Ruth Ann Daniels
Partner, Labor & Employment Practice Group Leader

I lead a collaborative team of experienced trial lawyers and counselors who are dedicated to helping employers solve the most sensitive problems and navigate numerous federal, state and local laws that impact the workplace. We stay on top of best practices so that we can help our clients maintain an effective workforce, minimize risk and focus on running their businesses. 

Ruth Ann Daniels serves as Gray Reed's Labor and Employment Practice Group Leader. With over 30 years of experience as both a trial lawyer and legal advisor for employers in Texas and across the country, Ruth Ann has handled every adversarial and operational matter that can arise in the employer-employee relationship. Her experience includes trying cases in state and federal courts, resolving disputes through arbitrations, conducting investigations and audits, providing workplace training and addressing day-to-day workplace problems. Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies to mid-size businesses across several industries, including automotive, retail, oil and gas, restaurants and many more. 

Ruth Ann has achieved numerous successful outcomes in litigation and arbitrations involving all types of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wrongful termination, theft of trade secrets and disputes involving non-compete and non-solicitation agreements. She also has substantial experience in defending multi-party and class action litigation and resolving Department of Labor audits, primarily involving FLSA wage and hour claims. 

Ruth Ann also represents employers with unionized workforces in arbitration proceedings involving a variety of issues that arise under collective bargaining agreements. She frequently handles litigation outside the employment context as well, including disputes involving breach of contract, fraud, DTPA claims and trusts and estates issues.

While she’s highly effective in the courtroom, Ruth Ann knows the best approach is to prevent disputes from happening in the first place. She helps employers build a strong foundation focused on avoiding risk and tackling workplace issues proactively, whether she’s preparing employment policies and procedures, conducting workplace training or guiding HR personnel through tough daily decisions regarding employee hiring, investigations, discipline, medical leave, terminations and much more. Ruth Ann also negotiates and drafts employment agreements covering virtually every issue, including executive employment terms, benefits, severance, non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained denial of former employer’s application for temporary injunction on behalf of key salesperson whose former employer sought to enforce non-competition and non-solicitation agreement.
  • Obtained a take nothing judgment in arbitration on behalf of a global restaurant chain sued by a former employee alleging he was misclassified as exempt and owed overtime and retaliated against.
  • Obtained a favorable opinion from the Texas Supreme Court in re AutoNation, Inc., 228 S.W.3d 663 (2007), which held that a forum selection clause in a covenant not to compete, designating another state as the appropriate forum, is enforceable in Texas.
  • Obtained favorable jury verdicts or arbitration awards in:
    • Jennifer Swinford v. Houston Auto Imports North, Ltd. et al.(pregnancy discrimination)
    • Janice L. Mace v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (age discrimination and FLSA claims)
    • Sheri Reyes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (breach of contract and fraud)
    • Joseph Capasso v. Bankston Ford of Frisco, Ltd. Co. (national origin discrimination)
    • Carter Burress v. Fred Oakley Motors, Inc., et al (age and disability discrimination)
    • R. Mark Syrstad v. Sheplers, Inc., et al (breach of executive employment agreement)
    • Rogelio A. Guerra v. AutoNation, Inc. d/b/a Champion Ford Gulf Freeway (age discrimination)
    • Raymond Caple, et al v. AN Dealership Holding Corp., et al (multi-plaintiff breach of contract/commission plan)
    • Billy R. Curry v. Telect, Inc. (race discrimination)
    • Rosalinda “Rosie” Waddell v. Champion Ford, Inc., et al (sexual harassment)
    • EEOC v. Bledsoe Dodge, LLC and AutoNation, Inc. (multi-plaintiff race discrimination)
    • Marlene D. Hilliard v. WorleyParsons Group, Inc. (sex harassment, invasion of privacy, intentional inflictions of emotional distress)

Reported Cases

  • In re AutoNation, Inc., 228 S.W.3d 663 (2007)
  • Tran v. Texan Lincoln Mercury, Inc., 2007 WL 2471616 (S.D. Tex., Aug. 29, 2007)
  • Davis v. AutoNation USA Corp, 226 S.W.3d 487, Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist), Nov. 16, 2006
  • Ricketts v. Champion Chevrolet, 2005 WL 1924372 (S.D. Tex., Aug. 11, 2005)
  • Campanello v. Anthony & Sylvan Pools Corporation, 2004 WL 2049313 (N.D. Tex., Sept 14, 2004)
  • Carter v. Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc., 189 F.Supp.2d 606 (N.D.Tex. 002), aff’d 362 F.3d 294 (5th Cir. 2004)
  • Walker v. Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc., 2004 WL 246406 (N.D.Tex. Jan. 15, 2004)
Thought Leadership / News
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America as the "Lawyer of the Year" in Dallas for Labor Law - Management (2023)
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in Woodward/White, Inc.'s The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Labor & Employment Litigation (2016 - 2021, 2024), Labor Law (Management) (2016 - 2024) and Employment Law (Management) (2024)
  • Selected as a Best Lawyer in Dallas by D Magazine (2011 - 2012, 2018)
  • Named a "Super Lawyer" by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly (2004 - 2009, 2014 - 2023)
  • AV Preeminent® rated (the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating designation)
Organizational Involvement
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Dallas Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • J.D., cum laude, Baylor University School of Law (1985)
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Baylor University (1982)
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas