Colin M. Geiger

Tonkon Torp LLP
1600 Pioneer Tower
888 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204

PHONE: 503-802-2091
EMAIL: colin.geiger@tonkon.com
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Colin defends employers against lawsuits brought by employees and helps human resources professionals navigate complicated situations. Colin has defended employers in jury and bench trials in state and federal court. He provides ongoing employment advice to a range of employers, from national clients with operations in almost every state to small local businesses. 

Representative matters include:
 
  • Independent contractor misclassification – When a national manufacturer ended its 10-year relationship with an outside salesperson independent contractor, the contractor sued the company alleging he should have been paid as an employee during the relationship and demanded over $700,000. Colin and a partner defended the lawsuit and at trial won a complete defense verdict, with costs awarded to the manufacturer employer.
  • Race and national origin discrimination – When a vendor who was banned from a hospital's premises sued alleging national origin discrimination, Colin defended the hospital and got the case kicked out on summary judgment.
  • Whistleblowing – After an employee was fired for poor performance she threatened to sue her small business employer, alleging that her termination was due to making a report about a compliance issue. Colin was able to settle the claim for a nuisance value before any lawsuit was ever filed, allowing the small business to focus on the growth of the company.
  • Disability discrimination – An employee who was terminated for her chronic absenteeism filed a BOLI/EEOC charge alleging that she was let go because of disability discrimination. Colin investigated the circumstances and wrote a letter to the EEOC explaining the true story. The EEOC dismissed the charge and the situation did not turn into a lawsuit.
  • Sex discrimination – When an employee was fired for practicing medicine without a license, she sued her employer alleging discrimination against pregnant women.  Colin defended the case in Utah and on the eve of trial settled the case for a small fraction of what it would cost to travel to Utah and win the arbitration.
  • Labor arbitration – A union employee who had become disabled in a motorcycle accident and was off of work filed a labor charge alleging that he should have been offered a severance package during the time he was out. Colin arbitrated the dispute and the arbitrator held that there was no violation of the collective bargaining agreement and the company owed no money.

Colin serves on the board of directors of Ethos Music Center and Kids Community Learning Center. He has lived in Portland for 17 years and in his free time enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, and writing music.

Best Lawyers Award Badge  
Colin defends employers against lawsuits brought by employees and helps human resources professionals navigate complicated situations. Colin has defended employers in jury and bench trials in state and federal court. He provides ongoing employment advice to a range of employers, from national clients with operations in almost every state to small local businesses. 

Representative matters include:
 
  • Independent contractor misclassification – When a national manufacturer ended its 10-year relationship with an outside salesperson independent contractor, the contractor sued the company alleging he should have been paid as an employee during the relationship and demanded over $700,000. Colin and a partner defended the lawsuit and at trial won a complete defense verdict, with costs awarded to the manufacturer employer.
  • Race and national origin discrimination – When a vendor who was banned from a hospital's premises sued alleging national origin discrimination, Colin defended the hospital and got the case kicked out on summary judgment.
  • Whistleblowing – After an employee was fired for poor performance she threatened to sue her small business employer, alleging that her termination was due to making a report about a compliance issue. Colin was able to settle the claim for a nuisance value before any lawsuit was ever filed, allowing the small business to focus on the growth of the company.
  • Disability discrimination – An employee who was terminated for her chronic absenteeism filed a BOLI/EEOC charge alleging that she was let go because of disability discrimination. Colin investigated the circumstances and wrote a letter to the EEOC explaining the true story. The EEOC dismissed the charge and the situation did not turn into a lawsuit.
  • Sex discrimination – When an employee was fired for practicing medicine without a license, she sued her employer alleging discrimination against pregnant women.  Colin defended the case in Utah and on the eve of trial settled the case for a small fraction of what it would cost to travel to Utah and win the arbitration.
  • Labor arbitration – A union employee who had become disabled in a motorcycle accident and was off of work filed a labor charge alleging that he should have been offered a severance package during the time he was out. Colin arbitrated the dispute and the arbitrator held that there was no violation of the collective bargaining agreement and the company owed no money.

Colin serves on the board of directors of Ethos Music Center and Kids Community Learning Center. He has lived in Portland for 17 years and in his free time enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, and writing music.

Best Lawyers Award Badge  
Kids Community Learning Center
Board President

Ethos Music Center
Former Board Member

Federal Bar Association, Oregon Chapter
Former Board Member

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
Past

U.S. District Court Historical Society
Former Board Member