Keith Sieczkowski

ksieczkowski@branscombpc.com
361.886.3800

Keith Sieczkowski is the Firm’s senior labor and employment lawyer and served as the Firm’s president from 2003 to 2010.  Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1994, Keith has achieved Martindale-Hubble’s highest ratings in the areas of legal competency and ethics, and is recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer.

Following graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, Keith served as a Marine Corpus officer from 1980 through 1990.  From 1985 – 1988 Mr. Sieczkowski attended St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the St. Mary’s Law Journal, a member of the John M. Harlan Society and an honor graduate.  From 1988 to 1990 Keith served as  Marine Corps Judge Advocate and prosecuted criminal cases, conducted administrative hearings and investigations, served on the Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton’s staff, and provided advice on a variety of legal issues ranging from divorce to claims against the government.

As a private practitioner, Keith represents employers and business interests many of which have complex industrial operations and operate in numerous states.  As a result, Keith has appeared before federal and state courts in Texas, Michigan, and Tennessee; and federal and state agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Corpus Christi Human Relations Commission.  Keith also represents clients in arbitration proceedings, including those governing union-related disputes.

The Firm’s clients consider Keith to be a trusted advisor regarding labor and employment related issues and he routinely provides practical day-to-day advice to his clients, including assistance in union negotiations and disputes; policies and practices; investigations; layoffs and discipline; OSHA compliance; and non-competition matters.  Keith regularly gives in-house training to management staff and has provided presentations on a host of issues such as: the ADA, ADEA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation compliance; harassment and discrimination; proper employment documentation, discipline and termination practices; union activity, and current topics of interest.

Representative Practice Areas
  • Defending against discrimination charges and claims on the basis of age, sex, race, disability, and religion;
  • Wrongful discharge and breach of contract;
  • Retaliation under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, workers compensation, Texas Whistleblower claims, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (civil rights) and 1983 (violations of constitutional rights);
  • FLSA – overtime disputes, regular rate computation and exclusions, MCA exemptions, and misclassification of exempt status;
  • Development of appropriate policies and practices: such as vacation, FMLA, disability accommodation, employment forms and applications, leave of absences, attendance, discipline, information security, codes of conduct, pay practices;
  • Independent contractor vs employment;
  • Collective bargaining negotiations, grievances and arbitrations;
  • Responding to OSHA investigations and contesting OSHA citations;
  • Defending and contesting non-competition matters and employment contracts;
  • Responding to and defending against unfair labor practice charges; and
  • Compelling and conducting arbitrations.
Representative Client Training/Presentations
  • General and specific supervisor training
  • Sex discrimination and harassment
  • Discipline/documentation
  • Harassment, discrimination and retaliation
  • Conducting lawful investigations
  • ADA, FMLA & workers’ compensation compliance
  • Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
  • History of Union/Employer Relationships
  • Unionization in the workplace
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Progressive Discipline
  • Arbitration
  • Pay Issues (FLSA)
Representative Cases
  • Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al. v. Rincones, 520 S.W3d 572 (Texas 2017); obtained summary judgment for defendants Exxon and WHM on claims of race discrimination, pattern and practice discrimination, retaliation, defamation, negligence, and agency liability; Supreme Court of Texas established new precedent.
  • Asset Protection & Sec. Svcs, L.P and Larry Dawson, 362 NLRB No. 72 (NLRB 2015); obtained judgment hearing on claim of discharge for engaging in protected activities  and denial of Weingarten rights; upheld on review by the NLRB.
  • Cox v. Nueces County, Texas and Jim Kaelin, Individually, 839 F.3d 418 (5th Cir. 2016) and Burnside v. Jim Kaelin, Individually, et al., 773 F.3d 6724 (5th Cir. 2014); claimed retaliation for engaging in First Amendment protected activities; judgment for defendants on all claims using administrative process to dispose of suit.
  • Arenas v. Sandford Oil Company, Inc., 2016 WL 7337585 (S.D. Tex. 2017); defend temp employment service against FLSA claims for unpaid overtime; client dismissed from suit.
  • Curlett, et al. v. Madison Industrial Services Team, Ltd., et al., 863 F.Supp. 2d 357 (Del. D. 2012); defend against breach of contract, RICO, and conversion.
  • Mitchell v. J.V. Industrial Co., Ltd., 2008 WL 8444325 (S.D. Tex. 2008); defend against discrimination and retaliation claims; removed matter from state court and obtained dismissal in federal court due to arbitration requirement; judgment granted in favor of client in arbitration.
  • Gina Martinez v. Asset Protection & Sec. Svcs., LP, et al., 2006 WL 2871852 (S.D. Texas  2006); defend against claims of denial of FMLA; retaliation and discrimination; case dismissed by arbitration requirements.
  • Clear Channel Broadcasting and Jim Lago et al. v. Malkan AM Associates, LP, et al., In the 148th Judicial District Court of Nueces County, Texas; defend against interference claim for hiring on-air personality; injunctive relief denied allowing employment to proceed.
  • IUE, AFL-CIO and International Resistive Co., (FMCS 20052); defend against claims of union contract violation; sex and disability discrimination; and, workers compensation, OSHA and ADA retaliation; full judgment in favor of employer.
  • BHP de Venezuela, C.A. v. Casteig, 994 S.W.2d 321 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi, 1999); defend against claim for wrongful discharge and severance benefits by expat employee working in Venezuela; dismissal upheld.
Education

B.S., U.S. Naval Academy, 1980
          Oceanography,
          Regimental Commander,
          Awarded Class of 1923 Sword and Cup for Leadership
J.D., St. Mary’s University of San Antonio, 1988
Editor-in-Chief, St. Mary’s Law Journal
Member, Phi Delta Phi
Member, John M. Harlan Society

Professional

Board Certified, Labor and Employment Law, 1994 to present
Texas Super Lawyers 2014 to present
Martindale-Hubbell – Highest rating for legal competency and ethics
Member – Labor and Employment Section of the Texas Bar
Member – Corpus Christi Bar Association
Member – Society for Human Resources Management and its local Chapter, the Corpus Christi Human     Resources Management Association

 Keith-Sieczkowski-badge-Sept-2016