Rosemary M. Marin
Chair – Labor & Employment
Francisco J. Ortega
James M.H. Feuille
M. Blake Downey
Key areas of representation and service provided by our labor and employment lawyers include:
Representing management, our attorneys handle employment litigation and regulatory issues (Title VII, Wage/Hour/I-9 Compliance , ADEA, ADA, FMLA, OSHA), labor union matters (NLRB, NLRA). They also provide legal and practical advice on implementing business decisions that affect companies, executives, managers, and other employees.
Under the leadership of Rosemary Marin, a shareholder and member of the ScottHulse board of directors, the Firm’s labor and employment practice group focuses on helping clients manage and limit risk through preventive measures and strong advocacy. Our labor and employment attorneys within this practice group provide training and consultation to help businesses take proactive steps to avoid employment disputes.
Should unavoidable lawsuits arise, our Labor & Employment team includes experienced litigators and trial lawyers who are well prepared to aggressively defend clients. Our trial lawyers have a high success rate in successfully resolving claims and administrative charges, investigations arising from those charges, and lawsuits involving various types of claims and allegations.
More detailed descriptions of the key areas of our Labor & Employment practice are provided below.
The escalating number of statutes and regulations governing the employment relationship creates increasingly diverse and complex issues in the workplace. To help clients avoid employment litigation altogether, a substantial portion of our Labor & Employment practice is devoted to helping our clients proactively approach employee issues in ways that minimize legal risks and maximize business effectiveness. Our proactive approach to employee relations focuses on developing legally sound policies and practices which minimize clients’ exposure to potential employee complaints, government agency actions, and union-related problems.
Our labor and employment attorneys also assist clients in implementing and enforcing those policies fairly and consistently. Such services include review and development of clients’ employee handbooks and supervisory policy manuals. Additionally, we provide practical, day-to-day advice to clients and review disciplinary decisions and documents before they are issued, in order to establish a strong defense in the event a claim is filed.
Because most lawsuits result from inadequate management communication or poor handling of employee issues, our labor attorneys often provide management training in a variety of topics, including:
For various reasons, El Paso and the surrounding region are responsible for some of the highest jury verdicts against employers in the U.S. Therefore, every employer who has been sued in this area needs to understand that fact and face every trial with an effective trial team that is ready for battle. Our juries reflect the local community, in ethnic, educational and socio-economic backgrounds. Experienced trial lawyers and judges know that our juries listen and respond to well-prepared local attorneys in this region. Consequently, local and non-local businesses (and the law firms who represent them) who face the potential of an uphill battle of a jury trial on an employment case in this region are best served by hiring top local lawyers with whom our juries and judges can identify. We are those lawyers.
Our Labor & Employment team includes experienced litigators, who are prepared to aggressively defend clients against unavoidable lawsuits. Our trial lawyers have successfully resolved hundreds of claims and administrative charges, investigations arising from those charges, and lawsuits involving varying types of claims. Representative matters have included workers compensation; racial, sex, age, and religious discrimination; wage and hour protections; harassment; family and medical leave rights; state tort and contract laws; whistleblower protections; retaliation; disability; and veterans’ rights. We also have successfully represented clients against hundreds of charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas and New Mexico Commissions on Human Rights.
With the potential risks associated with jury trials, particularly in a border region with a history of high employment-related verdicts in favor of Plaintiffs, an increasing number of companies use alternative dispute resolution techniques to resolve employment disputes. Our Labor & Employment attorneys are experienced in all forms of ADR and routinely use arbitration, mediation, and other settlement procedures to obtain favorable results in matters ranging from individual EEOC charges to lawsuits.
We also routinely advise clients on the legal and practical issues surrounding pre-dispute arbitration agreements and employer-promulgated ADR programs. We advise clients on the advantages and disadvantages of such programs and, where appropriate, assist in the development and implementation of arbitration agreements and programs tailored to the client’s needs.
Clients often turn to ScottHulse for counsel related to the array of labor and personnel issues which arise in the event of changes in corporate ownership, plant closings, and reductions in workforce, including compliance with the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN). We also advise employers on the various aspects of their efforts to reorganize, downsize, and implement lay-offs or reductions in force in today’s ever-changing economy.
