Longtain, Sara C.

Sara C. Longtain

Partner
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Sara Longtain is an advocate for employers providing strategic, business-focused advice and legal representation in a full spectrum of employee-related matters, such as:

  • Employee disputes at all stages, including pre-suit demands, administrative proceedings and lawsuits, involving wages/hours (FLSA), harassment, discrimination, retaliation (Title VII, ADEA) and contract disputes
  • Personnel training, workplace investigations and related policies
  • Executive compensation, employment and restrictive covenant agreements
  • Employee and contractor classification, pay practices (overtime, travel time)
  • Performance management, effective discipline and employment separations (Cause terminations)
  • Layoffs, furloughs, voluntary separation/early retirement programs (VERP) and associated matters (WARN)
  • Leave management, including disability accommodation (interactive process/ADA), military leave (USERRA) and the FMLA
  • Employment-related due diligence, reps and warranties in mergers and acquisitions

Sara has been Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2012.

Sara Longtain is an advocate for employers providing strategic, business-focused advice and legal representation in a full spectrum of employee-related matters, such as:

  • Employee disputes at all stages, including pre-suit demands, administrative proceedings and lawsuits, involving wages/hours (FLSA), harassment, discrimination, retaliation (Title VII, ADEA) and contract disputes
  • Personnel training, workplace investigations and related policies
  • Executive compensation, employment and restrictive covenant agreements
  • Employee and contractor classification, pay practices (overtime, travel time)
  • Performance management, effective discipline and employment separations (Cause terminations)
  • Layoffs, furloughs, voluntary separation/early retirement programs (VERP) and associated matters (WARN)
  • Leave management, including disability accommodation (interactive process/ADA), military leave (USERRA) and the FMLA
  • Employment-related due diligence, reps and warranties in mergers and acquisitions

Sara has been Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2012.

Sara's representative experience includes:

Other Employment-Related Disputes

  • Defended Houston manufacturing company against claims asserted under the FMLA in the Southern District of Texas
  • Obtained 12(b)(6) dismissal with prejudice of race discrimination and sexual harassment claims under Title VII and disability discrimination claim under the ADA on behalf of national retailer
  • Represented manufacturing company in defense of sex, age and associative disability discrimination and retaliation claims before the EEOC
  • Represented corporate securities firm in defense against FMLA claims and ultimately convinced the plaintiff to dismiss the lawsuit based on the threshold issue of statutory coverage
  • Conducted pre-suit investigations, prepared position statements in response to charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC/TWC and navigated all aspects of the administrative process, including mediation and conciliation, for clients in all industries

OSHA Matters

  • Negotiated significant reductions to OSHA penalties and elimination of citation items related to employee fatality (electrocution) for an oilfield equipment client
  • Represented sheet metal fabricator during multiple on-site inspections by OSHA and negotiated reduction of citation classification and associated penalties for alleged violations relating to machine guarding
  • Represented client in contest of OSHA citations and proposed penalties related to an employee fatality, including alleged violations of confined space entry and fall hazard regulations

Employment Agreements/Contract Disputes

  • Negotiated and drafted numerous executive and other employment agreements, and separation and release agreements, for companies involved in various industries, including energy, oilfield services, manufacturing, real estate, restaurant and hospitality
  • Represented multiple clients in response to pre-suit demands made by former executives asserting breach of contract relating to their termination “for Cause” under an employment agreement
  • Drafted and/or revised hundreds of restrictive covenant agreements, including non-disclosure, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, in connection with equity and asset transactions and independently for employers as part of their on-boarding documentation

Layoffs/ Restructuring/Separation Programs

  • Assisted materials company in wind down and relocation of corporate office, including preparation of employee notices, separation and release agreements, retention agreements and relocation expense reimbursement agreements, and advice and counsel regarding WARN compliance
  • Supported several oilfield services clients through all aspects of a VERP, including identifying the appropriate scope of the program and details of the package offered, preparation of program documents, and advice and counsel relating to issue management
  • Provided legal compliance advice to numerous clients conducting voluntary separation programs and other company reorganization/restructuring programs resulting in group layoffs

Transactional Matters

  • Assisted employers to develop tailored employment policies and procedures, ranging from drafting or reviewing full-scale employment handbooks to piecemeal employment policies, including content related to workplace violence, leaves of absence, vacation/sick leave, employee privacy, internet/social media use, drug testing, the protection of confidential and trade secret information and so forth
  • Assisted numerous clients to navigate employment-related due diligence matters, both on the buy and sell side of equity and asset transactions

Sara is well versed in the numerous issues stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak, such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), stay-at-home and related orders, and all of their impacts on employers, employees and independent contractors, including critical infrastructure and essential services determinations, paid and unpaid leave, layoffs, pay reductions, reduced hours, furloughs, downsizings, expanded unemployment, and their interaction with numerous local, state and federal laws and regulations. Many of these issues have significant interactions with employee benefits, tax, Small Business Administration, and other issues, where we collaborate closely with our colleagues experienced in those practice areas.

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CREDENTIALS
Education
  • J.D.,

    cum laude

    , University of Houston Law Center, 2007

    Member, Order of the Barons
    Notes and Comments Editor, Houston Law Review

  • B.A., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin, 2004
Bar Admissions
  • Texas, 2007
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
Board Certifications
    • Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Professional Affiliations
    • Member, State Bar of Texas
    • Member, Houston Bar Association
      • LegalLine Committee Co-Chair (2008-2014)
      • IDEA Committee Member (2012-2013)
      • IDEA Committee Co-Chair (2013-2014)
Awards & Recognitions
    • Named, Super Lawyers® Texas Rising Star, Employment & Labor (2014-2021)
    • Named, Houston Top 50 Women Lawyers, Texas Diversity Counsel (2017)
Professional History
    • Houston Chair, Locke Lord Diversity Committee
    • Member, Locke Lord Recruiting Committee
      • Co-Hiring Partner, Houston