Labor and Employment Law
- A number of oilfield workers filed a “wage and hour” lawsuit against our client alleging that they should have paid for the time spent traveling between their residences and work locations. The workers argued that differences between the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act meant that travel time was compensable under state law. The district court granted summary judgment in our client’s favor, and the New Mexico Court of Appeals affirmed.
- An employee sued our client, a local contractor, in federal court alleging sexual harassment, assault and constructive discharge. We tried the matter to the Court. The judge rejected all of plaintiff’s claims at trial and entered judgment for our client.
- Our client, a large national retailer, faced claims of breach of collective bargaining agreement from the largest union in New Mexico. The union felt that the company’s introduction of certain products undermined its members’ job security. We arbitrated the matter before an arbitrator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The arbitrator denied the union’s grievance, recognizing that the company had the right to control the products it offered for sale.
- In another labor action, a union and various employees filed claims with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that our client, a national grocery store chain, had committed numerous unfair labor practices in violation of federal law. Region 28 of the NLRB agreed and filed a complaint against the employer. We tried the matter for the employer against the NLRB’s trial counsel. After three separate evidentiary hearings, stretching over an eight month period, we obtained a complete victory for the employer. The ALJ found that the employer had committed no unfair labor practices. In light of the ALJ’s findings that many of the NLRB’s witnesses were not credible and that the employer’s actions were all supported by sound business judgment, Region 28 decided not to challenge the ALJ’s decision.
- We represented a national laboratory in a lawsuit filed in state court by a nuclear physicist who claimed he was wrongfully discharged. After a one-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict on all claims.
- We represented a religious institution in a lawsuit for sex discrimination filed by a teacher who had been terminated. Before answering the lawsuit, we moved to dismiss the case based on New Mexico’s church autonomy doctrine. The state court judge granted the dismissal ruling that courts may not interfere with a church’s decision regarding who is best fit to teach in its schools. The case is on appeal.
- Prevailed on a motion to compel arbitration regarding a shareholder dispute involving a physician’s practice group.
- Removed a state court lawsuit alleging unlawful “harassment” under state law to federal court on federal preemption grounds and then obtained a dismissal of all claims.
- Prevailed in two separate discharge grievances.
- Obtained summary judgment on a case where the employee alleged his employer promised to pay him higher wages.
- Prevailed at the New Mexico Supreme Court on a constitutional challenge to a favorable unemployment benefits ruling, reversing the decisions of the district court and New Mexico Court of Appeals.
- Provided annual training to the entire workforce of a local business, including its field representatives. The training focused on anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws and highlighted the company’s specific policies addressing these topics.