Laura Fowler is the managing partner of The Fowler Law Firm, P.C.
Ms. Fowler is the proud recipient of the designation of Best Lawyers in the United States from US World and News Reports, Martindale Hubble AV Lawyer and AV Woman Lawyer Preeminent, 2017 Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce Member of the Year, 2016 Greater Austin Black Chamber Diversity Champion, 2016 Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce Pride Champion, 2020 Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year, The Austin Club 2014 Member of the Year, and Williamson County Association of Realtors 2013 Member of the Year. The Fowler Law Firm PC is ranked nationally by US News and World Reports as a Best Law Firms In the United States Tier 1 in two categories, Immigration and Education. Not surprisingly, Ms. Fowler passionately believes in the importance of both and is proud to contribute to a number of educational endowments and scholarships, reaching out to many who are in need of pro bono immigration services, referred by area pastors who know their members with be treated with dignity, respect and love. She is an ardent supporter of many Austin area nonprofits including Peace Park Conservancy.
Ms. Fowler serves as a director of The Austin Bar Association and is particularly proud of the fact that each year in which The Fowler Law Firm has been invited to participate, it has been designated with the grade of A+ as Top Diversity Employer of Attorneys by Austin Bar Association Diversity Report Card, which Ms. Fowler notes is nothing short of a miracle in light of the firm’s small size and lack of HR resources compared to the firms The Fowler Law Firm PC competes against that employ hundreds or even thousands of lawyers. She has been quoted as saying “I just invited the most wonderful lawyers in Austin to join us and they turned out to be…..diverse!
Graduating from Baylor Law School in 1979, Laura Fowler began her career as a very green Lieutenant Junior Grade in the US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corp aboard the warship USS Guadalcanal in 1980. Chasing saboteurs and scoundrels through exotic ports in East Asia and the Western Pacific, she learned a lot about the world and went from being not much more that a citizen who dutifully voted to a fierce patriot who loves the United States and worships the United States Constitution for the opportunities afforded our citizens which are unlike any other in the world.
Since returning to Texas in 1983, she has confined herself to avenging and defending the rights of many wonderful people and institutions in the state and federal courts of Texas. Her greatest calling, however, is to help her clients design ways to never see the inside of a courtroom.
J.D., Baylor School of Law, 1979
State Bar of Texas
I speak to you today not only as a lawyer who has advised many employers over the past month, but as a small business owner and employer. Every day I serve the needs of 26 of the most heroic individuals on the face of this earth. March 26, 2020 Fowler Law team dutifully assumed very new and unfamiliar battle stations in their homes. All have continued to provide high quality legal services without hesitation or complaint. All have remained eomployed full time. Fowler Law allowed all employees to work from home, even tough legal services are defined by federal, state and local law to be essential services.
Those employers who have reached out to us for legal advice over the past month to a one have been loving, kind people who are facing one of the greatest challenges of their professional lives. They love their team members and families and want to do the right thing by all. They know that no business, charity or governmental unit can remain closed or allow its workers to remain largely at home indefinitely. Meanwhile, some workers are enraged by the prohibitions and want to return to work; others are too fearful to return.
We advise those who employ fewer than fifty (50) employees consider following which should greatly easse your decision making process. The moral and spiritual dilemma many will face, to be kind while taking the steps necessary to ansure the continued life and livelihood of your team, will likely be among the most significant decisions you ever make.
1. Review your employee paid and unpaid leave policies first. Make sure you are reviewing the most current version of your leave policies. Don't guess.
3. If any employee is ill with Coronavirus or requests leave for one of the specific Coronavirus related reasons, the empoyer receives dollar for dollar credit for the sick leave paid the worker. Empployers: remember to tell your CPA and payroll admininstrator to record the sick leave payments as Coronavirus related and take the employer deduction.
4. Employers who are authorized to open and operate may insist employees who are not ill with Coronavirus or entitled to leave for one of the specific reasons stated in FFCRA, return to work. If those workers refuse, the Employer may terminate those employees for cause unless the Employer has created additional rights in the worker's employee contract that limit the Employer's rights, or unless the employee asks for a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
5. Before you terminate an employee who refuses to return to work, think deeply with kindness and compassion. Many are very afraid; the past few weeks are unlike anything they have experienced. You are not making just a legal decision but one of the most important moral and spiritual decisions of your career.
Laura Sanders Fowler
Laura Fowler Awarded 2016 Diversity Champion Of The Year By The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce
Sam Horton 2018-2019 The Fowler Law Firm PC – Williamson County Teen Court Scholarship Recipient explains to Laura Fowler how Teen Court changed his vision and world view.
Ben Crockett 2018 -2019 The Fowler Law Firm PC – Howard College Scholarship recipient now attends Texas State University. Ben is featured here learning more about what lawyers do. Left to right with Ben are The Fowler Law Firm PC attorneys Diane Byrnes, Laura Fowler, Terry Belt and Laura Parton.
How To Be The Greatest Historic Place in Austin® a course and manual by Laura Fowler. Short courses
begin at Historic Millett’s Opera House April 2020. Students and readers will be empowered with the knowledge they need, to
avoid costly mistakes others made, who owned or managed historic places. To buy a book go or enroll in a course go to :