocacy and Training for Employers:

  • Counseled employers on FLSA exempt and non-exempt classifications of employees.
  • Counseled employers regarding employee leave entitlement under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, adoption of FFCRA policies, return-to-work policies, and other issues relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • Developed telecommuting agreements and telecommuting policies tailored to unique employer’s workplace for use during coronavirus pandemic and beyond.
  • Frequently advised businesses on ADA website accessibility compliance, including application of WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 standards.
  • Advised employers on ADA website accessibility for employee training and online applications.
  • Drafted website accessibility policies for retail, non-profit, and service businesses.
  • Draft website accessibility policy and advised on website accessibility improvements for law firm.
  • Conferred with marketing, C-suite, and information technology stakeholders regarding website and mobile app accessibility challenges for Oklahoma-based banking company.
  • Reviewed, revised, and advised on numerous employers’ employee handbooks and policies, including sexual harassment and workplace violence policies and training.
  • Represented utility company in U.S. Department of Labor FLSA wage and hour investigation.
  • Represented industrial employer in U.S. Department of Labor FLSA wage and hour investigation.
  • Frequent in-person anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for both small and large businesses.

Honors and Awards

  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (labor and employment law – management; labor and employment litigation)
  • Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

ATPs display in this column

At The Podium

Best Practices for Drafting Confidentiality Agreements that Work at Work

2019 Corporate Counsel Seminar
Oklahoma City, OK | December 5, 2019

Preventing & Defusing Workplace Violence

McAfee & Taft Webinar Series
Online | May 21, 2019

2019 Sexual Harassment Update: The impact of the #MeToo movement

2019 Oklahoma Labor & Management Conference
Oklahoma City, OK | May 9, 2019

Tomorrow Never Dies: New developments in employment law

EmployerLINC19
Oklahoma City, OK | April 3, 2019

Sexual Harassment by Patrons

Oklahoma Library Association 2019 Annual Conference
Norman, Oklahoma | March 15, 2019

The #MeToo Movement

OBA 2018 Labor and Employment Law Update
Oklahoma City, OK | September 20, 2018

ADA Website Accessibility Lawsuits on the Rise

South West Transit Association’s 2018 Summer University
Oklahoma City, OK | July 26, 2018

Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

Oklahoma Labor/Management Conference 2018
Midwest City, OK | May 9, 2018

ADA Reasonable Accommodations: Extended leave, service animals and other tricky issues

EmployerLINC18: Workplace Issues in the News
Oklahoma City, OK | March 27, 2018

All Things Job Descriptions

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Quarterly HR Training Seminar
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, live and video conference | December 5, 2017

How to succeed on law school final exams

Hatton W. Sumners Annual Final Exams Workshop
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | November 20, 2017

How to Avoid Claims of Retaliation and Whistleblowing

EmployerLINC17: Back to Basics
Tulsa, Oklahoma | March 23, 2017

How to Avoid Claims of Retaliation and Whistleblowing

EmployerLINC17: Back to Basics
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | March 22, 2017

Using Social Media in Litigation

Oklahoma DHS Last Chance Attorney CLE
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | December 16, 2016

Employees in Disguise? Key issues for misclassification of contractors

EmployerLINC16: Employers under pressure
Oklahoma City, OK | March 30, 2016

Give Me a Break: Wage & Hour Pitfalls for Restaurant Owners

Oklahoma Restaurant Association Convention & Expo
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | September 2, 2015

Failure to maintain accurate job descriptions

EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakes
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 30, 2015

Failure to maintain accurate job descriptions

EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakes
Tulsa, Oklahoma | April 28, 2015

Government agency hot button issues

EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of Court
Tulsa, Oklahoma | April 17, 2014

Government agency hot button issues

EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of Court
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 16, 2014
Attorney Articles

Articles

semi truck frozen goods

Surge in online activity likely to trigger more ADA suits

HRLaws |
Altered keyboard with accessibility icon on space key
Woman working with her son at kitchen table

Telecommuting: It’s not just for quarantines anymore

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

ADA Website Accessibility: 2019 trends and predictions for 2020

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Lack of ADA clarity paves way for more website accessibility lawsuits

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

DOL, NLRB weigh in on classification status of gig economy workers

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

May 16 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

EEOC primed for more aggressive enforcement as sexual harassment charges increase

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC Alert |

Municipalities and universities new targets in ADA website accessibility lawsuits

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

DOJ confirms websites are covered by ADA, but offers some flexibility to businesses in complying

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Is your company’s website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act?

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC Alert |

Remarks and inconsistent stories fuel pregnancy discrimination claim

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Firefighter loses lawsuit over confidentiality provisions of ADA

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Court rules employee’s termination not in retaliation for repeated complaints

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Best practices for employers under the EEOC’s new strategic enforcement plan

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Court OK’s termination of diabetic employee for misconduct

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Appeals court rules overtime pay does not include per diem amount

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Tenth Circuit rules in favor of airline in discrimination case when employee’s mistake leads to his termination

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

OSHA issues new whistleblower investigations manual with aggressive new standard

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC  |

Court rules informal complaint about overtime could be basis of FLSA retaliation claim

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Start planning now for new overtime rules expected July 2016

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC Alert |

Wage claims by unpaid interns heat up

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Secret Connections: LinkedIn contacts may be a trade secret

EmployerLINC |

Lifting restrictions weigh down employees’ ADA claims

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Policing the workplace: Are you my supervisor?

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Drama, drama, drama!

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Up in the Air: A New Framework for Laptop Searches in International Airports

Oklahoma City Law Review |
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Admissions

  • Oklahoma, 2011
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
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Education

  • J.D., summa cum laude, Oklahoma City University, 2011
    • Hatton W. Sumners Scholar; Articles Editor, Oklahoma City University Law Review; William J. Holloway Inn of Court; Recipient, 20 CALI awards
  • B.A. (English-Creative Writing), University of Central Oklahoma, 2006
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In The News

The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch 2021
COVID-19 Return to Work Packages for Employers
Corporate Counsel 2019 Seminar
Oklahoma Super Lawyers 2019
EmployerLINC19 draws largest audiences ever in Oklahoma City and Tulsa

McAfee & Taft elects eight new shareholders for 2019

DOJ guidance confirms ADA applies to website accessibility, but brings good news for businesses

The Oklahoman |

Oklahoma Super Lawyers honors 113 McAfee & Taft attorneys in 2018 edition

ADA website accessibility lawsuits are on the rise against businesses across the U.S.

The Oklahoman |

‘Workplace Issues in the News’ seminar draws record numbers

McAfee & Taft seminar draws large crowds looking for answers about new administration

‘Employers Under Pressure’ draws record attendance

‘Unlimited vacation’ policy just won’t work at most companies

The Oklahoman |

New overtime rules will impact retail, service industries

The Oklahoman |

Annual seminar offers employers real-world examples of costly, common mistakes

McAfee & Taft publishes video series from EmployerLINC2014 seminar

OSHA says temporary workers must have proper safety training

The Oklahoman |

Annual seminar continues to draw more employers with timely practical guidance

Six new associates join McAfee & Taft