Jonathon Watson


Denver, Colorado

Phone: 303.299.8286

Fax: 303.298.0940


  • Juris Doctor, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, 2012
    • Order of St. Ives
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Minor in Sociology, Truman State University, 2009
    • summa cum laude

Jonathon "Jon" Watson prides himself on working with employers of all sizes to balance risk and drive results that align with his clients’ needs.

With a varied local and national practice, Jon represents businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies with one focus: constantly serving as a solutions-oriented business partner.

Jon understands that preventive risk management can help avoid costly litigation and strives to help clients develop comprehensive risk management strategies. To do so, Jon immerses himself in his clients’ businesses so that he can best advise on practices that minimize exposure.

When a claim is filed, Jon’s experience in complex matters makes him a trusted partner. From single-plaintiff and multiparty discrimination cases to nationwide class and collective actions alleging state wage and hour and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, Jon works hard to understand the unique circumstances of each matter and how they impact his clients’ businesses. With a clear understanding of the business implications, Jon works collaboratively with clients to develop a strong defense strategy to drive the case from start to finish.

Jon’s labor and employment practice is soup to nuts. It includes defending employers in matters involving Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and other Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) statutes, as well as state wage and hour laws and the FLSA. Jon also litigates labor disputes under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), and he arbitrates disputes arising out of collective bargaining agreements. A thought leader in the field, Jon is a chapter editor of the American Bar Association’s “Fair Labor Standards Act” publication, and he frequently speaks on new developments in federal and state employment law.

For years, Jon has represented and advised clients on labor and employment matters implicating California law. Jon has worked closely with local counsel in California and through pro hac vice admission to defend clients against unfair practices, wage and hour, discrimination, and similar claims. Upon admission to the California bar, Jon looks forward to continuing and expanding his active practice in California.


  • Achieved dismissal of FLSA collective action seeking unpaid overtime against multinational food processing company in Colorado federal court based on application of the FLSA’s agricultural exemption.
  • Obtained summary judgment and sanctions against plaintiff and his attorney who brought a Section 301 hybrid action against a national medical transportation company and the union in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
  • Secured nuisance settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for multinational food processing company on an FLSA donning and doffing collective action with more than 4,000 putative class members and successfully argued for a severely diminished attorneys’ fee award to plaintiffs’ counsel.
  • Represented a national staffing agency in the United States Department of Labor (DOL) investigation of its pay practices in Tennessee, achieving a finding of no violations.
  • Successfully defended a multinational food processing company in an action brought by an employee’s former employer seeking a temporary injunction and to enforce nonsolicitation and confidentiality agreements at trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment against claims of national origin and race discrimination and retaliation in Colorado federal court on behalf of a multinational food processing company.
  • Achieved dismissal of pregnancy and disability discrimination claims in Kentucky federal court for a multinational food processing company.
  • Reached nuisance settlement for a national food manufacturer in Alabama federal court on a claim seeking damages for alleged Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations.
  • Prevailed in numerous arbitrations around the country regarding various claims that employers violated collective bargaining agreements.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a national trucking carrier in class actions in California and Washington State concerning alleged violations of state wage and hour law and involving hundreds of putative class members.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a national staffing agency in a nationwide wage and hour class and collective action involving tens of thousands of putative class members.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a multinational food manufacturer in a nationwide class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) relating to its alleged use of employee background checks.

Publications & Presentations




  • Employment Law Update
    Western Region IPMA-HR Annual Conference | April 2019
  • Second Time’s a Charm? The DOL New Proposed Salary Level Test
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | April 2019
  • What You Need to Know (But Wish You Didn’t) About California Law
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | April 2019
  • Comprehensive Discrimination and Harassment Training
    Office of the Secretary of State of Colorado | 2018
  • Check-In: EEOC, DOL, and NLRB Compliance – A Labor and Employment Law Roundtable
    Employment Law Daily | June 2018
  • Wage and Hour Self-Audits: An Apple a Day Keeps the DOL Away
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | May 2018
  • Drug Testing – What Breweries Need to Know About Testing Employees’ Marijuana Use Under Colorado and Federal Law
    Business of Beer Series | May 2017
  • The Big 5: What You Must Know
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Law Conference | April 2017; May 2016; May 2017
  • EEO & Labor Update: If You Remember Nothing Else
    Annual Colorado Labor & Employment Conference | April 2014

Professional Activities

  • Colorado Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Barrister, William E. Doyle American Inn of Court




  • Super Lawyers, “Rising Stars,” Employment Litigation: Defense, Colorado (2018-2020)
  • Denver Business Journal, “40 Under 40” nominee, Colorado (2018)