McPhaul, Jeffrey M.

Jeffrey M. McPhaul

Partner
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Jeffrey McPhaul is a Partner in the Houston office of Locke Lord LLP where he focuses his practice on labor & employment law. Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jeff has represented employers in litigated employment matters in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and before administrative agencies on a wide variety of issues, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and failure to accommodate; wage and hour disputes; breaches of fiduciary duties; defense and enforcement of covenants not to compete and nonsolicitation agreements; OSHA complaints; misappropriation of trade secrets; and non-subscriber cases.

Jeffrey McPhaul is a Partner in the Houston office of Locke Lord LLP where he focuses his practice on labor & employment law. Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Jeff has represented employers in litigated employment matters in state and federal courts, arbitration proceedings, and before administrative agencies on a wide variety of issues, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and failure to accommodate; wage and hour disputes; breaches of fiduciary duties; defense and enforcement of covenants not to compete and nonsolicitation agreements; OSHA complaints; misappropriation of trade secrets; and non-subscriber cases.

Jeff also has experience advising employers regarding issues involving numerous aspects of the employer/employee relationship, including drafting and revising employment contracts, policies, and procedures; compliance with federal and state law in hiring, including under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state and federal antidiscrimination laws; internal investigations; leaves of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA); reasonable accommodation issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and separations and disciplinary actions.

Jeff also has experience with general business litigation and dispute resolution, including breach of contract, statutory and common law fraud, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and violations of the Texas Insurance Code.

Jeff is well versed in the numerous issues stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak, such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the 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.

Title VII & Related Tort Claim Experience (Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Claims)

  • Second chair representation in arbitration proceeding involving age discrimination and common law wrongful termination claims
  • Obtained summary judgment for national oil and gas services company in matter involving claims of sex discrimination
  • Obtained summary judgment for a regional pharmacy in matter involving claims of sex discrimination
  • Represented international commercial real estate management company in matter involving claims of sex discrimination and retaliation
  • Represented national retail company in multiple litigation matters involving claims under Title VII, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Texas Labor Code, state workers’ compensation statutes, and state common law
  • Represented regional credit union in multiple litigation matters involving claims under Title VII and the Texas Labor Code
  • Defended national oil and gas services company in matter involving claims of sex discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation
  • Defended national oil and gas services company in matter involving claims of disability discrimination and age discrimination
  • Advised and counseled employers on proper handling and investigation of employee complaints and charges of discrimination
  • Obtained dismissal of numerous charges of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation brought to the EEOC or comparable state or local agencies

Trade Secret, Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation Experience

  • Obtained temporary injunctive relief on behalf of national oil and gas services company after a three-day temporary injunction hearing in matter involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and violations of restrictive covenants
  • Obtained temporary injunctive relief on behalf of national oil and gas services company in matter involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and violations of restrictive covenants
  • Obtained temporary injunctive relief for an international oil and gas services company in matter involving claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract
  • Defended exploration and production company and one of its principals against claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing under Delaware law
  • Prepared, and provided advice and counsel regarding the enforceability of, numerous noncompete and non-solicitation agreements

Wage and Hour (FLSA) Experience

  • Represented international oil and gas services company in multiple wage and hour matters, including both single plaintiff proceedings and collective action proceedings
  • Represented national oil and gas services company in multiple wage and hour matters, including both single plaintiff proceedings and collective action proceedings, in federal court and arbitration
  • Represented national staffing firm on multiple wage and hour matters involving allegations of independent contractor misclassification
  • Represented national construction firm in collective action involving allegations of independent contractor misclassification
  • Defeated conditional certification in multiple collective action matters
  • Counseled clients on proper pay practices and employee classification under the FLSA

FMLA/ADA Experience

  • Defended employers in FMLA lawsuits regarding FMLA interference and retaliation claims
  • Counseled clients regarding the interactive process and responding to employee requests for  reasonable accommodations under the ADA
  • Counseled clients regarding FMLA compliance in administering employee leaves of absence

Transactional Experience

  • Prepared numerous employment policies and handbooks, employment agreements, consulting agreements, separation agreements, arbitration agreements, and FCRA disclosures and authorizations
  • Provided advice and counsel on employment termination programs and WARN Act compliance

General Business Litigation & Dispute Resolution Experience

  • Second chair representation in arbitration proceeding involving claims of negligence, breach of contract, and breach of warranty
  • Represented international private equity group in matter involving claims for gross negligence stemming from workplace accident
  • Represented environmental services firm in matter involving claims of breach of contract and violations of the Texas Insurance Code
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CREDENTIALS
Education
  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center, 2010
  • B.A., English, with honors, The University of Texas at Austin, 2006
Bar Admissions
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • All Texas State Courts
Board Certifications
    • Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Professional History
    • Associate, Locke Lord LLP
    • Associate, Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom LLP (2010-2013)