In the News

Haynes and Boone and American Airlines Lawyers Help Pro Bono Client Gain Asylum

Two Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers and an American Airlines lawyer have won asylum for a Cameroon native, who was a member of the Cameroon Democratic Union, an opposition political party whose members were targeted by the ruling party in Cameroon, and CODE, a human rights organization focused on exposing the abuses of the Cameroonian people by the Cameroonian president and his political party. >>

Casa Mañana Selects Karen Denney for 2014 Outstanding Service Award

FORT WORTH – Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Karen Denney has been chosen by Casa Mañana, Inc. (“Casa”) to receive the 2014 Outstanding Service Award, presented by the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County, for her volunteer work with Casa. Casa is a non-profit theatre that produces children’s and Broadway theatre and provides children’s theatrical education classes. >>

Fort Worth, Texas Magazine’s 2013 Top Attorneys List Features Haynes and Boone Lawyers

FORT WORTHFort Worth, Texas magazine recognized 15 Haynes and Boone, LLP lawyers as “2013 Top Attorneys.” >>



Recent Publications

Labor and Employment Law and Social Media: 2013 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2014

Social media continued its rise as a significant factor in almost every aspect of the employer-employee relationship, the authors write. >>

Human Resource Executive Online Guest Article: Drawing the Line on Social Media

Employees use social media on a daily basis and ever-exceedingly creative ways. One of the most recent examples of this creativity is an employee who resigned by submitting to her employer through YouTube an interpretive dance video to Kanye West's "Gone." However, if the employee is still employed -- not resigning, like the YouTube dancer -- this creative social media use may not always comply with the employer's view of acceptable employee behavior. >>

Diversity Highlights (2013)

The Attorney Diversity Committee (ADC) at Haynes and Boone, LLP is comprised of more than 60 attorneys, management and administrative team members that meets each month to advance our firm’s numerous diversity efforts. This document summarizes the efforts and accomplishments of 2013. >>

June 24, 2013: A Good Day for Employers Defending Against Title VII Claims - The U.S. Supreme Court Issues Two Significant Victories

In 2012, more than 99,000 charges of discrimination were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Of these charges, 31,208 of them alleged retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued two much-anticipated employment law rulings, both of which are beneficial to employers confronted with these charges. >>



Karen C. Denney

Partner

Fort Worth


201 Main Street
Suite 2200
Fort Worth, 76102
T +1 817.347.6616
F +1 817.348.2327

Áreas de Practica

Educación

  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law, 2002
  • B.S., Texas Tech University, 1999, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Karen C. Denney

Karen Denney is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group and is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Karen represents clients in employment litigation and arbitration matters involving a variety of claims, including claims concerning age, sex, race, national origin, disability, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, retaliation, misappropriation, gross negligence, breach of contract, defamation, tortious interference, covenants not to compete and other employment laws and related torts. She has also represented employers in negotiations and/or proceedings with the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Texas Workforce Commission and parties in numerous employment arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. She frequently prepares employment agreements and employment-related policies; counsels employers on various issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating harassment and discrimination complaints, social media-related employment issues, and covenants not to compete; and performs public seminars on assorted employment law topics.

Select Representations

  • Successfully obtained and/or defended numerous temporary and permanent injunctions in misappropriation of trade secrets and covenant not to compete cases.
  • Representation of securities brokerage firms in employment disputes, including a complete defense award against former broker challenging stock forfeiture provisions in employee incentive compensation plan.
  • Obtained numerous summary judgments and dismissals for employers in employment litigation matters involving defamation, tortious interference, race, sex, age, sexual harassment, pregnancy, the Family Medical Leave Act, disability and retaliation claims.
  • Obtained summary judgments for companies on breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, premises liability, and unjust enrichment claims.
  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial against employees claiming retaliation.
  • Obtained defense verdict in jury trial for employer based on alleged negligence of an employee.

