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Celeste R. Yeager
Partner, Labor and Employment
Thanksgiving Tower, Suite 3000
1601 Elm Street
Area(s) of Expertise
Celeste R. Yeager is Chair of the Immigration and Naturalization Practice, Vice Chair of the Gardere Hospitality Industry Team, and has a comprehensive labor and employment practice, including both litigation and counseling. Ms. Yeager is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law and represents employers nationally in all types of employment disputes, including class and collective actions before local, state, and federal administrative agencies and courts. Ms. Yeager’s counseling and litigation experience includes: Title VII; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN); Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
Additionally, Ms. Yeager has an active traditional labor practice representing clients with organized workforces before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and counseling clients on avoiding union organizing, handling campaigns, and negotiating collective bargaining agreements. She also analyzes employment issues in corporate transactions, including asset and stock purchase agreements, and drafts and enforces employment agreements, non-compete and confidentiality agreements, and severance agreements.
Clients and Matters
- Allied Waste Industries Inc.
- American Leather
- Cardinal IG Co.
- Dave & Busters Entertainment Inc.
- HEB Central Market
- Hilton Worldwide Inc.
- King Consolidated Inc.
- NYLO Hotels
- Oil States International Inc.
- TOG Hotel Properties
Representative matters include the following:
- Represented Dave & Busters in a class action case pending in California State Court and also before the California Court of Appeals. Plaintiffs alleged that it violated California Labor Law to require wait staff to share tips with bartenders who did not provide “direct” table services. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Dave & Busters and the Court of Appeals upheld that decision.
- Represented Dollar General in a sexual harassment/rape case pending in Federal Court for the Northern District of Texas. Plaintiff claimed that a co-worker harassed and raped her on the store premises. Obtained summary judgment for Dollar General. No appeal was taken.
- Tried a jury trial for Allied Waste in Texas State Court, Tarrant County. Plaintiff alleged workers' compensation retaliation after he was injured during a wreck while driving the company garbage truck. Obtained unanimous jury verdict for Allied Waste. No appeal was taken.
- Negotiated and settled a four-year collective bargaining agreement for Allied Waste with Teamsters Local 767.
- J.D., Baylor Law School (1996)
- B.A., Baylor University (1995)
Publications and Speeches
- Author, Counseling Employers Throughout the OSHA Investigation Process to Provide the Best Possible Opportunity to Avoid and Appeal Citations, Complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Act: Leading Lawyers on Navigating OSHA Investigations and Developing Successful Compliance Strategies (Inside the Minds), Thomson Reuters/Aspatore (2012).
- Author, Are Religious Quotes in Emails Too Far?, HotelNewsNow.com, June 27, 2012 (also published in 2:3 HospitalityLawyer.com Lab. & Emp. Newsl., July 2012).
- Author, Employers Should Keep a Close Eye on Obama's Recess Appointments to NLRB and EEOC, Gardere Emp. Alert, April 27, 2010.
- Author, EEOC Charges: Handling the Increase, Tex. Gen. Couns. F., Tex. Law., May 11, 2009.
- Author, Pending Legislation Could Impact Employers, In-House Tex., Tex. Law., Aug. 3, 2009.
- Author, Addressing the Employee Free Choice Act, Gardere Lab. Alert, Nov. 5, 2008.
- Co-Author, Wait Staff Tip Pooling Giving Rise to Lawsuits, Gardere Hospitality Industry Emp. Rep., February 2007.
- Author, Lessons Learned in the Wake of "A Day Without Immigrants", Gardere Lab. & Emp. Q., July 2006.
- Author, U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Numerosity is Not a Jurisdictional Issue, Gardere Lab. & Emp. Q., April 2006.
- Author, Supreme Court Rejects Reverse Age Discrimination Claims, Gardere Lab. & Emp. Q., July 2004.
- Co-Author, The State of Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment Claims after Ellerth and Fagher, Job Description (DRI) at 4, Summer 1998.
