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RobThorpe

Counsel

"I'm not a potted plant. I'm here as the lawyer, that's my job." —Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., Esq.

Overview

Biography

Rob counsels and represents employers in all types of labor and employment matters, including, issues concerning workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; hiring and termination strategies; employee benefit programs; and wage-and-hour matters.

Rob has experience handling state and federal department of labor audits and investigations as well as litigating employment-related matters in federal and state courts and before the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the NYS Division of Human Rights. In addition, he counsels clients on a variety of business issues, including employment agreements, restrictive covenants (confidentiality, noncompetition, and nonsolicitation agreements), employee handbooks and related policies, settlement and separation agreements, employee theft and misappropriation of trade secrets, and general compliance with labor and employment laws.

Rob also represents individuals and businesses in a variety of commercial litigation matters, and he regularly provides counsel to not-for-profit institutions, including health care, higher education, and child care clients, in matters involving regulatory compliance, contract disputes, disciplinary issues,  government investigations, and tort actions.

Bar Associations

  • Onondaga County Bar Association, Board Member
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association, Public Relations and Membership Committee Member

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • Syracuse City Court Small Claims Arbitration Program
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Regularly provides counsel and litigation support to employers regarding restrictive covenants and trade-secret-misappropriation disputes.
  • Frequently provides training and education seminars to employers on a variety of labor and employment issues.
  • Counseled multiple employers in connection with pending or threatened website-accessibility litigation under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the NYS Human Rights Law, the NYS Civil Rights Law, and the NYC Human Rights Law.
  • Obtained pre-answer dismissal of breach of contract, tortious interference, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and defamation claims brought against a not-for-profit corporation, its board of directors, and two of its employees.
  • Negotiated a comprehensive executive-employment agreement for a not-for-profit organization.
  • Represented a municipality in arbitration concerning an employee disciplinary matter involving workplace violence.
  • Obtained numerous “no probable cause” determinations for employers in the defense of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims before the NYS Division of Human Rights.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of an employer and two individual defendants in an alleged age-discrimination and retaliation case, and subsequently prevailed on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of an employer in an alleged disability discrimination case.

Prior Experience

  • Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Associate

Selected Community Activities

  • Le Moyne College Dolphin Athletic Association, Vice President and Outreach Committee Chair
  • Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project, Volunteer Attorney

Selected Honors

  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Stars: Employment & Labor, 2019
  • New York State Bar Association, Empire State Counsel Honoree, 2013
  • CALI Excellence for the Future Award: Employment Discrimination, 2010
Knowledge

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • NY Medical Group Management Association Medical Practice Leaders Conference, “Employment Law: Current Hot Topics and Risks to Your Practice”
  • Oryx Insurance Risk Management Conference, “Termination of Employees on Medical Leave”
  • Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance, “Employment Law 101”
  • YMCA Human Resources Forum, “Sexual Harassment Update”
  • Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc., “Common Employer Misconceptions”

Selected Publications & Media

  • Sports Lawyers Journal, “Way Out in Left Field: Crespin v. Albuquerque Baseball Club Rejects Nearly 100 Years of American Jurisprudence by Declining to Adopt the Baseball Rule in New Mexico”

Selected Alerts & Blog Posts

Featured Media

Alerts

Sweeping Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill Signed Into Law

Alerts

Forum Selection Clauses in IP Licensing: New Impact on IP

Alerts

NYS Court of Appeals Issues Decision on Out-of-State Risk Retention Groups

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