Photo, Emily Paige Harbison

Emily Paige Harbison

Partner
Baker & McKenzie LLP

Biography

Emily Harbison practices mainly in the area of labor and employment law. Ms. Harbison represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law, including counseling and traditional labor law. She is actively involved in various pro bono efforts.

Practice Focus

Ms. Harbison regularly advises clients regarding pay equity, federal contract/OFCCP compliance, ERISA, international executive mobility, wrongful discharge, leave and accommodation, wage and hour, as well as on a variety of other issues under state and federal laws governing the employment relationship. Ms. Harbison also counsels company management on independent contractor matters, exemption status under the FLSA, covenants not to compete, employment agreements, and employee handbooks and policies. Ms. Harbison has experience representing clients in traditional labor matters under the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act. She also has experience defending employers in matters involving wage and hour disputes and employment discrimination, including claims under Title VII of The Civil Rights Act, the FMLA, ADEA, ADA and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.

Ms. Harbison advises clients on matters related to mergers and acquisitions and corporate reorganizations, including advising on due diligence, employee transfers, and negotiating and implementing such corporate transactions.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Defended a national, high-end restaurant chain against allegations of systemic sex discrimination.
  • Defended a commercial airline against allegations of systemic disability discrimination.
  • Obtained summary judgment dismissing misclassification and failure to pay overtime claims under the FLSA on behalf of drilling contractor.
  • Defeated conditional certification of FLSA collective action for national fitness club chain.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of commercial airline of meal and rest break claim on the basis that such claim was preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act.
  • Represented a chemical company in large ERISA Section 204(h) notice class action. Certiorari denied by the US Supreme Court.
  • Obtained victory for natural gas producer in labor dispute (grievance, arbitration, and district and appellate litigation) resulting from internal restructuring.
  • Conducted global pay equity audits and advised management on remediation and communication strategies.
  • Prepared affirmative action programs and advised management on OFCCP audits and compliance.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Houston Bar Association

Corporate Responsibility

  • Chair, Baker McKenzie Houston office Community Service Committee, 2019 - present
  • Member, Baker McKenzie Houston office Pro Bono Committee, 2008 - 2013

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado~United States (2016)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas~United States (2016)
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas~United States (2015)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas~United States (2011)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit~United States (2010)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas~United States (2008)
  • Texas~United States (2007)

Education

  • University of Houston Law Center (J.D.) (2007)
  • University of Texas (Bachelor of Business Administration summa cum laude) (2003)

Languages

  • English
  • Co-author, "INSIGHT: NLRB Resoundingly Nixes Argument That Misclassification Alone Violates Law," Bloomberg Law, Oct. 2019

  • Co-author, "Pay Equity: U.S. Women's Soccer Keeps Equal Pay in Play," Bloomberg Law, September 2019

  • Interview, "Title VII Charge-Filing Requirement", Thomson Reuter's GC Agenda," August/September 2019

  • Co-author, "An Introduction to Pay Equity," Bloomberg Law, 2018

  • Co-author, "Mind the (Gender Pay) Gap--At Home and Abroad," Bloomberg Law, 2017