Employment Litigation Representative Matters

  • Currently representing a manufacturer of building and roofing systems in dispute brought by former employee, in which the employee alleges employment discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and common law. Strategy for disposition of the lawsuit is a quick and effective deposition of the plaintiff to disprove key elements of his claims, followed with a request that the court dismiss the claims based on the evidence.
  • After a client, a technology developer and implementer, terminated one of its regional managers for performance issues, the employee sent a demand letter for bonus and other severance payments allegedly owed under his employment agreement. Although the employee was initially poised to sue the client, quick action, strong legal strategy, and adept negotiations completely disposed of the demands without the need for settlement or litigation.
  • Counseled a former director of a valve manufacturer through his resignation and hiring at a different valve manufacturer. Representation included managing the identification, quarantining, return, and remediation of allegedly confidential information in the director’s possession, and advocating against the enforceability of his non-competition agreement.
  • Representing a national manufacturer-marketer of engineered pipe fittings in a wrongful termination dispute initiated by a former employee. The former employee has alleged wrongful termination on the basis of a perceived disability as well as the wrongful denial of medical leave under the FMLA.
  • Defending oilfield inspection company in an FLSA overtime lawsuit relating to the classification of its inspectors as exempt employees.
  • Represented volunteer fire department in lawsuit brought by group of employees alleging failure to properly calculate and pay overtime.
  • Represented oilfield equipment rental company in FLSA lawsuit alleging the company’s practice of paying its operator employees a salary plus a day rate and bonus failed to properly compensate non-exempt employees for overtime hours worked.
  • Represented waste removal and disposal company in FLSA lawsuit brought by group of employees alleging the company improperly used a day rate of pay resulting in the failure to properly compensate the company’s laborers for overtime hours worked.
  • Representing employers in various industries relating to the development of policies and procedures for determining contractor/employee classification and exempt/non-exempt employee classification.
  • Represented tow-truck company in an investigation brought by the United States Department of Labor relating to the company’s classification of its tow-truck drivers as independent contractors rather than non-exempt employees and its failure to compensate the contractors for overtime pay.
  • Represented a manufacturer and supplier of separation and phase contacting process internals in an age discrimination dispute brought by a former employee. Successfully avoided a lawsuit through pre-suit negotiations after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a notice of right to sue.
  • Represented medical services professional in wrongful termination matter involving unique issues of disability, perceived disability, and failure to accommodate under the ADA and ADAAA.
  • Successfully settled a theft of trade secrets case in which a former employee downloaded the entire contents of his former employer’s cloud-based information system to several different electronic devices just prior to giving notice of his resignation. In this dispute, former employee left a geosynthetic lining company to work for a competitor performing a substantially similar role in the same geographic region. Obtained a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction enjoining the former employee from using any of his former employer’s confidential information while working at the competitor. Through the pendency of the suit, conducted an electronic forensic review of the former employee’s electronic devices and cloud-based storage systems discovering evidence of spoliation. After a spoliation motion was filed, the matter was successfully resolved.
  • Represented a professional services firm in a gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation dispute brought by a former employee alleging sexual harassment and hostile work environment. Successfully avoided a lawsuit through pre-suit mediation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The dispute involved unique issues relating to outside-the-office conduct and text-messaging.
  • Represented a manufacturer and supplier of pipe fittings in a disability discrimination dispute brought by a former employee. The former employee alleged he was discriminated against due to a disability resulting from an on-the-job injury. After receiving employer-provided medical treatment for the injury, the employee failed to report, and subsequent to termination, brought suit. A resolution of the dispute was successfully negotiated within six months from the suit being filed.
  • Defended two Montgomery-area physicians against claims by their former employer. The former employer, a Conroe-area hospital, alleged the physicians breached a noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement when they left to open their own practice. Successfully defended the physicians against the former employer’s efforts to obtain an injunction. The case settled soon after the court denied the former employer’s request for an injunction.
  • Defended two Conroe-area physicians against claims by their former employer. The former employer, a Conroe-area hospital, alleged the physicians breached a noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement when they started their own family practice. The hospital also claimed the physicians breached fiduciary duties of loyalty by unfairly competing with the hospital. The trial court denied the hospital’s request for a temporary injunction, allowing the physicians to continue serving their patients and the Conroe area. The case settled soon after the denial of the temporary injunction.
  • Obtained a temporary restraining order enjoining two former employees from doing business under a substantially similar business name as that of their former employer as well as from using their former employer’s confidential information. Two defecting, former employees formed a competing company selling power-generation equipment to both commercial and industrial clients. Prior to filing suit, conducted an electronic, forensic review of the former employees’ computers, and discovered evidence of theft of confidential information. This evidence was subsequently used at the emergency hearing. The case was successfully settled within a month of obtaining the emergency relief.
