Kristin M. Simpsen

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(405) 552-2395
kristin.simpsen@mcafeetaft.com
Oklahoma City

Kristin Simpsen is a trial lawyer whose practice encompasses all areas of labor and employment law, including litigation before federal and state courts, arbitration panels, and regulatory and administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  She has successfully represented employers and management in numerous actions involving claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, and negligent hiring, as well as violations of employment agreements and restrictive covenant provisions.  Kristin also has significant experience defending clients in class and collective actions involving violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including lawsuits alleging unpaid overtime, the misclassification of independent contractors, and the misclassification of exempt employees.

As part of her counseling practice, she routinely advises employers and HR professional on best practices for complying with state and federal employment laws, as well as strategies for minimizing the risk of employment-related litigation. Her broad experience includes advising clients on such issues as navigating the COVID-19 pandemic; drug and alcohol testing, including compliance with state marijuana laws; employee handbook and policy development, wage and hour matters; non-solicitation, non-compete, and confidentiality agreements;  interviewing, hiring, discipline, and termination decision-making; employee leave programs; workplace accommodations; internal investigations; reductions in force and severance programs; and employee and management training.

Kristin is a frequent author and speaker on issues affecting the workplace and has been a contributing author to numerous business and professional publications, including The Oklahoman, The Journal Record, Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, Midwest Employment Law Letter, HRlaws.com, and EmployerLINC.

Kristin’s achievements have earned her inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management; labor and employment litigation; labor law – management), Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List” of trial lawyers, and Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a manufacturing employer on an employee’s claims of age discrimination following a reduction-in-force. Judgment affirmed on appeal to Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a retail establishment on an employee’s claims of age discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a hospital on individual’s claims for disability discrimination and retaliation after successfully arguing the hospital was not the individual’s employer.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of manufacturing client on two plaintiffs’ claims of race and disability discrimination, harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress by demonstrating that neither plaintiff suffered an adverse employment action. Judgment affirmed on appeal to Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defeated former car wash employee’s claims for wrongful termination and disability discrimination by demonstrating his employment was terminated for a legitimate business reason.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a rural hospital on claims of race, national origin, and age discrimination brought by a physician assistant.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims of wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring and supervision brought by a former healthcare facility employee who was terminated for falsifying time records.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing employer in a case in which the 11 employee plaintiffs sought overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act for having to wear pagers while on call.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a financial institution against a former employee’s claims of wrongful discharge, defamation, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and unpaid wages under the Oklahoma Wage Act.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a manufacturing employer on an employee’s claims of a hostile work environment; race, gender, and age discrimination; and FMLA retaliation and interference.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a staffing company client in a suit where the plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the client was the alter ego of another entity. The plaintiff sought to hold the client liable for the more than a half-million-dollar verdict he recovered against the other entity for wrongful termination in state court.
  • Obtained a jury verdict on behalf of an Oklahoma landowner who sought just compensation in a condemnation case involving a 7.24-acre permanent easement taken by a public utility for the purpose of constructing a transmission system across the landowner’s property. The jury award exceeded the court-appointed commissioners’ award by 172%. As a result, the client/landowner was awarded its attorney’s fees, appraisal fees and costs against the utility company.
  • Successful second chair representation in an American Arbitration Association arbitration of property owner against architect on claims of breach of contract and negligent design.
  • Obtained summary judgment on the issue of liability in a bailment case for property owner against storage facility which resulted in a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Successful second chair representation obtaining a jury verdict on behalf of landowners who sought just compensation in a condemnation case involving the partial taking by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation of a 3.6-acre tract of land located near the junction of two major interstate highways. The jury award of nearly $1 million exceeded ODOT’s appraised value by more than 55 percent.

Honors and Awards

  • Named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List” of trial lawyers
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management; labor and employment litigation; labor law – management)
  • Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s top up-and-coming attorneys

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma Bar Association

Civic Involvement and Leadership

  • United Way (Community Investment Committee)

Speaking Engagements

  • Keep Your Hands to Yourself: Navigating Workplace Harassment Issues

    EmployerLINC24: Workplace Soundtrack

    March 7, 2024
    | Oklahoma City, OK
  • The Incredibles: Labor & Employment “Ask the Experts” Panel

    EmployerLINC23: HR in Reel Life

    March 29, 2023
    | Oklahoma City, OK
  • Labor & Employment ‘Ask the Experts’ Panel

    EmployerLINC21

    March 10, 2021
    | Online
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout and Legal Concerns for Employers

    Greater Oklahoma City Chamber Enlighten Series

    February 5, 2021
    | Online
  • Navigating Employee Leave Issues Under the FMLA, ADA and State Law

    OKC Metro Employer Council

    August 20, 2019
    | Oklahoma City, OK
  • Dazed and Confused: Managing drugs in the workplace

    EmployerLINC19

    April 3, 2019
    | Oklahoma City, OK
More speaking engagements
  • Oklahoma, 2008
  • U.S. District Court for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • J.D., with honors, University of Oklahoma, 2008
    • Oklahoma Law Review
  • B.A., with distinction, University of Oklahoma, 2005