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Jonathon (Jon) Watson


Spencer Fane attorney Jon Watson

T 303.839.3734
F 303.839.3838

Jonathon (Jon) Watson represents clients with a singular focus: to serve as a solutions-oriented business partner for employers facing labor and employment issues. What sets Jon apart is his drive to learn clients’ businesses and to give advice based on their unique circumstances and strategic priorities. Jon does more than simply tell clients what “can” and “cannot” be done; he helps clients assess and balance risk to meet each challenge. With a local and national practice, Jon assists businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies to mitigate risk and deliver results that align with their specific business operations.

Jon’s practice encompasses the entire alphabet soup of federal labor and employment statutes, including Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the FLSA, the FMLA, and the NLRA. His practice also extends to state-specific labor and employment claims, and he has represented employers in matters across more than 20 states. Jon’s state-specific practice has a particular emphasis on California and Colorado, states with among the most stringent employment requirements. These representations include counseling employers to ensure compliance, defending employers in litigation, as well as advising on collective bargaining and traditional labor matters. His experience runs the gamut of all size and scope, from single-plaintiff and multiparty discrimination cases, to nationwide class and collective wage and hour actions.

Most importantly, Jon takes the time to understand the distinct facts at play in each matter. With a clear understanding of the business implications, Jon collaborates with clients to develop a strong defense strategy to drive cases from start to finish. Above all else, Jon seeks to partner with employers to drive pragmatic, cost-effective, and reasonable resolutions to any labor and employment issue.

Highlights of Jon’s experience include:

  • Achieved dismissal of FLSA collective action seeking unpaid overtime against a multinational food processing company in Colorado federal court based on application of the FLSA’s agricultural exemption.
  • Secured nuisance settlement in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan for a multinational food processing company on an FLSA donning and doffing collective action with more than 4,000 putative class members and successfully argued for a severely diminished attorneys’ fee award to plaintiffs’ counsel.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a national trucking carrier in class actions in California and Washington State concerning alleged violations of state wage and hour law and involving hundreds of putative class members.

  • Obtained summary judgment and sanctions against plaintiff and his attorney who brought a Section 301 hybrid action against a national medical transportation company and the union in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
  • Represented a national staffing agency in the United States Department of Labor (DOL) investigation of its pay practices in Tennessee, achieving a finding of no violations.
  • Successfully defended a multinational food processing company in an action brought by an employee’s former employer seeking a temporary injunction and to enforce nonsolicitation and confidentiality agreements at trial.
  • Obtained summary judgment against claims of national origin and race discrimination and retaliation in Colorado federal court on behalf of a multinational food processing company.
  • Achieved dismissal of pregnancy and disability discrimination claims in Kentucky federal court for a multinational food processing company.
  • Reached nuisance settlement for a national food manufacturer in Alabama federal court on a claim seeking damages for alleged Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations.
  • Prevailed in numerous arbitrations around the country regarding various claims that employers violated collective bargaining agreements.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a national staffing agency in a nationwide wage and hour class and collective action involving tens of thousands of putative class members.
  • Serving as lead counsel defending a multinational food manufacturer in a nationwide class action alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) relating to its alleged use of employee background checks.

Presentations and Publications

  • “Employment Law Update,” Western Region IPMA-HR Annual Conference, April 2019
  • “Comprehensive Discrimination and Harassment Training,” Office of the Secretary of State of Colorado, 2018
  • “Check-In: EEOC, DOL, and NLRB Compliance – A Labor and Employment Law Roundtable,” Employment Law Daily, June 2018
  • “Drug Testing – What Breweries Need to Know About Testing Employees’ Marijuana Use Under Colorado and Federal Law,” Business of Beer Series, May 2017

Community Involvement

  • University of Denver’s Advocacy Program, Volunteer
  • Movember Foundation, Participant
  • Equity Capital Groupe, Member
  • Metro Denver Partners, Former Executive Committee Member and Assistant Secretary
  • Denver Urban Scholars, Former Mentor
  • Providence Foundation, Former Volunteer


  • Colorado Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section
  • American Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division
  • Barrister, William E. Doyle American Inn of Court


  • Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, 2023
  • Colorado Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2018-2022
  • Denver Business Journal, 40 Under Forty , 2018

Contact Jon Watson at 303.839.3734 or jmwatson@spencerfane.com.