Co-Author, Employer Rights and Obligations under the FMLA, For Def. (DRI publication for Def., Ins. & Corp. Couns.), November 1998.
- Speaker, Address at Gardere Women’s Council Spring CLE: Ethics - Building the Foundation for Everyday Situations; Class Action - A Case Study of Ethical Dilemmas (2011).
- Speaker, Address at the Houston Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators: Preparing for an Increase in Discrimination Charges (November 2010).
- Speaker, Address at Gardere Women's Council Spring CLE: Navigating Out of the Woods - Ethical Issues in Social Networking (2010).
- Speaker, Address at Austin Bar Conference: Advanced Litigation - Employment Law in the Obama Administration (2009).
- Speaker, Address at Gardere Women’s Council Spring CLE: Clarity in Chaos - The Obama Watch (2009).
- Speaker, Address at Big D Hotel Conference (2006, 2007).
- Speaker, Address at University of Houston Law Foundation Employer-Side Employment Law Seminar: Disabilities and Accommodations Under the ADA - New Developments (Dallas and Houston) (December 2005).
- Speaker, Address at University of Houston Law Foundation Employment Law for Lawyers and Human Resource Professionals Seminar: Disabilities and Accommodations Under the ADA - New Developments (Dallas and Houston) (November 2003, December 2003).
- Panelist, The Center for Hospitality Research Labor and Employment Law Roundtable, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, N.Y. (May 5-6, 2013).
- Panelist, Fifth Bi-Annual Federal Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Conference: Internal Investigations/HR Audits, New Orleans, La. (May 2-3, 2013)
- Panelist, Seventh Annual National HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo, HR Legal Experts Roundtable: The Hard Part of Recruitment Isn't the Search - Compliance in Hiring, Las Vegas, Nev. (March 11-13, 2013).
- Panelist, The Center for Hospitality Research Labor and Employment Law Roundtable, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, N.Y. (May 6-7, 2012).
- Panelist, Sixth Annual National HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo, HR Legal Experts Roundtable: Effectively Responding to Union Organizing and Influence, San Francisco, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2012).
- Panelist, The Center for Hospitality Research Labor and Employment Law Roundtable, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, N.Y. (May 15-16, 2011).
- Panelist, Fifth Annual National HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo, HR Legal Experts Roundtable, Washington, D.C. (April 4-6, 2011).
- Panelist, The Center for Hospitality Research Labor and Employment Law Roundtable, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Ithaca, N.Y. (May 2-3, 2010).
- Interviewed, Reversed and Remanded, Texas Lawyer (Oct. 12, 2012).
- Interviewed, Celeste Yeager Discusses the Legal Issues Associated with Office Lottery Pools, Fox 4/KDFW (FOX affiliate in Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex) (March 29, 2012).
- Interviewed, Top HR Concerns of 2012, HotelNewsNow.com (March 6, 2012).
- Quoted, How to Respond to Hotel Union Organizing, HotelNewsNow.com (March 5, 2012).
- Quoted, Responding to Union Organizing, Human Resource Executive Online (Feb. 28, 2012).
- Interviewed, Celeste Yeager Discusses Whether Physical Traits Can Be Factored Into Hiring Decisions, KRLD (all news radio station serving the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex) (Jan. 3, 2012).
Admitted to practice before:
- Texas State Courts
- U.S. District Courts for all districts of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Member, Dallas Bar Association
- Member, Gardere Women's Council
- Member, State Bar of Texas
- Member, Texas Retailers Association
Honors and Awards
Recognized, Texas Rising Stars, Law & Politics Media Inc. as published in Texas Monthly (2005, 2007, 2008, 2011-2013)
- Member, Attorneys Serving the Community
- Co-Chair, VIP Reception & Silent Auction (2011)
- Director, Fine Arts Chamber Players
- Graduate, Leadership Arts Institute, Business Council for the Arts (2004-2005)