Joel focuses exclusively on employment litigation defense. He defends
employers in connection with a wide array of claims including those under the
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Title VII, state discrimination laws, the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(ADEA) and state tort law. In recent years, Joel first-chaired two trials where
the defense won both verdicts, and he was second chair in a collective action
trial, where he helped secure a decertification of the class after one week.
More recently, Joel has secured more than 20 summary judgments on the executive exemption as applied to retail store managers in federal courts located in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 10th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. He has a wealth of experience
defending wage-and-hour collective actions and has represented clients to wins
at the certification stage on four occasions in the last last two years. The claims
in these class and collective actions have included claims of misclassification
of managers; compensable time claims, including failure to pay for meal breaks;
and final wage claims.
Joel also has experience in defending employers in connection with U.S.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) complaints, and
investigations brought by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). For example, he
advised a national chain restaurant being investigated in an accidental death, a
chemical company in connection with a PSM audit and a petrochemical company in
connection with a CSB and OSHA investigation of a refinery explosion. He also
helps employers enforce employment, noncompete and confidentiality agreements.
Joel frequently speaks before professional associations such as the
University of Houston’s Continuing Education program, ACI and The Credit Law
Institute, and he is a member of several U.S. bar associations. He has been
certified in labor employment by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since
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