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.Download Bio (PDF)
- Investigated claims of racial discrimination and unfair pay practices for utility company.
- Found culprit in investigation into anonymous workplace harassment incident for the Oklahoma City location of a multinational firm.
- Conducted investigation into allegations of pregnancy discrimination for large employer.
- Investigated complaint of FMLA retaliation involving a large sales team.
- 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.
- Won summary judgment on behalf of retail employer on age discrimination claims brought by employee who was terminated for making a racial slur about a customer.
- 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.
- Represented nonprofit client in negotiations following receipt of demand letter for ADA and Unruh Act violations involving the organization’s website.
- 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.
- Drafted 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.
- 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:
- Frequently advised clients on best practices for workplace diversity, inclusion, and mentorship efforts.
- Advised restaurant chain on ADA, FFCRA, and FMLA issues related to ill and injured employees.
- Obtained dismissal of OSHA whistleblower investigation claims against oil and gas industry staffing company.
- 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.
- 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