Practice and Industry Groups

Stephen E. Hart

Shareholder Houston

Mr. Hart is a shareholder in the Firm’s Houston office. Mr. Hart represents management in all aspects of employment law, including litigation in federal and state courts, arbitration proceedings, proceedings before federal and state agencies, and appellate proceedings. Mr. Hart also counsels clients regarding employment practices and policies and disciplinary decisions. His practice also includes the creation and review of employment policies and manuals. Mr. Hart is Board Certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Before entering private practice, Mr. Hart served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kenneth M. Hoyt, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas.


Experience

  • Successful defense of media company at trial involving race discrimination and retaliation claims, resulting in jury verdict of $0 in actual damages and post-trial judgment as a matter of law in employer's favor on all claims.
  • Successful defense of a large home building company in an arbitration involving wrongful termination, sex discrimination, sex harassment, and retaliation claims. The claimant sought over $300,000 in damages. The arbitrator granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed claimant’s claims without a hearing.
  • Successful defense of a large automobile dealership company in an arbitration involving sex harassment, retaliation, and breach of contract claims. The arbitrator granted the automobile dealership company’s motion for summary judgment, dismissed claimant’s claims without a hearing and awarded the claimant zero.
  • Successful defense of a large hair salon company in a federal court lawsuit involving claims alleging violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as defamation, civil conspiracy and breach of contract.
  • Successful defense of large retail company in federal court lawsuit alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as claims for race discrimination and retaliation.
  • Successful defense of large chemical plant in federal court lawsuit alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Texas Worker’s Compensation Act.
  • Successful defense of large automobile insurance company in federal court lawsuit involving claims of race discrimination, race harassment, and retaliation.

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • American Bar Association
  • Texas Bar Association (Labor and Employment and Appellate Law Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)
  • Katy Bar Association
  • National Bar Association (Labor and Employment Law Section)

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Fraud and Abuse, Fitness for Duty, and Accommodations: Practical Approaches to the FMLA and ADA'' - Houston - March 09, 2017
  • SHRM Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues - ''Employee Handbooks: Top 10 Traps for the Unwary'' - Houston - May 12, 2016
  • SHRM Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues - ''Debunking Urban Legends of Employment Law'' - Houston - May 14, 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''How Much Leave Is Enough? The Perils of Discharging Employees on Medical Leave'' - Houston - March 28, 2014
  • SHRM Gulf Coast Symposium on Human Resource Issues - ''What's Hot in Employment Law: Latest Developments Affecting Texas Employers'' - Houston - May 10, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''Retaliation Litigation - The Risks Escalate'' - Houston - April 13, 2011
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''The New FMLA Regulations: Clarification or Confusion'' - Houston - January 15, 2009
  • University of Houston Law Foundation, Advanced Employment Law Course - ''Retaliation and Constructive Discharge Claims: The Fallout from Burlington Northern, Private Company Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Claims, and Standards for Constructive Discharge Claims'' - Houston - April 17 - April 18, 2008
  • Ogletree Deakins Briefing - ''What Do You Mean You’re Sick? Recent Developments Affecting Employer Rights and Responsibilities Under the FMLA'' - Houston - April 05, 2007

Published Works

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Media

Media Quotes

2011 - Employment At Will: A State-by-State Survey (co-author) - "Texas Chapter"

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