Jon Olafson is a partner in the Denver office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Labor & Employment Practice.
Finding the right path, the right people, and the right result that matches the client’s overall goals is Jon’s guiding principle. Jon counsels business clients on a variety of regulatory and dispute resolution matters, largely based on the “who” of their business or industry. In particular, Jon regularly works with clients on their domestic and international trade secret protections, corporate espionage, data & cybersecurity, and how to handle situations where a client’s most valuable materials data are threatened by internal and external sources. Jon also works with clients on their complicated wage and hour issues, business and corporate compliance, and C-suite transitions. Jon also counsels his clients other business-related disputes, including disputes that involve common business torts like intentional interference, defamation (personal and commercial), fiduciary duty breaches, and conversion. Jon helps clients understand the pros and cons of multiple courses of action to achieve their ultimate goals. Jon is an experienced complex commercial and corporate litigator, which specifically includes the management of large commercial and employment-related class and collective actions in both state and federal courts across the country. His class and collective action experience include contract and commercial actions, claims of misrepresentation, wage and hour, and misclassification. Jon’s arsenal, however, is not limited to litigation and he will narrowly tailor a plan specifically suited to your business’s specific needs.
Jon has worked with clients covering a broad span of industries including technology, government contracting, oil field services, drilling, manufacturing and engineering, investor-driven development, entertainment, food and restaurant service, crypto-currency, and franchisor operations. Jon also has extensive experience working with aviation clients in counseling and representing them in front of the Federal Aviation Administration on issues related to drones, airman certificates, testing, facilities and land usage, flight operations, and Pt. 16 investigations. Jon has extensive experiencing in working with both airports and those interested in economic development around an airport to find solutions that comply with federal regulations.
Jon is also very involved in the community. He currently serves on the Colorado Bar Association’s Executive Council as an at-large member, the Board of Governors representative for the Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, and serves on Group IV of the Colorado Bar Association’s Diversity Initiatives. As part of his role on the CBA’s Executive Council, Jon also chairs the Racial Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity Committee. Since 2020, Jon is also a Bar Fellow with the Colorado Bar Foundation. Jon also serves as the President of the Board for the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra and has been in that position since 2012. Jon also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nathan Yip Foundation. For the second year in a row, he is also the Chair of the Admissions and Membership Committee of the University Club of Denver. In his spare time, Jon enjoys hiking Colorado’s mountains, paddle boarding area lakes, and spending time outdoors with his partner, family, friends, and his trusty canine sidekick Elske. He is also an avid college sports fan, with his loyalties being with the University of North Dakota and Texas Tech University.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Labor & Employment
- Trade Secrets & Non-Compete Disputes
- COVID-19: Labor & Employment
- COVID-19 Response Resource Center
10th Circuit Court of Appeals
- Texas Bar Association, 2001-present
- Colorado Bar Association, 2011-present
- Member, Executive Council, Colorado Bar Association, 2020
- Past Co-Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section, Colorado Bar Association, 2016-2018
- Member, Executive Council, Labor and Employment Law Section, Colorado Bar Association, 2016-Present
- Member, Team Four Subcommittee, Colorado Bar Association Governance & Leadership, Diversity & Inclusivity Action Plan
- Member, Colorado LGBTQ Bar Association
- Member, Colorado Judicial Institute
- President & Board Member, The Nathan Yip Foundation
- Board Chair, The Denver Philharmonic Orchestra
- Chair, Committee on Admissions and Membership, The University Club of Denver
Awards & Honors
- Named Colorado LGBT Bar Association's Attorney of the Year, 2021.
- Super Lawyer, Labor and Employment Law, Colorado Super Lawyers; 2020.
- Rising Star, Labor and Employment Law, Colorado Super Lawyers; 2014, 2015, and 2016.
- Highest ranking of “Superb” (10/10), AVVO.com.
- Tattered Cover Book Store's "Sisters In Law" speaker series, October 2021
- Jon Olafson Moderates Video Series As Founder Of Colorado Leads Project, May 2021
- Attorneys Behaving Badly – Deposition Edition; Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Conference, October 2020
- Supreme Court Ruling on LGBTQ+ Employment Discrimination: Changes on Policy Drafting and Advising Employer-Clients; Federal Bar Association, July 2020
- COVID-19 Considerations on the International Scene, Germany American Chamber of Commerce Webinar, April 2020
- Cybersecurity Policies & Agreements with your Employees and Vendors, 2nd Annual Cybersecurity Summit for Small Businesses, Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center, Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 2019
- Drafting Preliminary Injunctions, Employment Law Spring Update, April 2019
- Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, July 2018
- Technology in the Courtroom, First Annual Litigators Summit, October 2018
- Program Chair, Annual Employment Law Conference, September 2018
- Program Chair, Annual Employment Law Conference, September 2017
- Marijuana and the Workplace: State Regulations Update: Marijuana Use and the Workplace, Employment Relations Today, Fall 2016, Vol. 43, Number 3.
- Defrosting your Solicitation and “Other Work” Policies: 4 Tips to NLRA Compliance, The National Law Review, October 25, 2016.
- Mental Health Discrimination and the ADA, Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Annual Conference, April 2016.
- Unmanned Aerial Systems: Current Regulatory Framework, the Future, and Mitigating Risks, Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, January 2016.
- Avoiding Employer Liability under the Affordable Care Act, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, July 2015 [forthcoming].
- Privacy in the Workplace, Colorado Bar Association Employment and Labor Law Section, January 2015
- Throwing a Party — Employer Responsibilities, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, April 2015
- The Affordable Care Act and Employment Law, Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, March 2015
- Employer Premises Liability, Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, March 2014
- Epic Battle: FAA v. IRS, Aviation Law and Insurance Symposium, January 2014
- The Nonprofit Board’s Legal Duties, Denver Non-Profit Leadership Forums, 2012-2013
- Colorado Non-compete Agreements and the Protection of Trade Secrets, Colorado Defense Lawyers Association, August 2013
- Offer letters, Employment Agreements, and Non-compete Agreements, Colorado Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section, March 2013
- Finding the Right Non-Profit, Colorado Law Week, 2013
- Finding the Right Clients, Colorado Bar Association Solo & Small Firm Practice Section, June 2012
Texas Tech University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2001
The University of North Dakota
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, 1998
- Planning for International Trade Secret Protection, The National Law Review, Mar. 23, 2017.
- Marijuana and the Workplace: State Regulations Update: Marijuana Use and the Workplace, Employment Relations Today , Fall 2016, Vol. 43, Number 3.
- Defrosting your Solicitation and “Other Work” Policies: 4 Tips to NLRA Compliance, The National Law Review, Oct. 25, 2016.
- Five “Must-Haves” for Unpaid Internship Program, The National Law Review, June 14, 2016.
President, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors, 2012-present