Labor and Employment
- Employer Internal Investigations
- Employment Litigation
- Employment Relations, Policies, and Regulatory Practice
- University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1987
- University of Houston, B.A., 1984, cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Monica is a partner in the Vorys Houston office and member of the labor and employment group. Monica provides guidance and serves as trial counsel to employers in labor and employment matters including termination, discrimination, discipline, retaliation, medical leave, disability, harassment, wrongful discharge, unsafe workplace, non-competition covenants, reductions in force, and wage and hour issues. She also has significant experience in internal corporate investigations. Monica also has considerable experience in general commercial litigation, including breach of contract, non-compete, indemnity and construction litigation. Additionally, Monica has significant experience advising oil and gas companies on labor and employment matters, including litigation before both state and federal courts.
Recognized by Chambers as a Leading Lawyer in employment law, Monica has more than 25 years of experience as a labor and employment litigator and has had lead responsibility for many cases that were defeated by summary judgment, trial and appeal. Monica has also authored articles and lectured on numerous topics including minimizing sexual harassment liability and employment torts which include defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, fraud, negligent supervision, negligent referral and negligent hiring.
Monica received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. She received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Houston.
Professional and Community Activities
- Freedom House, Board of Trustees, 2018 - Present
- International Alliance of Law Firms, President, 2009 - 2011
- University of Houston Law Center, Alumni Board of Directors, Member
- Houston Bar Association President’s Award, 2000
- American Bar Association, Member
- State Bar of Texas, Member
Honors & Awards
- The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management, 2017-2020
- Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer in Labor & Employment, 2014
- Houston Bar Association, President’s Award, 2000
- 8/15/2019One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020.
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 3/13/2018Monica Oathout, a partner in the Houston office, has joined the Board of Trustees of the democracy organization Freedom House, based in Washington, D.C.
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 8/15/2016One-hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.
- 12/16/2014Vorys announced that nine trial lawyers, with diverse civil litigation backgrounds, will join the firm’s Houston office. The attorneys will start at the firm on January 5. Their arrival continues the firm’s expansion in Houston and strengthens Vorys nationally recognized litigation and energy groups.
- 4/19/2018What #MeToo Means For You: A Guide to Navigating Civility, Harassment, and Other Workplace MinefieldsOn April 19, 2018 Vorys attorneys hosted the program, What #MeToo Means For You: A Guide to Navigating Civility, Harassment, and Other Workplace Minefields in partnership with the Central Ohio Association of Corporate Counsel.
- 9/13/2016Religious Liberty and Sexual Orientation Issues in the Workplace: Managing Legal Obligations Amidst Social ChangeVorys partner Monica Oathout presented a Diversity CLE to the ACC Houston Chapter on September 13, 2016.
- 10/1/2015Vorys attorneys Jackie Ford and Monica Oathout were speakers at the 2015 American Petroleum Labor Lawyers Association Annual Meeting on October 1, 2015.
- 7/24/2019Austin and San Antonio (in 2018) and Dallas (in 2019) all enacted substantially identical paid sick leave ordinances.
- 11/20/2018A Texas Court of Appeals recently ruled that the City of Austin’s paid sick leave law is unconstitutional under Texas law.
- 3/6/2017This year has already witnessed two large-scale political protests – the Women’s March on January 21 and “A Day Without Immigrants” on February 17.
- 4/19/2016The Mississippi Supreme Court had recognized only two limited exceptions to the at-will doctrine: employees cannot be discharged for refusing to participate in illegal acts or for reporting an employer’s illegal acts. It recently recognized a third exception for employees storing firearms in their vehicles on an employer’s property.
- 2/22/2016Monica Oathout, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group, authored an article for Texas Lawyer titled “Open Carry Law Presents Unsightly Small Business Problems.”
- 12/21/2015On January 1, 2016, the Texas Open Carry Law becomes effective. The new law allows a person with a concealed handgun license to carry a holstered handgun in plain view in any public place where a concealed handgun is otherwise permitted.
- April 2015Monica Oathout, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group, and Jim Barnish, an associate in the Houston office and a member of the litigation group, co-authored an article for Law360 titled “Figuring Out Family Responsibilities Discrimination.”
- April 2015The National Labor Relations Board has determined that confidentiality statements used in internal investigations are unlawful. Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has weighed in on employee confidentiality agreements.
- October 2015Monica Oathout, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group authored an article titled “Religious Liberties and LGBT Rights.”
- October 2015Monica Oathout, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group authored an article titled “Religious Discrimination and Same Sex Marriage.”