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 employers in employment litigation and arbitration matters involving a variety of claims, including claims concerning age, sex, gender, race, national origin, disability, religion, the Family and 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 also has 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 arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the American Arbitration Association. She frequently prepares employment agreements and employment-related policies, provides management training, and counsels employers on various employment issues concerning hiring, disciplining and terminating employees, investigating employee complaints, social media-related issues, covenants not to compete and in a variety of other areas.
Karen is a frequent speaker on a variety of labor and employment law topics and authors articles for national audiences on topics related to Employment Law and Social Media. One of her most recent publications, “Social Media and Labor and Employment Law in 2015 and Beyond,” was featured in Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report.
Karen is a member of the Tarrant County Bar Association, Texas Bar Foundation, and the Tarrant County Bar Foundation and in 2012 was named the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association. In her local community, Karen serves as a board member for and is a past chair of the board for Casa Mañana, Inc.
- 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 disputes with financial advisors, including a complete defense award against former advisor challenging stock forfeiture provisions in an 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 and Medical Leave Act, disability and retaliation claims.
- Obtained summary judgments for companies on breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, Defend Trade Secrets Act, copyright infringement, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, premises liability, quantum meruit, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, 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.
- Obtained plaintiff verdicts in bench trial and arbitrations against ex-employees and contractors who violated covenants not to compete and confidentiality agreements.
- Casa Mañana, Inc., Board Member and Past Chair of the Board (2007-present)
- Tarrant County Bar Association, President (2022)
- Texas Bar Foundation Nominating Co-Chair, District 7 (2019-2021)
- The Parenting Center, Past President and Board Member (2012-2017)
- 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
- Labor and Employment Sections of the Texas and Tarrant County Bar Associations
- Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow
- Tarrant County Bar Foundation Life Fellow
- Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, Associated 2006-2008
- Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc., for Litigation - Labor and Employment, 2019-2023
- Recognized in Chambers USA, Chambers and Partners, 2022
- Recognized as a Top Attorney in Tarrant County by 360 West Magazine, Scott Publications, 2018
- Selected for inclusion in Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, for Employment & Labor, 2014-2020, 2022 and Texas Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition, Thomson Reuters, 2006, 2008-2013
- Awarded Outstanding Service Award by the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County for service to Casa Mañana, Inc., 2014
- 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
- Named the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas by the Texas Young Lawyers Association and selected as the 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County by the Fort Worth-Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association
- Top Three Finalist for the 2012 National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award by the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division
- Chosen as a Top Attorney in Labor and Employment in Fort Worth, Texas, magazine, Panther City Media Group, LP, 2009-2019
- “Closing the Deal: Employee Issues in Business Transactions,” presenter, Tarrant County Bar Association’s Business Organizations and Transaction Updates, Fort Worth, Texas, February 21, 2020.
- “Employment Law Update,” presenter, Fort Worth CPAs Members’ CPE Day, Fort Worth, Texas, June 25, 2019.
- “Employment Law Update: Handling the Always Complicated Situations that Arise Under the ADA and FMLA,” presenter, Fort Worth, Texas, May 30, 2019.
- “Employment Law Update: Service Animals, Legal Marijuana and Other Emerging Issues – How Should You Respond?,” co-presenter, Fort Worth, Texas, May 30, 2019.
- “Employment Law Update: Recent Rulings and What Employees Have Done Now,” presenter, San Antonio, Texas, April 24, 2019.
- “Employment Law Update,” presenter, Fort Worth CPAs Members’ CPE Day, Fort Worth, Texas, June 19, 2018.
- “Social Media in the Workplace,” speaker, Nonprofit Organizations Conference, Dallas, Texas, May 21, 2018.
- “Social Media in the Workplace,” speaker, Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants’ 2017 CPE EXPO Conference, Arlington, Texas, November 30, 2017.
- “Social Media in the Workplace,” presenter, Fort Worth CPAs Members’ CPE Day, Fort Worth, Texas, June 20, 2017.
- “What to Do When the Department of Labor Comes Knocking,” speaker, Gateway CPA CPE Day, North Richland Hills, Texas, May 19, 2016.
- “Employer Victories and Losses – The Employment Law Count Over the Past Year, But Who’s Counting,” speaker, Cross Timbers SHRM and TSU Student SHRM’s 2016 HR Management and Leadership Conference, Stephenville, Texas, February 17, 2016.
- "Social Media and Labor and Employment Law in 2015 and Beyond," co-author, Bloomberg BNA's Social Media Law & Policy Report, January 13, 2015.
- "Employment Law Update: Why Employers Never Get a Good Night’s Sleep," 2015.
- "Employment Law 101: The Basics and Emerging Issues," 2015.
- "Putting It Into Practice: Employee Situations and How to Respond," 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.
J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 2002
B.S., Texas Tech University, 1999, summa cum laude
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
On July 19, Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Karen Denney was sworn in as president of the Tarrant County Bar Association (TCBA), which is comprised of more than 2,600 lawyers, judges, and law students in the Fort Worth area. The organization’s members voted for Denney as president-elect in 2021, and she began serving as president in July 2022. Her term as president will run through June 30, 2023 [...]