Phil Bruce counsels and represents employers exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law, including matters involving wage and hour law, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, employee handbook policies and procedures, discipline and termination, drug and alcohol testing, medical and disability leave, litigation avoidance, and compliance with a myriad of state and federal laws. He also defends employers in state and federal courts, before administrative agencies, and in arbitration against claims of workplace harassment, Title VII employment discrimination, FLSA violations, and wrongful discharge and retaliation.
A portion of Phil’s practice is devoted to complex business litigation, including breach of contract cases, breach of confidentiality cases, and cases involving Lanham Act violations.
Phil’s achievements have earned him inclusion in Oklahoma Super Lawyers' list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys.
Phil’s major writing credits include co-authoring and updating Oklahoma Employment Law: Practice and Forms Manual, published by Data Trace Publishing Company, since 2013. He also serves as a contributing author to the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter and EmployerLINC.
Prior to graduating from law school, Phil served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Timothy DeGiusti, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Oklahoma, and worked as a research assistant for two law professors. While an undergraduate at the University of Kentucky, he served as an honors intern in the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C.
Representative ExperienceEmployment & Labor Law
- Obtained judgment and an award in excess of $4 million on behalf of an international manufacturer of industrial technology who sued its former president for theft of trade secrets and violation of his employment agreement. The court also issued a permanent injunction against the former executive for certain anti-competitive activities and further breaches of his employment and confidentiality agreements.
- Represented both private and public employers in administrative charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including investigating and drafting of positions statements, mediation, conciliation, and defending companies facing cause findings.
- Advised private liberal arts university of applicable FLSA overtime exemptions for assistant athletic coaches; retailer furniture business in proper FLSA structure of commission salesmen; major metropolitan library in exempt status of librarians; national construction company on use of fluctuating work week and Belo pay practices for laborers; and commercial yacht company on proper pay structures and employment practices of crew to comply with international treaties and FLSA requirements.
- Advise Native American tribal governments in the application of various employment laws.
- Advised regional bank on litigation avoidance and strategy for various non-compete cases.
- Representation of several national oil and gas services companies in FLSA and state wage law collective action cases including issues of classification of employees as exempt or non-exempt, use of independent contractors, and issues of compensable time.
- Successfully defended restaurant group in U.S. Department of Labor investigation of hourly employee pay practices.
- Obtained a favorable arbitration decision for an Oklahoma municipality in a case involving the discipline and demotion of a city employee for misconduct.
- Assisted non-profit and for profit companies in drafting and implementing social media and related computer-use and confidentiality policies.
- Representation of Oklahoma State Senate in employment, compliance, and training issues.
- Obtained summary judgment in Minnesota federal court on behalf of national staffing firm on whistleblower claim of alleged threats of workplace violence.
- Advise clients of requirements of state employment laws across the United States, including laws in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, North Dakota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Assisted in trial representing steel fabrication company in gender discrimination and FMLA interference/retaliation case in federal court jury trial in October 2013.
- Obtained dismissal of state court lawsuit against a plaintiff’s former employer for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of homeowners in construction lien and premises liability lawsuit in Oklahoma state court.
- Successfully briefed and argued Daubert motion to exclude expert witness testimony in multi-party personal injury case.
- Assisted in trial representing international radio remote control manufacturer in Oklahoma state court in case against former vice president of accounting for breach of confidentiality agreement and winning unanimous jury verdict.
- Obtained summary judgment for foreign oil and gas services company on breach of contract case in Oklahoma state court.
Don’t bet the farm on March (legal) Madness
McAfee & Taft tIPsheet | March 3, 2017
Attack on waivers of class action claims
EmployerLINC | July 13, 2016
The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Implications for business, employers and employees
McAfee & Taft TIPsheet and EmployerLINC | May 4, 2016
Tenth Circuit raises the stakes in (already) costly wage and hour litigation
EmployerLINC | March 24, 2016
Combatting FMLA Abuse
EmployerLINC | October 21, 2015
Employee investigation tips
EmployerLINC | January 21, 2015
Five tips on preventing workplace violence
EmployerLINC | October 15, 2014
Employers prohibited from requiring access to social media accounts
EmployerLINC Oklahoma Law Alert | May 22, 2014
In The News
March 30, 2018
The Oklahoman | March 20, 2018
The Oklahoman | March 13, 2018
March 24, 2017
The Oklahoman | March 15, 2017
The Oklahoman | March 10, 2017
Confidentiality agreement wise under new trade secrets act
The Oklahoman | May 12, 2016
Annual seminar offers employers real-world examples of costly, common mistakes
May 1, 2015
Annual seminar continues to draw more employers with timely practical guidance
April 18, 2014
Bracket Busted: Workplaces brace for ‘March Madness’
The Oklahoman | March 12, 2014
At The Podium
BLR On-Demand WebinarOnline | April 10, 2018
EmployerLINC18: Workplace Issues in the NewsTulsa, OK | March 29, 2018
Ready to Work Conference & ExpoShawnee, Oklahoma | September 15, 2017
EmployerLINC17: Back to BasicsTulsa, Oklahoma | March 23, 2017
EmployerLINC17: Back to BasicsOklahoma City, Oklahoma | March 22, 2017
Western Oklahoma Human ResourcesOklahoma City, Oklahoma | May 14, 2015
EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakesOklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 30, 2015
EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakesTulsa, Oklahoma | April 28, 2015
Stuck in the Middle: Tips on walking the legal tightrope of preventing workplace violence
Risk Management Society of Oklahoma CityOklahoma City, Oklahoma | December 16, 2014
Hot button pre-employment issues
EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of CourtTulsa, Oklahoma | April 17, 2014
Hot button pre-employment issues
EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of CourtOklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 16, 2014
Employment Law Update: What’s New in 2013
Enid Society for Human Resource ManagementEnid, Oklahoma | October 8, 2013