Heather F. Vickles
Heather F. Vickles

Member

Phone: 303.299.8194

Fax: 303.298.0940

hvickles@shermanhoward.com

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Legal Secretary

Lynn Howell
303.299.8435

Areas of Emphasis

Labor & Employment

Education

  • Juris Doctor, University of Colorado School of Law, 1992
    • Pi Sigma Alpha
  • Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, Colorado State University, 1988
    • Phi Beta Kappa
    • Phi Kappa Phi

Heather Vickles is a Member in the Labor and Employment Department. She draws on her 20+ years of experience in representing employers of all sizes in a wide variety of employment-related matters. Heather is dedicated to understanding her clients’ business needs and works to identify and implement solutions outside of the litigation process. When this is not feasible, however, Heather has successfully litigated employment disputes ranging from multi-jurisdiction systemic pattern or practice claims pursued by the EEOC, to single-plaintiff discrimination and harassment claims. Heather also has extensive experience representing employers before federal and state administrative agencies and appellate courts.

Representative Matters
  • Won dismissal of EEOC pattern or practice claims of denial of religious accommodation and discriminatory discharge of Muslim employees, EEOC v. JBS USA, LLC, 8:10CV318 (D. Neb. 2013).
  • Won defense jury verdicts in numerous federal court trials involving claims of sex, disability, race, national origin, religion and age discrimination, harassment/hostile work environment, retaliation, FMLA violations, and fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Won defense jury verdict in state court trial alleging wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.
  • Argued and won appeals before Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals concerning alleged misclassification of employees, resulting in favorable interpretations of Colorado’s independent contractor statute, Western Logistics, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 325 P.3d 550 (Colo. 2014) and Long View Systems Corporation USA v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 197 P.3d 295 (Colo. App. 2008).
  • Won dismissal on summary judgment in numerous cases, including published decisions in Turnwall v. Trust Co. of America, 146 Fed. Appx. 983 (10th Cir. 2005) (dismissal of FMLA, ADA and associated tort claims affirmed on appeal) and Yapp v. Excel Corp., 186 F.3d 1222 (10th Cir. 1999) (dismissal of manager’s claim of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy affirmed on appeal).
  • Investigated sensitive and complex allegations of harassment and discrimination levied against high level executive and management employees.
  • Negotiated reasonable Consent Decrees with federal and state agencies settling claims of race discrimination and racially hostile work environment, and sexual harassment.
  • Successfully negotiated reasonable settlements in numerous cases, including lawsuit filed after employee’s murder by former coworker on employer’s premises; volatile sexual harassment lawsuit involving alleged rape of employee by warehouse supervisor; multi-plaintiff lawsuit claiming unequal pay, sex discrimination and hostile work environment at local office of national publishing company; two putative nationwide class action lawsuits brought against major U.S. corporation alleging racial harassment, race and age discrimination.
Professional Activities
  • Member, Faculty of Federal Advocates
  • Member, Colorado Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section

 

Honors and Awards
  • Recognized Practitioner – Labor & Employment (Colorado)
    Chambers USA
    2018-2019
  • Civil Litigator Article Award
    Colorado Bar Association Litigation Section
    1994
Publications and Presentations

Media

 

Recent Publications

 

Recent Presentations

  • Developments in Accommodation Law: Disability and Religion
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference
    May 2019
  • EEOC Systemic Enforcement Update
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference
    May 2018
  • Oh Baby! Accommodating Pregnant and Lactating Employees
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference
    May 2017
  • Oh, Baby! Accommodating Pregnant and Lactating Employees
    Sherman & Howard Annual Arizona Labor & Employment Law Conference
    April 2017
  • EEOC’S Plans To Collect Pay Data
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference Agenda
    May 2016
  • EEOC’s Enforcement and Litigation Agenda: Pushing the Envelope and How to Push Back
    Sherman & Howard Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Conference
    April 2015