Tony G. Puckett

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Paralegal: Cynthia McHale
Bio Menu
  • Overview
  • Experience
  • Honors & Involvement
Bio overview

Tony Puckett represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law. His practice involves counseling employers in employment issues and representing employers in discrimination cases, wrongful discharge cases, wage and hour actions, charges investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigations, National Labor Relations Board proceedings, union negotiations and arbitrations. In addition to representing private employers, Tony also represents municipalities in all areas of labor relations, including collective bargaining negotiations, grievance and interest arbitrations, unfair labor practice proceedings, and civil rights employment actions.

Tony’s 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) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers. He was named by Best Lawyers as “Oklahoma City Labor Lawyer of the year (Management)” in 2014 and 2016.

Tony is a frequent speaker at seminars and institutes on employment law issues in the public and private sectors. He has also presented sessions at the Annual Labor Management Conference, sponsored by the National Academy of Arbitrators Southwest Region, and the International Personnel Management Association.

He is also the author of numerous articles, including “Supreme Court Broadens Liability for Sexual Harassment”, Oklahoma Bar Journal (8/98); “Supreme Court Decides Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Issue,” Oklahoma Bar Journal (4/25/98); and “Reviewing the State’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Act,” Oklahoma Cities and Towns (2/28/99). He also co-authored Age of Discrimination in the Workplace: A Primer for Human Resource Professionals, published by the Society of Human Resource Management Foundation, and was a contributing author to the sixth edition of How Arbitration Works, published by BNA.

Tony served as the leader of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group from 2005 – 2007.

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Experience, Honors, & Awards

Representative Experience

Employment matters:

  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing employer in a case in which the 11 employee plaintiffs sought overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act for having to wear pagers while on call.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement for a hotel operator accused of denying leave and retaliation under the Family Medical Leave Act. The employer claimed it did not meet the provisions of the FMLA which mandate coverage and liability, and the settlement was negotiated without the Department of Labor reaching any formal finding of coverage or liability.
  • Advised a large construction agency on contesting a citation issued by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), which sought to enforce a new interpretation of an existing construction standard.
  • Successfully represented a municipality in two civil service appeals of discharges of long-term employees. Both appeals were upheld by the civil service board.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of national restaurant chain in a race discrimination case.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of electrical contractor in a sexual harassment case.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of home builder in a case involving race and age discrimination and Equal Pay Act claims.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a national bakery in a Fair Labor Standards Act case concerning the exemption of an outside salesperson.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration decision for a national retailer in an employment arbitration age discrimination claim.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a hospital on age discrimination claims arising from a reduction in force.
  • Successfully defended before the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission’s (OESC) Appeal Tribunal an Oklahoma employer against a claim for unemployment benefits by a former employee who was discharged for failing a random drug test which complied with the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act.

Labor matters:

  • Represented employers in more than 130 labor arbitrations on a variety of issues, including discharge, discipline, contract interpretation and new contract terms.
  • Advised multiple cities on the statutory requirements for calling and holding special municipal elections regarding collective bargaining agreements.
  • Handled dozens of labor negotions for employers as chief spokesperson.
  • Successfully defended a national staffing company against an unfair labor practice charge in which an ex-employee alleged he was terminated for engaging in protected activities involving the use of social media. The National Labor Relations Board dismissed the charge upon finding the company had a legitimate business purpose for its policies, the employee clearly violated its Internet usage policy, and that the company had a history of consistently applying its policies to all employees.
  • Successfully prosecuted a declaratory judgment action for a city which challenged a discharge grievance filed by a union on behalf of a probationary employee.
  • Vacated labor arbitration decision on management rights authority of the employer, a large manufacturer. The arbitration decision denied the employer’s authority to issue a revised work rule. Represented the employer at the district court level in obtaining summary judgment vacating the arbitrator’s decision and at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the summary judgment issued by the district court.
  • Advised a beverage distributor on union avoidance strategies to defeat a union petition to represent drivers. The employer won the union election.
  • Successfully argued to a federal district court and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate a labor arbitrator’s decision reinstating an employee terminated by a food industry client for refusing to answer a page while on-call. The court agreed that the arbitrator’s decision exceeded his authority and rewrote the collective bargaining agreement.

