Alexander A. Wheatley
Alex Wheatley is a partner in the firm's Portland office. Alex’s practice focuses on employment litigation, labor management relations, and counseling employers on Oregon and Washington employment and labor issues. He has substantial experience working with employers of all sizes in creating and implementing policies and practices, providing counsel with respect to discipline and termination decisions, and defending employers in court and before administrative agencies such as the NLRB, EEOC, and BOLI. Alex represents employers with labor issues arising under the National Labor Relations Act, including organizing campaigns, labor negotiations, labor arbitrations, and collective bargaining. Alex provides counsel and training to executives and managers on compliance with leave, disability, wage and hour, equal pay, and anti-discrimination and retaliation laws. Alex also has substantial experience conducting workplace investigations into employee complaints of discrimination and other alleged misconduct.
Alex understands that businesses often have to make tough decisions and works closely with clients to find creative solutions that allow the business to take the action needed while reducing the likelihood of expensive employment litigation. Alex also understands that even the most conscientious employer may face a claim by an employee or former employee, and he vigorously defends his clients while working hard to achieve the best outcome for the business. Alex’s experience has taught him which fights are worth fighting and how to find strategic resolutions to avoid protracted litigation.
Alex is a regular speaker at employment conferences and before trade groups. Alex is an avid researcher and writer, has authored numerous articles for various publications, and is a contributing editor to The Developing Labor Law. Alex graduated from the University of Alabama and The Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College. He graduated magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark, where he received the Legal Analysis and Writing Honors Award and served on the Editorial Board of Environmental Law as the Editor for the online journal. Away from work, Alex spends his time running after two young children and spending as much time outdoors as possible.
- Litigated Numerous Cases to Positive Resolution: Alex has tried several cases to both juries and the court in federal court, Washington state court, and Oregon state courts. Alex has also represented many clients in arbitration. Alex has also assisted dozens of clients avoid trial by reaching a positive resolution through negotiation and mediation.
- Prevailed on Pre-Trial Motions: Alex has prevailed on numerous motions to dismiss claims and entire suits in both state and federal court, disposing of lawsuits outright or substantially reducing their scope and value. Alex has also obtained summary judgment leading to complete dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims, avoiding the cost of trial.
- Drafted Appellate Briefs: Alex has drafted numerous appellate briefs to both the Oregon state courts of appeal and the 9th Circuit. Alex has also drafted several Amicus briefs on behalf of the Oregon Justice Resource Center.
- Assisted Clients Through Wage Audits and Agency Investigations: Alex has represented and guided clients through Department of Labor payroll audits and investigations by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission and Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Alex has a strong record of obtaining dismissals of EEOC and BOLI charges on behalf of clients.
- Defended Clients in Class Action Wage and Hour Litigation: Alex has represented several multi-national corporations in a wage and hour class actions.
- Counseled Businesses: Alex has provided compliance advice to clients of all different sizes and types on all different types of employment related topics – from emerging businesses with only a few employees, to very large corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees, and from the basics of how to hire the best talent to complex issues of wage and hour law. Alex is experienced in drafting employment policies, handbooks, and compensation agreements.
- Conducted Investigations: Alex has assisted many clients with workplace investigations. Alex has both conducted workplace investigations into allegations of sexual harassment, pay equity issues, threats of violence, and other allegations or complaints of wrongdoing or mismanagement.
Honors & Leadership
Honors & Awards
- Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2021)
- Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2015-2020)
- Amicus Committee, Oregon Justice Resource Center
- Barrister Member, Owen Panner Inn of Court
2017-2020, Instructor, Oregon State University Professional and Continuing Education, Human Resources: Legal Aspects.
- Executive Committee Member, Young Patrons Portland Art Museum
- New Partners Span 13 Offices With Over 40% Representing a Diverse Cross-Section of the Firm12.22.20
- More Than A Quarter of the Firm’s Attorneys Recognized in 2021 Edition8.20.20
- Leading Lawyers Honored for their Achievements in Employment & Labor Law7.11.17
- Mitch Baker, Clarence Belnavis, Todd Lyon and Richard Meneghello Honored in Super Lawyers, Laura Jordan and Alexander Wheatley in Rising Stars7.8.15
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Steps to negotiating a “labor peace agreement” and “collective bargaining agreement” when dealing with a union11.11.20
- Fisher Phillips and Paychex HR Services Seminar3.14.18
- Employment Law Update: Top Labor and Employment Issues and Confronting the New Normal – Oregon Society of CPAs, September 17, 2020
- Employment Law Considerations Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic – Oregon State University College of Business, May 12, 2020
- COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know – The Seminar Group – April 1, 2020
- For Your Consideration: The Dos and Don’ts of Employment Contracts – Bureau of Labor and Industries Employer Seminar, November 4, 2019
- Employment Law Considerations and Pitfalls for Contractors – Oregon Bar Construction Law Section CLE, October 4, 2019.
- Seeing 2020: Top Labor and Employment Issues for the New Year and New Decade – Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, April 14, 2019
- Learning the Ropes: Employment Law and Conscientious Communication – Oregon State Bar, November 15, 2018.
- Human Resources: Legal Aspects – Oregon State University, 2018
- How to Legally Hire the Best Talent and Fire the Rest" – Oregon Entrepreneur Network on June 15, 2018
- Oregon’s Pay Equity Act – The Seminar Group, May 8, 2018, Portland,Oregon
- Presentation for Paychex on Leave and Disability Laws, March 15, 2018.
- All About the Benjamins: Wage and Hour Rundown – OMB Conference (Ashland, Oregon), November 19, 2017,
- Paychecks Seminar – How to Hire the Best Talent, April 26, 2017
- Drug and Alcohol Testing Considerations – Imperious Expo (Tacoma, Washington), July 19, 2016
- Employment Law Considerations, Marijuana Business CLE – The Seminar Group (Portland, Oregon), June 1, 2016
- Employment Law Essentials for Cannabusinesses and Other Emerging Employers – Fisher Phillips (Seattle, WA) April 19, 2016, (Portland) March 10, 2016
- Marijuana in the Workplace - Multnomah Bar Association, February 18, 2016, Portland, Oregon
- Drinks are on the Boss: Employer Liability for After-Hours Drinking, The Verdict, Issue 3 , 2019
- Vancouver/SW Washington Business Journal, Legal and Effective Hiring Practices for High-Risk Businesses, July 14, 2017
- Legal Alert, Supreme Court Blocks Plaintiffs from Taking Shortcuts in Class Action Cases, 6.12.17
- Marijuana Venture Magazine, Tit for Tat: Understanding and Avoiding Retaliation Claims, May 4, 2017
- Pay Equity Matters: Mind the Gap12.22.17
- Keep It Neutral: Proposed Guidance Calls For Stricter Test When Evaluating Employer Support Of Union Activity9.22.20
- Union Organizing In The Cannabis Industry: What Every Cannabis Employer Should Know About Labor Peace Agreements5.29.20
- Litigation of Employment Disputes
- Wage and Hour Law
- Retaliation and Wrongful Termination
- Employment Discrimination and Related Litigation
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Non-Competition and Trade Secrets Agreements
- Collective Bargaining
- Labor Management Relations
- Local Government and Municipality Labor Relations
- Pay Equity
- Lewis & Clark Law SchoolJ.D. 2010, magna cum laude
- The University of AlabamaB.S. 2006, cum laude