Christopher Morehead

Christopher Morehead





Services & Industries


J.D., cum laude, Lewis & Clark Law School, 2013

B.A., magna cum laude, Washington State University, 2010

Bar & Court Admissions

Oregon State Bar
Washington State Bar Association
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Oregon

Chris is a partner in Tonkon Torp’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. His practice focuses on litigating and advising on employment matters for companies ranging from mom-and-pop shops to global Fortune 50 employers. Chris regularly defends corporate clients in single-plaintiff employment cases in Oregon and Washington courts, but also has substantial experience assisting national employers with multi-state compliance issues and appearing on their behalf before administrative agencies across the country. In addition, Chris frequently advises corporate clients and executives on non-competition and non-solicitation agreements up and down the West Coast, and has a successful track record litigating such restrictive covenants. In select cases, Chris also advises and represents executives and individuals in employment matters, including employment agreements, restrictive covenants, and similar contexts. Chris represents clients in a variety of industries – including healthcare, tech, and food & beverage – in which he has advised on and litigated many challenging issues and disputes.

Chris’s employment litigation background is atypical for an Oregon lawyer, with extensive experience representing both employee-plaintiffs and employer-defendants. Early in his career, Chris represented plaintiffs at one of the most prominent employee-side firms in Oregon, before taking the opportunity to work at an international L&E boutique firm where he collaborated with regional and national employment law thought leaders and represented some of the world’s largest employers. Chris regularly leans on these experiences to provide his clients with insightful perspectives and pragmatic counsel. Chris has been consistently recognized for his employment and litigation work by both The Best Lawyers in America and Oregon Super Lawyers.

When he’s not working, you’ll probably find Chris spending time with his family enjoying the outdoors in Central Oregon, travelling, playing soccer, or trying to teach his toddler German.

Representative Matters

Employment Litigation

Oregon District Court (2020): Secured full dismissal of race, religion, and national origin discrimination claims on summary judgment, shortly after the plaintiff’s deposition for Fortune 50 client. Dismissal affirmed by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Oregon District Court (2019): Secured walk-away and other favorable non-monetary terms on behalf of Fortune 50 client shortly after filing and arguing motion for terminating sanctions against Plaintiff for discovery abuses.

Bankruptcy Court (2019): Secured full dismissal of retaliation claim on summary judgment shortly after the plaintiff’s deposition in adversarial proceeding for Fortune 50 client. Dismissal was affirmed on appeal.

Oregon District Court (2018): Secured full dismissal of sexual harassment, sex discrimination, wrongful discharge, and family medical leave retaliation claims on summary judgment. Dismissal affirmed by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Restrictive Covenant Litigation

Oregon (2015): Secured temporary restraining order (TRO) against group of client’s ex-employees for violating non-solicitation agreements. Matter resolved on very favorable terms for client, including substantial monetary payment, shortly after TRO hearing.

Idaho (2018): Secured temporary restraining order (TRO) against client’s ex-employee for violating non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions. Matter resolved on favorable terms for client shortly after.

Washington (2019): Defeated Plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraint and motion for expedited discovery. Matter resolved on favorable terms to client shortly after.

Tonkon Torp Achieves Arbitration Win for Global Financial Services Firm

Tonkon Torp partner Haley Morrison and associate Carlie Bacon recently secured a complete victory through arbitration for a New York-based, global financial services firm in the Fortune 100. The client hired Haley several years ago to defend it against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, medical leave interference, equal pay violations, and various torts by a former financial advisor.

Community Involvement & Activities

Portland Workforce Alliance
Board Member

Multnomah Bar Association
Membership Committee, Former Member
Pro Bono Committee, Former Member

Professional Memberships

Multnomah Bar Association
Oregon Brewer’s Guild
Beverage Industry Networking Group

The Best Lawyers in America

2021-2024, Ones to Watch – Labor and Employment Law – Management
2022-2024, Ones to Watch – Litigation – Labor and Employment

Super Lawyers

2022-2023, Oregon Rising Star – Employment & Labor

Read More

Best Lawyers in America® Names 17 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2024 Ones to Watch List

Seventeen Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 18 practice groups have been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2024 Ones to Watch directory. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch is a peer-review honor that acknowledges the professional excellence of attorneys who have been in private practice for less 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.

Best Lawyers in America® Names 16 Tonkon Torp Attorneys to 2023 Ones to Watch List

Sixteen Tonkon Torp lawyers representing 16 practice groups have been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2023 Ones to Watch directory.

