Employment Litigation


Robinson+Cole’s employment litigators serve regional, national, and international organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, and represent corporate, governmental, and nonprofit entities.  If your organization has employees, we can help you.

Although proactive counseling, training, and policy development can help minimize litigation and legal risks, management decisions are frequently challenged in court or in administrative actions. While our lawyers regularly seek to achieve results for our clients through dispositive motions and favorable settlements, we are equally ready to bring cases to trial.

Our Services and Our Team

Robinson+Cole defends employers in employment claims before federal and state trial and appellate courts, administrative agencies, and in arbitrations and mediations. Our broad trial experience enables us to handle virtually any claim filed against our clients. We partner with our clients to avoid litigation exposure or to help them achieve a resolution in step with their business goals. Our employment litigation services including the following:

  • Defending discrimination and retaliation claims based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act (CFEPA), and other federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity laws in federal and state court and before administrative agencies
  • Defending single plaintiff and multiplaintiff lawsuits, including collective actions and hybrid class actions, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state and local wage and hour laws, including exempt/nonexempt misclassification overtime claims and independent contractor misclassification claims in federal and state court and before the Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Defending common law claims based on public policy, contract, or tort, including the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, infliction of emotional distress, fraud, defamation, invasion of privacy, and negligent hiring and supervision in federal and state court
  • Defending free speech, whistleblower retaliation, and similar claims by single and multiple plaintiffs in federal and state court and before government agencies
  • Defending claims before federal, state, and local agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the New York Department of Human Rights (NYDHR), the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL), and many others
  • Enforcing, or preventing enforcement of, noncompetition, nondisclosure, nonsolicitation, and confidentiality agreements; protection of trade secrets; prosecution of misappropriation of trade secret claims; and other intellectual property disputes
  • Coordinating or managing counsel to oversee litigation in multiple forums to achieve cost-savings and minimize risks of inconsistent positions in strategy, discovery, and outcomes
    • Experience
      • Represented a national truck rental company in lawsuits filed by two current and six former employees alleging discrimination based on sex, race, color, and national origin, and retaliation for having opposed discrimination in the workplace in violation of Title VII, Section 1981, and Connecticut law. The plaintiffs also sought to have their claims certified as a class action. We positioned the cases for mediation that resulted in a favorable global settlement.

      • Investigated and prosecuted former president, vice president, and plant manager in claims alleging misappropriation of trade secrets, theft, and breach of fiduciary duties for establishing and running a competitive business using our client's employees. Worked with private investigators, forensic accountants, and police officers to gather evidence establishing claims. Settled claims for lifetime ban in industry, payment of damages, and other relief.

      • After a three-day trial, a federal court jury returned a verdict in favor of our client, a municipal corporation, against an employee claiming race discrimination, hostile environment, and retaliation under Sections 1981 and 1983 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts.

      • After four days of trial before a jury, settled Fair Labor Standards Act  (FLSA) and Connecticut wage and hour claims by 79 store managers in eight states claiming a convenience store chain misclassified them as exempt from overtime and failed to pay for off-the-clock work. Settlement value was less than 10 percent of plaintiffs' claim. Won summary judgment on liquidated damages, two-year statute of limitations, and tolling of statute of limitations.

      • Defended national chemical company from claims by a former internal auditor alleging race, sex, and religious discrimination; retaliation for complaining about discrimination; and intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, and invasion of privacy by false light. We first successfully dismissed the plaintiff’s intentional infliction of emotional distress and false light invasion of privacy claims. We next won summary judgment on all claims. Finally, we won our request for reimbursement of discovery costs and an award of attorney's fees.  

      • Obtained summary judgment on all counts in a case involving a multicount gender and disability discrimination matter in federal court for a Fortune 500 managed health care company.