 

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 law — management; labor and employment litigation)
  • Named “Oklahoma City Labor Lawyer of the Year (Management)” in 2014 and 2016 by The Best Lawyers in America
  • Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings

Professional Organizations and Memberships

  • Oklahoma County Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (Former Chair, Labor & Employment Law Section)
  • American Bar Association (Labor & Employment Section; State & Local Government Bargaining Committee)
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Oklahoma Association of Municipal Attorneys
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court (Barrister, 1998 — 2000)

Civic Involvement and Leadership

  • Oklahoma City Public Schools (Volunteer Tutor)
  • McAfee & Taft Foundation (Former Trustee)

Attorney Articles

Articles

New meaning to the Equal Pay Act’s promise of pay equity

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Gavel to Gavel: Labor Board goes back to the future

The Journal Record |

NLRB’s new ‘joint employer’ standard threatens business interests

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Employee says ‘Labor Board;’ Court says ‘Retaliation’

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

Gavel to Gavel: Training key to compliance

The Journal Record |

Facebook ‘like’ considered protected activity

McAfee & Taft EmployerLINC |

New union election rules yield much quicker elections

EmployerLINC |

President vetoes resolution to block new NLRB election rules

EmployerLINC |

U.S. Senate blocks NLRB’s ‘ambush election’ rule; resolution now goes to House

EmployerLINC |

OFCCP proposes updated regulations on discrimination on the basis of sex

EmployerLINC |

NLRB ruling on ‘ambush’ elections poses real threat to non-unionized workplaces

EmployerLINC Law Alert |

Labor Board ruling has far-reaching impact on employers and workplace policies

EmployerLINC Law Alert |

Care for parent leads to firing

EmployerLINC |

She “tweeted” what?!

EmployerLINC.com |

Workplace bullying on the rise

The Journal Record |

The changing face of labor issues

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Examining NLRB rulings

The Journal Record |

Sexual orientation and reverse discrimination

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Virtual troubles

The Journal Record |

Doing the right thing part of the time is not enough

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

What’s age got to do with it?

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

PLANT CLOSINGS: Health Benefits for Life?

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Sexting 101 for employers

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Age discrimination: Tenth Circuit allows pattern-or-practice claims under ADEA

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Hiring: Subjective evaluations done right!

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

Termination: Employer’s patience and persistence pays off

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |

EEOC Guidance: Answer to employers’ prayers? New religious discrimination guidelines

Oklahoma Employment Law Letter |
ATPs display in this column

At The Podium

Update on Labor Law

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

Sexual Harassment: Making the Workplace a Safe Space

HR Break Room: Paycom Podcast
Online | October 24, 2017

Labor Law Update

2017 Oklahoma Labor/Management Conference
Midwest City, OK | April 20, 2017

How to Avoid Claims of Retaliation and Whistleblowing

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

How to Avoid Claims of Retaliation and Whistleblowing

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

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

Western Oklahoma Human Resources
Weatherford, OK | March 9, 2017

Police and Fire Update

National Academy of Arbitrators 40th Annual Labor-Management Conference
Dallas, Texas | February 17, 2017

Failure to maintain accurate job descriptions

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

Update on Labor Law

17th Annual Oklahoma Labor/Management Conference
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 30, 2015

Failure to maintain accurate job descriptions

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

Workplace investigations

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

Workplace investigations

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

Creeping Legalism: What’s An Advocate To Do?

