Labor and Employment

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Special Acknowledgements

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report
and Best Lawyers®

Metropolitan Tier 2, Dallas/Fort Worth
Litigation - Labor and Employment

When an employer calls one of Gardere's labor law attorneys with a question or issue, they tap into a highly responsive team with a broad focus and deep level of experience. These combined qualities offer clients a candid, 360-degree perspective that adds value and saves time and money by spotting unanticipated issues before they become problems and offering practical solutions. This also includes legislative and regulatory concerns brewing in Austin, Washington and elsewhere.

In addition to a substantive knowledge of multiple industries and areas of the law, our employment law attorneys get to know a client's specific business objectives, strategies and risk factors. We consistently offer targeted and practical help congruent with our client's needs. This might mean focusing, for example, on day-to-day counseling, training or litigation avoidance; however, we are also prepared to go to court and to fight aggressively if that is what it takes to best represent our client's interests.

Embedded in Texas, we handle many engagements in the energy sector for businesses of virtually all types and sizes. In addition, we work throughout the U.S., often for employers in the hospitality and retail markets, two industries where experienced labor and employment counsel can bring enormous value.

Clients turn to us for non-compete, OSHA compliance, trade secret protection, affirmative action, immigration, discrimination, whistleblower, wage and hour, union-related and collective action cases.

Client Stories

A Non-Compete Claim was Dropped

Where we started: Our clients, RWLS, an oilfield service company, and its Texas president were sued by a competitor, Gray Wireline, for tortious interference, breach of non-compete agreements and violation of confidentiality provisions. The litigation was filed in Pennsylvania and Texas, and claimed that RWLS had stolen Gray Wireline's truck design.

Our roadmap: We conducted 30 depositions in a two-month period, proving that Gray Wireline’s claims were false.

And finally: Gardere was successful in keeping Gray Wireline and the President out of litigation without exposure millions of dollars in damages and years of litigation expenses. The ultimate claim was arbitrated two years after Gardere's clients were dismissed.

A Victory in an OSHA fatality case

Where we started: In August 2006, a double fatality accident took place at the Dallas Mercantile demolition site, operated by our client, URS/Cleveland Wrecking Company.  Two workers were killed when a 6,000 pound Bobcat accidentally pushed a buried angle iron into a low parapet wall, pushing the wall over the roof of the Dallas Building and killing a truck driver and flagger 19 floors below.

Our roadmap: Gardere handled the matter both in the civil litigation and before OSHA. On the OSHA side, we suffered a defeat at the 2009 trial, with the OSHA trial judge upholding two “Willful” citations and imposing heavy penalties.

And finally:  Gardere handled the appeal to the OSHA Commission, obtaining a rare reversal and remand and narrowing the issues in favor of the client. OSHA agreed to bring the matter to a close by completely vacating the citation related to the fatalities and amending the other citation to be “Unclassified” (meaning non-willful).

Employment Litigation

Gardere handles all aspects of litigation in both state and federal courts at all levels nationwide. These matters include individual and class action matters under the:

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • State fair employment statutes
  • Claims of wrongful discharge
  • Class Action Defense and Complex Litigation

Gardere’s class action practice is experienced in all aspects of class action litigation and counseling for clients around the U.S. Representation includes cases involving all varieties of employment discrimination, as well as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), director, officer and fiduciary investigations and disputes. Our lawyers have represented clients in class actions filed in 22 states, from New York to California, and are experienced in all areas of class action law.

Labor and Employment Essentials

Gardere's labor and employment lawyers have been renowned for decades for their work with national clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. We represent employers and managers in state and federal wage and hour class actions and collective actions, as well as in individual and class action employment discrimination disputes. In addition, we handle issues involving:

  • Non-compete/trade secret protection and litigation
  • Sarbanes-Oxley claims
  • Railway Labor Act issues
  • Immigration
  • Affirmative action plans
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance and claims
  • Government contractor employment
  • Wrongful discharge claims
  • Sexual harassment and retaliation claims
  • Whistleblower claims

Clients seek our help with the strategy and implications of corporate reductions in force, reorganizations, acquisitions and relocations, as well as with employment forms, contracts, executive compensation, severance agreements, non-competes, and employment policies and procedures.


Gardere's labor and employment attorneys have experience in all 50 states and U.S. territories, and regularly assist clients in implementing "paperless pay" and electronic paystub systems because of a renewed emphasis on direct deposit – and the introduction of paycards when direct deposit is not selected by employees.

Union Avoidance, Union Negotiations and Contract Disputes

We are current on the latest developments on NRLB rules on elections and regularly provide union avoidance training to escape any type of organizational activity. Additionally, our lawyers have effectively conducted negotiations with the Teamsters, UAW, URW, LGWU, Carpenters, Stage Hands, Decorators, Glaziers, Patternmakers, IBEW, IUE, IE, CWA, SEIU, OPEIU, UFCW and other internationally affiliated and independent unions.

We have developed comprehensive labor relations programs, including multimedia presentations for use with supervisors and employees and in response to union organizing campaigns.  When labor trouble strikes in the form of picketing or work stoppages, we can help with contingency plans, restraining orders, damage litigation and dispute resolution.

Immigration and Naturalization

Gardere assists corporate clients in ensuring compliance with the I-9 regulations, E-Verify and counsels and represents clients during governmental I-9 audits as well hiring and termination decisions with regard to foreign nationals, and employer sanctions and anti-discrimination issues.

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