  • Representing an employer to enforce a non-competition agreement against a former employee.
  • Represented Houston-based lumber distributor in employee fraud suit against its former executive-level manager. The client’s manager conspired with lower level employees to embezzle substantial amounts of money from the company, in addition to defrauding the company of thousands in product inventory and other assets.
  • Successfully represented a Fortune 200 client in an arbitration hearing that upheld the termination of an employee with a disability who claimed he was the victim of discrimination. The employee, who suffers from attention deficit-hyperactive disorder (ADHD), filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claiming his disability prevented him from meeting performance goals set by the company and he should receive a reasonable accommodation to be exempt from the performance standard. The company and employee engaged in an interactive process and the employee was allowed to request his own accommodation. The employee requested additional one-on-one training, which was provided and he was given an opportunity to improve. He was not terminated until his performance declined. The arbitrator determined that the termination was valid and not discriminatory.
  • Won a unanimous jury verdict of $1.3 million on behalf of two former partners of an accounting firm based on the accounting firm’s failure to pay amounts owed to the partners following their separation from the firm, including amounts owed to them for the repurchase of their shares of stock in the accounting firm.   The jury also unanimously rejected a counterclaim filed by the accounting firm in which the firm sought more than $750,000 in damages based on alleged breaches of non-compete provisions, confidentiality provisions, and buy-sell provisions of the partners’ employment agreements which would have required the former partners to pay the firm for any clients that left with the former partners.
  • Obtained a temporary injunction prohibiting a former employee from using his former employer’s trade secrets at his new job working for a competitor and ordering that the parties participate in an electronic forensic protocol to recover any misappropriated trade information.
  • Obtained a restraining order and temporary injunction against a company attempting to compete in violation of a non-competition agreement signed in a purchase agreement. The client had purchased the business from the opposing side and included a non-competition agreement. The opposing side then tried to set up a competing company using other individual’s names in the competing company’s organizational documents. After the temporary injunction was granted, a settlement was reached which removed the competitor from the market.
  • Represented major integrated oil and gas company in lawsuit filed by employee due to injuries sustained in accident on a rig off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Represented major oil and gas services provider in lawsuit filed by employee due to serious burn injuries sustained in accident at natural gas processing plant. Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of client.
  • Successfully defended a client with over 4,000 employees in more than 15 different discrimination lawsuits including, but not limited to, claims of age, race, religion, and disability discrimination.
  • Successfully defended a national manufacturer-distributor in an EEOC proceeding brought by former employee claiming sexual harassment and gender discrimination relating to a manager’s sex based comments. The matter settled on very favorable terms for the employer after an extensive EEOC investigation that included multiple on-site interviews of employees and review of company records.
  • Successfully defended a national manufacturer-distributor in an EEOC proceeding brought by former employee claiming sexual harassment and gender discrimination relating to a manager’s sex based comments. The matter settled on very favorable terms for the employer after an extensive EEOC investigation that included multiple on-site interviews of employees and review of company records.
  • Represented a restaurant and bar in defense of a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs were former waitresses and bartenders claiming tip pool violations. The case was settled on favorable terms to the client after minimal discovery.
  • Represented a title company in defense of a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The plaintiffs were assistant escrow officers claiming unpaid overtime. The case was settled on favorable terms to the client after minimal discovery and briefing on key legal issues.
  • Represented a dentist and her practice against claims by another dentistry practice for tortious interference. The plaintiff alleged the defendant tortiously interfered with a noncompetition agreement it had with another local dentist by conspiring to solicit patients in violation of the agreement. Successfully obtained an early dismissal in exchange for a nominal settlement payment.
  • Defended two Montgomery-area physicians against claims by their former employer. The former employer, a Conroe-area hospital, alleged the physicians breached a noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreement when they left to work for another hospital. Successfully obtained a summary judgment that the physician noncompetition agreements were not enforceable because they did not contain a clause related to the continuing care of patients with acute illnesses. The case settled soon after the court granted the physicians’ motion for summary judgment.
  • Represented refinery services company that sells proprietary products and services to petroleum and chemical refineries globally in a lawsuit against a group of contractors that misappropriated our client’s proprietary products and services. After successfully securing discovery from refineries in foreign countries confirming the facts supporting our client’s claims, the matter settled with our client receiving every dollar of lost sales and effectively ending the former contractors’ attempts to establish a competing company.
