Sheila heads the firm’s Employment Law Practice Group and assists employers with all aspects of labor and employment law. Her practice focuses on counseling employers on the legal issues and strategic decisions involved in personnel decisions, auditing employment practices for legal compliance, and conducting internal investigations of employee complaints.

Sheila also reviews policies, conducts management training, defends employers in administrative proceedings, investigates and negotiates demands, and works with trial lawyers on employment law issues throughout the litigation process.

Sheila is a frequent speaker and published author on employment-related issues. Sheila uses a direct approach and gives practical advice to help employers deal with personnel issues and employment regulations, so they can focus on their core business. She believes employees should contribute to, not hinder, the growth of the business or the mission of the agency.

  • Practice Areasopen

  • Professional Licenses and Educationopen

    • Admitted to State Bar of Texas (1988)
    • Admitted to U.S. District Courts for Western, Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
    • J.D., University of Arizona College of Law, 1987
    • B.A., University of Arizona, 1983

  • Representative Experienceopen

    • Advising and counseling public and private sector employers on personnel decisions and strategy
    • Conducting workplace investigations, including ethics violations and complaints of sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination
    • Auditing management practices, personnel forms, policies and procedures, and providing legal interpretations on employment-related matters
    • Drafting and reviewing personnel policies, forms, agreements, and affirmative action plans
    • Responding to demand letters, including investigating claims, advising, and negotiating on behalf of employers
    • Conducting training on employment law, workplace harassment, investigations, ethics, litigation and union avoidance and good management practices
    • Working with and advising trial lawyers in employment litigation and appeals.
    • Representing employers before government agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Texas Commission on Human Rights (TCHR), the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Safety and Health Administrations (OSHA and MSHA), the National Labor Relations Board, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the Texas Workforce Commission, and local civil service boards. Representation includes preparing position statements, handling audits, negotiating at mediations and defending employers at agency hearings.

  • Publications and Presentationsopen

    • “Hiring Update” Presented to the Texas Business Conference, 2012
    • “Social Media – Tales from the Dark Side” Presented to Austin Bar Ass. Bench Bar, 2012
    • “Top Employment Law Changes” Presented to Houston CPA’s Expo, 2012
    • “No-Stress Guide to FMLA” Presented to Texas County Treasurers Conference 2012
    • “ADA-AA Update” Presented to Austin HR Management Association Roundtable, 2012
    • “Workplace Bullying” Presented to Texas Municipal HR Ass. Annual Conference, 2012
    • “Job Descriptions: Your First Line of Defense” Presented to the County Management Institute, 2012
    • “Has the DOL Lost its Mind?” Presented to Texas Statewide Telephone Coop’s Manager’s Conference, 2012
    • “The Future of Employment Law” Presented to the International Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Conference, 2012
    • “Are You in Compliance? Update on the Government’s Crackdown on Independent Contractors” Presented to Texas Soc. of CPAs Expo, 2012
    • “Background Checks in the 21st Century” Presented to the Texas County Tax Assessor-Collectors’ Conference, 2012
    • “Federal Benefits Update: 2010” Presented to AHRMA’s Benefits Blitz, 2010
    • “Top Ten Employment Mistakes Managers Make That Get Plaintiff’s Lawyer’s Really Excited” (Keynote address), Presented to Texas Society of CPAs’ Energy Conference, 2008
    • “Veterans Rights 2008: The Soldiers are Coming Home and the Charges are Coming In,” Presented to the Austin Bar Association, 2008
    • “The Ins and Outs of the Texas Public Information Act,” Presented to the League of Women Voters, 2008
    • “Retaliation: The Hottest of the Hot Topics,” Presented to the Texas State Human Resources Association, 2008
    • “Drugs, Sex, and Videotape: Top Ten Conflicts Between Employee Privacy and Workplace Realities,” Presented to Texas Statewide Telephone Coop’s Institute, 2006
    • “Wage and Hour: Real Problems/Real Solutions,” Presented to the American Payroll Association, 2006

  • Professional Associations and Membershipsopen

    • Texas Bar Association
    • Austin Bar Association
      o Employment Law Section
    • American Bar Association
      o Employment Law Section

  • Honors and Awardsopen

    • One of five percent of Texas lawyers Selected for inclusion by Thomson Reuters in Super Lawyers Texas: 2012-2014

  • Personal Profileopen

    Sheila’s path to the law was fairly typical–she wasn’t great at math and her mother said, “Since you’re so good at arguing, you may as well get paid for it.” Sheila’s clients (and family) know she took this advice to heart. Sheila won Best Speller in the fourth grade, an accomplishment she’s still proud of today. Her ability to sing every song – in character – from The Wizard of Oz certainly demonstrates a knack for seeing all sides. She spends her free time these days hanging with her husband, Stephan and two daughters, Kate and Allison.