Chris Leh provides practical advice to employers to help them to comply with the law; anticipate, evaluate and minimize potential risks; and solve employee problems before they erupt into litigation. He provides preventive advice concerning most aspects of employment law, counseling employers about compliance matters; writing or revising their employee policies and handbooks; addressing concerns about wages and hour and employee leaves of absence; negotiating and drafting contracts, including employment, noncompetition, non-solicitation and separation agreements; and recommending practical steps for addressing issues involving the digital workplace, social media, privacy and data protection.
Chris’ employment litigation practice includes defending employers of all sizes in trials, appeals, administrative proceedings, arbitrations and mediations involving alleged discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, retaliation, breaches of noncompetition and other employment agreements, violations of trade secret laws, and wrongful discharge. He appears regularly in state and federal courts and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Colorado Civil Rights Division and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Chris has handled hundreds of hearings and many jury trials as an employment litigator and prosecutor. Among his notable successes, he won summary judgment for a mining and construction materials company in a case involving claims of race discrimination and retaliation, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and outrageous conduct claims asserted by an equipment operator. He obtained a stipulated dismissal of a companion class action case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He also won summary judgment for a hospital in a case involving claims of race discrimination asserted by a doctor and an air ambulance service concerning a punitive damages claim asserted by a former pilot. He obtained favorable resolution of claims of sexual harassment and discrimination asserted by an inside salesperson against an office products company and trade secret claims asserted against a software service provider and one of its salespeople.
Chris is a frequent writer and speaker on employment law topics, including avoiding discrimination, harassment, retaliation and other claims; effective employee discipline and discharge; wage and hour matters; and privacy, social media, and data protection.
He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including:
- Health care
- Software and other technology
- Real estate
- Outdoor recreation and apparel
- Education and the Arts
After earning his law degree, Christopher served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Alfred A. Arraj of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. He spent nearly two decades in private practice as an employment litigator and counselor, most recently as a partner with a large regional firm. Immediately before returning to private practice with Littler Mendelson, he served as a prosecutor, presenting live testimony at numerous court hearings and trying dozens of cases to jury verdict.
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS
- Member, Faculty of Federal Advocates
- Member, Employment Law Jury Instructions Task Force - Faculty of Federal Advocates, 2001-2007 and 2010-present
- Member, Colorado Bar Association
- Co-chair, Labor and Employment Law Section - Colorado Bar Association, 2000-2001
- Member, Denver Bar Association
- Member, Boulder County Bar Association
- Co-chair, Labor and Employment Law Section - Boulder County Bar Association, 1996-1997
- Member, 13th J.D. Bar Association
- Trustee, Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado, 2003-2009
- Graduate, Colorado District Attorneys Council Trial Techniques School, 2008
- Legal chair, Boulder Area Human Resources Association, 1999-2007
- Member, Board of Directors, Imagine! Foundation, 2011-present
- Team member, Healing Waters' Water Purification Project, Aceituno, Guatemala, 2010, 2011
- Member, Board of Directors, Blue Sky Bridge, 2002-2009
- Chair, Board of Directors, Blue Sky Bridge, 2004-2005
- Elder, Central Presbyterian Church
- Member, Colorado Planning Commission, Louisville, 2000-2002
- Named, The Best Lawyers in America, 2013
- Awarded, Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rating