Josh Kirkpatrick provides 24/7 service and pragmatic advice to clients. He represents clients in a wide range of employment and labor law matters in federal and state court in Colorado and Montana, in arbitration and mediation, and before numerous government agencies. He has litigated hundreds of cases arising under dozens of laws regulating the employment relationship, including cases involving claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Josh has extensive litigation experience relating to state and federal wage and hour issues, including many claims that have involved attempts by plaintiffs to obtain class action or collective action treatment. His practice also focuses on consulting with a wide range of employers on wage and hour compliance, ensuring best practices, and avoiding class litigation. He is a core member of Littler’s Wage and Hour practice group.

Josh has particular knowledge of legal issues involving the contingent workforce impacting companies in the staffing, recruiting, PEO, and “gig economy” industries. He is legal counsel for the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). Josh also counsels and represents employers with respect to issues arising from corporate transactions involving employees, including M&A disputes and integration issues.

Josh has significant clients in the following industries:

  • Financial services and “Fintech”
  • Internet and technology
  • Hospitality and restaurant
  • Broadcasting
  • Retail
  • Construction

Josh frequently presents before attorneys, human resources professionals and employer organizations on:

  • Wage and hour issues
  • Workplace discrimination and harassment
  • Contingent workforce issues
  • Noncompete and trade secret litigation

Additionally, he regularly provides workforce training on various topics, including the prevention of harassment and discrimination, and proper wage and hour practices.

Selected Matters

Ensey v. Mini Mart, Inc.: Montana Supreme Court decision upholding constitutionality of arbitration and fee shifting provisions in Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act.

Robinson v. Dean Foods Co.: Granting summary judgment to Defendant in 42 U.S.C. § 1981 race discrimination matter.

EEOC v. Beverage Distribs. Co., LLC: Reversing jury verdict on the basis of faulty jury instruction in ADA litigation versus EEOC.

Dubray v. Intertribal Bison Coop.: Upholding award of attorneys’ fees to Defendant following Rule 12 dismissal of Plaintiff’s tort claims.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Colorado Bar Association


Denver Bar Association


Federal Bar Association


Named, The Best Lawyers in America®


Ranked, Labor & Employment

Chambers USA


Named, Top 10 Most Influential Labor & Employment Lawyers in Colorado

Business Today


News, Analysis & Press

Josh Kirkpatrick Notes that Storms Don't Give Days off to Workers

Denver Post

December 29, 2006

Josh Kirkpatrick Discusses Minimum Wage Hike

Denver Post

November 9, 2006

Speaking Engagements

2021 Rocky Mountain Virtual Regional Employer Conference

Denver, CO

October 6, 2021

Navigating Montana’s Laws Regarding Vaccination Status and Discrimination and WDEA Claims

October 5, 2021

Compliance Coffee Talk: Colorado's New Equal Pay Transparency Job Posting and Internal Promotion Notice Requirements

Denver, CO

March 3, 2021

2020 Rocky Mountain Virtual Employer

November 18, 2020

Hold on to Your Hat!: The 2019 Wage and Hour Litigation and Legislation Update

2019 Rocky Mountain Employer Conference, Denver, CO

October 4, 2019

Colorado Employment Law Update

2019 Rocky Mountain Employer Conference, Denver, CO

October 4, 2019

Conducting Legal Investigations in the Wake of #MeToo

Denver, CO

April 18, 2019

Ethical Issues - Can They Really Do That? Ethical Minefields and How to Dodge Them

Association of Corporate Counsel 12th Annual Ethics Day for In-House Counsel

December 6, 2018

Lessons in Risky Pay Practices in the Energy Industry

Breakfast Briefing, Houston, TX

October 16, 2018

Navigating Independent Contractor Compliance Under the Shifting Legal Landscape

Rocky Mountain Employer Conference

September 21, 2018

Employment Update- #MeToo Movement- Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment Claims

Spring 2018 NGO General Counsel Forum

June 1, 2018

Pay Equity: Public Pushes Gender Equity & Legal Battleground Moves to States

Mile High SHRM

May 31, 2018

Wage and Hour Class Action Avoidance: Lessons from Litigators

2017 Littler Rocky Mountain Employer Conference

October 3, 2017

The Limits of Work Time: What is Compensable Time?

Rocky Mountain Employer Conference

September 21, 2016

2016 Rocky Mountain Employer Conference

Denver, CO

September 21, 2016

The 2014 Rocky Mountain Employer Conference

Denver, CO

October 30, 2014

Romance in the Workplace and What to Do When the Valentine's Roses Die

Denver, CO

March 21, 2013

Converting Good Intentions into Compliance: Effective Pay Practices

The 2012 Executive Employer® Conference

Littler Mendelson, Scottsdale, AZ

May 11, 2012

Wage & Hour Trends

August 26, 2010


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1999
  • B.A., University of Memphis, 1995summa cum laude

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