Kristen L. Brightmire

Partner / Executive Committee Member
Tulsa, Oklahoma
D: 918.591.5204
F: 918.925.5204
Williams Center Tower II
Two West Second Street, Suite 700
Tulsa, OK 74103-3117
Kristen L. Brightmire

Kristen Brightmire was in-house employment counsel for CITGO Petroleum and now brings clients her unique understanding of employment laws and regulations, and how to counsel executives faced with litigation decisions.  Representing companies in the manufacturing, utility, retail, insurance, paper and other industries, she quickly evaluates the legal risk and assesses the company’s risk tolerance, staffing, the local legal environment, and more. 

As a litigator, Kristen represents employers in defending against employment claims including Title VII, FMLA, ADEA, ADA, FLSA, OADA, as well as state law contract, tort and breach theories.  In her transactional practice, Kristen assists employers with severance agreements, RIF programs, employee handbooks and policies, trade secret agreements, non-solicitation agreements and employment contracts.  Kristen also regularly trains and counsels employers on issues such harassment, drug and alcohol testing, hiring, firing, discipline, wage and hour issues, retaliation, discrimination and accommodation.

Kristen was raised in a family of small business owners, learning about individual responsibility and running a business.  She was in private practice with Doerner representing employers for over a decade before she left to join CITGO. Each person being the sum of one’s experiences, Kristen strives to bring those experiences to her practice – to understand each client’s needs and provide counsel and communication in a way that allows that client to make decisions that are best for its business.

Representative Experience

  • Represented utility company in wage and hour collective action resulting in summary judgment in the Northern District of Oklahoma in favor of client
  • Represented numerous clients on issues of trade secrets, misuse of confidential information, breaches of non-competes and/or non-solicitation agreements, including negotiations and injunctive proceedings
  • Represented manufacturing company in obtaining favorable judgment against plaintiff claiming his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act were violated, which judgment was affirmed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Represented manufacturing company in defeating wage and hour class action
  • Represented national paper company in pattern and practice age discrimination question before the Tenth Circuit
  • Represents national retailers in a myriad of employment-related lawsuits in Oklahoma and Arkansas federal courts
  • Represented company in a dispute involving trade secrets and the doctrine of inevitable disclosure
  • Represented insurance company in successfully defending against claims of breach of a stock purchase agreement and of an employment agreement
  • Assist clients on negotiation of severance agreements
  • Represents multiple utility companies in grievance arbitrations as well as employment litigation
  • Regularly train and counsel clients on day-to-day employee issues, e.g., complaints of sexual harassment, FMLA, wage and hour, drug and alcohol testing, etc.

Professional, Community and Pro Bono Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
  • Tulsa County Bar Association
  • Tulsa Area Human Resources Association
  • Undercroft Montessori School, Board of Directors, Chair of Policy Committee, 2008-2014
  • Edison Preparatory School Foundation, Director, 2017-Present


  • Listed in Best Lawyers for Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2010-2020
  • Listed in Super Lawyers®, 2007, 2009-2019
  • Chambers USA Leading Lawyer for Business: Labor & Employment, 2009-2019
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2015-present
  • Selected as one of the Top 25 Women Attorneys for the State of Oklahoma by Super Lawyers®, 2010-2011, 2013-2019
  • Best Lawyers – 2017 & 2020 Tulsa Litigation – Labor & Employment “Lawyer of the Year”
  • AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating


  • J.D., with honors, University of Tulsa College of Law, 1990
  • B.S., cum laude, Business Administration, University of Tulsa, 1987

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Oklahoma, 1990
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma, 1991
  • United States District Court Northern District of Oklahoma, 1990
  • United States District Court Western District of Oklahoma, 1991
  • United States District Court Eastern District of Arkansas, 1996
  • United States District Court Western District of Arkansas, 1996
  • United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit, 1997
  • United States Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, 1990
  • United States Supreme Court, 1999

