Courtney Bru’s practice is focused on the representation of employers in state and federal labor and employment matters and other issues affecting the workplace. In addition to having extensive experience representing management in all phases of litigation before state and federal courts and regulatory and administrative agencies, a significant portion of her practice is devoted to counseling and training management and human resources professionals on the best practices for reducing risk, avoiding litigation, and maintaining a productive workforce.
Courtney has extensive experience representing local, regional and national clients with respect to claims and potential claims arising from the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, wage and hour issues arising under various state laws, and discrimination and retaliation issues arising under various state and federal laws. In addition, she frequently assists employers with day-to-day issues, including interviewing and hiring, discipline and termination, employment and nonsolicitation agreements, workplace policies and handbooks, drug and alcohol testing, employee classification, internal investigations, audits by state and federal agencies, anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training, reductions in force, and severance programs.
In addition to her employment practice, a portion of Courtney’s practice is devoted to commercial and civil litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. She has represented numerous clients in cases involving negligence, breach of contract, fraud and bad faith.
Courtney’s achievements have earned her inclusion in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, where she was praised for her understanding of the business environment and for her “good response time and knowledge of the field.” Researchers also noted her extensive litigation experience, as well as her specific expertise in the handling of wage and hour issues. She has also been named to The Best Lawyers in America (employment law – management; labor and employment litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, which selected her for its list of “Top 25 Women” lawyers. Courtney was named by Best Lawyers as the “Tulsa Employment Lawyer of the Year (Management)” for 2023, an honor given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each market.
Courtney is a contributing author and co-editor of the Oklahoma Employment Law Letter, a monthly review of new court decisions, regulations and laws affecting Oklahoma employers. She is also a frequent speaker on labor and employment topics before employer groups, industry professionals, and state and local bar associations.
Courtney began her career as an associate with the Atlanta office of Littler Mendelson and, more recently, was a partner of a Tulsa-based law firm, where she also served as leader of its Employment Law Practice Group.Download Bio (PDF)
Labor and Employment:
- Dissolved temporary restraining order without notice filed by one of the world’s largest oilfield services companies against defendant competitor and its employee for the alleged violation of confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
- Obtained dismissal of a claim for sex discrimination in alleged violation of city ordinances, as well as dismissal of a summary judgment claim arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), on behalf of a municipal employer.
- Successfully vacated arbitration award pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, U.S.C. § 185, and the Federal Arbitration Act, 29 U.S.C. § 10 on the grounds that the arbitrator exceeded her authority under these acts when interpreting the management rights provision of the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.
- Successfully defended unionized employer against claims of national origin and race discrimination, breach of collective bargaining agreements, in Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) arbitrations.
- Obtained various dismissals and/or summary judgments on behalf of tribally-owned businesses against claims arising under federal anti-discrimination laws.
- Defended manufacturer against claim for retaliatory termination in violation of the FLSA by former employee terminated as part of a reduction in force.
- Defended contractor against claim that former employee was drug tested in violation of state law.
- Defended employers against alleged wage and hour violations asserted as class or collective actions.
- Represented numerous employers before the Oklahoma Department of Labor regarding wage and hour claims arising under state wage payment laws.
Compliance and Investigations:
- Successfully represented oil and gas industry clients in U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour audits, resulting in significant reductions in the calculation of back wages owed as a result of employee misclassification.
- Obtained temporary restraining order on behalf of client alleging breach of contract and wrongful termination of contract.
- Defeated attempts by world’s largest food processor to collect amounts on contracts by arguing it breached its obligations thereunder.
- Regularly defended public utility against various claims for negligence allegedly resulting in personal injury and property damage.
- Represented insurer against numerous claims for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
- Represented public utility and its employee against claims of assault and battery, and asserted employee’s counterclaims for intentional torts against plaintiff.
- Defended national issuer of debt cancellation agreements against claims of breach of contract and bad faith arising out of the purchase of the agreements and the receipt of gap waiver benefits under such agreements.
Honors and Awards
- Listed in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (employment law — management; labor and employment litigation)
- Named “Tulsa Employment Lawyer of the Year (Management)” for 2023 by The Best Lawyers in America
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Top 25 Women Lawyers”
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Tulsa County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- Georgia Bar Association
Civic Involvement and Leadership
- Domestic Violence Intervention Services (Pro Bono Attorney)