31 Tonkon Torp Attorneys Honored on 2022 Super Lawyers Lists

Thirty-one Tonkon Torp attorneys in 11 practice areas have been included in the 2022 Oregon Super Lawyers or Rising Stars

Four Attorneys Elected to Tonkon Torp Partnership

Tonkon Torp LLP has elected Adam Adkin, Karen Hobson, Christopher Morehead, and Ava Schoen to its partnership, effective January 1, 2022.

All News Items

Breaking: Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers Forthcoming

The Biden Administration is set to announce sweeping COVID-19 vaccination requirements that will affect large employers and millions of employees across the country. The mandate extends to all employers with more than 100 workers, requiring such employers to ensure their workers are either vaccinated or, alternatively, tested for the virus on a weekly basis.

Time to Check in on Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act

It has been just over two years since Governor Brown signed the Oregon Workplace Fairness Act (OWFA) into law on June 11, 2019.

Oregon OSHA Finalizes Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19

On November 6, 2020, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OR-OSHA) adopted the Temporary Oregon OSHA COVID-19 Rule (the Rule) aimed at addressing the effects of the pandemic on the workplace. Unless otherwise indicated, the Rule’s provisions will take effect 10 days after adoption – on November 16. OR-OSHA is issuing helpful materials to assist employers to comply with the Rule, change, and, for that reason, Oregon employers should monitor OR-OSHA’s webpage closely and/or sign up for their email alerts here.

Don’t Forget to Update Your Anti-Discrimination Policies: Oregon Workplace Fairness Act Goes into Effect October 1, 2020

Although it may be the understatement of the century, a lot has happened in Oregon in 2020. An employer could be forgiven for overlooking that SB 726 – the Workplace Fairness Act (WFA) – goes into effect on October 1, 2020, nearly 16 months after it was signed into law by Governor Brown.

FFCRA Update: DOL Revises Rules In Response to Court Ruling

As previously discussed, a New York court recently struck four provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The ruling left many employers outside of New York wondering the extent to which the decision impacted them. Significantly, the Department of Labor (DOL) acknowledged that it viewed the ruling as applying to all employers covered by the law, not just those in New York.

All Alerts Items

Publications & Presentations

“Breaking: Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers Forthcoming,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, September 2021

“Time to Check in on Oregon’s Workplace Fairness Act,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, July 2021

“Complying with the Workplace Fairness Act,” Annual Labor & Employment Law Update, June 2021

“Oregon OSHA Finalizes Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, November 2020

“Oregon OSHA’s New COVID-19 Rule,” November 2020

“FFCRA Update: DOL Revises Rules In Response to Court Ruling,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, September 2020

“FFCRA Update: Court Strikes Four Employer-Friendly Rules,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, September 2020

“Oregon OSHA Releases Proposed Temporary Workplace Safety Rules for COVID-19,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, August 2020

“Learning Pods as a Pandemic-Era Education Choice – Where to Start,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, August 2020

“Enforcing Pandemic Workplace Policies to Keep the Workplace Safe,” July 2020

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

“Managing Thorny COVID-19 Leave Issues,” May, 2020

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

“Governor Releases Phase One Reopening Guidance for Oregon Employers,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, May 2020

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

“OSHA Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Recordkeeping, Work-Relatedness Determinations,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, April 2020

“Emergency Paid Leave: An Overview of the Families First Act,” The Oregon Brewers Guild, B.I.N.G., and The Caputo Group, April 2020

“Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What Employers Need to Know,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Oregon Employers: Remember Your Employee Leave Obligations as COVID-19 Spreads,” Tonkon Torp Legal Update, March 2020

“Brewers Beware: BOLI’s New Interpretation of Overtime Rules,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, March 2017

“Romance at Work? Brew up a Love Contract,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, February 2017

“Three Craft Beverage Workplace Law Changes Under Trump,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, January 2017

Three Biggest Workplace Law Concerns for Breweries and Brewpubs,”, December 2016

“Holiday Parties: Three Ways to Stay Off Santa’s Naughty List,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, December 2016

“Tackling OSHA Inspections: Lessons from Current and Former Northwest Football Coaches,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, November 2016

“The Gig Economy: How Will it Impact the Craft Beer Industry?” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, October 2016

“Law Changes Oregon Beer Employers Need to Know,” Oregon Beer Growler Magazine, September 2016

“As Summer Temps Increase, So Do Legal Obligations,” Daily Journal of Commerce, June 2016

“Hiring and Firing,” Sterling Education Services Employment Law Update, June 2016

“Rightful Discharge,” Paychex Seminar, May 2016

“You’re Living in a Fantasy World if You Think Your Employees Aren’t Playing Fantasy Football,” Vancouver Business Journal, September 2015