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Employment Law

GDHM Employment Lawyers can help your business
through litigation, counseling and beyond.

Our Approach

We can help your business by providing practical and timely employment law counseling for all employment-related matters, including employee hiring, firing, leave issues, and accommodations.


GDHM has experienced employment lawyers who will defend your company in court or in front of an employment agency like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (discrimination charges), Texas Workforce Commission (unemployment claims) or Department of Labor (wage and hour complaints and investigations).


The trial lawyers in Graves Dougherty’s Employment Law Group represent private, public, and non-profit entities in disputes involving wage and hour issues, the Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disability Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Titles VII and IX, Section 1983 claims, whistleblower claims, and trade secret and unfair competition claims and in EEOC, TCHR and TWC administrative actions.

In the event that the administrative proceedings develop into state and federal lawsuits, our trial lawyers have significant experience defending lawsuits involving:

  • severance, commissions, bonuses, and other post-employment obligations arising from allegations of breach of contract;
  • racial, sex, religion, national origin discrimination and retaliation litigation under Title VII and under the
    Texas Labor Code;
  • disability discrimination and retaliation litigation under the American’s with Disabilities Act;
  • age discrimination and retaliation litigation under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
  • entitlement and retaliation claims under the Family Medical Leave Act;
  • retaliation and whistleblower litigation under section 1983.


GDHM lawyers have experience counseling both large and small employers in all types of industries through complicated employment law issues. If you have an employment law question, big or small, we can help you.  A call to a GDHM employment lawyer for advice can often prevent larger legal problems for you and your business, and thus save you money in the long run.


Graves Dougherty Employment lawyers counsel and advise clients on compliance with employment and civil rights statutes and regulations, and with trade secret and unfair competition laws to reduce the risk of lawsuits. They also have considerable experience negotiating and drafting key agreements that govern the employment relationship.

  • complex executive employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, commission plans, compensation structures, and nondisclosure and non-competition agreements;
  • draft and review employment related agreements, policies, and forms, including employee handbooks, arbitration agreements, applications, offer letters, wage deduction authorization forms, background search authorizations, performance appraisal forms, disciplinary, counseling memos, termination notices, exit interviews, and letters to exiting employees regarding their post-employment obligations;
  • respond to sexual discrimination and sexual harassment complaints;
  • counsel employers on compliance with labor, employment, and civil rights statutes and regulations;
  • counsel employers on employee discipline, training, and terminations;
  • draft and negotiate non competition and non-solicitation covenants;
  • counsel clients on trade secret and non-competition law;
  • counsel clients on the protection of content on the Internet;
  • prepare software development agreements, and
  • draft and negotiate employment agreements for the protection of intellectual property.

Non-Competition/Non-Solicitation Agreements

Employers want and need to protect their confidential information from improper use and disclosure.  GDHM employment lawyers can draft the non-competition and non-solicitation agreements you need for your business and can help you enforce your agreements.


Graves Dougherty Lawyers have significant experience representing clients in non-compete and unfair competition controversies, including obtaining Temporary Restraining Order and Permanent Injunction hearings, over the alleged breach of non-competition or non-solicitation covenants. Graves Dougherty lawyers successfully represented the employer in the Sheshunoff litigation that resulted in the Texas Supreme Court’s clarification of the law governing non-compete agreements.

Administrative Process

Our Employment Law lawyers have experience guiding clients through the processes associated with federal and state agencies that are in charge of enforcing employment laws.

Most employment disputes begin with the charging party filing a complaint with federal and state agencies that are in charge of enforcing federal and state employment laws. Our Employment Law lawyers have significant experience representing clients in:

  • responding to EEOC and TCHR complaints for race, sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, and national origin discrimination and retaliation;
  • advising and representing clients in Texas Workforce Commission proceedings regarding unemployment benefits, and
  • advising and representing clients in administrative proceedings under the Worker’s Compensation Act;
  • advising and representing clients in audits by the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and defending employers’ in wage and hour litigation;
  • advising and representing clients in administrative proceedings under the Texas Pay Day Act.


GDHM employment lawyers are experienced trainers who can teach your managers and employees their obligations, duties, and responsibilities under the law. Training emphasizes your company’s commitment to Equal Employment opportunities and to a harassment free workplace, and teaches your managers and supervisors what to do to avoid costly claims. GDHM provides quality, fun, dynamic training at a low, flat fee cost. We can provide training in English and Spanish.

Susan P. Burton is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  

Recent Presentations

  • Handling Employee Investigations – 2017
  • Navigating the ADA Minefield: How to Handle Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues  & Recent Developments in ADA Accommodations – 2016
  • Best Practices: Employee Discipline and Documentation & Guide to Employee Background Checks – 2016
  • The Best Defense is a Good Offense: Best Practices in Hiring and Managing – 2015
  • Tips on Managing Common(and Tricky) HR Issues – 2015
  • Avoiding and Defending Workplace Retaliation & Wrongful Termination Claims – 2014
  • Beyond the Basics: How HR and Supervisors can Manage the Absent Employee – 2014
  • What’s Hot and What’s Not: Changes in Employment Law That Impact Your Business – 2013
  • Best Practices in Hiring and Managing Your Employees: Tips to Reduce Risk and Avoid Costly Mistakes – 2013
  • Helping Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Training for Managers and Supervisors – 2013 
  • Breaking Up is Hard to Do:  Tips for Successful Employee Termination & Dealing with the Unemployment Claim that Comes After – 2012
  • Protecting Confidential Information When an Employee Leaves – 2012
  • How to Legally & Effectively Manage Employee Leave Issues: Understand your company’s rights and responsibilities under FMLA, ADA, Workers Compensation and more. – 2011
  • Employment Law Update: Court Cases, Rulings, and Trends That Impact Your Business – 2011
  • Plan Now or Pay Later: 5 Employer Tax Issues, and More Importantly, How to Avoid Them – 2011
  • FLSA Collective Actions: Strategies and Defenses Employers Need to Know – 2011
  • Investigation of Employee Misconduct:  Practical Steps to Help Avoid  Common Mistakes – 2010
  • Common Business Practices That May Create Employment Law Liability – 2010
  • 2008 Amendments to the ADA & New Proposed ADAAA Regulations – 2009
  • Common Wage and Hour Compliance Issues for Employers – 2009
  • How to Minimize Legal Risk from Employee Terminations, Lay-Off’s and RIF’s – 2009
  • Turning the Tables: Are employees now in charge as a result of the 2008 ADA Amendments Act? – 2008
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act: What Employers Need to Know and Why – 2006
  • Avoiding Unionization – 2006
  • The Employee Handbook: Friend or Foe? – 2005

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