Legal Counsel (Labor & Employment)

Requisition Number:  6424
Pay Rate:  PRG17

Houston, TX, US

Category:  Other

Basic Function

Provides legal representation and counsel to the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, TX (METRO), including the Board of Directors, President and CEO and other managerial employees, primarily in the areas of labor and employment law and litigation. Performs duties in a safe, efficient manner and in compliance with all applicable rules and safety procedures.

Responsibilities and Specific Duties

  • Provides primary managerial direction and performs personnel administrative functions of direct report staff (e.g. training, supervising, work assignments, timesheets, performance evaluations, etc.) for maintaining necessary staffing, enhancing productivity of staff and ensuring necessary department outcomes are achieved.
  • Provides counsel and training to various departments, including Human Resources and the METRO Police department, on personnel, regulatory and compliance and other legal matters.
  • Represents METRO in litigation, arbitration, and other administrative hearings. 
  • Supervises outside litigation counsel in claim development, defense, or prosecution.
  • Administers employment and labor-related issues, including representing METRO in matters before administrative agencies and courts.
  • Responsible for the administration and reporting requirements to insurance carriers and brokers on legal matters and assists risk management with policy renewals.
  • Drafts and reviews employment and labor-related documents, negotiates disputes, and analyzes liability or litigation exposure.
  • Researches legal issues related to employment law, labor law, transit law, administrative law, public law and other matters. 
  • Responds to government agencies such as EEOC, Texas Workforce Commission and DOL. 
  • Researches, drafts, and develops agency guidelines and policies.
  • Drafts and reviews memorandums of understanding, inter-local agreements, and cooperative agreements between METRO and other governmental entities.
  • Advocates for METRO’s interests in public forums when necessary, including public hearings, administrative proceedings, local or state governmental proceedings and any other necessary forums.
  • Provides well-reasoned, thorough legal opinions and guidance on various legal matters affecting METRO.
  • Negotiates, drafts, reviews, and advises management on Labor Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Provides counsel during labor contract development, negotiates potential or actual disputes, legal issues and analyzes liability or litigation exposure.
  • Drafts and reviews the scope of services and other documents for professional services.
  • Assists and advises in regulatory and compliance audits and ensures compliance with federal, state, county, and local codes, laws, rules, guidelines, and regulations. 
  • Advises Chief of Police on matters of police department administration including hiring, discipline, separation, general orders, and police procedures.  
  • Provides excellent customer service to METRO internal and external customers.
  • Promotes safety awareness and follows safety procedures to reduce or eliminate accidents.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Education Requirement

Doctor of Jurisprudence from an accredited school of law.

Years & Experience Required

Minimum seven (7) years’ experience in the practice of employment law. Demonstrated litigation/trial proficiency before state courts, federal courts, and administrative agencies. Legal experience in transportation and/or public law, including the Texas Public Information Act, and advising police departments preferred.

Knowledge & Skills Required

Requires a blend of technical legal skills/knowledge, and an understanding of the organization and its mission. Knowledge of various civil rights and employment laws such as Texas Labor Code, Title VI, Title VII, ADAAA, FMLA, §1983. Active license to practice law in the State of Texas required.

Additional Information

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas has a zero tolerance drug and alcohol policy for all employees. All internal and external applicants will be required to undergo drug testing before employment and will be subject to further drug and/or alcohol testing throughout their employment.

Further, employees who perform safety-sensitive functions will submit to drug and/or alcohol testing in accordance to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) regulatory requirements.

We provide equal opportunity to all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, veteran status, genetic information or disability.

Nearest Major Market: Houston