Ryan D. Nelson, Esq.

Topic: Discrimination, Harassment, & Retaliation: Managing to Minimize Liability

The terms discrimination, hostile work environment harassment, and retaliation are commonly tossed around by employees in today’s workplace, but often work their way into federal and state administrative forums. For example, last year alone the EEOC received 91,500 charges of discrimination, of which 42,000 were for retaliation. It is also estimated that 9 out of 10 employers will receive an internal complaint of harassment this year. These types of claims pose significant legal risk for employers and create operational challenges in the workplace. This presentation will ensure attendees can recognize illegal behavior, understand the difference between inappropriate conduct and illegal conduct, learn how to prevent retaliation, and properly respond to employee complaints.


Ryan graduated with a Bacherlor’s degree in Portuguese from Brigham Young University. He earned his law degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville (Go Gators!). During his second and third years of law school, Ryan was a law clerk for a construction law litigation firm.


After graduating from law school, Ryan worked for a small law firm in Florida, where his work was quite diverse. Ryan litigated various types of claims in state court, but also performed substantial real estate and business transactional work.


In 2007, Ryan moved to Colorado and joined another small firm in Denver, where he represented clients in litigation and transactions in contracts, general corporate and business, employment, and real estate transactions. He also dabbled in appellate work, obtaining favorable opinions from the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.


Ryan joined MSEC in 2010 as an employment law staff attorney working in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 2015, Ryan moved back home to Salt Lake City and now works in MSEC’s Salt Lake City office. Similar to all MSEC staff attorneys, Ryan advises employers on preventive and corrective personnel-related matters under federal and state employment laws, conducts employment practices audits, defends employers in state and federal employment-related charges and claims, and trains seminars and presents on a variety of employment law and human resources topics. Ryan is licensed to practice law in Florida, Colorado, and Utah.