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 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 1997.
Named a “Texas Super Lawyer,” Texas Monthly 2003, 2012–2014