Main Practice Contacts

Matthew Thomas Deffebach
+1 713.547.2064

Tamara I. Devitt
+1 949.202.3060

Melissa M. Goodman
+1 214.651.5628

Laura E. O'Donnell
+1 210.978.7421

Dean J. Schaner
+1 713.547.2044

In the News

Jason Habinsky in Reuters Legal: EEOC discrimination suits tested at the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Tuesday on whether federal courts should review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's pre-trial resolution process, in a case likely to determine how the agency pursues future discrimination cases.


Jason Habinsky in Politico Pro: High Court Hears Case on EEOC Oversight

In oral arguments Tuesday, Supreme Court justices seemed to support judicial oversight over the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s settlement process. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer all appeared skeptical of the EEOC’s claim that its settlement efforts prior to filing a lawsuit should be free of judicial review. >>

Jason Habinsky in Law360: High Court To Weigh EEOC Presuit Conciliation Efforts

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Tuesday about whether judges can review the EEOC's required presuit conciliation efforts, in a high­stakes lawsuit closely watched by employers who complain that the agency is too aggressive and worker advocates who say judicial review would undermine Title VII ...

Jason Habinsky in HR Magazine: HR Should Take the Lead on Cybersecurity

HR is the “natural choice to train other segments of the workforce” and should “team up with IT to provide joint training...” >>

Recent Publications

H-1B Filings for FY 2016: The Countdown to April 1 Has Begun

Haynes and Boone, LLP’s Immigration Practice Group reminds employers with a need for Cap-Subject H-1B petitions – those applications that are subject to the annual numerical limit – that the filing window for Fiscal Year 2016 will open on April 1, 2015. >>

Do You Have California Employees? Action Required by January 1, 2015 to Comply with California’s New Paid Sick Leave Law

This term, the California Legislature enacted the Healthy Workplaces/Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522), which requires employers to provide paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked starting on July 1, 2015. >>

California Employers Face Expanded Obligation to Reimburse Employee Personal Cell Phone Use

A recent California Court of Appeal decision exposes employers to liability for failing to reimburse their employees for work-related personal cell phone use, but the lack of a bright line rule for determining the required reimbursement amount creates more questions than answers. >>

Labor and Employment

At Haynes and Boone, our Labor and Employment Practice Group handles all aspects of complex labor and employment matters that impact domestic and international businesses. We are a full service labor and employment practice.

Experience:  While rooted in California, New York, and Texas, our Group’s practice is a national one (having appeared in over thirty-five (35) states for our clients). Our team handles the full spectrum of labor and employment matters, but also focuses on several core areas, which address the issues causing the greatest concern to corporate executives and in-house counsel, namely:

Wage and Hour

Traditional Labor

Unfair Competition/Trade Secrets


Advanced Leave Issues

OSHA/Workplace Disasters


Executive Compensation


Recognition:  Our attorneys conduct corporate training programs on significant labor and employment matters and are known for their cutting-edge approach in litigation and traditional labor law matters. Some recent recognitions include:

  • We are entering our 10th year as national OSHA counsel for The Home Depot.
  • Our group and various partners are Chambers ranked.
  • Several partners are consistently recognized in Best Lawyers in America.
  • Our group is the sole recipient of the 2013 Best Labor and Employment Litigation Department of the Year – Texas Lawyer.
  • We are national Immigration counsel for Petrobras America.

Results:  Many of our day-to-day results are achieved through efficient and responsive counseling for our clients. Additionally, some recent successes include:

  • Handled labor arbitration matters involving multiple unions, numerous witnesses, and significant potential back pay and operational liability in cases in New York, Illinois, and Arizona.
  • During trial, obtained a favorable settlement of a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit in federal district court in North Carolina.
  • Obtained a complete defense award in arbitration in California on behalf of an oil well services company in a disability discrimination case where the plaintiff sought over a million dollars in damages.
  • Obtained a Fifth Circuit appellate decision affirming summary judgment for a company against an applicant alleging that he was not selected for a position based on his age.
  • Represented an employer in Arizona in a dispute with various unions over coverage and entitlement to a bonus affecting nearly 2,200 employees.
  • Secured a temporary injunction against a client’s former employee for violating his confidentiality agreement with the client and misappropriating confidential, proprietary and trade secret information.
  • Defeated conditional certification in a wage and hour matter involving over 2,000 nurses in Houston, Texas.

Further, we work closely with our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Health Care, International, Mergers and Acquisitions and HIPAA Privacy Practice Groups in advising our clients on labor and employment issues.

Full Service Provider:  Our Labor and Employment Practice Group is primarily involved in the following types of matters:

  • Affirmative Action
    Our attorneys work with clients to develop Affirmative Action Programs under Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment and Assistance Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Counseling and Training
    We work closely with our clients to minimize the risk of employment litigation, whether before the courts, arbitrators, or administrative agencies.
  • Discrimination and Leave Issues (Advanced Leave)
    Our experience in discrimination litigation includes jury, bench and administrative trials under all employment law statutes, including extensive experience in class actions under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Moreover, we have represented clients in employment cases in many of the federal appellate circuits and before the United States Supreme Court.
  • Addressing Labor Union Issues
    We have substantial experience in advising and representing management clients in traditional labor law matters. Our lawyers have dealt with virtually every major union across the country, and have handled matters in every forum where traditional labor law matters are litigated, including before the NLRB’s Administrative Law Judges, the NLRB, state and federal district courts, and the United States Courts of Appeal. We handle labor law matters, labor relations strategy, union contract negotiations, and strike planning. Additionally, we litigate labor matters and advise, counsel and draft content concerning labor and employment law issues in business transactions.
  • OSHA and Workplace Disasters
    We assist clients in complying with federal and state occupational safety and health laws and regulations and in responding to work-related injuries, illnesses and other catastrophic events.
  • Unfair Competition
    We have represented numerous clients in all litigation phases throughout the country. We litigate and advise clients on restrictive covenant, employee raiding, and unfair competition issues, including reviewing and analyzing restrictive covenants regarding potential new hires, mitigating litigation concerning employees with prior restrictive covenants, negotiating deals between prior employers and new employers regarding employees with restrictive covenants, and drafting restrictive covenants in employment agreements, stock option agreements, bonus agreements, severance agreements and more.
  • Whistleblowers/Retaliation
    Our group has been involved in a variety of issues concerning whistleblower and retaliation claims. For example, we defend clients in qui tam and False Claims Act investigations and lawsuits. We also represent clients in SOX and Dodd-Frank claims. 
  • Executive Compensation
    In coordination with our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation team, our lawyers can assist with the review and revision of existing executive employment agreements, severance agreements, equity grants and other nonqualified deferred compensation agreements to ensure compliance with Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Immigration
    Given its complexity and frequent modifications, immigration law represents one of the biggest commercial and regulatory obstacles to the employment of key foreign personnel in the U.S. Our firm has the “client-centric” focus and depth and breadth of expertise in the immigration sub-specialties that businesses require. In addition to counseling on immigration matters, we can assist in obtaining immigration status.
  • Wage and Hour Litigation
    Wage and hour disputes can result in significant, multi-million dollar judgments against even the most sophisticated companies. We have handled numerous FLSA collective actions and Department of Labor and state agency investigations involving alleged wage-hour violations in the transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, financial, construction, restaurant and service industries.