Laura Merritt

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Laura Merritt

Laura Merritt_cropped300_greyLaura Merritt

Partner

laura@boulettegolden.com

512.732.8903

Laura is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been repeatedly recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer (Thompson-Reuters Corporation). Representing employers in a wide range of employment and labor matters, Laura’s practice includes litigation, training, counseling, and negotiating definitive and ancillary employee-related agreements in corporate transactions. Previously a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Laura joined Boulette Golden & Marin L.L.P. in 2015.

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Distinctions

  • Admitted to the State Bar of Texas
  • Admitted to the State Bar of Washington
  • Board Certified since 2000 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor & Employment Law
  • Admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of Texas

Memberships

  • Member, Labor and Employment Law Section of: the State Bar of Texas and the Austin Bar Association
  • Member, Austin Young Lawyers Association Fellows, Austin Bar Association,  Travis County Women Lawyers Association, College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Member (Barrister), The Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court

Bar Association Leadership

  • Board Member, Austin Bar Association 2015-2017
  • Board Member, Travis County Women Lawyers Association 2008-09
  • Past President, Austin Young Lawyers Association 2006-07
  • President, Austin Young Lawyers Association 2005-06
  • President-Elect, Austin Young Lawyers Association 2004-05
  • Board Member/Executive Committee, Austin Bar Association 2004-2006
  • Treasurer, Austin Young Lawyers Association 2003-04
  • Secretary, Austin Young Lawyers Association 2002-03
  • Director, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2000-02
  • Director, San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, 1996-97
  • Co-Chair, Austin Bar Association Children’s Affairs Committee, 2006-08
  • Co-Chair, Travis County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Programs Committee, 1998-99
  • Co-Chair, Austin Young Lawyers Association Community Services Committee, 1998-2004

Experience

  • Advise clients in all areas of labor and employment law, including all federal and state antidiscrimination statutes, executive employment agreement drafting and negotiation, noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements, separation agreements, collective bargaining, employment agreements, employment policies and procedures, workers’ compensation retaliation, immigration, reductions in force, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, National Labor Relations Act, WARN Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Equal Pay Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Older Workers’ Benefits Protection Act.
  • Conduct manager and employee training regarding human resources best practices and labor and employment law compliance, including lawful hiring and recruiting techniques, religious accommodation, disability law compliance, lawful and effective discipline and documentation practices, harassment prevention and investigation, and investigations of employee misconduct.
  • Labor and employment law litigation in state and federal courts including discrimination (race, national origin, sex, disability, religion), whistleblower cases, wrongful discharge cases, wage and hour cases, breach of employment contracts, covenants not to compete, workers’ compensation retaliation, sexual harassment, Family and Medical Leave Act, Taft-Hartley Act, WARN Act and employment torts.
  • Extensive administrative practice before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission, Austin Human Rights Commission and Texas Workforce Commission (including the former Texas Commission on Human Rights).  Practice includes drafting employer responses and statements of position as well as representation of employers at administrative hearings and on-site investigations.
  • Significant experience advising clients in mergers and acquisitions, and negotiating definitive agreements as well as ancillary employee-related documents, with a focus on assisting clients in structuring corporate transactions to minimize employment-related risks and maximize the value of the transaction from an employment law perspective.
  • Representation of companies in labor union matters including collective bargaining, pursuit and defense of unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board, bargaining unit certification proceedings, union elections, grievance procedures and arbitrations.  Advise clients and train managers regarding lawful union avoidance strategies, collective bargaining and election campaign techniques.
  • Frequent speaker on labor and employment law topics at university-sponsored CLE programs, human resources and business organization seminars, and client seminars.
  • Author of numerous articles on various employment topics, including: lawful hiring, termination and documentation, employee surveillance and investigation, employee benefits and leave of absence, sexual harassment, disability law, workers compensation retaliation, employment law implications of technology in the workplace, telecommuting, workplace violence, covenants not to compete/trade secrets, and National Labor Relations Act issues.
Education

  • University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas -- J.D.
  • University of Texas, Austin, Texas -- BA