Susan P. Burton

Shareholder

Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization

DIRECT PHONE: 512.480.5738
DIRECT FAX: 512.480.5838

About

Susan has experience advising and representing employers, including management and executive-level employees on human resources, and employment law issues including wrongful termination, Fair Labor Standards Act, wage and hour disputes, harassment and discrimination, retaliation, employment agreements, covenants not to compete, confidentiality agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, EEOC and TCHR claims and Texas Workforce Commission claims. She also has extensive experience in Texas and federal courts in employment litigation, mediation and administrative proceedings.

Susan is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law and has served as an Arbitrator in employment law cases for The American Arbitration Association.

Susan is a native Austinite, mother of two, and avid runner and fitness enthusiast.

PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

  • Admitted: Texas, 1987; U.S. District Courts for the Western, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Education: Baylor Law School (J.D., 1987); University of Texas at Austin (B.S.) 1983

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Advises employers on day-to-day personnel issues such as discipline, discharge, employee lay-offs, disability and reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave, on-the-job injury, hiring, employment contracts and policies, employee handbooks, wages and overtime, and non-competition and confidential information issues.
  • Works with employers on risk prevention strategies such as review and revisions of employee handbooks, employment agreements, confidentiality, non-compete, and non-disclosure agreements, supervisor and employee training (including sexual harassment and discrimination training).
  • First Chair trial experience representing employers in state and federal court in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, ADA, Fair Labor Standards Act, covenants not to compete and confidentiality/trade secret cases.
  • Obtained summary judgment for business client in federal court (Western District of Texas) (affirmed by Fifth Circuit in 2011), in FMLA retaliation and ADA case.
  • Obtained Temporary Restraining Order and Agreed Temporary Injunction in federal court (Western District of Texas) against former employee in breach of non-competition agreement case.
  • Obtained Temporary Restraining Order and Temporary Injunction for business client in Travis County District Court in misappropriation of confidential information and breach of non-solicitation agreement case against former employees and competitor.
  • Advises and counsels employers on wage and hour and overtime issues and how to respond to and manage Department of Labor audits and Texas Workforce Commission audits.
  • Represents and advises employers on defense of EEOC and TCHR discrimination complaints, including age, sex, race, religion, national origin and harassment claims.
  • Advises and represents employers in OSHA enforcement actions.

Representative Client Industries include:

  • New and Emerging Business
  • Financial Institutions
  • Health Care
  • Hospitality
  • Technology
  • Energy
  • Non-Profits
  • Retail/Service
  • Manufacturing

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • State Bar of Texas
    • Member, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections
    • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Austin Bar Association
    • Director, 1999-2001
    • Executive Council, Litigation Section, 1999-2003
    • Member, Labor and Employment Section
    • Member, Litigation Section
  • Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas
    • Board President, 1997-1998 and 2002-2003
    • Board Member, 1990-2010
    • Officer Emeritus, 2006-2010
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation
    • Chair, 2010-2011
    • TCWLA Foundation, Board Member, 2006-2013
    • Travis County Women Lawyers Association Mentor Program, 2014-2015
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization
    • Chairperson, Labor and Employment Law Advisory Commission, 2005-2006
  • Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court, Master, 2004-present

AWARDS AND HONORS

  • Austin Bar Association and the Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism,Professionalism Award, 2014
  • Texas Monthly, Super Lawyers®, published by Thomson Reuters, 2004-2017
  • Named one of the “Top 50 Central & West Texas Region Super Lawyers” and one of the “Top 50 Women Super Lawyers,” Texas Super Lawyers and TEXAS MONTHLY, 2006
  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®‘s highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standing from their peers.
  • Named Outstanding Young Lawyer by the Austin Young Lawyer’s Association in 1996
  • Named J. Chrys Dougherty Award Winner by Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas for Outstanding Pro Bono Services in 2000
  • Travis County Women Lawyers Association Pathfinder Award, 2001

COMMUNITY

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Austin, 2013-present, Executive Board Member
  • Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, Board Member, 2008-2013; Secretary, 2010-2013
  • Extend-a-Care for Kids, Board President, 2004-2005
  • Leadership Austin Graduate, 2003

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Frequent speaker to attorneys, business owners, and human resource professionals on various employment law topics including:

  • 2017 – Central Texas Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc. – Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Dos and Donts in Handling Employee Discipline and Terminations
  • 2016 – American Enterprise Institute Small Business Forum – How to Hire: Employees v. Independent Contractors
  • 2016 – Hays County Bar Association – Employment Law for
    Non-Employment Lawyers
  • 2016 – Austin Bar Association Labor & Employment Section – LGBT Employment Issues
  • 2015 – Austin Bar Association Labor & Employment Section –
    Non-Competes to TRO’s – Protecting Confidential Information and Trade Secrets
  • 2015 – State Bar of Texas Minority Attorney Program Conference – LGBT Issues in the Workplace
  • 2015 – State Bar of Texas – The Impact of Marriage Equality on Texas Law
  • 2015 – Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – Small Biz U: Employment Law 101
  • 2014 – Texas Bar CLE Webcast – LGBT Employment Law and Employee Benefits Post – Windsor: What Your Clients Need to Know
  • 2013 – TEDxAustin Women Conference – Panel Speaker on Women in the Workplace
  • 2012 & 2013 – Austin Bar Association ADR & Labor & Employment Law Sections: Arbitration of Employment Law Disputes: Dos and Don’ts From An Advocate and From An Arbitrator
  • 2011 – Austin Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section – Panel Speaker on the State of Non-Competition Agreements in Texas
  • 2011 – Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA) speaker at the Diversity Day program
  • Behrens & Burton, Inside the Minds: Negotiating and Drafting Employment Agreements, chap. 1 (Thomson Reuters/Aspatore, 2011 ed.)