JENNIFER WARD Director
JD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Jennifer Ward is a Director with SunHawk Consulting, LLC. She is a licensed attorney in Arizona with over 13 years of experience advising companies on employment law compliance and employee benefits. She practiced law for nearly 8 years at Fennemore Craig, PC with a strong focus on ERISA compliance in retirement plans, tax compliance for executive compensation plans, and other employee benefits. She has defended numerous companies in Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor audits of their retirement plans and health and welfare plans. She has supported the employee benefits aspects of merger and acquisition transactions. She also advised companies on their plans’ HIPAA compliance and reviewed Business Associate Agreements.
Most recently, Jennifer was the Arizona President of Employers Council, a non-profit membership-based organization that advises member companies regarding their HR compliance and HR best practices. She was with Employers Council (formerly Mountain States Employers Council) for over 5 years. Responsibilities included day-to-day advice and counseling regarding employee performance management and employment termination; consulting regarding compliance in the areas of ADA, FMLA, workers’ compensation and other laws related to employee health challenges; advising employers and helping them strategize regarding legal changes such as minimum wage increases, paid sick leave requirements; and employee handbook development. She has also trained extensively on such topics as harassment prevention and employment law compliance for managers. She has significant knowledge in the area of wage and hour compliance, helping employers ensure that their employees are paid appropriately. In addition, she has represented member companies in defending EEOC charges, DOL audits and unemployment claims.
She became certified as a Senior Professional of Human Resources and a SHRM Senior Certified Professional in 2015. She has been a featured speaker on several occasions at the Arizona State SHRM Conference and the Arizona SHRM Employment Law and Labor conference. She has also spoken at gatherings of industry associations.