Honors and Activities

  • Awarded the Friend of Clayton Award by Clayton Youth Enrichment Services (2013)
  • Named by the Fort Worth Business Press as a 40 Under 40 Honoree (2013)
  • Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition (2006, 2008-2013)
  • Top Three Finalist for the 2012 National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division  
  • Named the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Selected as the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County by the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
  • Chosen by her peers as one of Fort Worth's Top Attorneys in Labor and Employment in Fort Worth, Texas, The City's Magazine (2009-2013)
  • Casa Mañana, Inc., Board Member, Vice Chair Development and Gala Chair
  • The Parenting Center, President and Board Member
  • Clayton Youth Enrichment Services Board Member (2005-2013)
  • Co-Chair of Tarrant County Volunteer Attorney Services Committee (2012-2013)
  • Past President of the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
  • LeadershipSBOT, Class of 2011-2012
  • Leadership Fort Worth, Class of 2010-2011

Select Recent Publications and Speeches

  • “Employment Law Update: Why Employers Never Get a Good Night’s Sleep,” 2014.
  • "Labor and Employment Law and Social Media: 2013 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2014," co-author, Bloomberg BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report, January 21, 2014.
  • "Drawing the Line on Social Media," HRE Online, January 13, 2014.
  • "Social Media Employment Law Evolving," Fort Worth Business Press, December 9, 2013.
  • "Social Media and Labor and Employment Law: Top Five Issues to Watch in 2013," co-author with Alex Stevens, Social Media Law Reporter, January 24, 2013.
  • "Tax Implications in Employment Law," 2013.
  • "Helping Employers Stay On Top of Employment Law Changes," chapter in Inside the Minds publication, The Impact of Recent Regulatory Developments in Employment Law, Aspatore Books, 2013.
  • "Hot Topics in Employment Law for 2013," 2013.
  • "How Do I Manage Employees and Employment Law?" 2013.
  • “What Not to Ask in an Interview and Other Helpful Employment Law Tips,” 2013.
  • "Mysteries of Employment Law Revealed," 2012.
  • "Management Skills: What You Need to Know About Employment Law and How it Affects Your Day-to-Day Job Duties," 2012.
  • "The Fair Labor Standards Act: Back to the Basics," 2012.
  • "The Family Medical Leave Act: The Devil is in the Details," 2011.
  • "Social Media and the Law," 2011.
  • "Sexual Harassment," 2011.
  • "Employment Law Myths, Overlooked Basics and Best Practices," 2011.
  • "Texas Employees Receive New Gun Rights," Haynes and Boone Alert, 2011.
  • "Responding to an EEOC Charge: How to Answer when the EEOC Comes Knocking," 2010.
  • "Addressing the Corporate Insider: Workplace Retaliation Update," 2009.
  • "The Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Regulations of the Family Medical Leave Act," 2009.

Selected Representative Experience


Roger Markwardt v. United Rentals, Inc.
Obtained summary judgment for employer against ex-manager bringing breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims based on a bonus plan and a non-competition agreement.

Strategic Acquisition of Data Services Company
Represented one of the nation's largest background screening providers in the strategic acquisition of a data collection services company.

Ruby Tuesday Acquisition of Assets of Lime Fresh
Represented Ruby Tuesday, Inc. in its $24 million acquisition of assets of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, Inc. and its affiliates. The asset purchase includes the brand's intellectual property rights and the assets of seven company owned restaurants, as well as royalties from five franchised restaurants.

Acquisition of Williams Fire & Hazard Control
Represented Chemguard, Inc. in its acquisition of all of the stock of Williams Fire & Hazard Control, Inc.

Southwest Fire Protection and Universal Sprinklers v. Thomas Carberry (state district court-Houston)
Filed lawsuit on behalf of companies against former shareholder of company for breach of stock purchase. After trial, the court issued final order finding violation of shareholder agreement, enjoining former shareholder from future conduct in violation of agreement, and awarded companies damages by ordering former shareholder to forfeit retained ownership interest in parent company.

Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
  • Labor and Employment Sections of the Texas and Tarrant County Bar Associations
  • Texas Bar Foundation Member
  • Tarrant County Bar Foundation Life Fellow
  • State Bar of Texas Pro Bono College Member
  • Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, Associated 2006-2008
  • Haynes and Boone Diversity Committee

Online Publications

01/21/2014 - Labor and Employment Law and Social Media: 2013 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2014
Social media continued its rise as a significant factor in almost every aspect of the employer-employee relationship, the authors write.