Our Labor & Employment practice group represents employers in the full spectrum of traditional labor law issues. Our attorneys counsel non-union clients and their managers on how to remain union free, and represent clients in unionized campaigns and unfair labor practice cases. They also represent clients in collective bargaining, contract interpretation and employee grievance issues, and represent clients in arbitration proceedings pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. Some of our attorneys have appeared before the National Labor Relations Board and successfully defended various claims in that arena.
Our attorneys regularly prepare agreements to prevent employees and potential employees from revealing confidential, proprietary information or competing with the employer during or after employment. They also guide management on how to present these agreements to employees to minimize risk of disruption to the business, and routinely assist employers in implementing these agreements to ensure enforceability.
Shane v. Fed Ex Freight (Federal Court). Motion for Summary Judgement granted, dismissing national origin and age discrimination claims.
Medina v. Texas- New Mexico Newspaper Partnership (Federal Court). Motion for Summary Judgement granted, dismissing age, national origin & gender discrimination claims.
Adams et al v. YISD. Victory before Texas Education Agency upholding lesson plan requirements.
Ace Cleaning Services, Inc. and Genesis Total Management, Inc. v. Industrial, Technical & Professional Employees Union, OPEUI Local # 4873, AFL-CIO. Launched successful union avoidance campaign and successfully represented janitorial company in union election before the National Labor Relations Board, defeating the union.
Mayanin Flores v. El Paso Times (State Court). Trial victory involving a claim for workers’ compensation retaliation.
Duron v. El Paso Community Action Program/Project Bravo (State Court). Partial Summary Judgment dismissing disability discrimination claim, then trial victory involving claim for retaliation.
Kraft v. Earnhardt Motors, Inc. (State Court). Pre-trial dismissal of discriminatory advertising claim, then trial victory involving claim for age discrimination.
*Ysleta Teachers Association/TSTA/NEW and Teri Sanchez, on behalf of all affected members v. Ysleta ISD, No. 054-R10-0506. Victory before Texas Education Agency regarding teachers’ (exempt employees) dispute of District’s right to require a 40-hour workweek.
Duron v. El Paso Independent School District (State Court). Trial victory involving claim for national origin discrimination, gender discrimination and retaliation.
Corral v. Levi Strauss & Co. (State Court). Trial victory and dismissal involving claim for workers’ compensation retaliation.
Maldonado v. El Paso Psychiatric Center (State Court). Trial victory and dismissal involving claim for workers’ compensation retaliation.
Corral v. Levi Strauss & Co . (Federal Court). Trial victory and dismissal involving disability discrimination and retaliation.
Rojas v. Southwestern Bell Telephone, L.P. (Tex. 2008). Motion for Summary Judgment granted, dismissing workers’ compensation retaliation claim.
*Garcia v. Levi Strauss & Co., 85 S.W.3d 362 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2002). Motion for Summary Judgment upheld, dismissing workers’ compensation retaliation claim because employer articulated a legitimate business reason for the action taken and Plaintiff was unable to meet her burden of proving the reason was a pretext for discrimination.
Sommers v. City of El Paso (Federal court, 2007). Motion for Summary Judgment granted, dismissing gender, age and retaliation claims against the El Paso Police Department.
Vicari v. Ysleta Independent School District (Federal court, 2007). Motion for Summary Judgment granted, dismissing gender, sex and retaliation claims.
Duron v. Project Bravo, Inc. (State Court, 2008). Motion for Summary Judgment granted on “disability,” “regarded as disabled” and “failure to accommodate” discrimination claims.
*Perez v. L-3 Communications, et al., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45526 (W. D. Tex. 2006) (Federal court). Removal to federal court upheld based on diversity jurisdiction, despite Plaintiff’s claims to the contrary.
Hickman v. Best Buy, Inc. (Federal Court 2006). Removal to federal court upheld based on diversity jurisdiction, despite Plaintiff’s vague pleadings on the amount in controversy.
