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Haynes and Boone

Matthew Thomas Deffebach

Matthew Thomas Deffebach



  • Class Action Defense
  • Employment Litigation
  • Government Audits and Investigations
  • Immigration
  • Labor and Employment

WSG Practice Industries


Haynes and Boone
Texas, U.S.A.

WSG Leadership

Labor and Employment
Employment and Labor Group
WSG Coronavirus Task Force Group
Matthew Deffebach is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the Houston and Orange County offices of Haynes and Boone. Having tried, as first chair, nine matters in just the past five years, he is often entrusted with significant trial matters.

As a litigator, Matthew has handled contract disputes and a number of non-subscriber negligence lawsuits/arbitrations. He also routinely assists on executive disputes and unfair competition claims regarding non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. Matthew was previously a co-chair of the firm's Litigation Department.

As an employment litigator, he has managed several teams overseeing national wage and hour collective (or class) action disputes. Matthew also routinely counsels clients and assists them with disputes concerning discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability issues, misappropriation of trade secrets, wrongful termination, social media, and similar matters. He is a frequent speaker, having conducted more than 125 trainings for clients on employment law compliance and appearing at dozens of seminars and conferences.

As an OSHA litigator, He has appeared in more than 22 states handling OSHA matters and is entering his 15th year as National OSHA counsel for The Home Depot. He is familiar with the state OSHA programs, particularly with California where he has handled numerous contested cases involving Cal/OSHA. Matthew has also successfully defended clients in OSHA administrative trials including the following recent illustrative matters: an oil field fatality in Texas; a powered industrial truck matter in Georgia; a hexavalent chromium dispute in Oklahoma; a PSM inspection of an ammonia refrigeration facility in Texas; a fall protection case in California; a state-wide machine guarding case in Maryland; and a PPE matter in California.

After meeting Matthew, it is easy to understand why so many of his clients are long-term, loyal clients. In 2010, Law360 by Portfolio Media, Inc. named him a "Rising Star" and one of ten employment lawyers under 40 to watch. Thereafter, he received the 2013 International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology Client Choice award as the sole recipient in the Employment and Labor category in Texas. In 2019, Benchmark Litigation by Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC named him a “Labor & Employment Star – South, Labor & Employment Star – West.”

Bar Admissions



J.D., University of Houston, 1999
B.A., Trinity University, 1993, cum laude
Areas of Practice

Class Action Defense | Employment Litigation | Government Audits and Investigations | Immigration | Labor and Employment | Litigation | Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and Workplace Disasters | Social Media | Wage and Hour Litigation

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Employment Litigation

Lagos, et al. v. Cogent Communications (S.D. Tex. 2014) (granting Motion to Decertify nationwide collective action)

Ihegwood v. Harris County Hospital District, 929 F. Supp. 2d 635 (S.D. Tex. 2013) (granting summary judgment on Title VII and ADA claims)

Peterson Group v. PLTQ Lotus Group, 417 S.W.3d 46 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2013) (reversing on alter ego finding)

Grenado v. White Cap Construction, (El Paso County Court of Law 2012) (granting summary judgment on Chapter 21 discrimination and retaliation claims)


Defense of breach of contract

Defense of ERISA denial of benefits

Defense of non-subscriber negligence

Defense of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty

Defense of non-subscriber negligence

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and Workplace Disasters

Assisted a client with an investigation into a five-alarm fire, which caused over $35 Million in damages

Successfully defended clients in OSHA administrative trials including fatality matter in Texas, PSM inspection in Texas, fall protection case in California, state-wide machine guarding case in Maryland, and PPE matter in

Defended a national employer in two separate OSHA proceedings where the Department of Labor withdrew its citations entirely on the eve of trial in both matters

OSHA Reminds Employers to Continue Assessing Employee Safety Regarding COVID-19 Hazards, While Also Not Neglecting Common Workplace Hazards
Haynes and Boone, June 2020

As employers continue to implement and maintain the current health and safety guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, they should also be mindful not to forget their other safety obligations. On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a News Release specifically reminding employers that workers need to be protected from both coronavirus and common workplace hazards...

COVID-19 and OSHA: Why Employers May See More Inspection Activity and More Injuries and Illnesses Being Recorded as Work-Related
Haynes and Boone, May 2020

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued two revised enforcement policies with respect to in-person workplace inspections, and an employer’s obligation to record occupational injuries and illnesses, specifically cases of COVID-19. As phased re-openings of businesses are occurring throughout the United States, OSHA explained that it revised its policies to ensure that employers are protecting the health and safety of their workers...

Checklist Part II: OSHA and Safety Issues Regarding COVID-19 When Returning to Work
Haynes and Boone, May 2020

As more employers re-open or are in the process of re-opening for business, they are following the current guidance for preventing the spread of coronavirus infection in the workplace by, among others, ensuring good hygiene practices, requiring social distancing, and screening employees for the COVID-19 illness...

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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