Employment Practices Liability Insurance Defense

The Labor & Employment and the Litigation practice sections at ScottHulse defend employers, insurance carriers, self-insured entities and third party administrators in the U.S./Mexico Borderplex region, including West Texas, South Central Texas, and Southern New Mexico.

The teams work in concert to minimize the risk of employment practices liability (EPL) disputes, and to represent an employer’s interests when they do occur. Many ScottHulse attorneys are licensed in both Texas and New Mexico.

U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Rule Regulations Checklist
Reasons to Retain Our Labor & Employment Practice Group

Employment practices liability claims vary widely by state, particularly where state laws may provide employees with protection beyond that covered by federal law.

The entire ScottHulse Labor & Employment team is experienced in working within a very liberal court system in El Paso County, including a jury pool that is very employee-oriented. Because of the dynamics that are present in El Paso, the verdicts on employment cases are often among the highest in the nation.

In New Mexico, employers have an approximately 66 percent greater chance of employment-related litigation than the national average, according to research by a national insurance broker. With a regional practice, one-third of the Firm’s attorneys, including Rosemary Marin, are licensed to practice in New Mexico as well as Texas, and are experienced in the New Mexico court system.

Out-of-town lawyers who attempt to defend employers in the U.S./Mexico Borderplex region do not often meet with success. The attorneys at ScottHulse maintain leadership roles in the local business, educational and legal communities in El Paso and San Antonio, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico, thereby providing clients with hometown knowledge and jury experience that only other locals would understand.

Federal and State Employment Law Defense

ScottHulse brings in-depth knowledge of federal employment law to each employment practices case. The Firm regularly defends clients in disputes relating to state and federal workplace laws, including:

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)
  • Title VII

Prevention is the Best Defense against Employment Claims

Current employees, former employees, and employee applicants can all initiate an employment practices liability claim against an employer. ScottHulse believes that prevention is the best form of protection to reduce the risk of employment claims, and proactively partners with clients to create educated, accountable HR teams that become less reliant on the Firm’s legal services over time.

ScottHulse routinely defends employers in a full range of EPLI disputes, including the following:

  • Bullying
  • Criminal background or credit checks
  • Defamation
  • Disability accommodations
  • Discrimination
  • Drug testing
  • Emotional distress
  • Employment contracts
  • Failure to employ or promote
  • FMLA and other leave requests
  • Hostile work environment
  • Independent contractors
  • Misrepresentation
  • Negligent evaluation
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Retaliation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Trade secrets
  • Wrongful discipline
  • Wrongful termination

Rosemary Marin, Chair of the Labor & Employment practice section, is a member of the Firm’s Board of Directors and is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has never lost a jury trial on an employment matter on which she was lead counsel, and has a success rate of more than 90% in defending clients against hundreds of discrimination and other charges before various administrative agencies.

M. Mitchell Moss, Litigation Section Chair, has tried over 100 cases, with a great majority resulting in favorable verdicts for his clients.

On-Going Risk Management Training by ScottHulse

ScottHulse recognizes that in order to minimize risk, employers must provide on-going training related to complex and rapidly changing labor and employment laws and regulations. The Firm is available to conduct on-site training on a range of employment topics, including but not limited to:

  • Department of Labor wage and hour laws
  • Discrimination avoidance
  • Employee performance
  • Harassment, discrimination and retaliation
  • Independent contractor management
  • Personnel policies
  • Proactive management, including hiring, discipline and termination

Annual ScottHulse Employment Law Seminar

The ScottHulse Labor & Employment practice section takes a proactive approach to protecting employers against employment practices claims. Every year, the Firm holds an annual employment law seminar for employers of all sizes. The event always sells out, and the eighth annual conference, held in March of 2016, attracted more than 200 business owners, executives, managers, supervisors, HR professionals, and in-house legal counsel. Attendees learned the latest developments in labor and employment law, as well as practical strategies and programs designed to reduce risk in employment matters and regulatory compliance.

Seminar topics included the Affordable Care Act; audits and compliance with the rules and regulations of various government agencies, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Labor (DOL); and recent employment case law updates that affect every workplace. Recent legal requirements for employee handbooks, as well as the proper handling of layoffs and terminations, were also discussed.

Geographic Areas Served

In addition to serving the states of Texas and New Mexico, ScottHulse offers a local presence in the counties identified below.

Texas: El Paso Area
Serving El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson Counties.

Texas: San Antonio Area
Serving the Greater San Antonio region, which includes eight counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Kendall, Medina, and Wilson.

New Mexico: Las Cruces Area
Serving Doña Ana, Luna, Sierra, and Otera Counties.

Contact an Employment Practices Liability Law Firm in Texas and New Mexico

Shareholder Rosemary M. Marin, Chair of the Labor & Employment Section, is available to provide more information about the defense of employment practices liability claims in Texas or New Mexico.


Representative Cases

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.

Presentations

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.


We work proactively with our clients to develop and implement preventive strategies that reduce legal risk. That’s where we make the most difference and can best protect our clients.  When litigation is necessary, our clients can rely on the depth of our experience and our strong record of success in providing an aggressive and effective defense.”

Rosemary Marin
Chair - Labor & Employment

Testimonial Rosemary Marin