HOUSTON – The Southern District of Texas was one of the busiest venues for employment litigation, according to a report recently released by Lex Machina.
The report, Employment Litigation in the Southeast, was published in August and focuses on suits filed in federal district courts in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
The report does not cover state law cases, but rather explores trends and analytics in federal Employment litigation within the region, featuring data from 2016 to 2018.
The Southern District of Florida had the most case filings, and nearly 75 percent of those included a Fair Labor Standards Act cause of action. The Southern District of Florida was followed by the Middle District of Florida and the Southern District of Texas.
Although the Northern District of Georgia and the Southern District of Texas had roughly the same amount of Employment cases over the time period, the Northern District of Georgia saw more cases with discrimination, retaliation, accommodation, and harassment claims. The Southern District of Texas saw a much larger number of FLSA claims.
The report also found districts in Florida and Texas generally awarded the most damages.
In 2018, more than $41 million in regional employment damages were awarded, with nearly half of the amount being dished out in Florida district courts.
Texas finished second with $7.2 million, which is not even half of 2017’s total of $15.3 million.
In fact, over the past four years, employment damages have dropped significantly in Texas. Nearly $25 million was awarded in 2016, and in 2015 a total of $36.8 million was awarded, according to the report.
The most lucrative type of damages awarded from 2016 to 2018 in Texas include:
- Backpay $9.8 million
- Liquidated damages $18.5 million
- Collective action settlement $17.2 million
- EEOC class settlement $10.5 million; and
- Attorney’s fees $6.1 million.
As far as Texas law firms go, The Buenker Law Firm in Houston had the most employment cases filed with 179 suits brought from 2016 to 2018.
The Florida law firm Morgan & Morgan had the most, with filing nearly 700 cases from 2016 to 2018.