Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 80 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
Last summer, we wrote about the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) requirements in conjunction with the EEOC's effort to sue employers who use background checks for job applicants and employees. Essentially, the EEOC alleges that an employer's use of background checks can lead to a disparate impact among applicants and employees. Thus far, the EEOC's effort in this regard has been basically unsuccessful—albeit relentless.
Nevertheless, the Fourth Circuit recently issued another resounding defeat against the EEOC in its opinion, EEOC v. Freeman, No. 13-2365, 2015 WL 728038 (4th Cir. Feb. 20, 2015). Specifically, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's holdings in EEOC v. Freeman, 961 F. Supp. 2d 783, 793-96 (D. Md. 2013), which we discussed in our June 2014 Work Knowledge Blog post on this issue. Id. at *3. Like the district court, the Fourth Circuit took issue with the EEOC's expert, Kevin R. Murphy, noting the "'sheer number of mistakes and omissions'" in the EEOC's expert's analysis. Id. These errors included "double-counting applicants who had failed their background checks" and a failure to "change 'incorrect coding of race and pass/fail status for several individuals'" in the data set. Id.
Though, perhaps most relevant for employers defending against this sort of action was Judge Agee's concurring opinion. Id. at *3-7 (Agee, J., concurring). He reminded the EEOC that its "actions can be also expected to have broader consequences than those of an ordinary litigant given the 'vast disparity of resources between the government and private litigants.'" Id. at *7. That is, the EEOC owes a duty not only to employees, but also to "employers as well: a duty reasonably to investigate charges, a duty to conciliate in good faith, and a duty to cease enforcement attempts after learning that an action lacks merit." Id. (citing EEOC v. Argo Distrib., LLC, 555 F.3d 462, 473 (5th Cir. 2009)). Judge Agee found that the EEOC failed in this duty, and he encouraged the EEOC "to reconsider how it might better discharge the responsibilities delegated to it or face the consequences for failing to do so." Id.
The Fourth Circuit's opinion in Freeman, particularly Judge Agee's concurrence, represents another victory for employers in the battle against the EEOC's argument that certain background checks lead to a disparate impact among job applicants and employees. Nevertheless, the EEOC currently has other background check related cases still ongoing, so the question of whether the EEOC will continue this enforcement effort remains open. This means employers should still proceed cautiously when using background checks in the workplace.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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