Blerina Kotori

Blerina Kotori





Services & Industries


J.D., cum laude, Lewis & Clark Law School, 2007

B.A., Commendation for Excellence, Reed College, 2003

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar Association
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Western and Eastern Districts of Washington

Blerina is a partner in Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. She counsels and defends employers in a wide variety of matters, including complex leave laws, executive disputes, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour issues. Blerina’s practice focuses on employment litigation in Oregon and Washington, for both single plaintiff and multi-plaintiff cases. She represents employers in agency investigations, whether for individual complaints or systemic audits. Blerina works closely with management and Human Resources on countless employment issues, from risk assessment of terminations and challenging medical leave situations, to large-scale employment actions, such as layoffs and workforce reorganizations. Blerina’s clients range from nonprofit organizations to national companies in various regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial services.

Blerina partners with clients in managing high-stakes or high-publicity workforce crises in collaboration with public relations firms, information technology, and other stakeholders. She is experienced in unique issues applicable to executives and management, including sensitive trainings, investigations, and related concerns. Blerina is a frequent speaker on labor and employment issues (including with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries) on topics such as leave and disability accommodation, harassment and discrimination, evaluations, and best practices for workforce management.

Blerina’s achievements include being listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Oregon Super Lawyers. The Portland Business Journal named Blerina as one of its 2018 Forty Under 40, an award recognizing influential business and community leaders in the greater Portland area who are under 40 years old.

Blerina was born and raised in Albania. She immigrated to the United States alone at age 18 to pursue her education. While a law student, Blerina was the first to receive the Moe M. Tonkon and Frederick Torp Scholarship, which encourages the development of young attorneys who demonstrate exceptional aptitude for the law. Blerina is fluent in Albanian and tries hard to keep her Italian alive. In her spare time, Blerina writes novels and is a published author. She loves to travel back to her home country, visit new places, and pursue her ambition to eventually publish an Albanian food cookbook.

Representative Matters

Helicopter Transport Services, Inc.

Won partial summary judgment for Helicopter Transport Services, Inc. in a dispute with competitor Erickson Air-Crane Inc., alleging Sherman Act § 2 monopoly leveraging and refusal to deal claims, as well as breach of contract claims. 

Software Technology Group, Inc. v. Hobbensiefken

(Oregon State Court) – Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a software engineering company for breach of a non-competition agreement and breaches of fiduciary duties against a former employee and for joint liability against a competitor, following a five-day jury trial.

Confidentiality Agreement Dispute

Represented business owner in confidentiality agreement dispute. Matter was settled to client's satisfaction

Champlin/GEI Management Company, Inc. v. Huseby

Defeated motion for temporary restraining order filed against executive in federal court based on alleged breach of noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement.

Evergreen Helicopters v. Erickson Air-Crane, Inc.

In a precedent-setting refusal-to-deal case, Tonkon Torp obtained a summary judgment in federal court for client Evergreen Helicopters after alleging competitor Erickson Air-Crane was exerting monopoly control over spare helicopter parts.

Columbia Helicopters v. Boeing

Represented Columbia Helicopters in a dispute over Boeing’s refusal to sell Boeing helicopter parts to Oregon-based Columbia Helicopters, to allow Columbia to fulfill its contracts to repair Boeing-manufactured military CH-47 Chinook helicopters. To resolve threatened antitrust litigation, Boeing ultimately agreed to recognize Columbia Helicopters as an independent service organization provide Columbia with Boeing parts to perform CH-47 repair services.

Community Involvement & Activities

Raphael House
Former Member, Board of Directors

Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section
Executive Committee Member

Classroom Law Project

Business for Culture and the Arts
Art of Leadership Program 2012

Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association
National Association of Professional Women
NWEEO/Affirmative Action Association
Oregon Association of Defense Counsel
Oregon Women Lawyers
Portland Human Resource Management Association
Society for Human Resource Management

The Best Lawyers in America

2024, Employment Law – Management
2022-2024, Litigation – Labor & Employment

Super Lawyers

2022-2023, Oregon Super Lawyer – Employment & Labor
2015–2017, Oregon Rising Star – Employment & Labor

Read More

Portland Business Journal

2018, Forty Under 40

Best Lawyers in America® Includes 49 Tonkon Torp Attorneys on 2024 List

Forty-nine Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 36 practice areas have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024. All of the attorneys have been previously named to the peer-review list, and most have been listed for more than 10 years.

39 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2023 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-nine Tonkon Torp attorneys in 12 practice areas have been included in the 2023 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists.

L&E Update Prepares Employers for 2023 Employment Law Trends and Changes

Attorneys from Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group hosted their annual  “Guide to Employment Best Practices” on December 8. The virtual event featured talks on timely trends and issues facing Oregon employers.

Blerina Kotori and Olivia Hariharan Godt Speak at BOLI Annual Employment Law Conference

Tonkon Torp attorneys Blerina Kotori and Olivia Hariharan Godt presented a November 9 session at BOLI’s Annual Employment Law Conference. The two provided a timely look at applicable laws and legal considerations when tracking employee productivity and availability, as well as moonlighting, in the current remote work environment.

Blerina Kotori Moderates ADA Panel at OSB L&E Annual Conference

Tonkon Torp partner Blerina Kotori moderated a panel at the 2022 OSB Labor & Employment Annual Conference. Her session focused on issues surrounding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and return to work following the pandemic.

