Joseph W. Gagnon: Lawyer with Fisher & Phillips LLP

Joseph W. Gagnon

View Joseph W. Gagnon 's Martindale-Hubbell Connected Profile
Houston,  TX  U.S.A.
Phone(713) 292-0150

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AV® Preeminent

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Practice Areas

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Whistleblower Actions
  • Appellate Practice
  • Employee Benefits Litigation
  • Employment Discrimination and Related Litigation
  • Government Solutions Practice Group
  • Negligent Hiring and Retention
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance
  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Dealership
  • Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management
Contact InfoTelephone: (713) 292-0150
Fax: (713) 292-0151
University Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, TX, B.S., cum laude, 1990
Law SchoolThe University of Texas School of Law, Austin, TX, J.D., 1993
Admitted1993, Texas; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Professional Activities

Member, Houston Bar Association
Member, Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Member, State Bar of Texas - Labor and Employment Section
Member, State Bar of Texas - Appellate Section


Joe Gagnon is a partner in the Houston and San Antonio offices. He is an experienced trial attorney who represents employers in litigation and arbitration filed in every region of Texas.

Joe's broad experience includes the defense of a wide variety of discrimination and discharge claims brought under Title VII, ADA, FMLA, and whistleblower statutes. He routinely defends state law claims including workers' comp retaliation, breach of contract, fraud, defamation, malicious prosecution, and assault.

Joe is unique among labor and employment attorneys, as he also represents several Texas-based non-subscribing employers against claims of negligence, and associated benefits claims filed under ERISA.

He frequently provides preventive services to reduce the likelihood of litigation, including general consultation, management and employee training, development of employment policies, and consultation regarding legislative current events and judicial trends.

Joe is a seasoned appellate advocate, having represented clients in original actions, interlocutory appeals, and appeals of final judgments in both state and federal courts.

Recent case highlights include:
•Dismissal of a plaintiff's claim for occupational injury benefits, affirmed on appeal by U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
•Obtained summary judgment of an ERISA claim. The district court agreed that the plan administrator acted within his discretion in terminating all benefits prior to the surgical procedure in light of medical evidence suggesting the surgery was unnecessary. Also prevailed in the non-subscribing employer negligence action, as the client's strong workplace safety program enabled them to persuade a three-person arbitration panel that the client acted reasonably with respect to equipping and training its employees.
•Litigation of various matters avoided with early engagement and dialogue, saving clients from incurring substantial litigation costs.


Five Business-Minded Tips to Avoid Brewing up a Lawsuit
September 3, 2015

Highly-Anticipated Changes in Overtime Pay Exemptions Will Affect The Hotel Industry: Are You Ready?
August 15, 2015

Home Companionship Industry Will Feel FLSA Exemption Fix
November 17, 2014

No Free Pass For Employers On Retaliation Claims
July 26, 2013

Now May Be Time For Employers To Opt Out Of State Workers' Compensation System
July 8, 2012

The Mutual Benefits Of Nonsubscription In Texas
June 12, 2012

Avoiding Common Employee Handbook Mistakes
April 5, 2011

March Madness: The Ups And Downs Of Office Pools
March 12, 2011

Employers Can Minimize Risk of Workplace Violence
January 21, 2010

PCA: Trading Tax Relief For Unionization
April 24, 2009

What Upcoming Legislation is Causing Employers Stress?
March 20, 2009

Meet the Union Organizers: Stealth Labor Campaigns May Be Coming to Such Right-to-Work States as Texas
November 15, 2008

Houston Case Highlights Importance in Checking Status of Workers
February 8, 2008

Avoiding Liability for Employee Issues in Dealership Acquisitions
Dealers' Choice - Texas Auto Dealers Association
Fall 2010


Association Of Corporate Counsel's Back-To-School Symposium
August 21, 2014

2014 Gulf Coast Symposium On HR Issues
May 15, 2014

“It Takes Two to Tango: Partnering with HR to Avoid Costly Employment Claims” - Greater Houston Society for Healthcare Risk Management - March 9, 2012

“How Would This Look in Court?” - Dallas and Houston - Compli-sponsored symposium - June 13-14, 2012


Youth soccer coach
University of Texas Law Mentor


AV Peer Review rating with Martindale-Hubbell

Quotes and Soundbites

Claims About Restroom Access Dominate HERO Debate
October 15, 2015

Court Rules In Favor Of DOL's Rule To Make Homecare Providers Eligible For Minimum Wage And Overtime
August 26, 2015

Fisher & Phillips Offers Tips To Prevent March From Driving You Mad
March 17, 2015

Court's Marriage Ruling Not to Be Ignored
July 25, 2013

With a Mega Jackpot This Big, Take Precaution
March 30, 2012

Texas Gun Law Adds New Level of Vigilance for Employers
September 27, 2011

Tackling The Issue Of Employee Identity
September 23, 2011

Newsletter Articles

Was This Doctor A Good Fit ?
May 1, 2015

Supreme Court Tightens Standard In Retaliation Cases
September 1, 2013

Trading A Tax Break For Unionization: Analyzing the Patriot Corporation Act
June 1, 2009

Reported CasesRepresentative Work: Fisher & Phillips Attorneys Prevail In ERISA Litigation Before The Fifth Circuit; Victory for Texas Nonsubscriber Employer; Reported Cases: Thanedar v. Time Warner, Inc., 352 Fed. App'x 891 (5th Cir. 2009); Hart v. Comcast of Houston, 347 Fed. App'x 978 (5th Cir. 2009)

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Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance is Part of a Larger Trend Toward Local Government Action
Joseph W. Gagnon, February 27, 2015
Citing the absence of federal action, an increasing number of states and cities are enacting statutes and ordinances providing for greater workplace protections than those afforded by federal laws such as Title VII and the FMLA. This can create heightened compliance burdens for employers, as...

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Office Information

Joseph W. Gagnon

333 Clay Street
HoustonTX 77002


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