Stephen J. Quezada
Counsel

Clients hire me when they need an engaged, accessible and responsive business partner who can help them navigate the entire range of challenging issues that arise in the workplace. Whether they are involved in a high-stakes dispute or need real-time solutions for day-to-day problems, I walk clients through the risks and advantages of every available course of action so they can choose the best option to achieve their business goals.

Stephen Quezada focuses on representing public and private employers in all types of complex matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies that enforce the numerous laws impacting the workplace. He has tried and arbitrated cases to jury verdict/award involving a wide variety of claims, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of non-compete agreements, and labor grievance arbitrations pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. Stephen is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

A trusted advisor to his clients, Stephen regularly counsels executives, managers and HR professionals on minimizing legal risk in a number of areas, including wage and hour compliance, investigating employee complaints, terminating employees, documenting employee performance issues, developing company policies and procedures, and drafting employment, separation and non-compete agreements. Stephen is also in high demand to speak and train on a broad range of topics, from best practices for maintaining regulatory compliance to employment law fundamentals for non-HR personnel.

Assisting clients with work authorization (Form I-9) compliance is another significant feature of Stephen’s practice, including representation before Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), internal Form I-9 audits, and work authorization/Form I-9 training.

Stephen is fluent in Spanish and assists clients with large Spanish-speaking workforces in investigations and training.

Representative Experience
  • February 2019 – Conducted four day arbitration (cross-examined Claimant and two of Claimant’s witnesses and directed three company witnesses) in which former employee claimed the employer discriminated against her on the basis of her sex, harassed her on the basis of sex and retaliated against her. Award entered in favor of employer dismissing all claims.
  • November 2018 – First chaired labor arbitration in which employee grieved his termination for safety violations, claiming management lacked just cause to terminate his employment. Employee sought reinstatement and back pay. Grievance denied and award entered in favor of management.
  • July 2018 – Second chaired four day jury trial in James Patterson and Antonio May v. Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division), in which plaintiffs contended that they were retaliated against for reporting alleged unsafe work conditions, in violation of the Seaman’s Protection Act. Complete defense verdict after about 45 minutes of jury deliberation.
  • February 2018 – Second chaired temporary injunction hearing in NurseCore Management Services, LLC v. LaShaunda Autrey (Harris County District Court), in which client sought to enjoin former employee’s misappropriation and depletion of company funds. Temporary injunction entered in client’s favor.
  • July 2017 – First chaired two day temporary injunction hearing in DSW Homes, LLC v. George Johnson and Ducky Johnson Home Elevation (Galveston County District Court), in which client sought to enforce non-compete agreement against employee and his new employer. Temporary injunction entered in client’s favor.
  • March 2017 – First chaired grievance arbitration in matter involving a union employee’s challenge of her termination, claiming the employer lacked just cause to terminate her employment within the meaning of the Labor Agreement. Grievance denied.
  • September 2016 – First chaired preliminary injunction hearing in DNOW L.P. v. Chidinma Chisimdi “Janet” Okoro (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division), in which client sought to enjoin misappropriation and depletion of company funds. Preliminary injunction entered in client’s favor
  • Obtain early dismissal of class action claims on 12(b)(6) motion.
Thought Leadership / News
July 28, 2021 
 Thought Leadership

Texas Lawbook (subscription required)

Organizational Involvement

Professional Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association
    • Labor & Employment Section
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
    • Former Board Member

Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • Space City Credit Union
    • Audit Committee (2020 – present)
  •  East End Management District
    • Treasurer, Executive Committee, Board Member & Finance Committee Chair (December 2016 – present)
  • Comprehensive City Financial Reform Committee
    • Mayoral Transition Committee Member, Revenues & Expenditures Subcommittee Member (2016)
Education
  • J.D., University of Houston Law Center (2011)
  • B.B.A., summa cum laude, University of Houston (2008)
Bar Admission
  • Texas
Court Admissions
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Western District of Texas
Language
  • Spanish - Fluent
When I Feel Most At Home
  • Chasing a toddler
  • BBQing (actual BBQ, like smoking brisket, ribs, and pork butt)
  • Watching Houston sports – Astros, Rockets and University of Houston