Related News / Publications

Press Room

10.08.19Super Lawyers® Names DSDA Attorneys in 2019 Rankings
09.13.19Doerner Attorneys Named 2020 Best Lawyers® "Lawyer of the Year”
08.15.1921 DSDA Lawyers Named to 2020 Best Lawyers® List
06.20.19Jenks Aquarium Lawsuit Dismissed by Federal Court
02.01.19FMLA Trial Victory for Doerner Client
10.10.18Super Lawyers® Names DSDA Attorneys in 2018 Rankings
08.15.1820 Doerner Lawyers Nationally Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019
05.04.18Chambers and Partners Rank Doerner Attorneys for 2018
08.15.17Doerner Lawyers Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018
07.05.17Chambers USA Ranks Doerner Attorneys for 2017
03.01.17Oklahoma Employer's Law Blog
10.10.16Doerner Congratulates Our Lawyers Chosen for Inclusion in 2016 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!
08.15.16Congratulations to our Doerner Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2017!!
06.01.16Chambers USA Ranks Doerner Attorneys for 2016
10.12.15Doerner Congratulates Our Lawyers Chosen for Inclusion in 2015 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!
05.01.15Chambers USA Ranks Doerner Attorneys for 2015
05.01.15Kristen Brightmire to Speak at the Department of Human Services Conference on Civil Rights
01.02.15Kristen Brightmire Inducted as Fellow into Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
10.09.14Doerner Congratulates Our Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in 2014 Oklahoma Super Lawyers and Rising Stars!
07.24.14Title VII 50th Anniversary Event is now ONLINE
06.02.14Chambers USA Ranks Doerner Attorneys for 2014
01.01.14Kristen Brightmire named to Doerner's Executive Committee
10.14.132013 Super Lawyers® Announced
01.01.13Best Lawyers Names Doerner Lawyers as “Lawyers Of The Year”
11.01.122012 Super Lawyers® Announced
07.01.12Chambers USA Ranks 2012 Doerner Attorneys
11.01.112011 Super Lawyers® Announced
03.08.11Unlawful Retaliation in the Workplace
11.01.102010 Super Lawyers® Announced
09.01.10Congratulations To Our Attorneys Listed as Outstanding By Best Lawyers
06.01.10Chambers and Partners USA 2010 Has Announced That Four DSDA Lawyers Will Be Featured As Leaders in Their Field
02.01.10Corporate Counsel edition of Super Lawyers recognizes DSDA attorneys
11.01.092009 Oklahoma Super Lawyers Names Doerner Lawyers
08.01.09Kristen Brightmire and David McCullough Recognized In Chambers and Partners
04.01.09Kristen L. Brightmire Authors Article On Wrongful Discharge In Oklahoma
01.01.09David McCullough, Kristen L. Brightmire and firm ranked in the U.S. Chambers Report


