Home » Attorneys » Birrer, Mike

"Employment law is so much more than just knowing what the statute says. It’s about how something is going to impact morale and employees and how to build and maintain a smart, dedicated, productive workforce."

What do anthrax, 401(k) plans, wild holiday parties, and Facebook have in common?

Mike Birrer has dealt with them all, in some form or another. More than 20 years into a career in employment law, Mike has gained the range of experience clients want and need when the unexpected happens.

He remembers the days before email. He was working in employment law when there was no such thing as social media.

Times change and the law has to catch up, but in employment law there is one constant: human beings, in all their complexity, make for interesting and varied work.

Mike gets this. He knows that people are his clients’ greatest asset, and that a productive workforce is what builds a business. But he’s been working in employment law long enough to realize that when people are the one constant, there really is no constant: you have to be ready for anything.

Mike defends clients in court. He advises clients. He provides training and policy help. But that just doesn’t tell the whole story. He has provided his clients with guidance and legal defense for workplace issues on everything from sexual harassment to plant closures. He even worked with a client whose employees were dangerously close to the anthrax scare of 2001.

Whatever it might be, Mike has probably seen it—or something very much like it—before. His experience means he can guide his clients with assurance as they build and protect their relationships with their employees, the most vital of all resources.

Experience

Retaliation Claims
Represented a local hospital in a retaliation lawsuit brought by three ICU nurses under the Texas Nursing Practice Act and Texas Health and Safety Code. Summary Judgment was granted on the claims of one nurse, and after a bench trial, in January 2011, the district court entered judgment in favor of his clients and dismissed all claims with prejudice.

Discrimination Claims
Represented a local hospital in a multi-plaintiff discrimination lawsuit in which eight respiratory therapists claimed they were terminated in violation of Title VII and Section 1981.  After extensive discovery, summary judgment was granted against all plaintiffs, which the Fifth Circuit affirmed.

Represented a national mortgage brokerage firm in a series of inter-related arbitrations with claims of age discrimination, race discrimination, sex discrimination, and retaliation. After four separate arbitration hearings, all matters resulted in findings in favor of his clients.

ERISA
Represented the officers of a failed restaurant venture that had created an ESOP for its employees.  Multiple plaintiffs sued for breach of fiduciary duties related to the substantial drop in the company’s stock.  After a bench trial, the court denied all monetary relief, and the case settled soon afterwards.

Represented a national securities firm and a broker in an ERISA fiduciary violation lawsuit alleging imprudent investments and prohibited transactions. After a bench trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of his clients and dismissed all claims with prejudice.

Represented outside directors of a Fortune 500 company in an ERISA fiduciary violation lawsuit alleging imprudent investment in company stock.  After a significant Fifth Circuit procedural victory, the case settled.

Compensation
Represented manufacturing company in a case involving the alleged failure to pay a discretionary bonus.  After a bench trial, the court entered judgment denying all relief to the plaintiff.

Counseling
Represented a local technology start-up company in creating employment policies, procedures, and training guidance.

Training
Provided anti-harassment training for property management company’s employees in all offices in Texas.

Honors and Distinctions

Mr. Birrer has been named by D Magazine as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” for 2012.

He has also been named by Fortune magazine as a 2013 Top-Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment Law.

Speeches/Publications

Co-Author: Fair Labor Standards Act – News Healthcare Companies Can Use, Carrington Coleman Capital Newsletter (2016 Special Healthcare Issue).

Technological Advances in the Practice of Law, Young Professionals Forum, Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce (October 2014).

Hot Topics in FMLA Law, Dallas Bar Association, Employment Section Presentation (August 2014).

IRS Adopts The “State of Celebration” Analysis To Recognize All Legal Same-Sex Marriages, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (September 2013).

Supreme Court Issues Two Important Title VII Rulings Today, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 2013).

New FMLA Regulations Issued, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (May 2013).

ERISA and ADA:  Discrimination Based on Benefits, Dallas Bar Association Employment Law section (January 2013).

EEOC’s Revised Guidelines on Background Checks, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (April 2012).

NLRA and Non-Union Employees, Webinar, April 2012.

Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, Employment Law Chapter, WestGroup & ACCA 2000, Supplements 2001-2011.

How to Hire and Fire in 96 Jurisdictions, Texas Chapter, Multilaw Group, 2011.

The ADAAA Final Regulations: What You Need to Know, Client Presentation (April 2011), and upcoming Dallas Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Presentation (June 2011).

Consumer Arbitration Ruling Suggests Employers Can Contract Around Class Arbitrations, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (May 2, 2011).

Social Networking Policy: Part II, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (November 10, 2010).

Monitoring Employee Emails, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (November 9, 2010).

Cyber Issues in Employment Law, Dallas Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Presentation (November 2010).

Department of Labor Clarifies Definition of In Loco Parentis for FMLA Purposes, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 25, 2010).

Supreme Court Issues Opinion on Limitations Periods in Disparate Impact Cases, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (May 26, 2010).

Employers Required to Provide Break Time and Private Place for Nursing Mothers, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (May 18, 2010).

Social Networking Site Use Policy, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (February 5, 2010).

College Degree Required: Look Out for Scams, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (November 12, 2009).

More Changes to FMLA, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (November 3, 2009).

Time to Get a New Poster, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (October 27, 2009).

Proposed ADA Regulations Will Be Issued This Week, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin
(September 22, 2009).

Change is Here, More is Coming: Legislative and Regulatory Employment Law Update, Client Presentation (August 2009).

U.S. Supreme Court Rules for White Firefighters in Reverse Discrimination Case, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 30, 2009).

Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 30, 2009).

Supreme Court Rejects Mixed Motives in ADEA Cases, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 18, 2009).

The 81st Texas Legislature, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (June 5, 2009).

EEOC Addresses Caregiver Discrimination, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (April 24, 2009).

Supreme Court Issues Opinion on Noncompetes Under Texas Law,
Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (April 17, 2009).

Get Ready to Switch Out Your I-9 Forms For Incoming Employees!, Carrington Coleman Employment Law Bulletin (March 31, 2009).

The New FMLA Regulations – Update, Client Presentation (January 2009); Dallas Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section, Presentation (March 2009).

Recent Developments in ERISA Fiduciary Litigation, CCSB Client Seminar.

Workplace Violence – Overview of Legal Issues, Institute of Real Estate Management.

How to Avoid Litigation: Defending Against EEOC Investigations, National Law Seminar Institute.

Associations/Affiliations

Vice Chair: City of Dallas Landmark Commission

Council Member: Employment Section, Dallas Bar Association

Council Member and Past President: Advisory Board, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Advisory Board Member and Past President: Creative Arts Center of Dallas

Board Member: Lumin Education (Charter School)

Past Board Member: Executive Board, Meadows School for the Arts, Southern Methodist University

Leadership Dallas 2013, Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce

Member: Dallas Bar Association; Dallas Bar Foundation; Texas Bar Association; Texas Bar Foundation

Labor and Employment Sections of the Dallas Bar Association and Texas Bar Association

Education

Vanderbilt University
J.D., 1992
Order of the Coif
Vanderbilt Law Review; Moot Court Board

Hendrix College
B.A., magna cum laude, 1989

Court Admissions

Texas, 1992

Texas Supreme Court

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

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