Susan M. Hapka

Susan M. Hapka

SUSAN M. HAPKA is a firm shareholder who focuses her practice in civil litigation, employment law, education law and insurance defense. She represents private and public employers in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and public educational institutions in proceedings before the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. She also represents public and private employers in state and federal civil litigation related to employment, civil rights and real estate disputes. Ms. Hapka has extensive experience in advising public and private employers regarding a variety of workplace issues, including investigations into allegations of harassment/discrimination; resolution of workplace disputes; compliance with state and federal wage, employment and civil rights laws; and drafting of employment policies and employment contracts. She has first-chair jury trial and non-jury trial experience.

Admissions

  • New Mexico, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, 1996
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2000

Education

  • University of New Mexico Law School, 1995, J.D.
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1981, B.S.

Publications & Speeches

  • Presentation to the Northern New Mexico Human Resource Association on the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • "Payroll Plus: Wage and Benefit Issues for Human Resource Management in New Mexico," Lorman Educational Services.
  • "Payroll Management in New Mexico," Lorman Educational Services,
  • "Accommodating Applicants: Employees with Disabilities," Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.
  • Ms. Hapka has also given presentations to clients on employment-related issues, including drafting employee handbooks, investigating allegations of misconduct, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Recognitions

  • Martindale-Hubbell Rating: AV Preeminent
  • Order of the Coif
  • Best Lawyers Award Badge

Professional & Community Involvement

  • New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, Member
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys, Member
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Representative Experience

Ms. Hapka's representative clients include public and private entities such as employers of all sizes,  universities, hospitals and State agencies. Among other matters, she has:

  • Represented public employers in defense of civil rights, whistleblower, discrimination, personal injury, and breach of contract lawsuits brought in state and federal courts.
  • Represented public entities in defense of lawsuits alleging violation of state statutes and constitutional provisions in state and federal courts. Notably, Ms. Hapka successfully represented the state's largest public hospital in a case related to the constitutionality of an agreement to reduce a public hospital lien. [Hem v. Toyota Motor Corp., 2015-NMSC-024, 353 P.3d 1219].
  • Represented private and public employers in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor and New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
  • Represented public educational institutions in proceedings before the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
  • Represented public and private employers in state and federal civil litigation related to employment, civil rights and real estate disputes.
  • Advised public and private employers regarding a variety of workplace issues, including investigations into allegations of harassment/discrimination; resolution of workplace disputes; compliance with state and federal wage, employment and civil rights laws; and drafting of employment policies and employment contracts.
  • Represents University of New Mexico Hospital in collection cases involving hospital liens.