Image: Thomas McGoey II
Tommy
Thomas J. "Tommy" McGoey, II
Shareholder, New Orleans
Head of Commercial Litigation Practice Group
Hancock Whitney Center
701 Poydras Street
Suite 5000
New Orleans, Louisiana 70139

Overview

Tommy is the leader of the firm’s commercial litigation practice group and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He is a go-to labor and employment lawyer with experience throughout Louisiana and the U.S. With his nearly 35 years of experience, he helps employers across a wide range of industries with contentious human resources claims and issues, both inside and outside the courtroom.  Most recently, he has guided employers through a range of concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tommy takes a client-focused approach.  In lawsuits and arbitrations, he collaborates with the client team to build a strong case or seek an effective early resolution.  In his human resources counseling role, he gathers the facts, analyzes the legal principles and formulates a practical solution.

Tommy’s experience is recognized by both national and local publications.  Chambers USA ranked Tommy in its top level-Band 1 for his Labor & Employment practice. He has also been recognized by The Best lawyers in America as the Litigation- Employment Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year" and by Super Lawyers as a “Top 50 Super Lawyer” in Louisiana. 

Tommy handles difficult cases in federal and state trial and appellate courts, and arbitrations. His litigation experience includes:

  • Non-compete and Trade Secret Litigation: Obtaining temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions; seeking declaratory judgments; and protecting employers’ confidential information.

  • Retaliation Claims: Defending employers against retaliation claims under Whistle-Blower Statutes, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other discrimination statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and workers compensation statutes.

  • Discrimination and Harassment Claims: Defending employers under the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Equal Pay Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and ERISA.

  • Wage and Hour Claims: Defending employers against claims under the FLSA and Louisiana Wage Payment Act.

  • Employment Related Agreements: Drafting and litigating employment, non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and OWBPA-compliant separation agreements, as well as alternative dispute resolution policies and employee handbooks.

  • Labor Arbitrations: Presenting the employer’s case in arbitrations involving union grievances related to discipline or contract interpretation.

  • Administrative Claims: Defending employers in administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Labor (DOL) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Tommy also counsels employers on compliance with a myriad of employment laws related to hiring decisions, compensation, discipline, termination, reductions in force and responding to catastrophes affecting the workplace.  He conducts training for managers and supervisors on substantive issues, employee relations and litigation avoidance.

Experience

Recent Client Stories

  • Beating back an illegitimate trade secrets lawsuit

Our client:  We were retained by a foreign manufacturer to represent the Louisiana repair specialist it hired from a competitor.

What happened:  The former employer, represented by a mega-firm, filed a hyper-aggressive lawsuit alleging trade secret misappropriation.  Before we were retained, the court had already granted a TRO and extremely expedited discovery and had set a short-fuse preliminary injunction hearing.

Our approach:  Tackle our opponent’s discovery blitz and present our case at the preliminary injunction hearing.

The result:  Our client was vindicated.  After the court denied the requested injunction, our opponent voluntarily dismissed the case.

  • Clearing the way for lawful competition

Our client:  A manufacturer’s newly-hired salesmen.

What happened:  The salesmen had non-compete agreements that were enforceable in the contractual forum, but not in Louisiana.  Their former employer was known to aggressively litigate against departing employees in a distant, contractual forum.

Our approach:  Seize control of the litigation by filing a declaratory judgment action in Louisiana to have the contract declared unenforceable.

The result:  Our clients prevailed.  The Louisiana court granted our clients a preliminary injunction barring their former employer from pursuing a later-filed suit in the distant forum and ruled that the choice of law and choice of forum provisions in the non-compete agreements were null and void under Louisiana law.

  • A successful arbitration preserving management rights

Our client:  A major petro-chemical company in south Louisiana.

What happened:  The company faced a grievance stating that it was attempting to systematically diminish the union’s bargaining unit.

Our approach:  Our team defended the company in arbitration and demonstrated that the company’s actions were not a union-busting tactic.  We proved that the company made no commitments regarding staffing levels in the CBA, and that it had a history of using outside contractors as a business efficiency strategy, which was well known by the Union. 

The result:  Our client prevailed, and the decision saved our client millions of dollars in additional labor costs.

  • Saving time and money by resolving a discrimination claim early

Our client:  A global chemical company.

What happened:  A lab employee filed a wrongful termination grievance and a lawsuit asserting discrimination and retaliation claims.

Our approach:  Fast track the grievance arbitration and obtain a favorable outcome.  Leverage the grievance decision and a thorough plaintiff’s deposition to position the lawsuit for settlement.

The result:  A win in the arbitration and a nuisance value settlement of the lawsuit.   

Other Representative Experience

  • Represented a global oil company in an FLSA collective action in which the employees of its contractor sought unpaid overtime wages.  Prevailed on motion to dismiss company based on deficient allegations of joint employer status in the complaint.

  • Defended a regional health care company against ADA lawsuit filed by employee with history of breast cancer who was terminated for poor performance.  Deposed only the plaintiff and obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims.

  • Secured Award dismissing contracting out grievance filed by union against global chemical company.  Proved that employer had long-standing past practice of assigning work in question to contractors and union had acquiesced in the practice.

  • Defended major chemical company against sex, age, and reverse race discrimination claims of terminated lab technician.  Deposed only the plaintiff and obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims.

  • Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, for major refinery in same-sex, sexual harassment case filed by terminated operator.  Sifted through multiple claims to address the crux of the issue, which involved a personality conflict and not harassment based on sex.

  • Represented a Plan Administrator of regional health care company’s ERISA severance pay plan in action for severance benefits.  Obtained summary judgment on grounds that Administrator’s denial of benefits was not an abuse of discretion.

Involvement

Professional

  • Firm's Board of Directors

  • New Orleans Bar Association - Member

  • Louisiana State Bar Association - Member

  • Federal Bar Association - Member

  • American Bar Association - Member

  • Defense Research Institute, Labor and Employment Section - Member

Community

  • Volunteers of America Southeast Louisiana – Board of Directors

  • New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center - Former Member of Board of Directors, Past-President

Recognition

  • Chambers USA – Labor & Employment, 2006–2021, Band 1

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2005–2022

Best Lawyers' 2021 Litigation- Employment Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year"

Best Lawyers' 2019 Litigation- Labor and Employment "Lawyer of the Year"

Best Lawyers' 2018 Employment Law - Management - New Orleans "Lawyer of the Year"

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2008-2021

Top 50 Attorneys in Louisiana, 2021

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Thomas J. McGoey, II
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Thomas J. McGoey, II
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Presentations

Publications

After Hours

"I enjoy music, New Orleans restaurants, college sports, and time with the family.  I love golf, but it’s a humbling game."

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