11.01.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Drug Testing Case Involving Sudafed May Foreshadow Decision for Medical Marijuana
10.01.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm
09.04.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Applicants have Rights regarding their Off-Duty Gun Ownership
08.05.19The Employer's Legal Resource: More Rights for Your Employees to Have Time Off to Vote
08.05.19The Employer's Legal Resource: JAN Launches the Workplace Accommodation Toolkit
07.01.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Oklahoma's Law on Workers' Compensation Retaliation Undergoes Another Change Increasing Potential Liability for Employers
06.03.19The Employer's Legal Resource: The Importance of Training Your Managers Cannot Be Overstated
06.03.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Supreme Court Holds Title VII Charge-Filing is Not Jurisdictional
04.30.19Chambers and Partners Rank Doerner Attorneys
02.01.19The Employer's Legal Resource: Even the Appearance of Setting an Employee up for Failure can be Costly in Litigation
01.02.19The Employer's Legal Resource: FMLA New Years' Resolution
12.03.18The Employer's Legal Resource: Sticks and Stones
11.01.18The Employer's Legal Resource: Get out the Vote - Your Employees' Rights to Vote
09.03.18New Affidavit of Exempt Status Forms
08.01.18The Employer's Legal Resource: DOL's Guidance on Whether "Caregiver Registries" are Employers Provides Guidance on the Broader Question of Who is an "Employee"
07.02.18The Employer's Legal Resource: Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana-The Real Impact on Oklahoma Employers
04.01.18The Employer's Legal Resource: The DOL's "PAID" Program May Not Pay Off For Employers
03.01.18The Employer's Legal Resource: Oklahoma Court Requires Strict Adherence to the Statute on Non-Solicitation Provisions
12.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Lawsuit Stayed so EEOC Could Conciliate
11.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Transgender Employees Continue to be at the Center of Debate
11.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Sixth Circuit Deems Unlawful a Policy Requiring Employees to Repay Advanced "Draws" Upon Termination
10.02.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Oklahoma Supreme Court Answers the Question of Where Do Worker's Comp Retaliation Claims Get Resolved
10.02.17The Employer's Legal Resource: White Collar Exemptions Continue to Be Awash with Questions
09.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Don't jump the gun when your employee cannot return to work after exhausting FMLA leave.
08.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Temp's Request for Leave is Not a Request for a Reasonable Accommodation
08.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: DSDA Articles Published in Tulsa Lawyer Magazine
07.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: This could be the DOL's biggest month yet. Let's recap June's developments.
06.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Racial Slurs in the Workplace – Severe or Pervasive; It doesn't have to be both
05.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: "Hire American" Executive Order: Read the Fine Print
04.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Need I-9 Help – You've Got It
03.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Lying to the DOL is a Recipe for Disaster
02.01.17The Employer's Legal Resource: Help Mental Health Care Providers Help You – The Process of Identifying a Reasonable Accommodation
12.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Collective Action Claims Employees' "Regular Rate" should Include $35.00 Per Diem when Calculating Overtime Pay
12.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: New Form I-9s are Published
11.23.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Court Enjoins DOL From Implementing or Enforcing Majority of the Overtime Regulations Set To Take Effect December 1
11.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Wait – What does antitrust law have to do with HR? FTC and DOJ issue guidance for HR professionals.
10.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Get out the Vote — Your Employees' Rights to Vote
07.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Overview of Non-Exempt Versus Exempt
06.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: EEOC Issues Fact Sheet on Bathroom Access for Transgender Employees
05.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: New Poster; Guide -- A Reminder of the DOL's Focus
05.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: EEOC GOES DIGITAL
03.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: Governor Fallin signs "Ban the Box" Executive Order
02.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: New Poster Required for Federal Contractors
01.01.16The Employer's Legal Resource: On the Horizon for 2016 -- Will Your Company Have to Raise Wages to Maintain Exemptions?
10.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Insulating the Employer from the (Possibly) Biased Supervisor
10.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: EEO-1 Survey – Extension!
09.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: IRS Issues Fact Sheet on Misclassification of Workers
07.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: EEOC Updates Guidance
06.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Supreme Court Reverses Abercrombie Decision - Employers Can Violate Law With No Knowledge Of Religious Beliefs
06.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: DOL Updates FMLA Forms to Address GINA
05.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, but Words Will Send Your Case to a Jury
05.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Supreme Court Rules EEOC Must Conciliate Before Suing
04.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Update-DOL's New FMLA Regulation on Same Sex Spouses is Put on Hold
04.01.15The Employer's Legal Resource: Update-Supreme Court Rules on Accommodations Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
