Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., Magna Cum Laude; Order of the Coif; Soia Mentschikoff full scholarship recipient)
  • Cornell University (B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Maryland (2009)
  • District of Columbia (2011)
  • Virginia (2012 – Inactive)
  • Texas (2016)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits
  • The U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas, the District of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Activities

  • Code2College (Board Member 2018–2020)
  • Travis County Women’s Lawyers (Member)
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs Austin) (Member)
  • Texas State Bar Association (Member)
  • Texas Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Publications/Recognitions

  • Austin Monthly Top Attorney — Employment Law, 2019, 2020
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (Washington DC) — 2015, 2016
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (Texas) — 2017–2020
  • Martindale Hubbard AV Preeminent Rating, 2017–2020

Clerkship

  • The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland (2009-2010)

Karen Vladeck

special counsel

512.649.2434  /  karen@wittliffcutter.com  /  vCard  / 

Karen Vladeck is a veteran attorney who serves as a Special Counsel to the firm’s employment law practice. Karen helps companies of all sizes with employment contracts, employee and contractor classification, wage and hour matters, employment policies, terminations, internal investigations, and employee disputes.

Previously, Karen has represented employers in a range of employment matters, including:

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Non-Compete and restrictive covenant litigation
  • Theft of confidential information and trade secret litigation

When not practicing law, Karen is a legal recruiter at Whistler Partners, where she helps place lawyers across a range of industries including technology, private equity, venture capital, and media at both law firms and in-house.

Karen began her career as a law clerk for Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera of the Court of Appeals of Maryland. After that, she practiced in the Washington, DC office of Arent Fox LLP before moving to Texas in 2016. Karen has received multiple awards including being recognized as a Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers “Rising Star” (Washington, DC – 2014-15 and Texas – 2017–2022) and as a top attorney by Austin Monthly magazine (2019-21). Karen and her husband Stephen, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, live in Austin with their two daughters.

  • Performed over three dozen internal investigations of sexual harassment, discrimination, misconduct, and hostile work environment at companies of all sizes.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major Texas insurer against claims of hostile work environment, retaliation, and discrimination.
  • Defended a major research university against claims that the school violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and other disability laws.
  • Represented a large non-profit that was under Department of Justice investigation in the separation of four top-level executives and the restructuring of management.
  • Represented a major construction company in qui tam litigation concerning the False Claims Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Negotiated severance and separation agreements concerning the Chief Executive Officer from an international real estate company.
  • Represented a large real estate developer against claims of discrimination and violations of the Fair Housing Act.

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law (J.D., Magna Cum Laude; Order of the Coif; Soia Mentschikoff full scholarship recipient)
  • Cornell University (B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations)

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Maryland (2009)
  • District of Columbia (2011)
  • Virginia (2012 – Inactive)
  • Texas (2016)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits
  • The U.S. District Courts for the Western and Northern Districts of Texas, the District of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and the Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Activities

  • Code2College (Board Member 2018–2020)
  • Travis County Women’s Lawyers (Member)
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs Austin) (Member)
  • Texas State Bar Association (Member)
  • Texas Bar Foundation (Fellow)

Publications/Recognitions

  • Austin Monthly Top Attorney — Employment Law, 2019, 2020
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (Washington DC) — 2015, 2016
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star (Texas) — 2017–2020
  • Martindale Hubbard AV Preeminent Rating, 2017–2020

Clerkship

  • The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge, Court of Appeals of Maryland (2009-2010)

In the Media

covid vaccine

Are COVID-19 vaccine boosters included in OSHA vaccine mandates?

OSHA has hit pause on Emergency Temporary Standards after a U.S. District Court ruled they could not yet be put in place.

By Mike Marut (KVUE), Nov 17, 2021

Pharmacist Ilana Druker prepares the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Houston Independent School District’s Hattie Mae White Educ…

White House says big businesses must mandate vaccines or require testing by Jan. 4, regardless of what states like Texas say

The new rules preempt state and local laws, including part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on vaccine mandates.

By Mitchell Ferman, Nov 4, 2021

Pharmacist Ilana Druker prepares the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Houston Independent School District’s Hattie Mae White Educ…

“It puts a big burden on employers”: Businesses face tough choices after Gov. Greg Abbott bans vaccine mandates

American Airlines and Southwest Airlines say they will continue requiring employee vaccinations despite Abbott’s new order, which has left federal government contractors, nursing homes and other companies caught between conflicting rules from the Biden administration and the state.

By Mitchell Ferman, Oct 12, 2021