Avoiding and Defending Claims of Discrimination and Retaliation
Ron helps employers prevent, and, when needed, defend their toughest legal challenges, which often take the form of discrimination or retaliation claims, whether under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), or similar laws.
Arbitration Agreements, Class Action Waivers, and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Clients trust Ron for his expertise on employee arbitration agreements and class action waivers, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 decision in Epic Systems validating the use of class action waivers. Ron has extensive experience both drafting and defending arbitration agreements and other forms of alternative dispute resolution and is a frequent speaker on this topic. He was lead counsel for D.R. Horton, Inc. in its successful effort to convince the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to vacate the NLRB’s infamous ruling banning class action waivers, and he subsequently has handled over a dozen similar challenges. He was instrumental in developing Ogletree Deakins’ DIY Arbitration Agreement tool that launched soon after the U.S. Supreme Court validated Ron’s arguments to the Fifth Circuit, and he has assisted scores of clients in developing their own arbitration programs. National media such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and National Law Journal often tap Ron for his expertise on arbitration and other employment law topics.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, and Other Statutes
Ron advises employers on compliance with, and vigorously defends them from claims under, the Fair Labor Standards Act (and other wage and hour laws) and the Family Medical Leave Act (and similar statutes providing for leaves of absence). He has prevailed for clients in single-plaintiff cases, multi-plaintiff cases, class actions, and collective actions. Ron also assists clients with the challenges of multi-state compliance with the patchwork of state and local laws, often through the use of the firm’s O-D Comply solution that Ron helped launch. He also regularly advises clients on whistleblower concerns, corporate investigations, reductions in force, WARN Act compliance, union avoidance strategies, union campaigns, collective bargaining, unfair labor practice charges, workplace violence prevention, and other workplace safety issues.
Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation, Non-Disclosure, and Other Restrictive Covenants
Ron regularly advises clients on and litigates disputes involving covenants not to compete, trade secrets, and related issues. In drafting restrictive covenants, he counsels clients on both their enforceability and the practical realities of how such disputes play out in the real world.
Guidance to Boards of Directors
In today’s increasingly politicized and scrutinized environment, corporate Boards of Directors frequently retain Ron for guidance on sensitive internal issues, helping them employ best practices and navigate legal, public relations, social media, and investor challenges.
Ron has extensive appellate experience and has prevailed in appeals against the top appellate lawyers from both the EEOC and the NLRB, in addition to many private litigants. He clerked for Judge Robert M. Parker on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Other Client Feedback and Accolades
Chambers USA stated: “Ron Chapman is highly experienced in discrimination and harassment cases, as well as non-compete, retaliation and wage and hour disputes. Clients describe him as ‘an outstanding practitioner, as well as a manager of relationships.’”
Based on more than 350 interviews with top legal decision-makers at the world’s most demanding clients, BTI Consulting Group named Ron both a Client Service All-Star and a Client Service MVP for representing the “epitome of client service.” One client in particular noted, “Ron is very responsive and a real problem solver. He is cost conscious and looks ahead. It doesn’t get better than that.”
Employment Law360 named Ron an “MVP” in employment law and separately listed him as one of the nation’s preeminent “rainmakers” based on his “passion” for “being a proven resource and problem solver,” noting his (1) “out-of-this-world approach to client service,” (2) “competitive rate,” (3) “high degree of efficiency in performing the work,” (4) “extreme responsiveness,” and (5) “great results.”
Ron has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America; Chambers USA; “Super Lawyers“; D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas”; the Dallas Business Journal’s “Top Corporate Defenders”; and D CEO Magazine’s “Dallas 500” list of the most powerful business leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth regardless of industry. Based on a survey of more than 250,000 corporate counsel, The Legal 500 concluded that Ron “has a superb reputation” and awarded him its recommendation for labor and employment litigation.
Ron is a Fellow in the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. Fellowship is based on a rigorous vetting process involving an evaluation of candidates’ character, integrity, and professional experience, as well as their record of acting as a resource for academia, the government, the judiciary, and the community at large.
Sooter et al. v. Jefferson Dental Clinics, P.C. Three weeks after four women complained about sexual harassment by the CFO, one woman quit and the company fired the other three for insubordination. After a seven-day trial, the jury unanimously found for the employer. When the EEOC filed its own lawsuit on the same facts, the court ruled the judgment in the first lawsuit barred the EEOC from pursuing monetary relief or reinstatement on behalf of the individuals, even though the EEOC had not been a party to the first lawsuit. The Daily Labor Report, a national publication covering high-profile cases, featured the court’s ruling.
Jones v. Grinnell Corp. A long-term, older employee sued for age discrimination after a younger supervisor terminated his employment, despite the terminated employee’s positive performance evaluations. Following a four-day trial and an appeal to the Fifth Circuit, the court ruled in favor of the employer on all claims.
Long et al. v. Eastfield College. Two women, one a human resources assistant, repeatedly complained about race and sex discrimination. The employer terminated their employment. After a four-day trial, the jury unanimously found for the employer.
Representative clients include BNSF Railway, Boy Scouts of America, Children’s Health System, Chuck E. Cheese, the City of Dallas, Corner Bakery, Cushman & Wakefield, Dean Foods, D.R. Horton, FedEx Office, Flowserve, Fogo de Chao, Fossil, G6 Hospitality/Motel 6, GameStop, Greyhound, Groupon, Hunt Oil, Interstate Battery, JLL, Keurig Dr Pepper, Mary Kay, Methodist Health System, MoneyGram, Omni Hotels, Pei Wei, Raytheon, Sally Beauty Supply, Service King, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, Topgolf, Trinity Industries, and Valero.