03.02.15The Employer's Legal Resource: DOT Medical Exam Deemed Essential Job Function Disqualifying Schwan's Facility Supervisor
01.02.15The Employer's Legal Resource: 2014 Oklahoma Law - A Year in Review
01.02.15The Employer's Legal Resource: 2014 Federal Law - A Year in Review
10.01.14The Employer's Legal Resource: An Editorial Comment About Forms Sold On The Internet
09.02.14The Employer's Legal Resource: Court Gives Guidance Under the "Joint Employer" Test
06.02.14The Employer's Legal Resource: Worker's Comp Retaliation - Into the Abyss
02.03.14The Employer's Legal Resource: Timing is Everything - Why You Have to Keep Track of What You Know and When
02.03.14The Employer's Legal Resource: Supreme Court - U.S. Steel Wins Donning and Doffing Case Based Upon Its Union Contract
11.1.13The Employer's Legal Resource: Good News For Employers-Tenth Circuit Enters Judgment Against EEOC And In Favor Of Abercrombie & Fitch
11.1.13The Employer's Legal Resource: November 1 Is The Effective Date of Many of the Laws We Discussed Previously
10.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, but Words Can Send Your Case to the Jury
09.03.13The Employer's Legal Resource: Reminder About EEO-1 Filings
07.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: United States Supreme Court Tightens the Reins on Retaliation Claims
07.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: How the Overturning of DOMA Might Affect your FMLA Administration
06.03.13The Employer's Legal Resource: Oklahoma Encourages Wellness and Smoking Cessation Programs
05.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: The Religious Accommodation Process is Not Swift
04.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: New FMLA Forms
03.01.13The Employer's Legal Resource: Protecting Your Ability to Defeat Unemployment Claims by Employees Who Fail Drug or Alcohol Tests
12.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: United States Supreme Court Overturns Oklahoma Supreme Court
12.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: End of the Year Countdown
10.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: Contractors - Get It Wrong and Pay the Price
09.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: Which I-9 Form Do You Use?
09.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: EEO-1S… It's That Time of Year Again
07.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: Supreme Court Holds that Pharmaceutical Reps are Exempt
06.01.12The Employer's Legal Resource: OESC and Email
02.01.12Employment: And We Thought It Would Be Easy… But It's Not
02.01.12Employment: New FMLA Regulations Loom
01.01.12Employment: What You Can and Cannot Do With an Employee's Social Security Number
12.01.11Employment: Supreme Court Further Narrows Employer's Ability to Restrict Competition or Solicitation by Former Employee
12.01.11Employment: EEOC Annual Report
10.01.11Employment: New Drug and Alcohol Testing Law Goes Into Effect November 1
10.01.11Employment: New Discrimination Law Goes Into Effect November 1
09.01.11Employment: September 30 is the EEO-1 Deadline
09.01.11Employment: VETS Reporting Deadline Moved to November 30 (Due to Technical Difficulties)
08.01.11Employment: EEOC Provides Guidance on Background Checks to Public Employers Which Provides Insight for Private Employers
07.01.11Employment: A New Way You Can Be Sued for Discrimination in Oklahoma
05.01.11Employment: The Wait is Over… The Challenges Begin
04.01.11Employment: EEOC Issues Final Regulations
03.01.11Employment: Will You Have to Post a Notice Advising Your Employees of Their Rights?
02.01.11Employment: The EEOC Takes a Position on Video Résumés
01.01.11Employment: Employers Relying Upon Credit Checks Under Attack
01.01.11Employment: DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing - 2011 Random Rates
10.01.10Employment: Employers Conducting Drug Testing Beware. Once Again, the Courts are Holding You Accountable
09.01.10Employment: DOT Implements New Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulations, Effective October 1
08.01.10Employment: COBRA Subsidy Not Extended
07.01.10Employment: Quick Updates From Your Friends at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
06.01.10Employment: Federal Contractors Must Post Notice Informing Employees of Rights Under The NLRA
06.01.10Employment: DOL Issues New Regulations Regarding Child Labor
05.01.10Employment: A Quick Reminder On What The Law Prohibits
03.02.10Employment: The Employer's Legal Resource - March 2010 - Special Alert
03.01.10Employment: Thinking About Purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance... Be Sure You Understand What You Are Buying
02.01.10Employment: DOL Issues Revised Model Notices
02.01.10Employment: Department of Labor Bans Texting For Commercial Drivers
12.01.09Employment: Let Me Introduce You To GINA. She Arrived On November 21 and Is Here To Stay
11.01.09Special Edition: Oklahoma Small Business Alert
11.01.09Employment: New Law Passed Which Impacts Military Provisions
11.01.09Employment: EEOC Issues New Poster
10.01.09Employment: EEOC Is Actively Pushing ADA Issues
09.01.09Employment: Don't Write Anything You Wouldn't Want The World To See
08.01.09Employment: News From The DOT On Direct Observation
08.01.09Employment: EEOC Working On New Regulations
07.01.09Employment: Can An Employer Fire An Employee Whose Earnings Are Subject To Garnishment? Can You Charge The Employee?
06.01.09Employment: Court Rules On Direct Observation of Urine Collection
05.01.09Employment: Drug and Alcohol Testing Records: Where To Keep Them and for How Long
05.01.09Employment: A Quick Tip Which Benefits Everyone
04.01.09Employment: COBRA Update - Notices to Qualified Beneficiaries Due By April 17, 2009
04.01.09Employment: Non-Competes Still Subject to Rule of Reason
02.01.09Employment: The Employer's Legal Resource - February 2009 - Special Edition
02.01.09Employment: Time To Check That Policy Again
01.01.09Employment: Employee Misclassification Prevention Act
01.01.09Employment: Family and Medical Leave Act