All News Items

Following End of Mask Mandate, OSHA Issues New Guidance for Employers

By Blerina Kotori – After the end of the mask mandate on March 12, many businesses were left wondering whether OSHA’s other requirements for workplaces, such as employee notification, infection protocols, and ventilation systems, remained in effect. OSHA has issued a new advisory memorandum for workplaces to answer these questions.

OSHA Extends Biden Vaccine Mandate Deadline for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The deadline for federal contractors and subcontractors to comply with President Biden’s rule regarding vaccines in the workplace has been extended an additional 30 days, to January 4, 2022.

Reopening the Pacific Northwest: A Checklist for Employers

With Governors Brown and Inslee announcing their respective phased approaches to reopening the Oregon and Washington economies, employers need to start planning for how they will resume operations in a safe and legally-compliant manner given the challenges of our new reality. The following checklist provides a framework of issues and tasks that employers should consider implementing or addressing before reopening their doors for business.

New DOL Guidance on Joint Employers, Summer School Closures, and Domestic Workers

The Department of Labor released new Q&A guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Among other things, the guidance provides new insight on various coverage issues relating to whether domestic service workers are covered by the new law, how FFCRA interacts with temporary employees of staffing companies who perform services for a covered employer, and what impact school closures during summer months might have on FFCRA leaves.

Further DOL Guidance on Interaction Between EPSL, EFMLA, and Employer-Provided Leave

On April 20, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) released further Q&A guidance (questions 80-88) regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

All Alerts Items

Publications & Presentations

“ADA Trends in a Post-Pandemic Workplace,” Tonkon Torp Guide to Employment Best Practices, December 2022

“Employee Surveillance and Moonlighting Issues in a Remote Work World,” Oregon BOLI Annual Employment Conference, November 2022

Moderator, “Americas with Disabilities Act,” OSB Labor & Employment Annual Conference, October 2022

“Non-Compete Laws: Oregon,” Practical Law Journal, Thomson Reuters, May 2022

“Following End of Mask Mandate, OSHA Issues New Guidance for Employers,” Tonkon Torp Legal Alert, March 2022

“Reopening Strategies & Considerations,” Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, June 2021

“OSHA Extends Biden Vaccine Mandate Deadline for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, November 2021

“Top Questions for Reopening: Masks, Health Checks, and Contact Tracing,” June 2020

“Reopening the Pacific Northwest: A Checklist for Employers,” Tonon Torp Legal Update, May 2020

“Legal Considerations for Reopening Businesses,” May 2020

“New DOL Guidance on Joint Employers, Summer School Closures, and Domestic Workers,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, May 2020

“Further DOL Guidance on Interaction Between EPSL, EFMLA, and Employer-Provided Leave,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, April 2020

“DOL Issues Corrections to FFCRA Regulations,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, April 2020

Panelist, “FAQs for Employers in the COVID-19 Reality,” April 2020

“DOL Releases Third Round of FFCRA Guidance, Covering Details on Exemptions, Leave Lengths, and More,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Second Round of DOL Guidance Clarifies Intermittent Leave, Furloughs, and Other Crucial Questions about FFCRA,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Poster, New Effective Date, and Other FFCRA Guidance Released from the Department of Labor,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Creating a Racially Inclusive Workplace,” TiE Charter Member Dinner, February 2020

“Meal and Rest Period Compliance,” Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, May 2019

“Ask the Attorney” PubTalk, Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, March 2019

“Employment Law for Startups,” TiE Oregon Bootcamp, October 2018

“Demystifying Leave Laws,” Woodruff Sawyer, June 2018

“The Price of Your Truth: Implicit Bias and Workplace Sexual Harassment in the #metoo Era,” Women’s Center for Leadership, March 2018

“Implicit Bias and Harassment in the Workplace,” Bureau of Labor and Industries Annual Conference, November 2017

“The ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of Leave Laws,” Bureau of Labor and Industries Annual Conference, November 2016

“Legislative Developments in Employment Law,” Expert Guide – Opportunities & Developments – West Coast USA, Corporate LiveWire, April 2016

“Three Invisible Traps of HR and How to Avoid Them,” April 2016

“Employment Law for Startups,” November 2015

“Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation in the Workplace,” The Salvation Army Portland ARC, October 2013

“Protecting Confidential Business Information,” PHRMA News & Views, September 2013

“Politics in the Workplace,” PHRMA News & Views, July 2013

“The Pitfall of the Unpaid Intern,” PHRMA News & Views, June 2013

“Sick Times in Portland: What You Should Know about Portland’s Sick Leave Ordinance,” PHRMA News & Views, March 2013

“Zealous or Excessive – Can a Lawyer’s Good Intentions Go Too Far?,” Oregon Law Institute, October 2012

“Sexual Harassment from a Management Perspective,” Lewis & Clark Law School, October 2012

“Compliance Issues Regarding Use of Social Media,” Greater Portland Compliance Association, July 2012

“HIPAA Privacy Rule Violations,” Multnomah Bar Association, June 2012

“Current HIPAA Requirements,” Lewis & Clark Law School Employment Law Society, November 2011

“E-Discovery,” Multnomah Bar Association, November 2011