National Academy of Arbitrators Southwest Region’s 37th Annual Labor Management Conference
Dallas, Texas | February 28, 2014

Employment Law Update

OPHRA 2013 Winter Quarterly Training Conference
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | December 6, 2013

Fair Labor Standards Act

Central Oklahoma Human Resources Association Meeting
Shawnee, Oklahoma | August 15, 2013

Executive Law and Compliance

American Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | July 26, 2013

New Developments: Collective Bargaining and Employment Law

Oklahoma Municipal League Employment Law Seminar
Midwest City, Oklahoma | July 19, 2013

Oklahoma Workers’ Comp Reform Update

Ardmore Personnel Roundtable Monthly Meeting
Ardmore, Oklahoma | July 18, 2013

National Labor Relations Board

EmployerLINC 2013: 'Government Gone Wild'
Tulsa, Oklahoma | April 26, 2013

National Labor Relations Board

EmployerLINC 2013: 'Government Gone Wild'
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 23, 2013

Employment Update

Oklahoma Municipal League Employment Seminar
Midwest City, Oklahoma | July 13, 2012

Avoiding the ADA Abyss — How to interactively accommodate, deal with employee drug use, and know when to use fit-for-duty evaluations

EmployerLINC 2012: ‘Adventures in HR’
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | April 10, 2012

Employment Law — Current Developments

National Association of Unemployment Insurance Appellate Boards 2011 Conference
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | July 12, 2011

Presenting and Defending a Discipline or Discharge Case

National Academy of Arbitrators Southwest Region Advocates and Arbitrators Training Program
Dallas, Texas | March 3, 2011, 1:30 PM - 3:45 PM

When You Need Medical Information About Your Employee

Fall 2010 Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar - Tulsa
Tulsa, Oklahoma | October 26, 2010, 8:25 AM - 12:00 PM

When You Need Medical Information About Your Employee

Fall 2010 Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar - Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | October 20, 2010, 8:25 AM - 12:00 PM

Independent Contractor Issues

Spring 2010 Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | May 26, 2010, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Independent Contractor Issues

Spring 2010 Labor & Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar
Tulsa, Oklahoma | May 19, 2010, 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Sex and the Cell Phone: Update Your Policies for New Forms of Harassment

HR Hero Audio Conference
March 31, 2010, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
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Industry Groups:

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Admissions:

  • Oklahoma, 1988
  • U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Tenth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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Education:

  • J.D., with distinction, University of Oklahoma, 1988
  • B.A., Colorado College, 1983
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In The News

Chambers USA 2018 honors McAfee & Taft as top-ranked firm, 35 attorneys singled out for individual honors

May 3, 2018

Online targeted recruiting practices could lead to lawsuits for employers

The Oklahoman | January 23, 2018

The Best Lawyers in America names 102 McAfee & Taft attorneys to 2018 edition

August 15, 2017

Asking about salary history may carry legal risks

The Oklahoman | June 6, 2017

Chambers USA 2017 honors McAfee & Taft as top-ranked firm, 39 McAfee & Taft attorneys as leading lawyers for business

May 26, 2017

McAfee & Taft seminar draws large crowds looking for answers about new administration

March 24, 2017

Chambers USA 2016 honors McAfee & Taft as top-ranked firm, 41 firm attorneys as leading lawyers

May 27, 2016

Best Lawyers names 17 McAfee & Taft attorneys as 2016 ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in 18 categories

August 24, 2015

Annual seminar offers employers real-world examples of costly, common mistakes

May 1, 2015

Employers lose time to get votes against union campaign with rule

The Oklahoman | December 24, 2014

Labor Board changes ruling on company email use for unionizing

The Oklahoman | December 17, 2014

Annual seminar continues to draw more employers with timely practical guidance

April 18, 2014

‘Government Gone Wild’ seminar draws record numbers

April 29, 2013

Employers are required to offer reasonable accommodations

The Oklahoman | April 25, 2012

Financial reform legislation also targets diversity in workplace

The Oklahoman | November 17, 2010

Social networks causing employee-employer issues

Tulsa World | May 7, 2010

New federal trade commission rules may affect employees

The Oklahoman | March 3, 2010

Sexting concerns

The Oklahoman | October 11, 2009

H1N1 flu virus workplace rules now available for employers

The Oklahoman | September 11, 2009
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