      • Defended national construction company in six related lawsuits. The first lawsuit was a Fair Labor Standards Act  (FLSA) hybrid collective action filed by five former employees claiming failure to pay overtime pay on behalf of themselves and a nationwide class of current and former employees. We successfully dismissed all of the class action wage and hour claims. We also successfully limited the plaintiffs from conducting nationwide discovery, saving significant expenses. Although the court allowed the plaintiffs to issue a class solicitation notice, only one former employee opted into the lawsuit. We also successfully defended the company from five single-plaintiff lawsuits alleging discrimination and retaliation, breach of implied contract, equal pay, and wrongful termination claims. We dismissed two of the lawsuits in their entirety and limited the claims in the remaining three lawsuits. Having significantly reduced the scope of the plaintiffs' claims, we positioned the cases for settlement, and after two mediations, we entered into a confidential global settlement of all claims.  

      • Defended community health center in wide range of discrimination claims, including claims of sexual harassment, race, and disability discrimination and an MCAD claim brought by a terminated doctor for age, national origin, sex, and sexual harassment claims.

      • Settled Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Connecticut wage and hour claims before the Connecticut Department of Labor for a health care provider accused of misclassifying more than 200 current and former employees in 83 positions. Settlement was less than 20 percent of the initial claim. 

      • Defended a global specialty chemical company in a lawsuit filed in Connecticut state court by its former vice president of human resources alleging that he was not paid certain amounts for two bonus awards and claiming breach of contract, promissory estoppel, negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. As part of his claims, the former employee alleged that the company's chairman and CEO committed fraud, made material misrepresentations, and acted in bad faith. A jury in Danbury Superior Court returned a verdict in favor of our client on all claims.

      • Represented a school board sued for violation of Connecticut's free speech statute, defamation, invasion of privacy, and infliction of emotional distress, receiving a verdict in the board's favor on all counts.

      • Represented Connecticut-based chemical manufacturing company in a lawsuit commenced in North Carolina against a former salesman who left for a competitor for breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with business relations, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair trade practices, and conversion of property. Based on forensic examination of the former employee’s hard drive and investigation with local police surrounding the alleged theft of a laptop, we achieved a prompt settlement returning all company property and nonsolicitation covenants. As part of the same matter, also squelched the hiring of our client's employees by a New Jersey-based chemical company, threatening litigation for employee raiding in violation of the Sherman Act and unfair trade practices.

      • Defended a national hotel company from wage and hour claims relating to a claimed failure to properly pay tips for banquet employees over a 14-year period.

      • Defended national insurer in a four-day trial from precedent-setting claim by the Connecticut Department of Labor seeking compensatory and liquidated damages for unpaid sales commissions to managers based on an agreement used nationally for all managers.

      • Represented a governmental entity through planning, trial, and appeals of a legal challenge to the entity's ordered conversion of health insurance offerings for retirees under long-expired collective bargaining agreements. Litigation strategy resulted in a groundbreaking Connecticut Supreme Court decision permitting the conversion.

      • Engineered plaintiff's withdrawal of all national origin and religious discrimination claims in federal court following jury selection with no money paid in settlement; obtained voluntary withdrawals of many other claims in court and administrative agencies after showing plaintiffs and their counsel that their claims had no merit. 

      • Won dismissal of sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims filed by former employee against shoe design company.

      • Won summary judgment for a New York City-based global management consulting firm in employment contract litigation brought by former executive.

      • Won summary judgment for a New York City-based global management consulting firm based on 8 of 12 counts of noncompetition litigation on behalf of client and several of its senior executives.

      • Defended New York-based direct media company, with offices in South Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, from employment discrimination claims before state and federal administrative fair employment agencies and courts.

      • Defended federal defense contractor of submarines, and a key subsidiary of a Fortune 100 company, as lead counsel in a wrongful termination suit involving allegations of anti-kickback and related violations and several state and federal actions to compel arbitration of employment-related disputes pursuant to the company's comprehensive arbitration policy.

      • Defended an international postal product manufacturer against Americans with Disabilities Act discrimination, constructive discharge, and wrongful termination claims. Resolved the case favorably before trial.

      • Defending a Global 500 international financial institution against Sarbanes-Oxley whistle-blower retaliation claims filed by a former executive-level employee.

      • back to top

Our Team