  • Successfully obtained Temporary Injunction and Permanent Injunction on behalf of client against former employee. The client was a refinery maintenance contractor who brought suit alleging the former employee breached non-compete and non-solicitation covenants, and the former employee asserted counterclaims for damages arising out of termination of employment. After securing a Temporary Injunction that prohibited the former employee from competing and soliciting clients, the matter ultimately settled with entry of Permanent Injunction and no payment to employee for alleged damages.
  • Defended clients operating a start-up oil field services company in a lawsuit brought by an established competitor alleging claims against our clients for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach fiduciary duty, and conspiracy and seeking to completely shut down our clients’ business. After a six day temporary injunction trial, the lawsuit settled on terms that allowed our clients to continue their business in competition with former employer.
  • Won an arbitration award on behalf of two senior level employees of a manufacturing facility against their former employer due to the former employer’s failure to make profit sharing and bonus payments under two separate agreements. Counterclaims were asserted against our client. After a five day arbitration, the arbitration panel ruled in favor of our clients and awarded our clients all of the damages sought and attorneys’ fees.
  • Won a unanimous arbitration award on behalf of a former senior executive officer and director of a privately held bank with over $1.0 billion in assets. Our client was sued by the bank in state district court for breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and conversion following his resignation from the bank. In the state court proceeding, we successfully dissolved an ex parte restraining order and compelled the lawsuit to arbitration. In the arbitration, the bank sought over $20,000,000 in damages and we asserted counterclaims against the bank for tortious interference with contract and failure to pay wages. After a five day arbitration and significant post-hearing briefing, the three member arbitration panel ruled in favor of our client on all claims and awarded all damages sought pursuant to our counterclaims.
  • Resisted invasive discovery sought from client, now general counsel of a leading waste and recycling company, by his prior employer. The prior employer threatened to sue the client for violation of a non-compete agreement, among other things. Through avid advocacy, both before the court and to opposing counsel, BoyarMiller was able to resolve the discovery dispute—and extricate the client from the proceeding—by producing a reasonable and manageable nucleus of discovery.
  • Represented employees in lawsuits against former employers based on employer’s refusal to pay past due compensation or to honor obligations under employment agreements and/or severance agreements.
  • Won a summary judgment on behalf of a software utilities and management company and its chief executive officer on a breach of contract claim filed by two of the company’s former employees. The former employees claimed they were owed approximately $360,000 based on an amendment to an original purchase agreement regarding the sale of a software program. Summary judgment was awarded when it was shown that the amendment lacked material terms and was unenforceable as a matter of law. Following summary judgment, the former employees settled their remaining claims on very favorable terms for our clients.
  • Successfully defended a manufacturer in a lawsuit brought by former employee claiming sexual harassment, hostile work environment and negligent hiring based on allegations that former employee’s supervisor made sexually explicit comments to her. The former employee’s claim of negligent hiring was premised on the allegation that the employer hired the supervisor who had a criminal record. The lawsuit raised novel issues relating to the exclusivity provision of the Texas Workers Compensation Act.
  • Successfully defended a restaurant group in a lawsuit brought by a former employee claiming sexual harassment based on allegations that manager made sexual advances towards the employee and sent sexually explicit photographs to the employee. The lawsuit centered almost entirely on alleged conduct that occurred outside the workplace during non-working hours and presented unique issues relating to the employer’s affirmative defense under the Faragher/Ellerth line of cases.
  • Representing supplier of oilfield steel for use in the oil and gas industry in a lawsuit brought by a competitor alleging a former employee provided our client (his new employer) with confidential customer lists, vendor contact information and sales data owned by his former employer. Successfully obtained transfer of lawsuit from United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to the Southern District of Texas based on argument that Texas was a more convenient forum as the location of material events, the residence of defendants and most potential non-party witnesses, as well as the relative interests of justice.
  • Successfully represented the former president and general manager of a nationwide construction company who brought suit and sought a temporary injunction to enforce a series of employment contracts containing non-competition clauses purportedly restricting our client from working at any other construction company in Texas.  We were able to defeat the company’s request for a temporary injunction and were later able to obtain a declaratory judgment from Judge Caroline Baker finding there was no enforceable non-compete agreement in place between the parties.  We were also able to obtain an award of over $75,000 in attorneys’ fees on behalf of our client against the construction company.
  • Won a $2.66 million jury verdict for a former partner of a Houston-based engineering company arising out of a dispute related to a written shareholders’ agreement.  The defendants claimed that our client had made misrepresentations related to his educational qualifications which fraudulently induced them into making him an offer to become a shareholder in the company which they otherwise would not have made.  In an 11-1 verdict, the jury found that the defendants breached their contract with their partner and that the conduct of the defendants in their handling of the partnership dispute constituted minority shareholder oppression.
