Krista L. Nelson
Associate | Seattle
Krista focuses her practice on labor and employment advice and litigation. She represents employers and employees in a wide range of matters, including harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wage and hour, non-compete, and trade secret litigation.
In addition, Krista advises clients on a variety of labor and employment issues, working to ensure compliance with guidelines and regulations while proactively developing policies that minimize the risk of litigation. She investigates workplace concerns, drafts employee contracts and handbooks, reviews human resource policies, and counsels parties on employment contracts and severance agreements. Krista also advises clients on insurance coverage issues, particularly those involving Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”).
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington
- Association of Workplace Investigators Certificate Holder (AWI-CH)
- Seattle University School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Executive Editor of Lead Articles, Seattle University Law Review (2012)
- Hampshire College, B.A., Environmental History and Politics: A Global Perspective on Resource Use and Development (2006)
Recognition & Honors
- Rising Star, Washington Super Lawyers (2016 - 2018)
- ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, Seattle Regional, Best Advocate Award—1st Place
- CALI Awards: International Trade, Insurance Law, Judicial Externship Seminar
ExperienceLegal Extern for the Hon. Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (2012)
- Successfully argued case to Washington Court of Appeals in SAFE Acquisition, LLC v. GF Prot. Inc., No. 77507-3-I , 2019 WL 1370430 (Wash. Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2019)
- Advised numerous employers and individuals on a variety of workplace issues, including employment and severance agreements, hiring and termination, requests for reasonable accommodations, and leave issues.
- Won favorable arbitration award in employer grievance alleging violation of collective bargaining agreement.
- Obtained dismissal for business defending wage/tip distribution claim.
- Obtained dismissal for restaurant defending sexual harassment claim.
- Defended employer in action by former employee alleging pregnancy discrimination and wage and hour claims.
- Performed numerous non-discrimination and anti-harassment trainings.
- Conducted numerous workplace investigations for both private and public employers.
- Represented policyholder asserting claims against homeowner’s insurer in jury trial.
- Represented restaurant in employment practices liability insurance (“EPLI”) coverage dispute in which insurer assumed duty to defend.
- Represented restaurant franchisor in negligence action and prevailed on summary judgment.
- Defended commercial airline carrier in action by passenger alleging miscellaneous tort claims and obtained dismissal of all claims.
Publications & Presentations
- "Termination: Documentation, Employees on Leave, and Severance Agreements," author, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (May 2019)
- "Hiring: Job Descriptions and Interviews," author, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (May 2019)
- "DOL’s New Overtime Rule Raises Minimum Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees," author, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (March 2019)
- "Navigating Employee Requests for Medical Leave Under the FMLA and ADA," presenter, Human Resource Law From A to Z, National Business Institute CLE (October 2018)
- "Hiring and Firing: Legal Do's and Don'ts for Crucial HR Functions," presenter, National Business Institute CLE Human Resource Law Boot Camp (March 2018)
- "Washington Paid Sick Leave Law & Other Hot Topics - Your Questions Answered," panelist, 2017 Employment Law Update for Washington Employers (October 2017)
- "Equal Pay: Trends & Best Practices," presenter, 2017 Employment Law Update for Washington Employers (October 2017)
- "Current Issues in Wage & Hour Law," moderator, Employment Law Institute CLE, King County Bar Association (March 2017)
- "Updated DOL Overtime Rules on Hold," author, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (November 2016)
- "What Do the New Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Increase Mean for Your Business?" author, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (November 2016)
- "Washington Wage and Hour Update," presenter, Stokes Lawrence Employment Law Institute (November 2016)
- "Hiring and Terminating Employees in the Current Economy," presenter, Essentials of Employment Law, Sterling Education Service (August 2016)
- "Who's Running Your Company? Managing the Middle Manager Prevention Tactics," co-presenter with Sarah Wixson, WAFLA webinar (June 2016)
- "DOL Issues New Rules on Overtime Pay," co-author with Kelby Fletcher, blog post, Stokes Law Briefs (May 2016)
- "Ninth Circuit Ruling Alters Tip-Pooling Policies," co-author with Aviva Kamm, KCBA Bar Bulletin (April 2016)
- "Employee Use of Social Media and Email," presenter, video blog post, Stokes Law Briefs(March 2016)
- "Will Your Tipping Policy Land You in Court?" co-author with Aviva Kamm, blog post Stokes Law Briefs (March 2016)
- "National Labor Relations Board Decisions Affecting Unionized and Non-Unionized Workplaces," presenter, Advanced Employment Law, National Business Institute (December 2015)
- "Labor Law Issues for the Non-Unionized Workforce," presenter, Stokes Lawrence Employment Law Institute for Clients (December 2015)
- "Labor Law Issues for the Non-Union Workforce," presenter, Employment Law Institute CLE, King County Bar Association (September 2015)
- "The Internet and ADA: How to Make Your Website More Accessible," co-author with Aviva Kamm, Stokes Law Briefs blog post (March 2015)
- "The Internet and ADA: The Right to Equal Enjoyment of the Web," co-author with Aviva Kamm, Stokes Law Briefs blog post (March 2015)
- "The Right to Equal Enjoyment of the Web," co-author with Aviva Kamm, KCBA Bar Bulletin (February 2015)
- "NLRB Issues New Rule on Employee Email Communications," author, Stokes Law Briefs blog post (December 2014)
- "Companionship Exemptions to Minimum Wage and Overtime," presenter, Washington Home Care Association (2014)
- "The Impact of State v. Monday," presenter, Symposium on Racial Bias and the Criminal Justice System (2012)
- "Like Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Combating Racial Bias in Washington State’s Criminal Justice System," co-author, 35 Seattle U. L. Rev. 849 (2012)
- "Protecting Confidential Investigations or Gagging the Press? Freedom of Expression and Interference with the Administration of Justice at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia," author, 35 Seattle U. L. Rev. 265 (2011)
Professional & Community Activities
- Member, Washington State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law, Business, and Litigation Sections
- Member, King County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Young Lawyers Division
- Member, American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section
- Member, Washington Women Lawyers
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Bridgeways
Background & Interests
Krista has a broad commercial litigation background and practiced at a litigation and employment law firm before joining Stokes Lawrence. She also served as an extern for the Hon. Thomas S. Zilly and worked with the Documentation Center of Cambodia's legal team on issues related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal before entering private practice.