Seminars / Events

11.01.19Meritas Litigation / Labor & Employment Annual Meeting
11.01.19Kristen Brightmire Speaks November 6 and 7
08/05/19Kristen Brightmire Speaking on August 22
10.01.18Kristen Brightmire Presenting on November 1
03.14.18Kristen Brightmire Presenting at the Tulsa Area Human Resources Association on March 14
03.13.18Kristen Brightmire Presenting at the Tulsa Area Employer Council on March 13
10.02.17Kristen Brightmire to present at Employment Law and Practices Seminar on November 4
09.01.17Kristen Brightmire to present at Western Arkansas Human Resource Association's Leadership Conference on October 18
08.24.17Kristen L. Brightmire to present "What is: Reasonable? / Undue Hardship? (ADA and Title VII)"
12.01.16Three Doerner Attorneys to Present FMLA Master Class
04.23.15Annual Employer's Workshop - April 23, 2015 (Tulsa)
12.18.14Kristen Brightmire to Present at the Tulsa County Bar Association's Employment Law Update
10.09.142014 FMLA Master Class for Oklahoma Employers (Tulsa)
09.23.142014 FMLA Master Class for Oklahoma Employers (OKC)
07.24.14Kristen Brightmire to present at the Office of Civil Rights Enforcement's Title VII 50th Anniversary Educational Outreach Event
04.16.14Information You Can Use: 2014 Annual Workshop (Tulsa)
02.05.14Kristen Brightmire to present on the topic of Employee Leave Issues - Managing th Law and Your Policies
11.20.13Kristen Brightmire to Present a CLE Entitled "Employment Law Update" at the TCBA
10.17.132013 FMLA Master Class For Oklahoma Employers
04.10.13Training for the Trenches 2013: Tips and Traps in Managing Employee Performance Issues
01.15.13Pre-Employment - Are You Hiring the People You Want?
05.17.129th Annual Labor and Employment Law 2012 Seminar
11.17.11When Worlds Collide: Internal Conflicts & External Communication
06.09.11"The Good, the Bad & the Ugly" Hiring & Firing: Tips to Minimize Your Legal Risks
03.08.11How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Retaliation
01.13.11Hiring and Firing in Oklahoma
11.10.10Employee or Independent Contractor: Misclassifications Can Cost You
04.01.10The Paperless HR Department
10.07.09Developments Under The New Americans with Disabilities Act
09.18.09The Expansion of the Public Policy Tort and What it Means for Oklahoma Employers and Employment Lawyers
03.11.09Best Practices for Hiring and Firing in Today’s Complicated Legal Environment
02.19.09FMLA Regulations
01.22.09New FMLA Regulations: Military caregiver leave and Qualifying exigency leave
01.15.09New FMLA Regulations: How to operate day-to-day under the new regulations
01.08.09New FMLA Regulations: FMLA Documents
01.07.09FMLA Regulations Effective January 16: Are you Ready?
Kristen Brightmire to present to the Family Owned Business Institute on September 19


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08.01.19 DSDA Mourns Sam Daniel