Robert R. Roginson
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.
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.
- Obtained decertification of class of service technicians against plumbing contractor
- Negotiated project labor agreements on behalf of two major motion picture studios 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
J.D., Loyola Law School. 1996
B.A., Georgetown University, 1989
- Southern California Super Lawyer (2011-2014)
- Rising Star (2004-2005)
- AGC of California Legislative and Legal Advisory Committees (Chair, 2007)
- Employers Group Legal Committee
- California Trucking Association Intermodal Steering & Planning Committee and Intermodal Carrier Task Force
- AGC of America Labor and Employment Law Council (Chair, 2016)
In The News
- February 27, 2015 - - "Being on Call in California Does Not Impede on Rest Breaks"
- July 1, 2014 - - "California Supreme Court: Newspaper Carriers Can Proceed With Class Action Challenging Independent Contractor Status"
- June 3, 2014 - - "California Supreme Court Preserves Employer’s Right to Litigate Defenses in Class Action "
- January 19, 2015 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Court Vacates DOL’s New “Companionship Services” Definition"
- January 6, 2015 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Court Stays New FLSA Companionship Regulation From Going Into Effect"
- January 2015 - California Transportation News - "Recent California Labor & Employment Developments Present Considerable Challenges for Motor Carriers in 2015"
- December 31, 2014 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "Court Vacates DOL’s Regulations Mandating Minimum Wage and Overtime Payments to Home Health Care Employees"
- November 6, 2014 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "FAAAA Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Requirements"
- September 19, 2014 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "California Appellate Court Rules That California’s Prevailing Wage Laws Do Not Apply to Off-Site Fabrication"
- 2014 - American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry - "Construction Subcontracting—A Comprehensive Practical and Legal Guide" - Chapter Author - "Federal Prevailing Wage Laws and Project Labor Agreements"
- October 25, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "California Supreme Court Follows Concepcion But Allows Courts to Strike Down Unconscionable Arbitration Agreements"
- August 2, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Publication - "Restricting the Activities of California On-Call Employees May Mean Having to Pay Them for Their Time"
- June 24, 2013 - Ogletree Deakins Blog Post - "California Supreme Court Delays Decision in Key Arbitration Case"