Heather Fox Vickles

Partner
Vickles Heather

Heather Fox Vickles is a strategic trial lawyer who advocates for employers in federal, state, and appellate courts and before government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Colorado Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. As a skilled litigator known for her effective leadership of trial teams, Heather has handled more than 150 labor and employment cases in 23 states, trying many to verdict with successful outcomes. Along the way, she has litigated disputes ranging from bet-the-company systemic pattern or practice cases to single-plaintiff discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases.

She has also won defense jury verdicts in numerous federal court trials involving claims such as sex, disability, race, national origin, religious, and age discrimination; harassment/hostile work environment; retaliation; Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations; and fraudulent misrepresentation.

Known for being practical and strategic, Heather provides clients with cost-effective solutions outside the litigation process when a discreet or prompt resolution best serves the client’s interest. She also offers expert counsel to employers of all sizes to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with the full range of federal and state employment laws.

Related Practices

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Won a defense jury verdict in Jefferson County, Colorado District Court on behalf of a family-owned trucking services business on claims of retaliation and constructive discharge
  • Secured judgment against the EEOC and in favor of a global food production company following a four-week bench trial in Colorado federal court on pattern or practice claims alleging systemic religious, race, and national origin discrimination and retaliation against hundreds of Muslim employees
  • Won a directed verdict during a bench trial in Nebraska federal court against the EEOC and in favor of a global food production company on pattern or practice claims alleging systemic religious, race, and national origin discrimination and retaliation against hundreds of Muslim employees. Subsequently won summary judgment on all related individual employee claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
  • Negotiated a favorable and early resolution of an EEOC pattern or practice lawsuit against an interstate trucking carrier alleging nationwide disability discrimination based on hiring practices, including use of a post-offer, pre-employment physical examination process administered by a third-party company
  • Argued and won appeals on behalf of a multistate delivery logistics company before the Colorado Supreme Court and Colorado Court of Appeals concerning alleged misclassification of workers as independent contractors, establishing new law under Colorado’s independent contractor statute favorable to businesses and their contractors
  • Investigated sensitive and complex allegations of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation levied against high-level executive and management employees
  • Won a defense jury verdict in favor of a northern Colorado hospital in a Larimer County, Colorado District Court trial alleging wrongful discharge in violation of public policy
  • Represented a leading brewing company and obtained dismissal of a lawsuit filed by two former employees pursuing claims of wrongful discharge in violation of public policy
  • Defended a healthcare system based in Colorado against allegations of same-sex harassment and assault and a claim of retaliatory discharge from the reporting party
  • Defended a multistate delivery logistics company against claims brought by the U.S. Department of Labor alleging that the company misclassified thousands of delivery drivers as independent contractors

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. University of Colorado Law School 1992
  • B.A. Political Science Colorado State University 1988

Bar Admissions

  • Colorado

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, Faculty of Federal Advocates
  • Member, Labor and Employment Law Section, Colorado Bar Association
  • Member, Labor and Employment Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Denver Chapter, Women Presidents’ Organization

Recognition
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  • Chambers USA,
    • Labor & Employment (Band 3), Colorado, 2023
    • Labor & Employment (Recognized Practitioner), Colorado, 2018 – 2021
  • Colorado Bar Association Litigation Section, Civil Litigator Article Award, 1994