Practice and Industry Groups

Kelly S. Riggs

Associate Portland

Kelly Riggs is an associate in the Portland office and represents public and private employers of all sizes in all aspects of employment-related litigation.  She has represented employers in federal and state courts, as well as before the EEOC, BOLI, and other state and federal agencies, and in private mediations and arbitrations, including defending claims of discrimination and harassment, retaliation and whistleblowing, public accommodations, unfair competition, breach of contract, and other common law claims.  Kelly also regularly advises employers on compliance with federal and state employment laws, discipline and termination, accommodations, employee health information and privacy issues, and drafting and implementing agreements and policies to minimize the risk of litigation.

Although she works with employers in all industries, Kelly has significant experience representing large and small healthcare providers in employment matters, as well as in professional liability, licensing, administrative, HIPAA, and related health law matters. Kelly also has experience defending civil claims for sexual and physical abuse, including handling sensitive issues regarding applicability of the Fifth Amendment, as well as defending against allegations of substantial psychological or physical harm.


Kelly has experience defending employers against the full spectrum of employment-related claims, including claims brought under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, wage and hour laws, and parallel state statutory schemes.

Some details of Kelly’s experience include:

  • Multiple findings of no discrimination by the EEOC and BOLI, and instrumental in achieving favorable resolution of numerous employment discrimination and retaliation cases;
  • Multiple favorable decisions on motions to dismiss and summary judgment motions, successfully obtaining full or partial dismissal of employment and other civil claims;
  • Instrumental in obtaining summary judgment in employer’s favor before a private arbitrator in a breach of contract claim for repayment of significant recruitment incentive loans;
  • Instrumental in achieving full dismissal of a disability discrimination case against a university, which included claims under the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress;  
  • Multiple favorable decisions on procedural and discovery matters from state and federal courts in Oregon, including motions involving complex attorney-client privilege and work product issues;
  • Successfully managed and coordinated a large-scale document collection project in a class action wage and hour lawsuit collecting hundreds of thousands of documents from numerous client sites;
  • Second chair in a January 2015 bench trial pending before the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, in case alleging discrimination and retaliation;
  • Second chair in January 2012 preliminary injunction hearing, successfully defeating preliminary injunction as to majority of trade secret and noncompetition claims;
  • Obtained dismissal of state healthcare licensing board disciplinary proceedings against nurses and other healthcare providers;
  • Drafted state and Ninth Circuit appellate briefs, and instrumental in obtaining two favorable appellate decisions while still in law school.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • Oregon State Bar Association (Health Law Section)
  • Multnomah Bar Association
  • Oregon Women Lawyers
  • Washington County Bar Association

Published Works


Our Insights


Media Quotes

September 2014 - SHRM HR Magazine - "Court Upholds University's Inflexible Six-Month Leave Policy as Nondiscriminatory"
June 26, 2014 - - "Court Upholds University's Inflexible Six-Month Leave Policy as Nondiscriminatory"
February 21, 2014 - - "Court Upholds Discharge Based on Disruptive Behavior Outside Workplace"