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Robert R. Roginson

Profile

Robert Roginson is a shareholder in the firm's Los Angeles office. His practice includes all aspects of employment and labor law litigation and counseling for employers.

Mr. Roginson has represented private and public employers in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Mr. Roginson has defended dozens of employers in class actions involving a variety of allegations, including employee misclassification, meal and rest period violations, off-the-clock claims, and record keeping violations. He also counsels employers and companies on California and federal wage/hour and pay practice laws, prevailing wage laws, project labor agreements (PLAs), reduction in force issues and WARN notification requirements, labor relations and union matters, tribal immunity and sovereignty issues, and retaliation and discrimination claims.

From November 2007 until March 2010, Mr. Roginson served as Chief Counsel for the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Roginson represented and advised the California Labor Commissioner and her staff in all aspects of enforcement and interpretation of California's labor and wage/hour laws, licensing requirements, and retaliation statutes. He also managed and directed the Division's litigation and handled matters involving meal and rest period compliance and enforcements, public works and prevailing wage requirements, child labor and work permit issues, the Talent Agency Act, farm labor contracting, garment manufacturing, and the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).

As Chief Counsel, Mr. Roginson authored DLSE amicus briefs and opinion letters, including:

  • DLSE amicus brief in the California Supreme Court meal period case, Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum)
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming California's on-duty meal period requirements
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming an employer's right to take deductions for vacation and sick time for partial-day absences for exempt employees
  • DLSE opinion letter affirming an employer's right to implement proportionate salary and work schedule reductions for exempt employees
  • DLSE opinion letter authorizing the use of debit paycards and convenience checks
  • DLSE opinion letter approving summertime alternative workweek schedule

Mr. Roginson also co-wrote and edited the DLSE's Public Works Manual.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Mr. Roginson worked in the industrial relations department for the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC of California), where he represented construction contractors in labor grievance and arbitration matters in addition to the negotiation of the Southern California Basic Trades Master Labor Agreements.

Experience

Experience: 

Mr. Roginson focuses on bringing creative solutions to complex legal problems. He has negotiated several settlements of wage/hour class and representative actions on terms favorable to the companies. Mr. Roginson also has considerable experience defending against union sponsored litigation and has represented garment manufacturers in a wage and hour class action brought by UNITE, a transportation company in a meal and rest period class action brought by the Teamsters Union, and various construction companies in prevailing wage and apprenticeship class action lawsuits financed and driven by the building and construction craft unions, including the IBEW, Roofers Union, and others.

Mr. Roginson has drafted, negotiated, and analyzed project labor agreements for contractors and private and public project owners.

Mr. Roginson has also served as an expert witness and consultant in several wage and hour and public works matters.

Representative Cases

  • Negotiated a project labor agreement on behalf of a major motion picture studio with the local area building and construction trade unions to cover multiple construction projects.
  • Obtained a favorable arbitration award against a union seeking to impose special terms into a project labor agreement.
  • Defeated class certification in a class action lawsuit by warehouse employees against their logistics employer for meal and rest period and overtime claims.
  • Defeated class certification in a class action lawsuit against a talent agency based upon contract and unlawful business practices arising out of the California Talent Agencies Act.
  • Defeated class certification in a class action lawsuit by workers against their construction employer for purported prevailing wage violations.
  • Defeated class certification in a class action by employees against their restaurant employer for purported wage and hour violations.
  • Negotiated an industry-wide settlement with the California Labor Commissioner on behalf of the ready mix concrete industry concerning meal periods taken by ready mix concrete truck drivers.
  • Obtained a California Court of Appeal decision holding that specific opinion letters by the California Labor Commissioner constituted impermissible underground regulations.
  • Obtained a summary judgment ruling that a contractor was not required to pay prevailing wages on a jail improvement project and successfully defended an appeal of the decision.
  • Obtained a court ruling reversing a public works coverage determination that equipment repair work at a landfill was subject to California prevailing wage requirements.
  • Obtained summary judgment against a union on behalf of two non-union contractors that such contractors have no obligations to comply with union apprenticeship requirements.
  • Obtained public works coverage determination finding that privately funded improvements made to public golf course were not subject to California prevailing wage requirements.

Education and Honors

Education: 

J.D., Loyola Law School. 1996
B.A., Georgetown University, 1989

Honors and Awards: 
  • Southern California Super Lawyer (2014)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • AGC of California Legislative and Legal Advisory Committees (Chair, 2007)
  • Employers Group Legal Committee