Bruce A. Griggs
Bruce A. Griggs manages Ogletree Deakins’ Labor and Employment practice in Austin. Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1996, Mr. Griggs’ practice focuses on all aspects of labor and employment law, including:
- Defending employers in complex employment litigation in state and federal courts across Texas. Mr. Griggs has defended employers in class actions, FLSA collective actions, ERISA actions, non-compete and other business-related litigation, and has conducted numerous jury and non-jury trials involving claims under federal and/or state discrimination statutes.
- Representing and counseling employers in union avoidance, collective bargaining and arbitrations, and defending employers in unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB. Mr. Griggs also routinely represents employers in non-labor arbitration proceedings, including the arbitration of occupational injury claims and discrimination claims of all types.
- Counseling clients regarding discipline and discharge issues, wage and hour, internal investigations, employee handbooks/manuals, employment agreements, as well as other issues arising in the human resources context. Mr. Griggs also conducts training for employers on these and similar issues.
Mr. Griggs frequently speaks at employment-related seminars and has authored numerous articles on employment-related topics. Mr. Griggs has been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as a Texas “Super Lawyer” in labor and employment over 10 times, and has been named in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2010. Mr. Griggs was elected as a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2005.
Mr. Griggs graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1989, and served as a judicial clerk to federal district judge Sydney A. Fitzwater in Dallas immediately following graduation from law school.
Mr. Griggs has tried numerous cases on behalf of companies in both federal and state courts across Texas over the past 25 years. Representative recent cases include a favorable negotiated resolution following jury selection in a pregnancy discrimination case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin (2014), two defense jury verdicts in FMLA cases tried in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin (2013 and 2012), a favorable negotiated resolution at the beginning of jury selection in an age discrimination and retaliation case in state district court in Ector County (Odessa) Texas (2012), a favorable negotiated resolution following an age discrimination jury trial in state district court in El Paso (2011), a defense jury verdict in a Whistleblower case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin (2008), and a defense jury verdict in a breach of contract/non-competition/misappropriation case tried in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin (2006).
In addition to jury and non-jury trial experience, Mr. Griggs has extensive experience in both employment and labor arbitrations, including multi-plaintiff
arbitrations. Representative recent experience includes the favorable negotiated resolution of a disability discrimination employment case tried before an arbitrator in Austin (2013); a defense arbitration award in an ERISA and non-subscriber Occupational Injury case tried before an arbitrator in El Paso (2011), a defense arbitration award in a disability and age discrimination case tried before an arbitrator in San Antonio (2010), a defense arbitration award in a three plaintiff age discrimination case tried before an arbitrator in San Antonio (2010), and a defense arbitration award in a non-subscriber Occupational Injury case tried before an arbitrator in Austin (2009).
Restrictive Covenants and Non-Compete Cases and Proceedings:
Mr. Griggs regularly advises clients on the enforceability of restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements in Texas, and has substantial experience in drafting enforceable agreements and related documents. Mr. Griggs also litigates non-competition cases on behalf of companies, including cases that involve claims for breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breaches of duties of loyalty. Recent experience includes obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction in state district court in Austin to prohibit staffing services employees from soliciting their former employer’s clients in violation of the former employees’ non-solicitation agreements (2014), and obtaining a Temporary Restraining Order, Temporary Injunction, and Permanent Injunction in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Del Rio Division, against a former senior level banking industry executive.
FLSA and Collective Actions:
Mr. Griggs provides FLSA compliance advice and representation to companies, including full wage and hour audits and review of the exempt status of single or multiple job positions. Mr. Griggs also represents companies in single or multi-plaintiff FLSA cases, including collective actions. Recent experience includes defense of two separate collective actions in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, challenging the tip pool policies of restaurant establishments with multiple locations, and the defense of a collective action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, challenging the exempt status of dialysis nurses working for an acute care clinical company with multiple locations throughout the U.S.
Employment and Employment Cases:
On a daily basis, Mr. Griggs advises companies on their rights and obligations on under federal and state employment laws, including Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, OSHA, the WARN Act, the FMLA, the NLRA, the Texas Labor Code, and local fair employment practice ordinances. The advice and representation includes defending employers in agency proceedings before the EEOC, the Department of Labor, the NLRB, and the Texas Workforce Commission, including the Civil Rights Division of the TWC. When post-agency litigation arises, Mr. Griggs defends employers in employment litigation before state and federal courts in Texas and other states. Recent non-trial results include obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a large fitness company in a significant FMLA case in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (2014); obtaining dismissal of a Title VII discrimination and retaliation case filed against a national resort company in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division (2013), obtaining summary judgments for a banking company in in race, national origin, and pregnancy discrimination cases filed in the United States District Court for the Northern (Dallas), Southern (Houston), and Western (San Antonio) Districts of Texas (2012 and 2011), and obtaining summary judgment on behalf of a large clothing retail company in a worker’s compensation retaliation case filed in state district court in El Paso (2012).
Throughout his career, Mr. Griggs has served as trial and/or appellate counsel in a number of cases that have generated both published and unpublished opinions from Texas state appellate courts and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Published opinions that are routinely cited and relied upon include:
Waggoner v. City of Garland, 987 F.2d 1160 (5th Cir. 1993) (affirming summary judgment in an age discrimination case and finding that the employee’s denial of engaging in wrongful conduct was not sufficient to raise an issue of pretext);
Long v. Eastfield College, 88 F.3d 300 (5th Cir. 1996) (affirming summary judgment on underlying discrimination claims and establishing standard for “cat’s paw” liability in the 5th Circuit – obtained complete defense jury verdict following trial on remand);
Bolton v. Dallas County Community College District, 89 S.W. 3d 707 (Tex. 2002) (reversal of judgment and damages award in class action challenging assessment of student service fees and related fees against students attending community colleges within the District);
Mendez v. New Bell General Services, LLC, 727 F.Supp.2d 585 (W.D.Tex. 2010) (granting motion to compel arbitration in non-subscriber Occupational Injury Case);
Armendariz v. Redcats USA, L.P., 390 S.W.3d 463 (Tex. App. – El Paso 2012, no pet.) (affirming summary judgment in worker’s compensation retaliation case under the Texas Labor Code).
Education and Honors
J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1989
B.S., with honors, University of Arkansas
- Best Lawyers in America (2010-present)
- Texas Super Lawyer (since 2003)
- Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law
- American Bar Association
- Elected Fellow of Texas Bar Foundation (2005)
- Texas Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
- Travis County Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
- Austin Human Resource Management Association (VP of Legislative Action, 2007)
- North Dallas Chamber of Commerce (Legal Counsel 1997-1998)
- Southwestern Legal Foundation Inn of Court (1992)
- Ogletree Deakins Seminar - "DOL Wage and Hour Update: Regulations, Litigation, and Investigations" - Austin - November 7, 2014
- Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Federal Agencies at Work: New EEOC Guidance on Criminal Background Checks and The NLRB’s New Take on Social Media" - Austin - June 29, 2012
- Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Workplace Investigations: How to do it Right" - Phoenix - May 2012
- Austin Bar Health Law Association - "Employment Law Issues in Healthcare - Employment Law Update" - Austin - 2012
- Omni Hotels Resort - "Headline News – The Latest Labor & Employment Law Developments and a Brief Look Into What Employers Do to Upset Juries " - Dallas - November 18, 2010
- Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - "Implementing a Complete Violence Prevention Program" - Las Vegas - May 2010
- Ogletree Deakins Briefing - "Evaluating Employee Performance Without Creating Legal Liability" - Austin - January 2010
In The News
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- April 6, 2011 - - "Marsh Case May Alter Texas' Noncompete Landscape"