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

Matt Deffebach in Bloomberg BNA Occupational Safety & Health Reporter: Chain Stores Uniquely Exposed to Citations

It was the day before Christmas in 2013 when an OSHA inspector arrived at a Dollar Tree store in the Boston suburbs. >>

Jason Habinsky in XpertHR: New York Employment State of Mind

From paid sick leave to pregnancy accommodations, medical marijuana and more, a host of new laws are affecting New York employers. New York City employment attorney Jason Habinsky, of Haynes and Boone, LLP, breaks down the latest developments. >>

Jason Habinsky in XpertHR: Supreme Court's New Term Filled with Cases Affecting Employers

The US Supreme Court's new term begins today and includes a number of cases with significant employment law implications. The top workplace issues the justices have decided to hear thus far relate to pregnancy accommodations, religious discrimination, administrative review and wage and hour issues. >>



Recent Publications

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. >>

NLRB General Counsel Authorizes Complaints against McDonald’s, Classifying Franchisor as Joint Employer with Franchisees

The National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB” or the “Board”) general counsel Richard Griffin announced July 29, 2014 that he had authorized complaints in 43 unfair labor practice cases alleging that franchisor McDonald’s, USA, LLC is a joint employer with its franchisees. >>





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

Immigration

Advanced Leave Issues

OSHA/Workplace Disasters

ERISA

Executive Compensation

Whistleblowers/Retaliation

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.