LAURA M. MERRITT

Partner
 
Employment Law
Litigation
Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility

EXPERIENCE:

Laura Merritt is a partner in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati's employment law litigation practice. Laura advises technology and growth company clients in all areas of labor and employment law, including federal and state antidiscrimination statutes, executive compensation, severance agreements, collective bargaining, employment agreements, employment policies and procedures, employee investigations, workers' compensation retaliation, immigration, 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, Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Older Workers' Benefits Protection Act.

Laura's practice also focuses on labor and employment law litigation in state and federal courts, including discrimination, whistleblower cases, wrongful discharge cases, wage and hour cases, breach of employment contracts, covenants not to compete, workers' compensation retaliation, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, Taft-Hartley Act, WARN Act, and employment torts. She advises and helps clients develop strategies for responding to administrative claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other agencies and represents employers at administrative hearings and onsite investigations.

Laura is experienced in the representation of companies in labor union matters, including collective bargaining, unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board, bargaining unit certification proceedings, union elections, grievance procedures, and arbitrations. She advises clients and trains managers regarding lawful union avoidance strategies, collective bargaining, and election campaign techniques. In addition, Laura conducts 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.

EDUCATION:
  • J.D., University of Texas School of Law, 1994
  • B.A. and B.S., English and Journalism, University of Texas, 1990, 1991
ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS:
  • Member, Leadership Austin, 2012 Essential Class
  • President, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2005-2006
  • President-Elect, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2004-2005
  • Secretary, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2002-2003
  • Treasurer, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2003-2004
  • Board Member, Ariel Dance Theatre, 1998-2001
  • Board Member, Artists' Legal and Accounting Assistance of Austin, 1998-2000
  • Board Member, Austin Symphony BATS, 2003-2006
  • Board Member, Austin Symphony Orchestra, 2006-present
  • Board Member, Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, 2003-present
  • Board Member, AIDS Services of Austin, 2006-present
  • Board Member/Executive Committee, Austin Bar Association, 2004-2006
  • Co-chair, Austin Young Lawyers Association Community Services Committee, 1998-2004
  • Co-chair, Travis County Bar Association Labor and Employment Section Programs Committee, 1998-1999
  • Co-chair, Austin Bar Association Children's Affairs Committee, 2006-07
  • Director, San Antonio Young Lawyers Association, 1996-1997
  • Director, Austin Young Lawyers Association, 2000-2002
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Austin Young Lawyers Association Fellows
  • Member, Labor and Employment Law Sections of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, and the Austin Bar Association
  • Member, Travis County Women Lawyers Association
HONORS:
  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013
  • Named a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation in 2008
  • Profiles in Power Award, Austin Business Journal, 2006
  • Named a 2004 "Rising Star" by the Austin Business Journal
  • One of two employment law finalists in Austin Business Journal's 2005 "Best of Bar" awards
  • Outstanding Director Award, Austin Young Lawyers' Association, 2002-2003
SELECT PUBLICATIONS:
  • Co-author with C.T. Graves, "Six Steps to Peace of Mind: How to Prevent Data from Walking out the Front Door," Corporate Counsel, June 2012
  • "How to Prevent Trade-Secret and Employee-Mobility Suits," Texas Lawyer, April 2, 2012
  • 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
SELECT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS:
  • Frequent lecturer on labor and employment law topics at university-sponsored CLE programs, human resources and business organization seminars, client seminars, and programs of the Texas State Bar
ADMISSIONS:
  • Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law since 2000 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Washington
  • 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 Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Contact Information

900 South Capital of Texas Highway
Las Cimas IV, Fifth Floor
Austin, TX 78746
Phone | 512-338-5406
Fax | 512-338-5499

701 Fifth Avenue
Suite 5100
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone | 206-883-2500
Fax | 206-883-2699

Email | Laura Merrittlmerritt@wsgr.com

Print to PDF