01/13/2014 - Human Resource Executive Online Guest Article: Drawing the Line on Social Media
Employees use social media on a daily basis and ever-exceedingly creative ways. One of the most recent examples of this creativity is an employee who resigned by submitting to her employer through YouTube an interpretive dance video to Kanye West's "Gone." However, if the employee is still employed -- not resigning, like the YouTube dancer -- this creative social media use may not always comply with the employer's view of acceptable employee behavior.

12/09/2013 - Fort Worth Business Press Guest Article: Social Media Employment Law Evolving
In the past year, the trend of employees using social media in ever-exceedingly creative ways has continued.

07/02/2013 - June 24, 2013: A Good Day for Employers Defending Against Title VII Claims - The U.S. Supreme Court Issues Two Significant Victories
In 2012, more than 99,000 charges of discrimination were filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Of these charges, 31,208 of them alleged retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued two much-anticipated employment law rulings, both of which are beneficial to employers confronted with these charges.

01/24/2013 - Social Media Law Reporter Guest Article: Top Five Issues to Watch in 2013
Social media touches a variety of different areas of individuals’ lives. It allows people to easily stay in touch with family and friends across the world, follow their favorite celebrity’s random thoughts expressed in 140 characters or less, and receive coupons from stores by ‘‘liking’’ or reposting certain information. In fact, it is hard for anyone with access to a computer or other mobile device to avoid being involved in social media in some way.

06/27/2011 - Texas Employees Receive New Gun Rights
As of September 1, 2011, most Texas employers cannot prohibit employees from possessing guns in their locked, personal vehicles on employers’ premises.

04/18/2011 - Fifth Circuit Rules Harassment Claims Not Viable Under USERRA
On March 22, 2011, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) does not support a cause of action for hostile work environment. This is the first ruling from any Circuit Court regarding the issue.

04/14/2011 - The EEOC Issues Final Regulations Implementing the ADAAA
On September 25, 2008, former President George W. Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (the “ADAAA” or the “Act”) into law, broadening the definition of “disability” under the Americans with Disability Act (“ADA”).

03/24/2011 - Flights of Fancy: The Supreme Court Delineates What Complaints the FLSA Protects
According to an old Russian Proverb, “A spoken word is not a sparrow. Once it flies out, you can’t catch it.” Applying this to the employment context, if an employee verbally complains that his employer is violating the FLSA, is the employee protected from retaliation? Deciding a split among the circuit courts, the Supreme Court answered the question affirmatively, eliminating the need for a net: the FLSA protects employees who file oral complaints.

03/09/2011 - Employers’ Cat’s Paw Liability: Watch Out for the Monkey Business of Supervisors
In a case decided last week, Staub v. Proctor Hospital, a unanimous United States Supreme Court finally addressed the application of the “cat’s paw” theory of liability to employment discrimination claims, holding that an employer can be liable for an employment action motivated by a non-decision maker’s discriminatory animus.

02/22/2011 - OSHA 2010 and 2011: A Review of OSHA’s Expanded Enforcement Initiatives in 2010 and the Outlook for 2011
The business community has been placed on notice. OSHA has been actively pursuing its regulatory agenda, while also arming its arsenal to enforce compliance.

02/15/2011 - Supreme Court Again Expands Retaliation Protection
Consistent with its retaliation decisions over the past five years, the United States Supreme Court has revisited and expanded the scope of protection from retaliation under Title VII. In an 8-0 decision issued January 24, 2011, the high court expanded the scope of Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision by concluding that in certain situations, the statute allows an employee who has not personally engaged in protected activity to lodge a retaliation claim under the statute.

07/29/2010 - Litigating Arbitration Agreements: Recent United States Supreme Court Decisions Provide Guidance to Employers Looking to Avoid Court
Despite entering into arbitration agreements with their employees, employers all too often find themselves in court adverse to the very employees who have signed an arbitration agreement. The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued three arbitration decisions that have important implications for employers seeking to avoid the inside of a courtroom.