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As an experienced litigator, Steve is an effective advocate and has represented employers in both the courtroom and before administrative agencies.

On April 24, 2024, Winstead’s Labor & Employment team reported that—after much anticipation— the FTC issued its final rule banning noncompete agreements nationwide. In our initial post, we noted that the final rule had yet to be published in the Federal Register but that its publication triggers the 120-day period before the rule becomes effective. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on May 8, 2024, and the FTC notes that its expected effective date is therefore September 4, 2024.Continue Reading The FTC’s Noncompete Ban is Published…What Now?

Over a year ago, in January 2023, we reported on Winstead’s Employer Law Resource Blog that the Federal Trade Commission issued a proposed rule banning noncompetes. The FTC later extended the original 90-day notice-and-comment period and thereafter apparently took its time considering the multitude of comments it received. Finally, on April 23, 2024, the FTC issued a press release announcing the issuance of its final rule officially banning noncompetes nationwide.Continue Reading The FTC Did What?! It Banned Noncompetes

Mandatory arbitration agreements for employees have been enforceable for decades.  Over the last several years, there has been an ongoing controversy between the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, among others, and the National Labor Relations Board as to whether mandatory arbitration agreements which prohibit collective actions are enforceable.  In the recent decision of Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the U.S. Supreme Court has now held that employers may impose mandatory arbitration agreements which deny employees the right to file collective action arbitrations.  In other words, agreements requiring employees to proceed individually in arbitration are enforceable.  In the wake of this decision, many employers are opting to require their current employees to agree to mandatory arbitration. 
Continue Reading Implementing Your Mandatory Arbitration Program

In what appears to be the first website accommodation decision within the Fifth Circuit,  Judge Sim Lake of the Southern District of Texas District Court found that a “website is not a place of public accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Zaid v. Smart Financial Credit Union, No. H-18-1130, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11363 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 24, 2019).  Stephen W. Schueler and Modinat “Abby” Kotun defended Smart Financial Credit Union (“SFCU”) against allegations that SFCU’s website discriminated against blind individuals due to its alleged incompatibility with the plaintiff’s screen reader, which he used to access websites.  The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief requiring SFCU to ensure that its website was accessible to the visually-impaired along with attorneys’ fees.
Continue Reading Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Website Accommodations