Sam is the co-chair of the Energy Practice Group, and represents management in all areas of employment law. Much of his practice is devoted to counseling clients on best practices in the workplace and routinely involves employee training; counseling on disciplinary, organizational and general business issues; legal compliance for hiring, employee classification and wage/hour issues; policy drafting and implementation, including multi-state employer policies, drug testing, and dispute resolution programs; resolution of issues arising from reorganizations, reductions-in-force, mergers, sales, acquisitions and board disputes; and workplace investigations, including employee, management and board misconduct.
Sam also represents employers in all phases of state and federal litigation. His agency experience includes defending clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (including directed investigations and federal litigation) and Department of Labor for alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Occupational Safety and Health Act, including OSHA whistleblower claims.
Sam’s litigation experience includes the defense of discrimination, interference and retaliation claims; class actions; collective actions under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (both disparate treatment and disparate impact claims) and FLSA (including overtime, donning/doffing and Motor Carrier exemption claims); enforcement of non-competition, confidentiality, trade secret, intellectual property and employment agreements; and obtaining and defending against injunctive relief.
Sam also has been lead counsel in lawsuits in federal district court in Atlanta, Nashville, Brownsville, Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, and New Mexico, including as lead counsel in six FLSA collective actions; the state courts of Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and California; and administrative agencies in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, California, Oregon and Washington. Sam also has experience in mediating and arbitrating employment disputes before the American Arbitration Association, the EEOC, and in federal court.
Sam’s non-litigation practice includes representation of legislative bodies and special interest groups, and he frequently drafts proposed legislation and reviews legislative proposals affecting the workplace, the employment relationship, and employer interests.
Sam trains and lectures frequently on employment law topics in Oklahoma and elsewhere, he has published scholarly articles in the Oklahoma Law Review and the Society for Human Resource Management Legal Report, and was the primary author of “Age Discrimination in the Workplace: A Primer for Human Resource Professionals,” Society for Human Resource Management.
Sam is included in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management labor law – management; labor and employment litigation), which also selected him as “Oklahoma City Employment Litigation Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 and “Oklahoma City Labor Lawyer of the Year (Management)” for 2015 and 2017; and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, which also has named him to its list of “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers” each year since 2012. In 2019 Sam was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.