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
Unfair Competition/Trade Secrets
Advanced Leave Issues
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.
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.
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.