Stephanie C. GastonStephanie Gaston Clark Hill
Stephanie C. Gaston
An experienced counselor and litigator, Stephanie C. Gaston focuses her practice on resolving labor and employment law matters for private employers, public entities, and non-profits. She also represents school districts, housing authorities, special districts, and governmental entities. Stephanie regularly defends companies facing discrimination, harassment, retaliation, class actions, and other claims under federal, state, and local laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, ADA, FMLA, USERRA, and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act. She advises and counsels employers on minimizing the risks of litigation, developing employment policies, and drafting and enforcing employment and severance agreements, including those with non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure provisions. Stephanie has prepared numerous affirmative action plans and represents clients in administrative agency investigations.
Stephanie also represents business clients in the area of commercial litigation. She has particular experience defending clients in complex business litigation and arbitration matters, such as general contract, Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Jones Act, deceptive trade practice, fraud, fiduciary duty, maritime and tortious interference claims.
Stephanie currently serves as the Co-Chair of Clark Hill Strasburger BOLD - Houston, the firm's strategy to promote women within the firm, the legal profession, and the business community.
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in ADEA, ADAAA, and FMLA case brought by former employee against international medical and emergency services provider (January 2017).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of franchise agreement case brought by franchisor against franchisee (Galveston County, February 2016).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of franchise agreement case brought by franchisor against franchisee (Harris County, December 2015).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of franchise agreement case brought by franchisor against franchisee (Harris County, February 2016).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of franchise agreement case brought by franchisor against franchisee (Dallas County, March 2016).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of franchise agreement case brought by franchisor against franchisee (Dallas County, April 2016).
- Obtained affirmation of summary judgment in Southern District of Texas in favor of employer in suit brought by former employee alleging violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (October 2015).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in ADEA and racial discrimination case brought by a former employee against a community college (Southern District of Texas, March 2014).
- Presented and defended fact witnesses at depositions in discrimination disputes.
- Prepared numerous position statements in discrimination disputes before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Texas Workforce Commission.
- Prepared affirmative action plans for business clients and government contractors and subcontractors.
- Represented national business clients in administrative investigation under the Fair Labor Standards Act by the Department of Labor and obtained closure of investigations with no adverse findings against employer.
- Represented global transportation services provider in large commercial contract dispute, obtained favorable settlement terms.
- Represented professional services company in catastrophic injury, obtained favorable settlement terms.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment in breach of contract case against national leasing company and successfully collected entire judgment including attorney's fees and costs post-judgment.
- Drafted Appellate Brief to Fifth Circuit in Section 1782 Discovery Dispute for global transportation service client.
- Presented and defended fact witnesses at depositions in commercial and personal injury disputes.
- Negotiated settlement of commercial disputes for national retail and construction clients.
- Deposed numerous claimants, doctors, vocational experts and other subject matter experts in preparation for litigation.
- Presented oral argument at various discovery and subject matter hearings, and performed direct and cross-examinations of witnesses.
- CSI: Special Workplace Investigations; When Your HR Matters Aren't Solved in an Hour with Commercial Breaks, Employment Law Breakfast (May 2019)
- Stop #MeToo from Becoming #YouToo, Strasburger’s Employment Law Breakfast Series (February 2018)
- Oh No, Not #YouToo! How to Avoid Sexual Harassment Claims in the #MeToo Era, webcast presented by Society for Human Resource Management (March 2018)
- Caring for your Whole Self and Handling Difficult Conversations with Confidence, National Diversity Council Women in Leadership Symposium (March 2018)
- Snap (chat), Crackle & Pop: Social Media in the Workplace, Strasburger's Employment Law Breakfast Series (September 2017)
- The Four Horsemen of the Employment Industry: Non-competes, Sexual Harassment, Misclassification/Pay, Leave Issues/Workers' Compensation, Strasburger's Employment Law Breakfast Series (May 2017)
- Controlling Unemployment Compensation Costs, Human Resource Law from A to Z National Business Institute Practical Course (May 2017)
- Take a Byte Out of Cybercrime, Strasburger's Employment Law Breakfast Series (December 2015)
- Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between: A Primer on the Lifecycle of an Employee, Texas Housing Authority Annual Conference (August 2015)
- Horrible Bosses and the Workplace Bully, Strasburger's Employment Law Breakfast Series (May 2015)
- General Principles of Texas Workers' Compensation, Continuing Education Seminar for Attorneys, Employers, and Insurance Claims Adjusters (April 2012)
- Bad Faith under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act & the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Continuing Education Seminar for Attorneys, Employers, and Insurance Claims Adjusters (November 2011)
- Independent Classification Isn't Dead Yet in Trucking, FleetOwner (November 2017)
- A Glimmer of Hope for Franchisors Fearing Joint Employer Liability, Strasburger Franchise & Distribution Law Blog (May 2016)
- Out of Joint: Texas Joint Employer Liability for Franchisors, Strasburger Franchise & Distribution Law Blog (April 2016)