Philip R. Bruce

Associate

Bio Menu
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

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.

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Representative Experience

Employment & 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.

Complex Civil Litigation

  • 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.

Honors and Awards

  • Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Oklahoma Rising Stars,” which recognizes the state’s up-and-coming attorneys

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Tulsa County Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association

Attorney Articles

Articles

Working on the Sabbath

Court rules employee’s behavior justified mental health exam

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

DOL back at it: FLSA ‘white collar’ exemption

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Employer successfully fights EEOC subpoena

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Don’t bet the farm on March (legal) Madness

McAfee & Taft tIPsheet |

Attack on waivers of class action claims

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016: Implications for business, employers and employees

McAfee & Taft tIPsheet and McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Tenth Circuit raises the stakes in (already) costly wage and hour litigation

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Combatting FMLA Abuse

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Employee investigation tips

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Five tips on preventing workplace violence

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Employers prohibited from requiring access to social media accounts

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC Alert |
ATPs display in this column

At The Podium

Oklahoma Unemployment Law

Oklahoma Labor/Management Conference 2018
Oklahoma City, OK | May 10, 2018

Guns at Work: How to legally balance workplace safety with local ‘parking lot’ laws

BLR On-Demand Webinar
Online | April 10, 2018

ADA Reasonable Accommodations: Extended leave, service animals and other tricky issues

EmployerLINC18: Workplace Issues in the News
Tulsa, OK | March 29, 2018

Ask The Attorneys Panel

Ready to Work Conference & Expo
Shawnee, Oklahoma | September 15, 2017

Employee Hiring and Departures: Do’s and don’ts for fair competition

EmployerLINC17: Back to Basics
Tulsa, Oklahoma | March 23, 2017

Employee Hiring and Departures: Do’s and don’ts for fair competition

EmployerLINC17: Back to Basics
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | March 22, 2017

Do’s and don’ts of FMLA Abuse: How to identify it and how to stop it

Western Oklahoma Human Resources
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | May 14, 2015

Failure to understand the nuances of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements

EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakes
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 30, 2015

Failure to understand the nuances of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements

EmployerLINC 2015: Case studies in costly mistakes
Tulsa, Oklahoma | April 28, 2015

Stuck in the Middle: Tips on walking the legal tightrope of preventing workplace violence

Risk Management Society of Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | December 16, 2014

Hot button pre-employment issues

EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of Court
Tulsa, Oklahoma | April 17, 2014

Hot button pre-employment issues

EmployerLINC 2014: In Compliance, Out of Court
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 16, 2014

Employment Law Update: What’s New in 2013

Enid Society for Human Resource Management
Enid, Oklahoma | October 8, 2013
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Admissions:

  • Oklahoma, 2011
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
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Education:

  • J.D., with distinction, University of Oklahoma, 2011
    • Editorial Board, Oklahoma Law Review; Order of Barristers; American Association for Justice Mock Trial Team; Luther Bohanon American Inn of Court
  • B.A. (Political Science), cum laude, University of Kentucky, 2008
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