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Attorneys & Staff

Sam R. Fulkerson
Tenth Floor
Two Leadership Square
211 N. Robinson
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-7103

(405) 552-2369 direct
(405) 228-7369 fax
 sam.fulkerson@mcafeetaft.com
Practice Areas
Industry Groups
Agriculture and EquineEnergy and Oil & GasRenewable and Sustainable Energy
Paralegal
Admissions
  • Oklahoma, 1991
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Education
  • J.D., with honors, University of Oklahoma, 1991; Oklahoma Law Review
  • M.A., with honors, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1985
  • B.A., with distinction, University of Oklahoma, 1982; Phi Beta Kappa
Professional Organizations and Memberships
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (Former Chair, Labor and Employment Law Section) ( )
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
Civic Involvement and Leadership
  • Chamber of Commerce, Business and Industry Council
  • Oklahoma City Metro Employer Council
  • Oklahoma State Chamber
  • Oklahoma Visual Arts Council
  • Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City (Board of Directors)
Chambers USABest LawyersBest Lawyers Lawyer of the YearSuper LawyersMartindale Hubbell

Sam R. Fulkerson

Shareholder




BIOGRAPHY

Sam Fulkerson represents management exclusively in all areas of employment law. Much of his practice is devoted to counseling clients on best practices in the workplace and routinely involves the training of management and hourly employees; counseling on disciplinary, organizational and general business issues; legal compliance, including hiring practices, employee classification and wage issues; policy drafting and implementation, including multi-state employer policies, drug testing, and dispute resolution programs; resolution of issues arising from reorganizations, reductions-in-force, mergers, sales, acquisitions and board disputes; and workplace investigations, including those involving claims of sexual and racial harassment, as well as employee, management and board misconduct.

As part of his litigation practice, Sam represents employers in all phases of litigation before federal and state trial and appellate courts as well as federal and state agencies. His extensive agency experience includes defending numerous clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Department of Labor regarding alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Occupational Safety and Health Act, including OSHA whistleblower claims.

Sam’s litigation experience includes the defense of discrimination, interference and retaliation claims; class actions; collective actions under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (both disparate treatment and disparate impact claims) and FLSA (including overtime, donning/doffing and Motor Carrier exemption claims); enforcement of non-competition, confidentiality, trade secret, intellectual property and employment agreements; and obtaining and defending against injunctive relief.

In 2013, Sam has been lead counsel in lawsuits in federal district court in Atlanta, Nashville, Brownsville, Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Chicago and San Diego; the state courts of Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and California; and administrative agencies in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, California, Oregon and Washington.

Sam also has extensive experience in mediating and arbitrating employment disputes before the American Arbitration Association, the EEOC and in federal court.

Sam’s non-litigation practice also includes representation of legislative bodies and special interest groups, and he frequently drafts proposed legislation and reviews legislative proposals for constitutionality, especially those laws affecting the workplace, the employment relationship, and employer interests.

Sam trains and lectures frequently on employment law topics in Oklahoma and elsewhere, has published scholarly articles in the Oklahoma Law Review and the Society for Human Resource Management Legal Report, and was the primary author of “Age Discrimination in the Workplace: A Primer for Human Resource Professionals,” Society for Human Resource Management.

Sam is the designated co-representative of McAfee & Taft as the exclusive member firm representing Oklahoma in the Employers Counsel Network, a nationwide affiliation of leading law firms providing legal assistance and representation to employers. He is also co-editor of the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, a monthly review of new court decisions, regulations and laws that affect state employers, as well as co-editor for the Oklahoma section of the annual guidebook for employers and human resources professionals, 50 Employment Laws in 50 States.

His achievements have earned him inclusion in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management; labor law – management; labor and employment litigation), which also named him 2012 Oklahoma City Employment Litigation Lawyer of the Year; and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, which also named him to its list of “Top 50 Oklahoma Lawyers.” Sam is the only Oklahoma attorney named to the 2011-2013 editions of the ABA-affiliated International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers. In 2011, Sam received The Journal Record’s Leadership in Law award, and in 2013 he was named “Board Member of the Year” by the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City.


REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Represented the interests of the State Chamber of Oklahoma as amicus curiae before the Oklahoma Supreme Court in an action challenging the constitutionality of the privatization of the state workers’ compensation fund. The fund’s privatization was a key part of reforming the entire state workers’ comp system, and the Chamber’s position was adopted by the court in an opinion relying significantly on arguments and authorities presented in the brief.
  • Representation of venture capital group in combining multiple energy-related companies located across Oklahoma and Texas into single organization, with related redundancy, employee classification, wage and management issues, and agency investigations.
  • Representation of national pipeline services company in nationwide DOL investigation of employee classification and overtime issues, and application of FLSA’s 13(b)(1) Motor Carrier exemption and application of the “four month rule.”
  • Representation of durable medical equipment supplier in obtaining temporary retraining order in Ohio against former national sales manager who improperly retained and used confidential information and also violated non-solicitation agreement; and, in obtaining preliminary injunction in Texas against physicians practice for improperly steering patients to a competitor.
  • Representation of tribal-owned government contractor companies, including general consulting, issues related to government subpoenas and investigations, False Claims Act whistleblower claims, and litigation related to joint ventures.
  • Representation of Oklahoma Department of Tourism in lawsuit by Oklahoma Public Employees Union challenging denial of severance and retirement benefits in reduction-in-force.
  • National representation of temporary staffing company, including wage/hour collective action and FLSA’s 13(b)(1) exemption to loaders and sorters in the trucking and distribution industry.
  • Representation of national manufacturing and distribution company into allegations of sexual misconduct and favoritism by C-level executives.
  • Representation of hybrid public/private non-profit economic development agency in investigation and removal of executive director for financial impropriety and substance abuse.
  • Representation of multiple non-profit boards in executive director misconduct investigations, and executive searches.
  • Representation of Oklahoma State Senate in employment, compliance and training issues.
  • Representation of the State Chamber of Oklahoma in legislative initiatives and related constitutionality reviews, including significant revisions of Oklahoma’s Anti-Discrimination Act, drug and alcohol testing statute, unemployment law statute, and workers’ compensation statute.
  • Lead counsel for national temporary staffing company in sexual harassment/gender discrimination case in federal court jury trial in Western District of Oklahoma in August 2012.
  • Lead counsel for steel fabrication company in gender discrimination and FMLA interference/retaliation case in federal court jury trial in October 2013.

Representative Cases 1993-2013:

  • Bolton v. Scrivner, Inc., 836 F.Supp. 783 (W.D.Okl. 1993), aff’d, 36 F.3d 939 (10th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 1104 (1995) (interpretation of “disabled person” under Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Milton v. Scrivner, Inc., 901 F.Supp. 1541 (W.D.Okl. 1994), aff’d, 53 F.3d 1118 (10th Cir. 1995) (definition of “disability” under Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Massey v. Scrivner, Inc., 901 F.Supp. 1546 (W.D.Okl. 1994), aff’d, 53 F.3d 1118 (10th Cir. 1995) (definition of “disability,” and speed of production as a “bona fide occupational qualification” under Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Sarsycki v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 862 F.Supp. 336 (W.D.Okl. 1994) (impact of mitigating measures on determination of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act).
  • Atkinson v. Halliburton Co., 905 P.2d 772 (Okla. 1995) (administrative procedure under Oklahoma anti- discrimination statute).
  • Cole v. Halliburton Co., 6 Wage & Hour Cas. 2d 990 (W.D. Okla., Sep 06, 2000) (enforceability of arbitration agreement).
  • Walker v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 240 F.3d 1268 (10th Cir. 2000) (administrative exhaustion requirements under Title VII, and recoverable damages under the Family and Medical Leave Act).
  • Pierce, et al v. Kellogg, Brown & Root, Inc., 245 F.Supp.2d 1212 (E.D. Okl. 2003) (enforceability of arbitration agreements).
  • Eapen v. McMillan, P.3d (Ok. Ct. App. 2008) (individual liability under Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act and public policy tort).
  • Miami Business Services, Inc. v. The Hon. Lisa Davis, and Asset Group, Inc., et al, 2013 OK 20 (disqualification of opposing counsel, and related appellate procedure).
     

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