2015, March 4. Taking a Live Ball Down the Court: Update on the Affordable Care Act. Lecture presented at the ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2014, April 4. The Affordable Care Act vs. The Big Bang Theory: It’s Not Astrophysics (because that would be easier to understand). Lecture presented at the ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2014, April 4. Avoiding The Blacklist: Preparing for Government Audits Before Hiring. Lecture presented at the ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2014, April 4. Army Wives’ Tales. Lecture presented at the ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2014, April 4. Family Feud: FMLA, Pregnancy, and Disability! Interactive presentation at the ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2013, April 2. Providing & Surviving Government Audits. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2013, April 2. Jeopardy! Untangling Complex Leave Issues. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2012, March 30. Avoiding Pitfalls in Hiring and On-Boarding. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2011. Union Avoidance: A Canvas of Conflict. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2011. Surviving Governmental Audits: A Changing Landscape. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
2011. Social Networking: A Landscape of Risk. Lecture presented at ScottHulse Labor & Employment Law Seminar in El Paso, Texas.
Shooting Straight from the HIPAA: A Detailed Look at an Employer’s Obligations Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. El Paso Society for Human Resources Management.
Reconnecting America’s Workforce: Untangling the Web of Workers’ Compensation, FMLA and ADA Compliance. El Paso Society For Human Resource Management.
Conducting Thorough and Effective Investigations. El Paso Society for Human Resource Management.
A Little Touch Goes a Long Way: Recent Expansion of Sexual Harassment. El Paso Society of Human Resource Management Exchange Newsletter.
A Gentler, Kinder OSHA. El Paso Society of Human Resource Management Exchange Newsletter.
Overview of State and Federal Wage & Hour Laws. National Business Institute Seminar: Wage and Hour Laws in Texas.
A Brief Look at HIPAA and SARBANES-OXLEY. El Paso Society for Human Resources Management: Health and Benefits Seminar.
Arbitration Agreements and Protecting Intellectual Property. El Paso Bar Association: Civil Trial Seminar.
Reconnecting America’s Workforce: Untangling the Web of Workers’ Compensation, FMLA and ADA Compliance. El Paso Society for Human Resources Management: Health and Safety Seminar.
HIV is NOT a disability? El Paso Society of Human Resources Management Exchange Newsletter.
How Is Your Bladder? Addressing Serious Health Conditions under the FMLA, ADA, TWCC and Other Laws. El Paso Society for Human Resources Management Exchange Newsletter.
And Lead Us Not Into Temptation.: Communicating with a Corporate or Governmental Entity That is Represented by Counsel. El Paso Bar Association’s Bar Bulletin.
The DOL Giveth With One Hand and Taketh With The Other. El Paso Society of Human Resources Management Exchange Newsletter.
The Termination Process and Contingent Employees: Joint Employer Issues with Temporary and Leased Employees Under Various Arrangements. Sterling Educational Services Seminar: Hiring and Firing in Texas.
Employment Law Update. El Paso Bar Association: Eighth Annual Civil Trial Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Steering Clear of Legal Landmines When Disciplining and Terminating Workers’ Compensation Claimants. Council On Education in Management: Workers’ Comp. 101 Seminar.
Race to Sex and Back Again: Dealing with Trends and Changes in Employment Litigation. Texas Association of Defense Counsel: Spring Seminar, San Francisco, California;
Sexual Harassment Investigations and Documentation. Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators: Annual Employment Law Conference.
HIPAA and Case Management-Benefits and Liabilities. El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission Seminar: What You Don’t Know About Workers’ Compensation Can Hurt You.
U.S. Citizens Working in Mexico and Suing in Mexico and Vice Versa. State Bar of Texas Seminar: Navigating Cross-Border Issues.
Employment Law Update. El Paso Bar Association: Civil Trial Seminar; Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dealing with Difficult Employees. El Paso Society For Human Resources Management: Annual Employment Law Seminar.
Employment Law Update. State Bar of Texas: State Bar College Annual Summer School Seminar; Galveston Texas.
BURLINGTON REVISITED: Employers Beware: The U.S. Supreme Court Broadens the Scope of Liability for Retaliation Claims under Title VII (co-author). Houston HR Legislative Action Committee Newsletter.
Untangling the Web of Employee Leave Laws. El Paso Claims Association.
Retaliation Cases After Burlington Northern v. White. El Paso Bar Association: Employment Law Seminar.
Ten Hot Topics in Employment Law, Including Covenants Not to Compete. State Bar of Texas College “Summer School” Seminar; Galveston, Texas.
Damages In a Commercial Context. State Bar of Texas Consumer and Credit Law Course; Houston, Texas.