  • Successfully first-chaired a trial in Fort Bend County representing an energy services company against two former employees who brought suit based on breach of contract and libel theories following termination of their employment.  At trial, we argued that the company fully and justifiably adhered to its company policies in terminating the individuals’ employment due to their gross misconduct in disclosing confidential company information and being dishonest to their employer.  The plaintiffs’ pre-trial settlement demand exceeded $525,000.00, while the Court ruled following trial that the plaintiffs shall be entitled to less than 10% of that amount (with one plaintiff being awarded nothing).  We were also able to succeed in proving an affirmative breach of contract claim against that plaintiff, forcing him to pay his former employer in excess of $35,000.00.
  • Won a summary judgment on behalf of the former president of a foundation repair company and his new employer in defending against claims brought by his former employer who sought damages based on alleged breaches of confidentiality, non-competition, and fiduciary duties.  The Harris County district court judge ruled that each of the former employer’s claims shall be dismissed with the plaintiff being awarded no damages.  The Court also denied the plaintiff’s application for injunctive relief, thus permitting our client (the former employee) to freely and legally work for his new employer in the marketplace.
  • Affirmed by the Fourteenth Court of Appeals following a successful judgment at trial on behalf of a former principal of a Houston-based soil stabilization company. Following trial, the Court ruled that our client was not restricted by any valid non-compete agreement and had not breached the terms of his employment agreement in operating a new business. Following briefing on appeal, the Fourteenth Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment, ruling that the trial court did not err in granting the relief in favor of our client at trial.
  • Member of the trial team representing employees of Wellbore Energy Solutions, LLC, a subsidiary of Halliburton Company, against M-I L.L.C., a subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited, in a trade secret, covenant not to compete and tortious interference dispute in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas (M-I L.L.C. v. Chad Lee Stelly, et al., C.A. 4:09-CV-01552) involving completion tools for oil and gas wells.
  • Represented employees in lawsuits against former employer based on employer’s refusal to pay past due compensation or to honor obligations under employment agreements and/or severance agreements.
  • Represented employers in the defense of unlawful termination and employment discrimination claims.
  • Pursued claims on behalf of an Oklahoma-based company that sells and rents frac water transfer equipment. Two former employees solicited the company’s customers and used their resources to start a competing business while still employed by the company.
  • Represented a national property management company in an EEOC proceeding brought by former employee claiming that the termination of her employment was race and gender discrimination. This proceeding arose out of events that occurred outside of the workplace during the company’s holiday party.
  • Represented a manufacturer of large industrial equipment in an EEOC proceeding brought by an employee claiming the termination of his employment was national origin discrimination. The matter involved the employer’s decision to convert the employee’s pay structure from hourly to salary resulting in the potential for employees to make less money when overtime was factored into the hourly rate.
  • Represented a residential real estate company in a proceeding brought by a former employee claiming disability discrimination after the employee was terminated for being absent from work for a number of days in excess of the company’s stated policy. The matter tested the interplay between the employer’s absence control policy and the reasonable accommodation requirements of the ADA and leave requirements under the FMLA.
  • Represented an offshore drilling service company in a proceeding brought by former employee claiming race discrimination based on the employer’s alleged failure to provide the employee with the same employment opportunities it provided to other employees outside the protected class. This lawsuit raised unique issues regarding the employer’s obligation to provide offshore work opportunities where it was also providing onshore work.
  • Successfully defended a restaurant group in a lawsuit brought by a former employee claiming sexual harassment based on allegations that manager made sexual advances towards the employee and sent sexually explicit photographs to the employee. The lawsuit centered almost entirely on alleged conduct that occurred outside the workplace during non-working hours and presented unique issues relating to the employer’s affirmative defense under the Faragher/Ellerth line of cases.
  • Represented a health care system in South Texas in a lawsuit against former insurance agents for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, violations of the Texas Theft Liability Act, conversion, fraud, fraud by non-disclosure, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of contract.
  • Represented employers in the defense of employment discrimination claims.
  • Successfully defended a manufacturer in a lawsuit brought by former employee claiming sexual harassment, hostile work environment and negligent hiring based on allegations that former employee’s supervisor made sexually explicit comments to her. The former employee’s claim of negligent hiring was premised on the allegation that the employer hired the supervisor who had a criminal record. The lawsuit raised novel issues relating to the exclusivity provision of the Texas Workers Compensation Act.

Litigation Group Contact

Chris Hanslik