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S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel, Labor & Employment

Grace represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law, including business transactions, litigation, government agency audits and investigations, and day-to-day operations. 

Before state and federal courts and administrative agencies, Grace has handled claims regarding breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, whistleblower retaliation, wage and hour, employee classification, leave, and harassment and discrimination. In addition to defending and resolving claims, Grace’s experience as a federal investigator for the EEOC provides a valuable perspective when advising on workplace policies and all aspects of the employment cycle. She regularly counsels clients on employee mobility issues and has assisted clients in obtaining H1-B and L visas for management and other key employees. Grace conducts training for human resources professionals, management employees, in-house counsel teams, and other stakeholders on compliance with employment laws as well as diversity and inclusion issues.

Experience Highlights

  • Defended multinational energy company against claims of pattern-and-practice violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and obtained dismissals of all claims 
  • Secured dismissal from NLRB of unfair labor practice charge alleging client had obligation to bargain collectively with union
  • Conducted internal investigation for international oil and gas exploration company of SOX whistleblower retaliation and civil rights claims involving accounting matters in Morocco and Mozambique; obtained dismissal of claim by OSHA, and resolved all remaining claims

Labor & Employment

  • (Tex. Dist.) — Representing employers in energy and transportation industries in defense of single-plaintiff and collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • (Tex. Dist.) — Prosecuted breach of contract and tortious interference with prospective business relations claims on behalf of oilfield services company against former management employee; obtained favorable resolution
  • (Tex. Dist.) – Prosecuted claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and enforcement of non-compete agreements resulting in permanent injunctions 
  • Represented a technology company before California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement against allegations of wage-and-hour violations and retaliation claims; obtained closure with no penalties assessed
  • Obtained H-1B and L visas for management and other key employees based in various countries, including China, Italy, and Mexico 
  • (5th Cir.) — Assisted in obtaining affirmance of ARB dismissal of former executive’s SOX whistleblower retaliation claim by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Advised international company in midstream-sector on transition services, exit and retention of executive, management and other employees, and non-competition issues in M&A context
  • Advised national oilfield services company on pay, worker classification, and reduction in force (WARN Act) under state and federal laws in context of a significant acquisition

Counseling & Advice

  • Counsel clients on internal investigations of alleged unlawful activity, including sexual harassment, hostile work environment, and retaliation 
  • Advise national and multinational employers with operations in numerous states, including California, Oklahoma, and Texas, on U.S. employment law; draft policies regarding all aspects of employment, including use of social media, drug testing, background checks, safety, data privacy, leaves, accommodations, compensation, evaluations, and separation
  • Advise clients in the negotiation and drafting of employment agreements, services agreements, and protective agreements, including non-competition and nondisclosure agreements
  • Audit, evaluate, and provide training on employment law compliance, including wage practices, I-9s, and employee versus independent contractor classification
  • Advised member of joint venture on labor union issues, including successorship of collective bargaining agreements

Contact Details

T +1.713.758.2092
M +1.713.338.1540
F +1.713.615.5024
gho@velaw.com
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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T +1.713.758.2092
M +1.713.338.1540
F +1.713.615.5024
gho@velaw.com
555 Mission Street
Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105
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Grace's Practices

  • University of California, Berkeley, J.D., 2007 (Editor, Asian Law Journal)
  • University of Chicago, M.A., 2001 (Awarded The Johnson Prize for the thesis that best combines high scholarly achievement with concern for humanistic aspirations and the practical applications of the Social Sciences)
  • Rice University, B.A., English Literature and French Studies cum laude, 2000
  • Admitted to practice: California; Illinois; Texas; Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Texas, Northern District of Illinois, and Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Other languages: Mandarin, fluent speaker; French, proficient
    • Federal investigator for the EEOC (3 years)
    • American Bar Association 
         - Labor & Employment Law Section
         - International Law Section 
    • State Bar of Texas
         - International Law Section (Council Member)
    • Houston Bar Association
         - Labor & Employment Law Section
    • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
    • Asian American Bar Association of Houston
    • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
    • Community Associate, Rice University (Brown College)
    • Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2018)